Tag Archives: old town

Holidays are…

Preparing and researching

Booking and planning



Waiting impatiently

Airports and QANTAS club

Arriving in your new temporary home


New places and new things to see

First experiences

Navigating a new city

Temples and churches

Old towns

Landmarks and lookout points

Road trips


Having fun



Enjoying the sunshine

Not letting the rain stop you

Watching shows

New food to try


Bars and restaurants

Having the time to enjoy a meal

Not cooking or washing up

Meeting new people

Sitting and people watching

Quality time with the little one

Catching up with friends

Cocktail hour

Uninterrupted conversations



Having the time to shop

New clothes from your new favorite shop

Souvenirs to take home

Photos and memories to keep

Not worrying


Having the time to notice rainbows

Watching old movies

Card games

Finishing a book

Sitting and doing nothing



Not wanting it to end

Booking the next holiday.

Related posts: Happy Holidays, Random Public Holiday Ramblings,  Kid at Heart

Javea, 2013

My husband, daughter and I left Barcelona the next day for a road trip down south to Javea. Our Belgian friend Bill owned a holiday house there are we were to meet up with his parents and brother Ben with his partner and baby son.

The house was an authentic white washed villa on the hill of Balcon al Mar and was a great place to call home for the week.

We hit the beach straight away and went to Granadella beach. The white rocks contrasted beautifully with the blue water and it was everything a Spanish beach should be. The weather was nice, the sea sparkled and there was a sailing boat moored in the bay.

When we had had enough fun in the water and of sitting under the blue and white stripped umbrella on the beach, we went to the restaurant overlooking the beach for a tasty seafood lunch.

Unfortunately, my husband got an ear infection from swimming that day, so the rest our time in Javea was not to be the active beach holiday we envisioned, but was still a restful time.

I woke with my daughter most mornings with only the dog Coco and the BBC news channel for company. Sunrises were colourful, but late here. French lunches with the family were had on the outdoor balcony and afternoon drinks on the terrace by the pool.

My daughter liked the hammock in the garden and Baby Bjorn walks around the neighbourhood. We also tagged along on a few of the shorter dog walks into cactus laden plains.

My husband got enough energy together to head into Javea old town with us all one day. The streets were lined with balconied houses, old wooden doors and wall murals. The fort/church in the middle of the town was huge and there was both an indoor and outdoor market with colourful red Spanish dresses for little girls.

One day we also managed a driving tour of the surrounding area. The most beautiful sight was the lookout point at Cap de la Nau. It was ocean as far as the eye could see, punctuated by rugged cliffs and islands. We also saw the white washed lighthouse and went to the rock shelves of Calla Barraca Beach.

We visited the main beach at L’Arenal where the sandy beach was lined with palm trees and restaurants. We had a nice lunch and bought our daughter her first pair of sunglasses. On our last day we returned to a glass fronted restaurant for paella.

It was a fitting end to our Spanish beach holiday, before we drove back to Madrid for an overnight stay near the airport. The hotel was hard to find with all the surrounding ring roads around, but after a few double paid tolls, we made it in the end.

Related posts: Barcelona, 2013, It’s a Spanish Thing, Spain, 1997, Part 2: Beyond Barcelona

Dubrovnik, 2010

Choosing a honeymoon destination in Europe that neither my husband nor I had been to was a bit of a challenge, but we finally settled on Croatia and Slovenia.

The Croatian website had promised a room in Lapad Bay in Dubrovnik with a water view, but upon arrival we were notified that no rooms were available in that area of the hotel and were sent to their sister hotel up the hill and away from the waterfront. They didn’t seem to care that it was not what we ordered, or that it was our honeymoon.

My husband proceeded to sleep off his rejected objections (and the week of partying in Thailand) for 12 hours, while I read a book and tried not to feel too deflated that the honeymoon appeared to be over before it even began.

When he woke up, we restored our spirits by having some spirits at the hotel bar which did have a water view and was on a sunny patio. After a calming sunset, we strolled into Lapad town and found a lovely seafood restaurant (also on the water) with a waiter that was happy to be of service and our faith was restored.

The next day, we set off to explore the old town of Dubrovnik. We walked through pile gate, over the drawbridge and up the steps to walk around the city walls. The views from Minceta Tower were the best and simply breathtaking. Orange rooves, ruined houses with the towers of churches thrown in here are there.  Lovrjenac Fort next door looked awesome in its stoniness against the bright blue sea and we followed a tourist tall ship (with a motor) around into the harbour on our walk.

Having taken in the views, we headed down to Placa Stradun- the main street of the old town. I loved the large rotund Onofrio fountain and the strategically placed Sladoled ice cream shop at the bottom of the steps. We saw St Savior’s Church and Luza square with its Orlando column and Sponza palace; but the best part of walking around the old town was exploring the many side streets. We found the morning market in Gunduliceva Poljana and Buza Bar with the self-proclaimed best view in the world out to Lokrum Island. I had to admit that it was pretty good, and we stayed for a few hours, drinking and chatting.

Back in Lapad, we walked up the hill to a recommended local pizza restaurant for dinner which was packed and had a view of the port area that we would be catching a boat from the next day.

We departed from Gruz harbour the following day for our trip around 3 of Dubrovnik’s closest islands. The day trip included as much of the bad wine that you could drink on the boat. The first was a short stop at Kolocep Island where we had just enough time to walk around the small harbour. Next was a longer stay on Sipan Island where we walked around a ruined monastery.

The final stop was Lopud Island, where we forfeited the hike up the mountain for a walk around the gardens and lunch with more drinks at a bar on the seafront boardwalk. The islands were beautiful with their old buildings and the water was so clear. I was glad that we got to see a few of them before we headed off to catch the bus to Split.

Related posts: Destination Thailand, 2010