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All articles in Holidays

Thoughts on a plane
[I wrote this a few days back as will become apparent and it's a bit rambling in places, for which I ask your indulgence.]

27-7: I almost attacked a stewardess today. Well, you would have too. She threatened to take my cheese-plate away!

You see, I am travelling first class from Quito to Amsterdam. After breaking my left ankle in two places I had to cut short my dream holiday to the Galápagos. I will write about this later but for now let it be known that first class flying really makes a difference if you do it in one of those big planes. Not only in the immense vastness of empty space surrounding you, but also in the quality of the food. I have never described small potatoes as "amusing" and probably never will again, but these definitely fit the bill.

I rather regret not taking a picture of the food because the difference between first class and second (or business and economy resp.) is shocking. You get several different starters and a choice of mains. Included are fresh baked breads, small bottles of vinegar and olive oil and a small cute salt and pepper set. You also get real metal knives and forks. All of this was flying with Iberia by the way, different airlines may vary in the details I'm sure. There is also a choice of wines (3 red, 3 whites) and when your glass is empty someone comes along and refills it. Afterwards they bring you coffee and a choice of spirits to go with it. Man I could get used to this.

Jesus, they just brought me a bottle of water and an invitation to the minibar for after dinner. I AM A FLYING GOD!!

For the last few days I had been extremely annoyed with my insurance company's case managers for not really acting to get me home fast, but after some frantic action today I am flying home today and I am really loving business class. My dream holiday may have been cut short after only four days (of thirty) but what a way to recover at least a tiny bit of fun after days of pain in hospital. I am sure that tomorrow I will pay for this with renewed pain and discomfort, but for now I am unwilling to end this amazing luxury. By the time this gets input in the computer I'll have been home for a day or so but as I am writing this on the plane itself I'll sign off and sip my Glenfiddich 12 yo*.

Hasta luego, mortals.

*) pro tip: ask for a small whisky and get only a double instead of a triple.

I have uploaded the pics I took on our recent holiday in Barcelona. This is probably only of interest to those who were there but anyone can join in and look at my amazing skills as a photographer. Clicky the pic below for the entire set.

Unfortunately the weather let us down a bit with lots of rain. I also have to say that going to Barcelona between christmas and the new year is perhaps not the best idea as lots of stuff will be closed. I did get to eat some good food and the difference between what the Dutch call ham and what the southern countries sell under that name is stark and leaves our own ham look like a pasted together pieces of watery meatstuff.

Camerawise the iPhone held up a bit better than I expected, although the lack of any kind of zoom is very limiting, especially when taking pictures of large objects such as La Sagrada de Familia. I did manage to get some nice shots of plantain bark which always leaves me amazed at the beauty in nature.

The Sagrada is still not finished and my good friend Harold (k) mentioned it probably never will as the unfinished work of Gaudi attracts loads of visitors for the town, which is a shame as the insanity of some of the detail is simply stunning. I also like the fact that many of the details are taken from nature but that might just be my personal idiosyncrasy.

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