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Holidays 2001

Visit to the Keswick, Lake District, UK 26 - 28 October 2001

Well the call of the fells came upon us again and so we took the opportunity to head for the hills once again. Lisa, Vicki and I headed up to Keswick, arrived at the B n B at 2.30 on the Friday, chucked the cases in the room and headed the George for a pint of our favourite Jennings bitter. Dave and Shelly turned up very soon after and you can tell what the rest of the day consisted of!! Had a fabulous meal in the Bank Tavern that night so if you ever go to Keswick this is must watering and feeding stop.

Next morning, after a full English breakfast (and no hangover I must add), we headed out to Dodds Wood for a swift walk and then headed to Whinlatter park where we got soaked (not like the lakes at all really eh?). After a shower that didn't work properly (one of my pet hates, especially after being on the hills all day you need a good washdown. hmmm dont ya just!) we were off to the town for one of the best Indian meal your likely to experience (and hey have we had a few!); The Lakeland Spice Cuisine proved once again to be a top curry house but be early or book ahead!

After another few beers and a night of candle wax (ask Shelly) and flick knives (ask Dave) and an reading of a strange novel (ask Vicki) we headed to Glenriding for a stroll and returned via 'Natlas mines'. Another good time was had by all...

Totally Tantastic Turkey, Marmaris 28 August - 12 September 2001

My £10 Visa!!!

Never having been here before, never mind outside Europe, we didn't really know what to expect from Turkey. Hot was probably the first thing I thought of and we were not disappointed, 34 degrees C in the shade..lurvely. The main thing that stuck me about Turkey was that the people we met were so friendly and accommodating, making us feel right at home from day 1. At our hotel, Otel Serin, our breakfast waiter, Ramazan (who subsequently became known as Rambo) looked after us really well and even came along to the beach one day for a swim with us. Bizarrely enuf he thought the water was freezing but it was actually really warm, hot even! Rambo got my name wrong and thought I was Ali G and this set the scene for the conversation for the next two weeks.

Our hotel was only a block away from the sea front, which became quite apparent when I was trying to get some sleep at 1 in the morning. The beach was served by the prom side restaurants during the day, each with their own strip of beach. (which was only about 15 feet wide as it was!). The main bar that we frequented was the Bacchus "nobody looks like us!" (the marketing sub-line that we couldn't figure out) and with its cheery posse of waiters gave a rich mix of good food, cheap beer, perfect location and team lilo's!
Our first week was spent mainly at the beach. This was due in part because our Airtours Rep decided not to be there for most of it so we couldn't book any excursions! So we left him a big on on his big note about his absence and he soon got in touch. We did however visit Içmeler (pronounced ishmellor) via a water taxi, that cost 3.000.000!! (dont panic that's only about £1.50). It was a lot smaller than Marmaris but still as friendly. We went there again in the second week too, just so we could have another relaxing ride on the taxi. In fact the second week saw us doing a few more adventurous activities: A trip to Ephesus, a relaxing days cruise along the coast of Gökova and a night out with the locals.

Aziz, Metin, Omer & Lisa
Omer, Lisa and the bar owner

Firstly the local night out. It came about because one of the waiters at the Bacchus, Omer, wanted us to meet his girlfriend but since they both worked till late we were invited out for a drink after work (I mean 11 o'clock!). We ended up down Bar Street (yes highly original) which housed many of the pubs and clubs, mainly for the tourists but we were taken to a 'locals' place where the mainstay of music was from 'Tarken' the national heart throb. We danced in the Turkish style (which to me seemed like just waving yer arms about) and then finished up going back to Omer's place, with a few other friends, for some Turkish tea till 3 in the morning. We then had to get some kip before the cruise!
The Sunday cruise was really relaxing along the coast around Gökova, the place apparently where Jaques Cousteau spent his spare time, diving and stuff. Well not to be out done we also went armed, not with aqualung but, snorkel (minus flippers, we didn't want to appear too keen). The water was so clean and clear that we saw lots of fish & seabed creatures! We stopped a few times along the coast for a swim before returning to the quay for the 30 minutes journey back to Marmaris through some of the most pleasant scenery I've ever seen. The local delicacy being Pine Honey (1 bottle purchased).

The Ephesus trip started out so well and so early! 6.30am but by the time we got there it was quite overcast and a storm was definitely brewing. Within 30 minutes of starting the tour the rain came down so forcefully that everyone there just ran for the coaches. The coach park itself became a pond about 6 inches deep, such was the severity of the rain storm. So that was that really, what we did see we enjoyed, a fleeting glance of the library façade gave a clue as to what ancient delights we had missed.
As the holiday progressed we became real good friends with the Bacchus crew. Metin, who was always on hand at the beach for OJ and beer; Omer, who could speak lots of languages including cockney and now scouce; Aziz, who was so famous but nobody knew him (so he says); CJ, who did Bacchus breakfast for us; Cengiz (pronounced Jeng-is), who had a fine set of nashers but had a dodgy neck; Chico, which wasn't his name but he wanted to be known as such and Da boss! who didnt say much but was always smiling. In fact the whole crew were a credit to Turkey and were so charming and so so funny we were really upset when we had to go home. snif snif.

Aziz (the famous man) & Lisa

While we were away we also met Paul & Maggie from Ireland who were known to the Bacchus crew as the whities (for obvious reasons). We thought at first Maggie was made of marble, she was so white, but soon realised that she wasnt cos she wobbled (in all the right places mind!, as you can see on the left) They started their holiday about a week after ours and we only met them on he last few days of ours but we really got on well together. Its a shame we didnt meet up earlier but even in the short time we spent together we really enjoyed each others company. Indeed the first time we met them Maggie liked Lisa so much she gave her a big kiss! (shame ya missed that Omer!). Paul and I were far more reserved. More of a story here than I'm prepared to publish but its an amazing what fun you can have with an empty bottle (an Efes bottle is such a weird shape too!)

Oh before I leave it there just like to mention Fuat the hotel receptionist. Thanks for the offer but I couldn't have got those 5 camels past customs and even with today's make up the game woulda been up using Lisa's passport for one of them.

Visit to the Lake District, UK 13 - 15 July 2001

We never usually visit the Lakes in the summer 'cos of the crowds but due to the Foot n Mouth thang we thought we'd be brave and visit Keswick. Had a hard time trying to get in anywhere though due to some Church Conference thing that takes place each year around this time. Ended up in a small guest house called Lindisfarne which was nice and homely. Had a crackin meal in the Bank Tavern (Steak n chips!) and washed this down with a pint (or more) of the finest Jennings bitter. Saturday was a walk from hell.... Grisdale Pike was open so we decided to give it a go. Got absolutely soaked thru, I'm sure the rain was traveling horizontally (obviously it was raining cos it was 1 the lakes, 2 its July). Apart from a near heart attack (am I that unfit?) we got to the top and returned just in time to sit in the new obviously very popular Indian Resturaunt for a hour waiting  to be fed. Lisa didn't mind that much about the wait since the waiter was gorgeous so thats OK then! The meal was well worth waiting for really tasty and well prepared. Then loads more Jennings bitter (tried their new Crag Rat ale but didn't like it).

The next day, Sunday, saw us pop into Blackpool on the way back and we were greeted with an air display of a F-3 Tornado (even faster than our Megan apparently!) and the 'I have no fear playing chicken in this plane' Red Arrows. Bonser!

Our Hols in Boiling Hot Tenerife 1 - 9 June 2001

Yet another hotty in Playa Las Americas (Apartments Compestella Beach). The flight was delayed as per usual and we didn't get to our Apartment until 6.30am on the Saturday. JMC assumed that we wanted to get sold some excursions at a welcome get together just 3 hours later. Well spookily enuff we weren't tempted (despite a reminder phone call at 9.30am). Then nightmare of all nightmares when we got back that night after a few pints of Dorada there was a visitor in the bath: Not the night porter no (who had no doubt left by then anyway) rather one great big cockroach! which was, by the volume of Lisa's screams, at least 3 foot long. However upon further investigation the thing wasn't as big as first assumed and has apparently let itself in now doubt using a master key (obviously it was way to big to find its way up the drain). Well after much discussion with the 'roach, he decided to let me escort him off the premises via the balcony (we were 3 floors up at the time).

Picture of one reet slapper
init! init!  

Then I decide to buy Lisa a bouncy ball. Well we bounced it around the small courtyard in front of our apartment which was rather good and was very tempted to lash it out of our third storey window onto the said courtyard and onto the pool area but we couldn't do that could we? I actually bounced it in the apartment and it hit the roof that was slanted (hey I didn't know did I?) and yes you've guessed what happened.... out of the window and we never saw it again... The ambulance didn't seem to take any time at all!!

One drunk dude!

Then the rum. Well it was Woods 57% proof and well couldn't take any of it back to the UK so we did have to finish it off. We got back one afternoon from the beach and I was into a very good book... (Playing away by Adele Parks... a bit girlie but dirty enuff to keep me amused). You know what its like... It's hey I gotta finish this one!!! So I sat on the terrace reading the book whilst Lisa had a shower. Soon she joined me with her book and well, we just had to get them both finished. Problem was it was still really hot and you can't really have coke by itself can you? The rum tasted just so. In fact 'just so' that we both got extremely drunk (bear in mind this was still 8 'ish and ended up in bed! (Ha not what you all think) well I almost did 'cos apparently (and I mean I still don't accept this to this day) I was getting too amorous and Lisa pushed me onto the floor and broke my elbow...well almost, even though she's says she never (That's the thing I don't accept... The fact I was pushed but was informed I'd fell. Hey I was there after all!! As for the amorous bit well maybe!). Verdict a good read and a blinding Hangover! Not a bad holiday in fact!

Visit to Middlesbrough 13 - 15 April 2001

With kind invite from Gary & Tracy (who we met on holiday) we headed on up the M62 towards Teeside to see what gives on the East coast. (in our new car too! a metalic blue Renault Megan Coupe Sport). Gary & Tracy, who live on the outskirts of the 'brough in a place called 'Ingleby Barwick ', made us very welcome and with their two little dogs called ' Yorkshire terriers' apparently (although I'm not sure which one was which) and the tropical fish, we felt reet at home. (Not that we've got any dogs nor any fish... but soon..watch this space...).

Hit the 'borough on the Friday night and was treated to all things 70's. Lisa made the mistake of asking a DJ for a request and was thoroughly embarrassed when he spotted her scouse accent - calls of "watch your bags there's a scally in here" etc, etc. Went on to 'Flares' - where Lisa and Tracy danced precariously on a speaker while the boys looked on. Tasted the famous Middlesbrough 'Parmo' which consisted of basically chicken and cheese - mmm..interesting! 

Spent a rainy Saturday afternoon in Whitby, bought some fish and chips (obviously), some fudge and rock. then came back to the news that the Arsenal had been whooped at home by the 'Brough 3-nil!! (which virtually guaranteed that they wouldn't go down and gave United (who?) the Premier title for the umpteenth time!). Then time for Kareoke (how the hell do you spell that anyway!) and DISCO at the Teeside Golf Club. It was Italian Nite too, the food being rather tasty. Then returned home after a fab Sunday roast & a visit to the butterfly house and after showing our scouse passports at the border of course.

Visit to Dublin 12 - 14 March 2001

ARRRRGGHHH BE JESUS! Well Lisa got me to Ireland amidst the worse Foot n Mouth outbreak since the '60's! Loads of footmats doused with Guinness (sorry I mean disinfectant) everywhere you looked. I mean how many sheep are you gonna get in a Dubin city centre pub anyhow? Still at least they were taking the treat seriously enuff.

Why Ireland? Well Lisa was 30 on the 13th so we thought we'd do something a bit special and she wanted so much to visit the isle of her fore or five fathers. The place was just like London to me, very cosmopolitan and lively, only a bit smaller. Went on one of those city tour buses for a few 'Punts' and did the tourist thing which was really good and well recommended. Stopped off at the Guinness factory, which was huge and then headed back to Temple bar to sample the stuff (Yum!) and to people watch (mostly tourists!). We had an Italian and a Mexican meal and had a larger in the Hairy Lemon.

We stayed at the Drury Court Hotel which was great (except for the binnies at the top o' the mornin'...not good) and was located in the heart of tings! We walked over the river Liffy across the halfpenny and millennium bridges and polished off more Guinness in the Zanzibar. Shopped and walked along O'Connel Street and checked out the bullet popped statue of Daniel himself before we packed ourselves off back to airport (on the very frequent airbus link) ready for our 25 minute hop back home.

Our Hols in Sunny Fuerteventura 3 - 10 January 2001

Fuerteventura again I hear you cry? 'fraid so!! Its was really hot and just the break we needed from all our hard work of the previous year (we'll sorta Ha!).

Image of Me, Lisa, Gary & Tracy

Ended up doing the usual curry house visits and guess what there's a new one opened up since last year the Taj Mahal (a unique name for an Indian I know) the food wasn't as authentic as the Bombay (yet another unusual name for a balti house). The upside to this place though was that we met a fab couple from Middlesbrough, Tracy & Gary. We met them on the Saturday and we spent the rest of the holiday evenings with them. We all shared the same sense of humour (especially about airport security?, the fact that anyone not from 'brough is somehow foreign and the fact that Gary reckons he liked football even though he's a 'brough supporter!).

Also met a couple of real Eastenders who were deemed to be Frank n Pat. 'Frank' did a real good impression of him actually 'cos he had not only the voice but he actually looked like him...Runarand nar! (showing my age again). Even though I stuck mainly to the traditions Italian Pizza (Spanish style..ie with lots of Tropical cerveza) Lisa tried a seafood paella. Not my cuppa tea at all but you gotta try these things hey? The less we say about the ciggies the better!

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