Lesbos: Day 1 – 24.05.19……..The holiday that almost never was!
We stopped off at Lidl’s on the way to the airport to stock up on some ‘in-fresco’ provisions for our Gatwick hotel; four rolls, Roquefort cheese and Gouda cheese slices however, not having a fridge in our extremely warm hotel room our cheeses soon became warm and bendy and very sweaty, not the most appetising of meals, but we made do, and after our ‘feast’ we were that bloated we were forced to lay on our beds feeling like beached whales. Mastermind was on TV but we opted for gogglebox instead remembering how badly we’d done the last time we stayed overnight at Heathrow where we watched ‘Connect’ and ‘University Challenge’. Even this year’s U.K. Eurovision entry scored more points than our abysmal attempt last time where we scored nil-point! The six G&T’s we’d drunk didn’t help our constitution either so we were glad when 10pm came as it was lights out and alarms set for 2.45am!
As seasoned travellers, one would think our holidays would run like clockwork but seems this one was doomed from the very beginning. In fact, it all started months ago when we first booked it. Checking our diaries to ensure we had no other commitments that week Maice booked the holiday and paid the deposit. It wasn’t until later that day I received a phone call from a frantic Maice who, forgetting to check her social diary realised she was on a walking weekend the Friday we were travelling to the airport. Having paid a non-refundable deposit on the Greek holiday it was a no-brainier really, she was just going to have to rearrange the walking holiday. Thankfully, walking companions Steve and Jane were fine about it and fortunately for Maice the hotel was able to change their booking. It wasn’t until weeks later, when Maice read the email from the hotel, that she realised the hotel had only changed one of the rooms! Another frantic phone call to the hotel and once again, fortunately for Maice they changed the second room. Ok, now breathe!
So, after the week, and indeed year we’ve both had so far a holiday to Greece was just what we needed. Maice’s week had been so stressful she felt the need to download a number of expletives on the drive up to Gatwick. Fine by me. Yoga usually helps but as no one’s come up with car yoga, expletives was the next best thing. At least it made her feel better.
We were staying at the Best Western Skygate Hotel just outside Gatwick so with SatNav Steve finally brought out of hibernation and clamped firmly to the windscreen we set off on our latest adventure. As an Australian, he’s rather amusing and when we deviated off to Lidl’s he advised us to ‘crack a uee’! Not heard that expression before but we translated it to mean ‘where convenient you need to turn around’. Leaving Lidl’s and coming back to the roundabout we sat and watched in disbelief the driver of a Range Rover on the outer lane to us pull out into the path of an articulated lorry coming round the roundabout. How that lorry didn’t hit him we’ll never know but doubt we’d be here now if he had. Honestly no wonder there are so many accidents on the roads when you’ve got idiots like that about.
In true bank-holiday style the traffic going in the opposite direction to us was horrendous, with queues on both the M27 and M3 and we were both thankful our drive was steady with no queues to contend with until that is we were close to the airport when the traffic came to a standstill. Typical. Googling to see what was happening we were advised of an accident with the road being cleared in the next hour! Engines off it was then. Luckily we didn’t need the loo, and luckily we’d brought plenty of water with us but sitting in the tin can of a car in the sunshine we soon started to get hot and restless. No wonder our cheeses became sweaty and part cooked! The lorry driver next to us was getting quite animated on his phone and all we could hear was one expletive after another. We felt quite sorry for the person on the receiving end.
Fortunately we were only in the queue for half an hour and after four hours on the road we finally arrived at the hotel, checked in and promptly emptied the contents of our bags onto the beds. We’re only away for a week this time so to save money we decided to share one suitcase, giving ourselves strict instructions on what we were allowed to take. Of course Maice packed more than her fair share and I packed very little which was probably due to the fact that I only started packing in the morning. I blame Yvonne entirely. If it wasn’t for her donating half a bottle of wine to me after our very long Election Day saying ‘you can have a glass of wine whilst packing when you get home’ I would have packed when I got home. As it was, I got home, put telly on to watch the end of Question Time, poured myself a large glass of wine (actually it was the contents of the bottle), drank it and promptly fell asleep on the sofa, waking up at 1.15am. Being under the influence I took myself off to bed, telling myself I had to get up early to start the packing. Maice was picking me up at midday so I had plenty of time. She arrived however just shy of 11.30am when I was still mid-pack. Well, it had been a busy morning. I had to do my daily yoga session, then I had to despatch Milly to her Aunty Paula’s at Home and Away Cattery. I don’t know what Milly was doing when I was out all day on election duty but she managed to move her litter tray from the bedroom all the way down the stairs and into the lounge. I wondered if she was trying to cover up another wet patch but all seemed in order. Her new Aunty Beccy had been in to feed her after work so I’m sure I’ll find out what it was she’d been up to! Maice had bought two scratch cards (a ritual of ours every time we go away with any winnings funding the kitty purse) so before we set off I did the honours and can you believe we won another £5. The previous £5 win was nearly thrown away due to Maice not reading the instructions properly. Honestly, it’s just as well I checked it weeks later when tidying up the car!
So, suitcase re-packed, hand luggage re-packed and travel clothes laid out for the next morning we switched off the lights and hoped for some sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a very long day.