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Carol Ingram returns after an amazing four week holiday to the UK!

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My holiday was a little over 4 weeks.  The main purpose of my trip was to visit family in the UK and be present for an extended family get-together for the pre-wedding ‘bash’ of my great niece.  The party was two-fold and was being held to celebrate my long overdue visit with Arthur after a hiatus of 6 years and also to give the opportunity to those not attending the wedding to celebrate with the soon to be bride and groom. The wedding took place in Dubai on 28 October. For many reasons the timing of my trip was good but mainly for personal reasons.

En route we had a 3 day stopover in Dubai, which I was not initially very excited about but so very glad we made the effort.  Although we arrived in 49 degree temperatures, we quickly learned how to survive and made the very best of our time there.  A strange observation maybe but everywhere I went I noticed lovely fragrances – seemed to me the perfume trade does very well there in Dubai and although cars do not particularly interest me, my head was like on a swivel looking at the types of vehicles I didn’t know existed.

1From Dubai we headed to my home town of Liverpool, England where we had a jam packed week catching up with immediate family, a dinner party or two, visiting my old haunts, including the famous Philharmonic pub where I used to attend poetry sessions as a teen just so I could be in with the cool crowd in Liverpool, the hallowed Liverpool FC ground and the Cavern club in Matthew St made famous by the fab four.  We also attended a music festival in the beautiful Sefton Park where we enjoyed the best of famous local bands and visited the church in the pretty Woolton Village where our Cilla’s (Black) funeral was recently held.  All this along with the ‘party’ made for quite a week.

Following our visit to the UK, we headed for a 5 day stay in the beautiful city of Barcelona where we had booked an apartment.  The apartment itself was really lovely, complete with marble flooring and shuttered windows in a pretty tree lined street just ten minutes’ walk from the magnificent Sagrada Familia, which we visited most days – too much to soak up in one day alone. We did the touristy thing and took a bus which showcased the best of the city and its surrounds.  This was so worthwhile as it allowed us to see things and places we would not otherwise have seen and, could then decide on which of those places we would like to return to and explore on foot. Just wondering around the city taking in the atmosphere and sipping on a coffee in one of the many stylish bars people watching was fun and relaxing – and of course the architecture is something else – did I mention Gaudi?

3From Spain, we travelled to Dubrovnik – It’s hard to know where to start about its natural beauty so will straight to Dubrovnik ‘Old Town’ – just magnificent! To walk those historic marble flagstones and learn its history was a fabulous experience. Game of Thrones fans will appreciate it when I say that seeing for myself where ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed was a highlight of my trip – I couldn’t believe it when I actually saw ‘Kings Landing’ for the first time! A truly magnificent place to which I’d love to return.

2We then returned to the UK where we enjoyed more family time, more parties, meeting new nephews and nieces born since our last trip, day trips into North Wales, (which I love -I’m half Welsh), enjoying beautiful countryside and castles – all of this thrown in with shopping trips, visits to old ale houses, lunches with old friends, some last seen whilst living in South Africa made for a very special holiday.

My favourite meal – eating authentic paella in Spain!

My favourite drink – sampling the local wines