‘That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever done,” said my husband, flopping on a sunbed. “I was lying in a steam room while some woman in a swimsuit covered my eyes with a cold flannel and threw ice over my head.” After a traditional hamman treatment — Turkish bath — he could do little more than lift his cocktail.
British Ambassador to Luxembourg Alice Walpole welcomed the four Langdon residents completing a four-day 275-mile sponsored bike ride from London. The quartet — James Manton, Guy Ben-David, Benjamin Kraus and Daniel Welck — enjoyed a celebratory picnic at the embassy.
From Nice airport it was a pleasant tootle along the twisty N8 coastal road. I was heading for the tiny town of Théoule-sur-Mer where they say, the water quality around its cliffs is the best in Europe.
I had chosen the Tiara Yaksta boutique hotel for its discreet location and found it was so hidden that I passed it at least three times.
'Portugal was born in Guimaraes," explains our tour guide during the 30-mile road trip from Porto airport to a 2012 European Capital of Culture. Now the affection which the Portuguese display for the nation's 900-year-old birthplace is to be shared with a wider audience, as organisers expect a doubling in visitor numbers to one million.
Most tourists can't get out of Malaga fast enough. They take a cheap flight to the airport, hire a car and head for the Costa Del Sol. Cruise passengers hop off at the port, many on to a waiting tour bus, to take them on to Grenada.
So here's the conundrum: a chance arises to grab a much needed mini-break but my husband and I have conflicting wish lists. My perfect tick-box break has to include stunning architecture, an abundance of history, perhaps a dash of Jewish culture, the rattle and hum of a vibrant city. He wants a sun lounger with back support, decent weather and a sea view.