Two weeks in Soller. Mallorca walking and cycling and two nights in Palma exploring the old town It was the antidote to the Scottish winter and we had a wonderful holiday.
Are We Ready?
The usual frantic build-up of packing and getting ready was lengthy and tedious but necessary and by Monday evening we were ready. By some miracle, the car fits into the garage again, though it did involve putting a bike into the boot of the car.
Tuesday, March 7th
As so often our good friend Sue delivered us to Kingussie Station, where, with a sigh of relief we sank into our first-class seats on the Virgin East Coast train to Edinburgh and enjoyed an excellent breakfast. We always know at this point that we can relax and if we have forgotten anything then it’s just too late. We arrived in Edinburgh, settled into our accommodation and went ‘oop-town’ to collect our euros and do other bits and bobs of shopping.
Wednesday, March 8th
Another day in Edinburgh, more walking about, shopping and visiting the occasional coffee shop. In some ways, I was wishing were on our way and in another, it was quite a pleasant day, time to relax a little and think about our forthcoming trip.
Thursday, March 9th
The Edinburgh Taxi appeared exactly on time at 6 am to take us to Edinburgh Airport. Jet2 do an impressive and efficient job of checking in, how can their staff be so cheerful at that time of the morning? We were through security and into the departure lounge by 07:30. Our plane loaded on time and we were all set to go when the pilot announced that due to the French Air Traffic Controllers’ strike (it would be them, again, wouldn’t it?) we would have to wait for an hour. It was a bit frustrating but not serious. We took off 45 mins late and landed only 15 mins late so no big deal. I must admit to a slight feeling of superiority walking through Palma Airport and waving all the reps to one side thinking, “oh no, we don’t need you, we’re independent travellers”. We caught the cheap and efficient bus to Palma centre and eventually found the correct train station. We were catching the old train run by The Ferrocarril de Sóller, the company which operates the electrified 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge tracks running between the towns of Palma and Sóller. The historic electric train takes a route north from the capital across the plains, winding slowly through the mountains and 13 tunnels of the Serra de Tramuntana, ending in the grand railway station of the northern town of Sóller. Work began on the railway in 1911 on the profits of the orange and lemon trade, which at the time was booming. For this reason, it is sometimes known as the Orange Express. The famous train is now not only a mode of transport between these two key Mallorcan settlements but is also a tourist attraction. We had an interesting journey, the carriages are old & wooden, the train rattled and banged and didn’t go very fast. The views of the mountains were excellent, and after the long tunnel under the Tramuntana mountains, the view of our destination at Sóller was spectacular. Arriving at Sóller we decided to walk to our accommodation which took about 20 mins dragging the heavy suitcases. This was possibly a mistake as part of the route was along a gravel road, and this road didn’t do our cases much good, mine acquired some deep scratches. We certainly won’t be returning that way; there are better surfaced and shorter, if slightly more complicated, routes. We met our host Phoebe who gave us a short tour of our accommodation in part of a restored olive oil soap factory. My first impression was that it was a bit bleak and industrial and not very welcoming. It looked as if it could be very cold in winter or on a cloudy day. A little later these impressions softened somewhat as we became accustomed to the place; the weather was warm and the place has loads of heaters for when it turns colder. As we were self-catering we needed to shop for supplies and fortunately a small local supermarket, Petit Merkat was very close. Tesco, it was not; its space is limited but crammed with stuff. We arrived at a busy time, mostly locals shopping, maybe after a day’s work. We bought what we needed for a light meal including some delicious bread which was being baked on the premises. Despite the busy and hectic nature of the shopping, I was struck by the good humour of all involved, both staff and customers. By this time, I was completely exhausted, as we had been travelling for about 12 hours and I was just about ‘finished’. As always on arrival day when I’m so tired, I get unreasonable and grumpy but this was fixed by 9 hours of deep sleep in a big comfy bed.
Soller Soap Factory
Friday, March 10th
We both slept very well and woke up to greet the sun rising over the rim of the surrounding mountains. Our accommodation is slightly elevated, looking down over the town of Sóller which, in the morning shadow, looked lovely with the huge church standing out from the surrounding buildings and layers of cloud & smoke giving the whole view some considerable atmosphere. We took our time getting our stuff sorted and enjoying breakfast in the warm sun; the perfect antidote to a Scottish winter. Then it was time to go and explore so we spent the rest of the day finding our way around town. We found everywhere that was important, had some coffee and later a nice lunch. More supplies were purchased from the Eroski supermarket which was a lot larger and more organised than the local Petit Merket. Then it was home to eat, followed by more sorting out & relaxation. Having enjoyed our day in the warm sun we went early to bed, still feeling a bit tired.
Saturday March 11th
Sóller Market Day
An earlier start was needed as we wanted to get ‘down the hill’ for Sóller Market Day. This was well worth the effort; the market was superb and very big. It was widely spread over the whole town centre so although there were a lot of people it didn’t feel crowded. There was a huge choice of interesting stalls from food through to jewellery and everything in between. Kathryn bought some orange blossom honey from a local bee-man which, as well as being good to eat is also good for treating joint problems. We also bought a cooked chicken (a common thing in Spain). We felt it was bit expensive but it did us for 2 meals and a snack. Naturally, we stopped for fresh orange juice, coffee and croissant. This was 4.50 euros each and we calculated that it would have been the equivalent of 7 euros in Edinburgh. So, despite the lower value of the pound against the euro, food is still a better value in Spain both at cafés and in supermarkets. I rushed the still warm chicken back to our house leaving Kathryn to progress around the market at her own pace without me standing waiting impatiently. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the warm sun, we even ‘sunbathed’ for a short while. I managed to sit still for at least 10 mins. In the afternoon, we watched Scotland v England rugby with Scotland losing 54/21 despite Scotland playing quite well. We now feel settled into our accommodation and have got to know our way around the town so it’s time to move up a gear and try some proper walking. I feel that I’ve also recovered from a very hectic week prior the departure and tiring journey.
Sunday, March 12th
Sóller to Port de Sóller
Having finished all our initial exploration, it was time for a ‘proper’ walk and the route to Port de Sóller looked perfect. It was another lovely warm sunny day and luckily the start passed through the town so we had a nice breakfast, sitting out in the sun. The walk started off slightly urban but soon turned into a rural walk passing farms, fields and hillside terraces. It was a bit hillier and rougher than we’d expected and, being Sunday, busy, as many Mallorquíns and other nationalities were out enjoying the countryside. We arrived in the Port our way to the beautiful seafront where we had beer and apple/almond tart whilst admiring the view across the bay. The antique tram came along and we took the ride back to Sóller, glad we didn’t have a to walk as it was quite hot by then. Naturally, we ended up in the town centre and so another coffee sitting in the sun in the Plaza de Constitution. After getting more provisions we walked slowly up to our house after most excellent day.
Monday March 13th
Sóller Exploration and the Cami de Rocafort
OMG, we woke up today to cloud and even some spots of rain. This caused us to make a slow start and after a little indecision, we decided to walk into town, explore further and buy more provisions. The weather wasn’t too bad and by lunchtime, the sun was coming out again. We found a café for something to eat and managed to get some food after considerable confusion about their system. We got some excellent tapas. Then onwards for more exploring eventually getting to the Eroski supermarket. Even I find Spanish supermarkets more interesting than Tesco’s with all the different stuff in a foreign language. We hauled our ‘catch’ up to our house, relaxed a while on the roof terrace and I decided on an extra walk. I turned left out of our accommodation and climbed the Cami de Rocafort which turned into an attractive old cobbled path winding through olive terraces. This joined the Deia path which was level and I soon found a very winding descent road and was home in just over an hour. Not bad for 3 miles and 200m of climbing. The view across the valley was amazing, highlighted by the setting sun and the remains of the morning cloud drifting about the peaks. The whole hillside was made up of carefully crafted olive terraces which must have taken many hundreds of years to construct. Some of the trees were very old and many had recently had some severe pruning. I saw virtually no-one during the walk, very peaceful and another good day despite the lack of sunshine.
Tuesday, March 14th
Sóller Soap Factory-Cami de Rocafort-Son Mico-Cami des Ros & return
The start was a bit brutal, 200m climbing without a warm-up but we took our time and I enjoyed the climb, walking with Kathryn means I look things differently. We then traversed across the mountainside to Son Mico, shady walking on a warm day. We had been there three years ago and remembered the zumo & tarte were excellent. Nothing much has changed and we enjoyed our refreshment on the terrace looking out across the valley to Port de Sóller. Reversing our route for a bit we picked up the Cami des Ros and descended back to our accommodation at the Old Soap Factory. The route back was heavily cobbled and although attractive made for tricky walking. Normal service with the weather has been restored with lots of sun though still a little windy, we could see the whitecaps out to sea beyond Port de Sóller. We were back early afternoon, both of us tired and sore, Kathryn with her sore hip & knee and myself with a sore left knee. It is beginning to look like age is catching up with us and in the future holiday, options may be limited. However, we are still out there and ‘doing it’ even if not such a high level as in the past. We relaxed had a sleep and later walked into Sóller to eat at Can Pintx where we had the most delicious tapas and postres and the best coffee of the holiday so far, we will be back.
Wednesday March 15th
Sóller-Santa Maria de l’Oliver-Fornalutx-Binibassi-Sóller
Another nice day, another pleasant walk. Today’s objective was Fornalutx, twice voted the most beautiful village in Spain. Our route took us through Santa Maria de l’Oliver an attractive small chapel. It was a stony steep path through olive groves the terracing. Climbing finished we traversed on a shady path the village, which lived up to its reputation and we sat and had a well-deserved beer at one of the cafés in the square. The route back is even nicer as it was downhill and we were soon back in Sóller for a coffee and some shopping. Although tired and sore from the previous days, we walked well today taking the uphill steadily and we are well pleased to have done a long(ish) walk in some great scenery.
Thursday March 16th
Sóller-Cap Gros-Port de Sóller-Sóller : 9.5 miles
It was changeover day and both of us feeling tired and sore from our walking earlier this week so we made it an easy one. We took breakfast sitting in the warm sun in the Place de la Constitution, watching the world go by and enjoying coffee & crepes. I then set off to collect my bike, as always, the fact that I had ordered a bike today seems to come as a surprise to the business and it had to be delivered from somewhere else but it was worth the wait as it’s a brand-new Trek SL5 with disc brakes and Bontranger wheels shod with 32mm tyres, an interesting combination. It’s worth about £3000! I walked the bike home, pratted around to get it sorted and then set off for a test ride, and after further tweaking, I rode out to Cap Gros near Port de Pollensa, visiting the port on the way back as I have plans for Sa Calobra, starting with a boat trip. My conclusion is that’s it’s one of the best bikes I have ever ridden and I’m looking forward to the next few days cycling. Meanwhile, Kathryn has engaged museum/garden visiting/relaxing mode and is enjoying having time to herself without me hopping impatiently from one foot to the other. The sun is still shining and it looks like it will continue to do so until the end of our holiday.
Friday March 17th
Sóller-Biniaraix-Fornalutx-Mirador ses Se Barguis -Ma10-MA 2124 to Coll d’en Marquis-Port de Sóller-Sóller : 14.9 miles
A slightly longer route today but still holding back and trying not to do too much too soon. I think succeeded when I stopped for coffee & tarte after only four miles, Fornalutx is such a pretty village I couldn’t’ resist. After that, the climb to the Mirador was well worth it with superb views of Port de Sóller. Fast descent for a few km’s then a right turn onto a lovely and little-used mountain road along the very attractive valley, and I stopped several times to take photos before reaching Port de Sóller. A slow ride around the port seafront and a quick blast back to Sóller and called it an easy day. The bike performed superbly, comfortable and fast uphill and the 32mm tyres make downhills feel secure. The deep section rims do make it feel a little twitchy until you get used to the feel of the bike. The disc brakes give powerful braking and good modulation, excellent on twisty descents. Once home sorted out kit and relaxed, now ready for something more ‘beefy tomorrow.
After getting sorted and a bit of chilling we walked into town for more provisions and a coffee. The fish counter at the Eroski Supermarket was of interest. You chose your fish and they gutted, descaled and skinned it while you wait. Some of the folk in front of us bought a lot of fish, it was interesting watching and a good job we weren’t in a hurry. We enjoyed a coffee in the Place de la Constitution and the made our way home to relax and eat our gutted fish.
Saturday March 18th 2017
Sóller-Col de Can Bleda-Deia-MA10 to Sa Pedrissa (Restaurante Can Costa)-Deia-Cala de Deia-Sóller : 24.69 miles
A prompt start – I was on the road by 08.30 and it was well worth the effort; the light was sublime, it was nice & cool and I had the road to myself. Peacefully, and with very little effort I cycled to Deia and beyond, turning around at the high point in the road at the Restaurante Can Costa. The descent back to Deia was well worth the earlier climbing effort. Saturday means many more cyclists, numerous large, impressive groups all dressed in matching tops and giving it laldy. I’m probably the slowest on the road, but I don’t care, my racing days are over (mostly!). Cala Deia was a bit of a mistake. The road descends steeply and stops about 500m from the sea and becomes a gravel track which I wasn’t prepared to walk along in my cycling shoes or leave my bike so I turned around and grunted back up the hill. Sharp hairpins and gradients of more than 10% were a good test and I rode up easily on low heart rates. Not feeling very hungry or thirsty I missed the café stop and was ‘home’ by 11.30 having enjoyed an excellent, scenic ride. Next on the agenda is a nice Spanish lunch at Casa Álvaro, our second visit and good meal but a bit expensive @ 38 euros. We missed Scotland beating Italy in the rugby, but I managed to stream the Milan-San Remo, then it was chill time. Yeah; it’s a good life.
Sunday March 19th
Sóller-Coll de Can Bleda-Deia-Col de Sa Pedrissa-Valldemossa-Palmanyola-Bunyola-Coll de Sóller-Sóller : 33.58 miles
Sunday can be a busy day so I was away by 8 am. The first two hours passed like yesterday; sublime beauty, peace & quiet and wonderful scenery. I was in Valldemossa too early for a stop. As everything looked closed I pressed on, though it looks like a lovely place to visit. Just after Valldemossa was a long very fast descent that took me out of the mountains and onto the Mallorcan plain. It was then quite nice to ride for a few miles on the flat at ‘normal’ speed rather than slowly up or quickly down. I soon reached Bunyola but missed the cafés so I continued gradually uphill to reach the start of the Coll de Sóller. I sat on a wall at the start of the climb, ate my bread and cheese, and watched the many cyclists puff past, soon it would be my turn. This was a real treat as 95% of the motorised traffic goes through the tunnel so it was peaceful and scenic, lots of hairpins on the climb, but not very steep and most enjoyable. Being Sunday there were loads of cyclists on the road, most of whom seemed to be in a hurry (or maybe I was just slow). The descent off the Coll de Sóller was something special, very steep with many hairpin bends (more than 50). The bike behaved beautifully and the wide tyres and disc brakes made me feel very secure on the twisty descent. I was ‘home’ early and, after getting sorted out, it was down into town for coffee in Sóller square, followed by ice cream and cake later. Another brilliant day.
Monday March 20th
Sóller-Coll de Sóller-Bunyola-Coll d’Honor-Orient-Alaro-Cami de Santa Maria-Baix des Puig-Bunyola-Coll de Sóller-Sóller : 44.1 miles
I was a bit keyed up at the start; unsure how I would cope with far more climbing. I got away by 07:30 and was surprised to find that the ride to the tunnel was very busy (folk going to work?). Once on the Coll de Sóller, it wasn’t as tough as I’d expected as the road is well graded with many hairpins, so no more than 10% anywhere. As always with these early starts, I then had the road to myself, with great views down to Sóller shrouded in layers of chimney smoke. The climb took me about 40 minutes riding carefully and keeping my pulse low. The descent to Bunyola was good fun; again, having the road to myself meant I could use the full width on many of the corners. I stopped for a coffee at Bunyola and then headed over the Coll d’Honor. This was a lovely ride on a minor road; in between twists, turns and hairpin bends there was flatter, farmed areas. I also passed some lovely rural hotels; a thought for the future. The descent from the top of the coll was tricky, with the very rough surface, sharp hairpins and dappled sunlight making the road hard to see but the biked coped well. Then towards Alaró through more delightful scenery, stopping for a break at the attractive square there. I picked up the Cami Santa Maria by mistake and stuck with it as it was heading in the right direction. This got me onto the road to Bunyola where I mixed it with dozens of other cyclists, even passing one going more slowly than me; a first for this holiday. Soon I was at the foot of the Coll de Sóller again, beginning to feel a bit tired so I watched my pulse carefully and took my time. The many cyclists at the summit included a massive group from the Ludlow Cycling Club. Then came the swooping descent back to Sóller, the second in two days, and just as exhilarating. I now feel that I’m getting the hang of the handling on this bike. ‘Home’ by 13:00, with 43 miles taking me about four hours. Later we headed into town for a nice lunch, forgetting that Monday is a day off for many restaurants. We had a café stop instead and plan to walk down again to eat out this evening instead.
Tuesday March 21st
Boat to Sa Calobra-Coll de Reis-MA10-Sóller : 22.9 miles
I thought this would be a great trip and I was right. The day started with a quick ride to Port de Sóller where I bought my ferry ticket then relaxed nearby with a café con leche. At this point, there were about 30 cyclists on the same trip and we all had to take our cycling shoes off before negotiating the slippy metal gangplank. It looked as though it would be a quiet journey until a tram arrives with about 200 tourists and suddenly the boat was jam-packed. It was a scenic cruise alongside high cliffs. I was amazed by the lack of bird life; in the UK these cliffs would have been packed with nesting birds, but I saw nothing here. We disembarked and, while all the tourists rushed for the nearest restaurant, the cyclists put their shoes back on and started cycling. Fortunately, the first couple of miles were at an easy angle so there was time to warm up a little. I took things slowly and stopped for a drink and to take photos every 15 minutes or so. This road is a step up in difficulty from the passes of earlier in the week; much steeper. However, it was an easier ascent than two years ago, because:
- At around 20 Celsius the temperature was about 10 degrees cooler.
- It was earlier in the day and so I missed most of the tour buses traveling up the hill (only one) so less fear and stress.
- Being March rather than May the shadows were long and the air felt cooler.
- I’d just started so it wasn’t towards the end of a ride.
I marveled all the way up at the engineering that created this road; a must for all cyclists.
And there were many hundreds today. I crossed the Col de Reis and descended to the junction with the MA10. The next section up to the tunnel was tougher than I’d expected as it involved a climb of 250 meters and I was getting a bit tired, but what a reward. You emerge from the tunnel at 850m and there’s Sóller, 800m below and about 10 miles of curving, twisting smoothly surfaced road! It took me about 18 mins; my friend and demon descender Alastair would have been in heaven or descending from there anyway. The Trek (hire) bike with its fat tyres behaved impeccably, a pleasure to ride. I was soon home, sorted out, showered and sitting in the town square with a café con leche, swapping the day’s tales with Kathryn and reviewing our photos.
Wednesday March 22nd
Sóller-Port de Sóller-Coll d’en Marquis- Ma10-Mirador ses Se Barguis-Fornalutx-Biniaraix-Sóller : 15.3 miles
Today is my last day with the bike and has been a bit of a wind down from the longer rides, as my legs ache and my knees are sore; it’s time for a rest. I have also just about exhausted the cycling possibilities from Sóller which are limited unless you want to cycle up a huge mountain pass every day. I had a pleasant start downhill to Port de Sóller. As it’s unlikely I’ll be there again I stopped and sat to admire the view and took a few more pics of this beautiful place. Then, reversing the route of a week ago, I set off over the scenic Coll d’en Marques; going the opposite way always puts a different perspective on the view. Then onto a very quiet MA10 up to the viewpoint. I could have gone further (to the tunnel) but, as I was tired, I decided to return via the villages. This gave me some nice descending before I stopped for coffee in the square at Fornalutx. There was more downhill all the way home for a shower a sort out before going for a quality lunch at Restaurante Ca’n Boqueta which was a step up in every way from ‘the square’ and not much more expensive. We returned the bike to Tramuntana Tours (maybe more to say about that).
Soller Cycling Thoughts
Soller sits in a bowl, surrounded on three sides by mountains and with the sea at Port de Soller to the north. There are only three ways to exit the valley on a bike:
- West: Coll de Can Bleda & Sa Pedrissa via Deia – 474 altitude gain
- South: Coll de Soller to Bunyola – 304 m altitude gain
- East: Puig Major Tunnel towards Sa Calobra – 243m altitude gain
Within the valley, there are few other roads so unless you enjoy cycling up many miles of mountain passes, and whizzing down them, Soller is not for you as a cycling base. I judged I had a weeks’ worth of different routes and got it about right. I covered 166 miles and made 6000m of ascent, much of it very slowly! I feel that as I have cycled Sa Calobra twice, once both ways and once from the sea up and covered every road in the area I will not be returning. I also found I was very slow on the long passes and at 71 maybe the time has come to look for less vertiginous cycling areas in the future.
I hired a Trek Domane SL5 Disc road bike from Tramuntana Tours. It was brand new and a lovely bike that I felt very comfortable on it. I liked the disc brakes, hidden cables and big fat 32 mm tyres. It retails at £3300 in the UK and I would very much like something similar. The hire was expensive but worth it to try out a different ‘up-market’ bike. Unfortunately, the bike fell over when parked against a wall and one of the rear stays got scratched. I reported this and apologised, they were pretty pissed off and said there would be a charge. I was duly charged 25 euros which I initially felt was excessive but on mature reflection is fair enough for paint damage to a brand new expensive bike.
Thursday March 23rd
Deià – Cala Deià – Deià
We decided to catch the bus to Deià for a walk. Unfortunately, the driver decided that the bus was full when (according to the sign above his seat) he could still have taken 28 standing, but we were never going to win any argument. We reckoned that he was saving spaces for locals who’d be waiting in the center of town. Together with quite a few other folks, we were left scratching our heads and wondering what to do. We fell in with Emma and Ruth, from Brighton, and shared a taxi which between four of us wasn’t too expensive. Deià’s not the usual shape of a Spanish village (no square we could find) but we found a café for the essential morning refreshment (coffee!), got sorted and had a pleasant walk to Cala Deià descending through olive groves with some fine views out to sea. We sat and had our picnic on the stony beach with the sun warming our backs. It’s a small cove with a few buildings, some boats and two cafés (closed until April). It’s very scenic, but must be horrible in summer when it’s crowded. Picnic finished, we walked back up to the village in time for an early bus (vastly cheaper than the taxi). Now it’s time to get ready for the long journey home with brief stops in Palma and Edinburgh.
Friday & Saturday March 24th & 25th
We awoke to gray skies and rain, a good day for travel. At least the rain was warm and there was no wind. We packed up, cleared up, said our farewells to Christian before dragging our suitcases into Soller pausing for a final ensaimada and café con leche. The train for Palma left a little late after much Thomas the Tank Engine shuntings and hootings and we enjoyed the ride across the island with the mountains looking even taller in thick mist. It was raining seriously in Palma so we hurried to our accommodation, we’re swapping a soap factory for a brick factory. Not sure how or why that happened. We were a bit wet by then so we left our suitcases and walked about a bit finding the pleasant Café Rubi just off the Calle de Sindicat where we whiled away an hour while waiting for check-in time. It was warm and dry.
We were in our room by 15.00, we relaxed, dried out and had a sleep and then set off to explore the area and find somewhere to eat. It was a dreich night, cool and raining on and off and we got lost several times, Palma old town is complex. There was a huge choice of cafés but we liked the look of Ca La Seu. The food was great, the atmosphere was relaxed and we loved it. We especially liked the delicious tapas that kept appearing from the kitchen, a huge variety priced at 2 or 3 euros, you could choose as many as you liked from the bar. We both ate and drank well for about 20 euros. Time for bed, we were tired and needed a decent sleep, but that’s tomorrows story!
The Brick Hotel advertises that their rooms are soundproofed, they’re not. Sadly, we were there the same time as a Spanish hen party with 5 ladies about to get married. They had a great time, made a lot of noise in the bar downstairs and then going to bed. Then they were up 5 am to go somewhere else. We had a lousy night’s sleep losing an hour and were pretty fed-up about it. Also, I didn’t feel great, nauseous and a bit dizzy. However, all things must pass, as this did, and we set off to explore Palma. It looked a lot better in the sun after yesterday’s rain and it’s a lovely town. The street arrangement is very complex and using GPS and ordinary maps we found our way around the recommended city walk. It was a pleasant and interesting walk punctuated by two café stops. Then it was back to our room for a siesta and caught up on sleep we ventured out again to eat again at Ca La Seu which we found again after a walk about including visiting Mercadona supermarket for supplies for the journey. The food, atmosphere, and staff were again lovely and we enjoyed our second visit. It was much quieter back at the Brick Hotel, no hen party
Sunday March 26th
Palma to Edinburgh
We had a brilliant night’s sleep and woke up in a very relaxed mode with plenty of time to go out for a nice breakfast on the way to the airport. I decided to check emails and noticed both my phone and laptop were saying the time was an hour later than we thought, suddenly, it hit us, we forgot that the clocks had changed. No time for breakfast; it was pack up and get on the bus to the airport. This went smoothly and in the end, we were early and the plane was delayed so we had loads of time. It could have been much more of a panic than it was, our ‘nice breakfast’ became an airport breakfast at a rip-off price. Oh well, the airport was quiet and relatively stress-free. No further problems with the journey and we were in the flat in Edinburgh by 17.00, tired but reasonably relaxed. After contacting our various relatives, we decided the holiday wasn’t over so we went for a proper Scottish meal at Bells Diner in Stockbridge, lots of meat and some chips, Spain it was not but the meal was very good.
Monday March 27th
We visited North Berwick to spend time with Amelia and our two grandson’s Leo & Oskar and back in Edinburgh, we had dinner with our son Andrew. In between, we looked at some houses and in total walked about 8 miles. It was a lovely day with high pressure and warm sunny weather.
Tuesday March 28th
Home at Last
We had a lovely breakfast at Patisserie Florentin. It’s my favourite place for breakfast in Edinburgh. The coffee is good, the food is delicious, the atmosphere relaxed, it’s quiet with good WIFI and it’s not expensive; perfect. Kathryn then set off to visit her dad in hospital whilst I returned to the flat to clear up ready for departure. This done I walked into town for a bit of light shopping before getting some lunch at Café Archipelago in Dundas Street. Tasty salads, bread, and cakes but very expensive. Then it was up to Waverley Station for the 1st class train home, well fed and nice and relaxed with glasses of wine on offer. The great way to finish our holiday.
© Peter Main