Observations from a vacation!

We are just back from my first meeting with charter tourism, and I’ve made some observations about charters and travelling in general:

  • Charterplanes are awful. The rows are too close together, meant for domestic 50-minute jumps and put into service on planes taking 5-6 hour trips. Ouch!
  • StarTour take good care of their travellers. I don’t mind beeing a sheep as long as I don’t have to be one all the time.
  • It’s nice living in a good hotel with a big veranda, nice pool and lots of sunbeds.
  • It’s a marvellous luxury to have someone do the cleaning for you. Our wish-souvernir from Gran Canaria: Carmen – who even organized a book shelf for our books.
  • Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas have great looking sand dunes, beaches and a shopping center with a model of the Røros Church on the roof, but apart from that it’s mostly hotels and things like that and not much to look at.
  • Food poisoning is no fun at all.
  • Gran Canaria has lots of nice things to see and I admire the bus drivers that can manouvre a bus on the narrow and very winding roads.
  • The IslandTour-Guides (danish and swedish) talked a mix of Danish and Swedish and supposed – probably correctly – that the Norwegians would understand most of it anyway.
  • Spanish road maintenance workers are gregarious creatures always observed moving about in groups of at least 5 or 6 together (example: 2 shovel sand, 2 drives the wheelbarrows and empty the sand at the appropriate spot, 1 is watching the others).
  • Neither Kristin nor I can haggle at all.
  • There is an elderly Irish gentleman with bad legs and a fondness for alcohol who thinks I’m beautiful. That’s always nice.
  • Gay couples spotting is an interesting activity for a lesbian couple on vacation. At our hotel we had roughtly 45%/45% of middelage to elderly German straight couples and gay couples from different countries. The remaining 10% was singles from different countries (lots of gay men), about 2 kids and 1 lesbian couple from Norway (us). Our (usually nonfunctioning) gaydar was busy all over Playa del Ingles and silent on the island trips. We didn’t observe a single lesbian couple that we were sure about. Ding, ding, ding…!
  • We buy a lot more liquor than we drink!
  • 20-25 degrees centigrade is a lovely temperature.
  • People who prefer sightseeing or reading in the shade don’t get much of a tan. The Germans obviously had other preferences. We were the palest people at our hotel but didn’t stand out on the flight back home to Bergen.
  • To demand that someone gets up at 0515 in the morning to get on the plane home should be included in the UN definition of torture and outlawed. To get up at the same time to get on a plane TO your vacation destination is a totally different matter.
  • Playing you own karaoke-cd’s for you passengers should be a reason to be fired, particularly when it’s 0600 in the morning and you can’t even sing in tune! To seek confirmation about you singing abilities by constantly saying “good, eh?” should be a suing offence!
  • Vacations are great for reading, we should have many more of these!
  • One week of vacation is not enough, but a lot better than nothing.

Unedited pictures from the trip on Flickr.

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