On the way home

I’m definitely writing this in a pretty different place to my last few musings – in the aisle seat of a BA Airbus on the way from Thessaloniki to Gatwick.

The last day seems to have flown by. A beach party at the hotel was first moved indoors then, quite hurriedly back outside to the beach again. They had made loads of effort but it was lacking a little atmosphere I have to say.

We also made a not-so-clever mistake of thinking we could check-in yesterday early for our Jersey flight – rather forgetting the 2 hour time difference – doh!

This morning saw a little game of table tennis just after checking out of our rooms which was good fun – if a touch hot and sticky in the 30+ degree temperatures. Still lots of fun though.

Thessaloniki airport has redeemed itself with me actually being quite a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours waiting about. The shops were pretty good and the snack bar alright if a touch pricey.

I also today discovered why the airport had the weird code of SKG (read back to day 1 if a reference to Skegness makes no sense here). It stands for SeloniKa Greece so I’m told. By Wikipedia. Make of that what you will.

About 40mins till we get to London now and a little shopping spree I should think. And after that back home again and trying not to dread returning to work on Monday too much. Could be an effort 😉

Finally, the choicest tracks from my in-flight playlist – Doves “Pounding”, They Might Be Giants “Birdhouse in Your Soul” and Ash “Kung Fu”.

Actually one more thing – while I was away I had an invitation on Facebook to an Ash gig in Jersey but when I tried the link today it didn’t work – hope that doesn’t mean it’s cancelled or I’m just too late – they’d be great to see I think. Hope I can!

Halkidiki days 3-6

I’m back once again in my spot on the balcony, listening to the favourite song I’ve discovered this week (Taylor Swift “Teardrops on my guitar”) just outside the room I’ve been sharing with my son here in beautiful Halkidiki.

Its been such a relaxed week that I’m probably not going to do it justice here saying what I’ve been up to. But that’s never stopped me trying before.

On Monday and Tuesday we just got into the swing of things around the hotel. Well, mainly the pool to be honest during which I discovered an hitherto unknown talent for water polo. That said, I suspect that the version of the game played here is perhaps a touch less controlled, shall we say, compared to the real version.

On Monday night we had a lovely greek meal at this restaurant down by the pool which was great. The food has been gorgeous all week actually although I’m hoping I haven’t put too much weight on but part of me doesn’t really care as that can be fixed when I’m home.

Tonight we had another beautiful meal at this Italian themed restaurant they have here, which has this gorgeous view out to sea over the outdoor pools. Just another perfect evening really ended by getting a drink or two with Jean while the kids were watching Ratatouille (which is great I hear). Just fantastic really.

So what else we been up to. Well we won a music quiz winning a bottle of “champagne”, Oceania’s finest apparently. It was nice but only I would win a bottle of booze at an all inclusive hotel. It was 80s themed which is so my era, being old and all that.

Yesterday we walked down to the town of Nea Moudania (excuse any dodgy spelling please) and took in the market there. The pics I posted most recently were from there. It was quite good as markets go but it wouldn’t be unfair to say the town isn’t that well developed. But hey it was a good trip and a nice morning well spent.

Over the last 24 hours or so the weather hasn’t been as gorgeous but its been ok when it mattered. Just before I popped down to the bar last night I think it must have chucked it down and I am told it was horrid after I’d got to sleep too. But it hasn’t affected much.

This morning the four of us had a go at some of the watersports on offer – Jean and Lauren in a pedalo and me and Alex in a 2 man surfboard-type kayak. I always thought I’d end up doing some watersports but if you’d have told me before the holiday I would at some stage by paddling out into the open water of the Aegean sea with my 11 year old son without anything like life jackets I might have thought you a touch mad. But that’s just what we did and it was a pretty amazing experience.

I’m going to wander back inside and get back to watching Sky News or BBC World News as that is about the best the tv offers. Guess that’s the downside of not having one room for the 4 of us really although it does give a good excuse for wandering down to the bar on my own a couple of times! Bye for now!

Halkidiki day 2

Well its late to be writing I know but we’ve had a late finish tonight as were treated to a tribute to Mamma Mia. It was actually rather good I have to say despite being a touch overly long (although the concept of having a tribute show based upon a musical which itself was a tribute to Abba is a weird one I guess)

Today was as much about settling in as having fun although I think we’ve done both very well. The food here has been lovely for me although it is slightly fishy based as you might expect which isn’t to everyone’s taste.

There are lots of things to do so today I got stuck in with volleyball and water polo and I think tomorrow I’ll go see what other water sports they have. I was thinking about jet skiing but the cost has put me off a touch but I might have a crack at wind surfing.

The atmosphere at the hotel is lovely and you can’t help but be in a good mood around here. And I definitely am in a great relaxed mood although suffering a bit with a dodgy ear that’s very sore and I can barely hear a thing with. Back to the docs when home then!

I don’t think the kids will be going to their respective clubs much but that’s really down to the activities that they’re not interested in. That isn’t going to be a problem though as they’ve been keen to do their own thing.

Halkidiki day 1

I am writing this sitting on a 3rd floor balcony (or 9th depending which side of the hotel you take your perspective from) of a lovely hotel in Halkidiki, Greece.

Its only the first day on holiday and I just feel so at peace right now. And as I say this is just evening 1 of a seven night holiday. I feel pretty shattered to be honest even though, if I go by English time, its not far past quarter past 7.

I know its been a busy 36 hours or so of travelling but I thought I was a good traveller. Well maybe I am and just today I’m feeling under the weather – which I certainly am.

So what have we been up to. Well Friday morning involved tidying up and making sure we had everything we needed to. Friday afternoon saw us finishing packing and by late afternoon we were at the airport.

Can I just say here (and with the knowledge that many of my readers will never visit the place in question – just bear with me people) that what they have done to Jersey Airport is dire. I mean I know it isn’t the finished article but christ it looks like it was never meant to be occupied at all let alone operating as an international airport. Maybe I should reserve judgement until its finished but right now its poor. Very poor.

Whilst writing that paragraph some fireworks started up somewhere around here. Only I couldn’t see them. And they’ve stopped now. Hmmm…how is Greece for gun crime? Lets hope we never find out eh?

Yesterday’s flight to London was very uneventful and we got to our hotel very easily. Although no longer having the walkway between the Gatwick north terminal and the hotel was a bit of a pain but nothing serious. (Am I moaning a lot here or something – hope not cos I’m good)

The hotel was ok despite not having the room type we hoped for but it was fine. For a place to crash for a night it was no bother at all.

The sports bar in the hotel has been replaced by something far more “fashionable” but I was too tired to partake anyway suffering a bit from a dodgy ear (which I am still right now – hope that wears off)

Then this morning’s flight was really good. Apart from seemingly missing our take off slot because of a family that felt gate closure times didn’t apply to them. But we arrived on time so no harm done.

The airport in Greece (Thessaloniki) tried to catch us out by telling us our luggage was at one carousel but actually delivering it to another. A sneaky trick indeed but we were wise to it having been alerted by someone else who was on our flight (whoever you are – thank you).

In fact the airport in Thessaloniki reminded me a lot of some others I’ve been to. Exeter, Southampton, Guernsey and Hewanorra (St Lucia) to name four. All not much developed beyond mud hut but hey they do the job 🙂

Then on the way to the hotel we discovered most drivers here behave like loons behind the wheel. Don’t get me wrong because I like speed and lots of it but everyone was hareing along at 120kmh squeezing into gaps that didn’t really look like their car fitted into them and they were perfectly chilled. It very much reminded me of driving in Ireland only with more heat haze and less drinking and driving. Allegedly.

Anyhoo, we did get here in one piece and it is just the most beautiful perfect hotel you could wish for. I think its going to take me a couple of days to get comfortable so I know my way around but it is lovely. Put it this way – while we signing in at reception someone came up to us and asked if we’d like a drink. Just as I was about to ask for a lemonade they suggested champagne, and who could say no to that really.

Then we’ve just relaxed around the pool, had a little explore, a lovely meal and a nice game of cards together. Its been pretty much a perfect sort of travelling day I guess and whilst I think I had the impression there was more to do around the hotel somehow I don’t think I’ll be complaining.

Well I think 40 minutes of writing this is long enough. I’m sure you’ll hear more from me soon probably from this very balcony spot. Unless the disco appeals one night. Hmmm….maybe.