Thursday, 28 June 2018

Train, Boat, Bus & Chain Ferry to Osborne House and a Warning

My friend and I were sat chatting and recollecting our last visit here and I suggested we go again.

Yes, she was up for it so plans were afoot without further ado!

Umm?  Looked up the journey on Wightlink Ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth.  Shock!  Horror! Way, way too expensive for a day trip.

However, not to be put off we settled on train to Southampton, Red Jet to West Cowes, chain ferry over to East Cowes (much cheaper)
and a walk (quite a long walk) up to Osborne House.

Like a circle in a spiral ....

going through my mind, the journey sounded quite exhausting!  But let's do it!

So we did ..... and to my surprise it wasn't anywhere nearly as tedious as I thought it would be.

Lunchtime arrival...

So all this meant a lunchtime arrival and an early light lunch prior to further walking.

It was a glorious day, so we decided to give the house a miss on this occasion and do the walled garden and ....
taking in the glass houses and fab plants
and then the long walk down to Queen Victoria's beach, the Beach Hut Cafe
and an ice cream, of course.  We chose to sit in the shade to eat ours as the sun was melting it quicker than we could eat it ... be rude to waste any wouldn't it πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ - apologies I had to lick mine before taking the picture!
And then a meander back - well for me anyway, friend is fitter - oh and younger :) but she kindly slowed her stride for me.
A beautiful house and I would definitely recommend you go in if you haven't already.
Our last visit the sunflowers were amazing and the grounds were more colourful, but any time of the year is lovely for different reasons.

A warning comes with this blog ....

If you choose to travel our way, put some good walking shoes on, take a bottle of water, a very small handbag (aimed at the women that one of course!) with small camera or make do with phone camera, and be prepared for some quite long walks.

I, of course, took my trusted Nikon D7100 with 28mm lens which is the lightest of my cameras and lens.  However,  I have promised myself I'll get an even lighter one for my days out with friends.
Of course, I had my phone with me but you can't see the image on a bright day on your phone can you 😏 and I find it incredibly frustrating when I can't see what I'm taking!

Need to know basis :) 

  • If you do travel on Red Jet and you need to catch a bus back to the station, your Red Jet ticket acts as your bus ticket too.
  • There is an Osborne bus that takes you to the beach and a buggy so you really don't have to do the walking bit!   
  • OK Fitbit how many steps?  22000 eeek if I didn't feel tired before I do now after knowing that! 

Enjoy..  if you do go we'd love to hear your comments or 
let us know what you think by email and we'll be happy to share here.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A Sunday in Godshill and You Can be Forgiven if you Think You're in a Time Warp

Malcolm had an appointment in Godshill on IOW.  Knowing I love a trip to the island he said 'd'you want to come'?  

Well, of course, I want to come!

But I wasn't expecting this ..... going back in time.

We pulled up at The Old Smithy and the car park was being invaded by Classic Cars!  The smile on Malcolm's face was from ear to ear and, of course, he was deep in conversation without any delay!

When I could prise him away from these amazing little cars, he went off on his appointment and I sauntered around The Old Smithy's pretty landscaped garden.
Then a wander through this quaint little village of Godshill.
I didn't venture in to Godshill Cider or Candy Cottage mainly because there was so much more to see and I wasn't sure how much time I'd have.
 There's a model village here too, which I'd love to go back and see some time. 
This village is only small but there's so much to see and explore.  Many cute little shops, tea rooms and, of course, the odd pub or two.
When Malcolm returned we felt a little hungry so we opted for Sunday lunch, well it was Sunday after all.   

I have to admit peeking πŸ˜‰ in the window of the Taverners earlier at someone's lunch, which looked good so opted for there.
Absolutely love these little squidgy table numbers you're given when you order your meal!
Highly recommend this pub!
As you can see the Sunday roast is a gastronomic delight πŸ‘‡ 

More Classic Cars?

You'll have to forgive me if I seem to be posting images of many Classic Cars on this occasion, but Sunday here you definitely go back in time and apparently it is Isle of Wight Austins meet up most Sundays in the car park at The Old Smithy.  It's absolutely lovely.  

Me thinks we maybe going to visit again πŸ˜‰
Before I go I need to post an image of my favourite .....

So in Godshill on a Sunday and you can be forgiven if you think you're in a time warp ............

Thanks for visiting ..... see you next time.
Remember if you have anywhere you'd like to share with us ..

Friday, 22 June 2018

An Experience You'll Never Forget - Nearly Over - Go Now You Won't Be Sorry

I had so little time this week but I so wanted to see these and my husband said 'go now or it'll be too late'.
Wow, wow and wow some more.  The beautiful rose gardens are incredible and Malcolm was right to push me out the door to go now.

They are certainly past their best, but still beautiful and I swear you can smell the roses throughout the grounds. 

Arches and arches of roses that awaken your senses as you walk through or sit a while on one of the many benches and take it all in. 

Lots of refreshment stops around the grounds too. 

I sat with a refreshing bottle of Luscombe Sicilian Lemonade, which was my choice on a glorious sunny day. 
I have never ever had such an experience like this.  I can't believe I haven't visited before at this time of year.

Go now to Mottisfont Rose Gardens you won't be sorry and even if the blooms are almost over their perfume certainly isn't!

And anyway these gardens will still be full of colour with so many other flowering plants and so much more to see too.
The Lavender borders too will be in full bloom very soon.
An experience you will never forget.  Go now, you won't be sorry.
Visit Mottisfont Website for opening times and more info

Enjoy and be sure to let us know about it.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Travelling Means ... What Comes Next

Our first visit here ..... on arrival we had mixed feelings.

We hired a car .....


The car hire company were great, very pleasant and efficient, picked us up at the airport and took us to their office to pick up the car.

Malcolm always does the driving.  He's not a very good passenger with me driving at the best of times so in a foreign country probably even worse!

Whoopee - Lidl

Our plans were to pick up some shopping en route to the apartment, get a light lunch somewhere and then on to destination.

Luckily we didn't have to look far.  A Lidl directly opposite the car hire office.  That went without too much trouble, except, of course, we needed a coin for the trolley!  Great!  Oops ....we'd only just arrived so no coins :(

Luck was on our side, a loose trolley waiting for the foreigners who'd just landed :)

Shopping done, let's do lunch.

My advice to you if you're of a nervous disposition, as I tend to be if taken out of my comfort zone, is take public transport.
First we had to manoeuvre our way through drivers like we'd never seen before and I was getting closer and closer to the edge (edge of the road and my edge) and Malcolm was, shall I say, a little hot under the collar (heat and mood).  We had been up since 1am which added a little tension πŸ˜’ and as we travelled along the road the huge mounds of rubbish alongside actually wasn't helping our moods 😟in fact we became increasingly concerned.

31 degrees of heat and mounting rubbish didn't fill us with hope😟

(I'll digress a minute to give a brief explanation ....

We consequently found out from the owners of our apartment that there had been a disagreement over payment by the Mayor.  Hence mounds of rubbish not being collected.  

I will go on to say that a couple of days before our departure the Mayor must have changed his mind and paid up as thankfully the rubbish was disappearing )

Back to our arrival!

Is that a Marina and a Bar?

Some things put a smile on Malcolm's face and they include boats and a bar!  Whew!  We were both definitely in need of a drink.

To be honest just getting out of the car put a smile on my face ..... boy oh boy do either of us really want to get back in that car?

What?  No meat?

The Marina bar looked inviting and cool in the shade.  We were served by a very friendly waiter (who we actually saw several times later in the week too)

I opted for a Greek salad, one of my favourites and a nice cool beer.  To my surprise Malcolm chose the same,  no the beer not a surprise, but a meal with no meat?  Must have been the heat messing with his brain :)

Now that feels a little better and both, after refreshment, in a better frame of mind ....

We venture back out on to the roads ..

Not far away and a very very welcoming sign ..... Kontokali Lake House
So pleased to see this and it truly is welcoming with its pretty floral entrance.

As soon as we pulled up we were warmly greeted by Spiros.

Apartment full of everything you need and more

We were shown to our pretty apartment.
A kitchen equipped with all you need and more, and two spacious rooms, a lounge (come bedroom) with terrace and large bedroom with balcony.

Everything spotlessly clean and as we found out, to our delight, during our stay, is cleaned every other day.

The owners, by the way, are extremely friendly and very helpful should you have any queries.  Our only query was 'why so much rubbish on the island'?  And you too know the answer to that now.

We couldn't wait to explore.

Outside and at the bottom of the drive is the beautiful view over the water.

If you book early you may be lucky enough to get an apartment with a balcony overlooking this beautiful view.   We were late booking but we could get a glimpse from our bedroom balcony.
and one evening we sauntered down with a glass of wine and sat for a while.  It was very peaceful.
It is truly beautiful ...... and you may even get a glimpse of the wildlife!
Suffice it to say we settled in to life here and its peace and tranquillity and ended up having a very relaxing holiday.

Breakfast on our terrace, a stroll to the Marina or the beach followed by a bottle of the local village wine (which looks like it's in a sunflower oil bottle!) with olives on our balcony in the evening.  Life's not so bad here in Corfu.

The sunsets, of course, are lovely across the water......

and finally our version of 'a selfie'

Things you need to know:

  • Kontokali Beach is a short walk from Kontokali Lake House (the blurb online says 200 yards - well maybe as the crow flies!) - let's say about a 10 minute stroll in 31degrees of heat. :)  We ended up going there most days.  There's a great Taverna, run by a couple who are relaxed and great fun.  It's right on the beach and not expensive.
  • The Marina in Kontokali is about a 20 minute stroll and is worth a visit.  The Blue Pool Bar has just what it says .... a pool and a bar.  We ate lunch there a couple of times and recommend the Greek salad!  
  • We also recommend the Olympia Mare Restaurant where we had delicious fish for lunch on Malcolm's birthday.  More to follow on that with pics as it deserves another blog me thinks :)
  • The mosquitos love to bite at any opportunity!  I got bitten more than I've ever been bitten before.  Then we discovered an insect repellent at a local supermarket.  After which I didn't have any further problems.  It is Autan Family Care Repellent found on Amazon too.  Oh and by the way the ants don't like it either. :)
Thanks for visiting Kontokali with us ........ travelling means, what comes next ...... and there's certainly more to come.