Thursday, 8 March 2012


We arrived yesterday - rather later than planned due to strike action at Larnaca airport.  We breakfasted at Wetherspoons in Birmingham Airport and I noted that they are offering Eggs Benedict so opted to try that.  It was absolutely fabulous - as good as The Wolsely and rather better than many I have tried over the years.  Two muffin halves perfectly toasted, luscious juicy thickly sliced ham folded over each muffin half and then softly poached eggs covered with creamy Hollandaise sauce.  If I have a criticism it is that the accompanying rocket could have done with a bit of dressing - but that is the worst I can say.

We arrived at our hotel just after dark - we are staying at the St Raphael Resort Hotel in Limassol - and as the transfer coach stopped a porter came out with a trolley luggage and took our cases away.  Registration took only a few minutes and we were shown to our room and taught how to operate everything.  I am seriously impressed with both the hotel and the service levels.  The public rooms are quite spectacular with some wonderful art and our bedroom is spacious and comfortably appointed.  The little balcony we have looks out on to Limassol and the sea from the east so we should get nice sunshine this afternoon whilst enjoying a preprandial brandy sour.

Dinner last night was excellent, it is always a buffet but the theme changes daily so we should not get bored.  Last night I had some hoummus, olives and Greek salad as a starter.  Lovely roast lamb which had been rolled in mint with a sort of courgette casserole was the main and I ignored the quite delicious looking puddings for a plate of the local cheese.  I have never before had feta as an after dinner cheese - but I will have it again.  It went very well with the last of the wine.

This morning's breakfast buffet received Onslow's full approval.  The full gamut of bacon, eggs and sausages were available for him whilst I enjoyed a dish of gloriously thick yoghurt with fresh fruit salad followed by some toast with apricot conserve.

A wander around the leisure suite shows that there is an excellent gym, three pools, a spa, sauna and jacuzzi and I can even get a haircut or a pedicure.

All in all, much posher than we are used to!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Yellow Submarine

We decided to take a trip to Peurto del Carmen and go on the underwater trip on the Yellow Submarine.  This was declared a brilliant success.  A coach picked us up at Rubicon and drove over some of the lunar landscape via one or two hotels collecting other people.  The scenery from the coach was fantastic, I like being up high and being able to look around and see over hedges.  My basic nosiness takes over very easily when in pastures new.

One thing that really struck me on this trip was the roundabouts.  There is very little green on the south of the island but two different colours of lava - some is rusty red coloured and some is black.  Some bright spark had designed the (very large) roundabouts most artistically using swirls of differently coloured lava to make lovely patterns.  There were odd cactuses planted here and there and some really interesting palm trees at one roundabout - they looked for all the world like a bunch of fat little pineapples with bulbous bottoms and wildly swaying fronds.

We had about an hour to wander around the port before our trip and it is very well laid out, some interesting shops and some very interesting looking restaurants.  Alas, we never had time to try the restaurants but did manage an absolutely delicious icecream.  The whole area was spotlessly clean (something I noted all over Lanzarote - it is quite the cleanest island I have ever visited), the sun was shining and it was a positive joy to walk around.  There were some pretty posh shops - the sort that never display prices so I know they are out of my price range.

The submarine trip itself was brilliant.    There is only room for about forty people on the submarine and everyone gets a seat (much more comfortable than the airline seats) and a porthole to look out and see the marine life.  The actual underwater bit takes about forty five minutes, during which we saw loads of different fish swimming around.  The submarine descends to the sea floor (which is only about a hundred feet at that place) and then toddles along, past a couple of wrecks on the bottom going along one and then turning round and coming back.  This ensures that everyone sees both sides of that particular bit of the Atlantic ocean.  The company which owns the submarine also employs a scuba diver to swim alongside the submarine clutching food fish to attract more fish to follow.  There was a massive stingray at one point, lots of barracuda and many other smaller fish.  By the portholes were charts with photographs and names to enable us to identify the different species.

My fifteen year old grand-daughter decided it was the best thing she had ever done - I call that a result.

That evening we got back to Rubicon around six thirty so decided to go out for supper and went to a Japanese restaurant.  We had a lovely seaweed salad, a miso and tofu soup, sushi, lovely fish with rice and then a sort of sweet dumpling filled with a spicy peanut thick sauce.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and both grand-daughters declared it a red letter day in their lives.