Observations on a visit back to the UK from Spain

Some thoughts and observations from my recent trip back to the north of England from Lanjaron.

Parking at Malaga airport

Now this might come as somewhat of a surprise to those of you who hate Malaga airport (and the years of renovation work we have had to put up with!), but we have found the perfect answer with the company Easy Parking

What a refreshing change! Helpful, happy staff. Cheap rates. Valet service at reasonable cost. Safe storage for your car. Furthermore, within 3 minutes of arriving at the EasyParking site we were arriving at the doors to the departure lounge. And no, I am not on any sort of commission fee, for this is just a great service. This was my second experience of them and I can highly recommend them.

N.B Equally good on the way back too!

Flying with Ryanair

So, we had had a trouble free, relaxed journey to Malaga airport on Spain’s quiet Sunday morning, roadwork free motorways. Parking the car had been a breeze (see above). It all started to go wrong however when we encountered …. Ryanair!

Why do they insist on employing stewards with high squeaky voices who don’t shut up for the first 2 hours of a 2.5hr flight? This is in no way a relaxing flight. After being instructed on how to put hand luggage in a locker, we were told 4 times how welcome we were “on board this Ryanair flight today”. As soon as the wheels left the runway we were constantly being bombarded by further screeching from the tannoy about buying lottery tickets, food, drink, mobile phone cards and maybe even a cuddly toy for all I know.

They even gave me an airline magazine to read. What nice people? But to cut costs they had got rid of all seat storage facilities, so after reading it, whcih took 4.3 minutes, there was nowhere to put it. Well, there was actually, on the floor. Of course, we were instructed that we had to pick them up later so we didn’t cause delays to the next flight. What?

I tried to immerse myself in the latest Snow patrol album on my MP3, but even on full blast I got little protection from the inscecent noise of condescending, pretentious airline staff. A nightmare. Consequently I arrived in the UK a nervous wreck! Come on Ryanair. Chill out a little please.

Arrival into the UK

Oh dear. What a scared and officious nation we have become. We were met by loads of “Jobsworths” doing …… their job! The funniest bit was when we arrived at East Midlands passport control. The control point was some 10 yards away but we had a 300 yard walk to get there along the zig-zag lines leading up to it. We were only one flight. Not a queue by any means. Why on earth couldn’t we go direct?

Traffic

Not a lot to say about all this. You know the score already. Lots of it, all rushing around. Queues, jams, bottlenecks and roadworks galore every time you wanted to venture past the corner shop.

Weather, friends and family

Have to say that as Spain was having a bit of a bad spell weather wise, England really wasn’t that bad. Not as gloomy as I remembered it. Also great to see friends and family. We were really looked after very well by our parents. Much appreciated!

Rugby League

Yes, you don’t get much of this fast exciting remarkable game down in southern Spain. I took Kiersten to see her first live game, the World Club Challenge final between the Leeds Rhinos and Australias, Manley Sea Eagles. We lost but it was a great game and we saw good, fast and hard rugby.

Written by:
Richard Hartley

Richard is an avid blogger and the founder of Spanish Highs Sierra Nevada. He is author of the Cicerone Guidebook Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada