Sunday, 16th May was a bit of an anticlimax after the brilliant week culminating with a super-dooper birthday luncheon, and being Sunday everybody seemed to descend into the breakfast restaurant all at once, just like Noah’s arc jostling 2 x 2 to get in; this was an even longer queue than Saturday.
Being Sunday the streets were empty, this morning’s taxi fare was just over half what it was on Saturday!!!! Our taxi dropped us outside Valencia North station, adjacent to the massive bull ring.
Our first port of call was a coffee and of course a brandy, sat down at a table and ordered. The coffee and tea arrived with an apology, they’d run out of Brandy, shame on them👹. When I went in to pay I watched the chef preparing a massive paella, this was this restaurant’s speciality.
The outside of the station building looked very impressive but we were a little disappointed with the inside, rather like any other terminus, never mind we can’t get everything right every time!!! Even though the station was empty, we managed to be “directed” by a “job’s worth” for trying to exit through the entrance. Both the entrance and exits were about 4-meters wide with hardly anybody using them, but of course, “rules is rules”!!!!!!
We had a mooch round the outside of the bull ring but due to COVID, it was all closed😡😡. We would also have jumped on the “hop-on, hop-off” bus but couldn’t find one, again, probably cancelled because if this virus, so we ended up walking into a beautiful big square. We stopped here for a sit down and watched the Spaniards promenading with their families. It was rather hot this morning and we spotted a temperature gauge on a lamp post, it read 42-degrees, we thought it was hot!!! Time for a drink, so headed back towards the historic district which was a few minutes walk, but as we turned down a narrow street, “Wham-Bam” we found the obligatory“Irish Bar” so naturally a pint of Guinness was “Mandatory” but unfortunately there were only high stools outside, and as they weren’t very comfortable, sadly no second pint!!!
Being early afternoon we headed back to that restaurant that didn’t have any brandy as we both fancied a Paella and from what we saw earlier, theirs looked very appetising . On arrival the waiter immediately recognised us and sat us down but unfortunately by now this restaurant was heaving so hopefully we had made a good choice.
To start we had a plate of prawns and I can’t remember ever having such monsters, there were two each, both excellent and after eating them, frankly we really didn’t need much else!!! The paella arrived, we gave it our best shot but having looked forward to it so much, we were disappointed, not the best we’d ever had: oh well you can’t win them all.
Back to the hotel and an night of Crib and an early one as well, we were both tired or perhaps still a little hungover from Saturday!!!!!
Monday morning breakfast was totally different, hardly anyone in the hotel for breakfast, no queue and of course there were more staff on duty!!!!
On our way back this morning we had an appointment at “Patricia”, a retirement complex just outside Benidorm. As we were passing it seemed an ideal opportunity to go and have a look, just in case we may have to move into one.
Returning back back past Denia for the “fourth” time this weekend we arrived at Patricia’s, and immediately struck by its size. This resort is set in 25-acres of beautiful mature parkland overlooking Benidorm with sea views. The accommodation consisted of 10-blocks of 190 one and two bedroom apartments, all with front doors opening into outside covered walkways; no claustrophobic corridors here! There was a central administrative block complex with a library, several spacious recreational rooms, bar and restaurant etc., though very quite due to COVID restrictions. The complex sported 5-outside swimming pools with an indoor pool and a gym.
After an initial discussion we were shown several apartments and were impressed with their size, general layout, accessibility views etc. As a bonus, some of the ground floor apartments had small private gardens, right up Christine’s street. The site also had its own medical centre with resident doctor and a nursing home; in fact as one would expect, everything for retired living was catered for and the “inmates” we casually spoke to, were enthused with the place.
After the “grand tour” we headed to their restaurant for a “menu del dia” and a quiet chat about what we’d just seen and heard.
We were very impressed by what we had seen, it certainly is an impressive complex but our conclusion at the moment is, we’ll put this on the back burner and consider alternative options, after all it’s not that we are that old and need to go to a retirement complex yet!
Our drive back from Benidorm was un-eventful, but our chatter was really “deep” and “soul-searching” about the next chapter in our lives.
Our mini birthday unfortunately came to an end far too soon, but thank you ChristIne for organising everything, and especially my sailing surprise, and of course, a big thank you to Andrew for putting “ELTON” at our disposal and her skipper Ollie, and the superb chef, Annica. Top this birthday ChristIne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!