Some said it would rain, others said it would simply be cloudy, but in the end we thought we would chance it. We walked into Mahon and hopped onto a bus to Cala'n Porter.
This beautiful bay can be overrun with tourists and visitors in high season but this time of year it was tranquil. A few dozen visitors on the golden soft sandy beach facing the turquoise water.
Visitors who arrive by car take the road down to the bay and the beach. We arrived by bus which stopped at the top of a steep and long flight of stone steps. It was easy to see these would be a pain on the way back.
Despite the cloudy sky we laid on the beach and read for a few hours. It was still warm and now and then the sun broke though. We decided to take a late lunch before the climb back to the top.
If you visit it will be cheaper to eat and shop at the top rather than close to the beach. However it is scenic near the beach. Climbing the steps back up required quite a few breath breaks but we were soon back at the top. We planned to walk to the caves but half way there the heavens opened.
Hubby true to his boy scout childhood was prepared. He had packed the brollies in his back pack. The day was still mild and so we strolled back. The Galleon was a good place to get a drink and snack. Prices here were much better. Hubby managed a sneak view of UK football on the giant pub screen before we caught the bus back to Mahon,
In spite of the heavy rain, which had now set in, we had a great day. Weather permitting we plan to return in a couple of days and visit the caves and the beach again.
So our first day Friday was a belter. Reaching 34 degrees in the afternoon it was so much hotter than what we had left behind in the UK It had begun to rain as we boarded our plane and by the time we took off the skies were grey and full of cloud.
Friday and Saturday was wall to wall sunshine in Menorca. As typical Brits we managed a little complain that it was too hot. We Brits always manage to complain its too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too windy or too anything. Still it was lovely being able to say that it was too hot for a change. That was to change, albeit it briefly.
Sunday began as a beautiful day but the locals from day one had said Sunday would bring rain. They said it would not arrive until the afternoon and once again their forecasting proved to be accurate. A glorious morning led us to a mooch around the nearby capital Mahon. The walk into the city along the harbour road from the cove was hot and scenic. Lunchtime clouds made us decide to head back to Hotel del Almirante
.Yet the clouds dissipated and sun shone through once again. Around 2.30 heavy clouds swept in and thunder began.People in the pool caused concern to some who begged them to "get out" Apparently an outdoor swimming pool when lightening strikes is not the place to be. Then the heavens opened. Rain poured down in sheets. We sat under the terrace watching it do its worst. Still warm it made for dramatic viewing. It set in for the rest of the day and finally turned cool. It was the first rain for 6 weeks so the locals were understandably pleased. High winds rocked the boat anchored in the bay outside of our window. Each time we looked it had moved and changed direction again. Hotel window shutters broke free during the night and rattled into the early hours of the morning.Peace descended though and tte storm swept out as it has swept in Hot weather resumed and we went back to complaining that it was just too hot.
This year we flew from Doncaster or Robin Hood Airport between Doncaster and Sheffield. It is around an hour's drive from our home. Not the closest airport but a good one for us. It has plenty of amenities and generally flights run to time.
This year it was back to having to arrive at the airport 2 hours before the flight. Our flight was scheduled for 8.55 and that is exactly what time we took off.
If you are taking someone to this airport you will need to get a ticket to allow you to enter and stay the brief time necessary.
A Costa Coffee shop is open in the foyer which is handy if you arrive early. Our check-in did not open for quite a while and then a long queue soon formed. If you have pre-booked your flight seats why queue and get stressed? Better to wait till the queue thins out and stroll through.
Although there are strict regulations now on luggage weight and size we had no problems. Only one piece of hand luggage each was the demand. I was still allowed to carry my cross body bag with passports, cash etc in it as well as my small rucksack..
Departures are from the top deck of the airport but there are lifts or elevators for those with mobility issues. Here, on the top floor, small screens will tell you when it is time to board and other flight details. Until you board it will be "shop, play and eat for you.
This year's in flight safety message was delivered via the TV screens and the cutest small children. Perhaps it is felt this will make passengers pay attention. Will if that is the case it sure worked. The Robin Hood Airport in the UK and Mahon Airport on the Island of Menorca were very clean and well cared for. All in all an enjoyable experience.
The Eurozone looks set for more bad news today, September 15, 2011.
As the dream of a single European market gradually turns into a nightmare the Eurozone stumbles from one piece of bad news to another.
France and Germany have insisted that Greece is an "integral" part of the Eurozone, although this week many predicted Greece was about to jump ship. Today a leading European economics official, Olli Rehn, will make more gloomy predictions about Europes single currency. It is thought he will cut his forecasts for economic growth in the Eurozone.
He spoke to the Euorpean Parliament yesterday saying, "Let me say a word to those suggesting that Greece would be better off outside the euro. I very strongly disagree. Neither Greece nor the eurozone would be better off. Whatever way you look at it, it is absolutely certain that a default and/or exit of Greece from the eurozone would carry dramatic economic and social and political costs, not only for Greece but also for all other euro area member states and EU member states, as well as for our global partners."
Its obvious really when you think about it. Europe has thrown money at Greece as if it was going out of fashion. Such moves must surely demonstrate that Europe needs Greece. If it did not by now it would have cut its ties and stopped offering bail-outs.
The European marekt has left so many countries dependent on each other that splitting the EU up now is not an option. It may be that in time it will be. In time it may be the only way. For now a different solution is needed. Let's hope those in pwer find one soon.
While Rehin was addressing Parliament Angela Merkel for Germany, Nicolas Sarkizy for France and George Papandreou for Greece were holding a three-way phone conversation. After the call they issued a joint statement saying, "Putting into place commitments of the (bailout) programme is essential for the Greek economy to return to a path of lasting and balanced growth."
The latest from Athens Greece is that it will need 8 billion Euros to pay next months wages and so debt default is likely in the coming weeks.
Last night Rome was the scene of protests as Italy's government passed austerity measures to tackle that country's debts.
In true political hypocrisy President Obama has said that "the eurozone needs better fiscal coordination" Get your own house in order first springs to mind. The second thought is, stop dragging European countries into expensive Wars Mr President. We all seem to have enough money to destroy these days but little to spare for anything that is constructive.
As the nasty case of modern day slavery in the UK is uncovered, many questions are left unanswered. A campsite at Green Acres near Leighton Buzzard was raided by police on Sunday and terrible modern day slavery was discovered.
How could no-one know what was happening? If reports that people have known this was going on for the last 10 years are true how come it took this long for the authorities to act?
With 24 men, vulnerable adults, rescued from the camp on Sunday, it was by no means a small affair.
Today the 4 people who were subsequently arrested will appear in court. The four have been named as family members Tommy Connors, 30, Patrick Connors, 19, James (Big Jim) Connors, 34, and James (Jimmy) Connors, 23.
They are accused of keeping vulnerable adults as prisoners. Taken or selected from soup kitchens and beenefit office the "slaves" were promised work and more. Instead they faced humiliation and cruelty. Heads were shaved and forced labour followed. Any who tried to escape were beaten. It is thought this had gone on for the past 15 years.
The initial charges relate to four victims. The UK Crown Prosecution Service said, "These charges relate to four victims who allege they have been held against their will and forced to live and work like slaves." Other cases are still under investigation.
A heavily pregnant woman was also arrested but has been released on bail. She is to face further police questioning once her baby has been born.
Some of the victims have chosen to leave the interim medical centre where they were taken. They do not want to be part of the police investigation. The "slaves" were aged from 17 to 50 and from many nationalities Britons, Poles, Latvian and Romanian.
The charges against the four men are "conspiring to holding a person in servitude and requiring them to perform forced labour". That does not really describe the true horror or nastiness of these crimes.
It has been revealed that three protesters died during the attack on the Israeli Embassy
late yesterday.The current rulers of Egypt have said that they are going to reinstate emergency powers scrapped by Mubarek, as he attempted to cling to power. For some Egyptians this confirms their belief and reasons as to why the military rulers are no longer wanted.
In those heady days of the early Arab Spring Egypt was alive with hope for its future. Last night's attack on the Israeli embassy showed that mob rule is close to taking over. The security forces took their time attending, by which time the gang of rioters were out of control. Using tear gas to regain some sort of control simply makes Egyptians think back to Mubarek and his tactics of control. Yet something had to be done. Egyptian authoriteis have said they will take the necessary steps to prevent further riots or violent outbursts. Egyptian courts will be offering quick justice to those guilty of such crimes.
Today Israel has said that its agreement with Egypt still stands. However many are questioning Israel in the wake of Middle Eastern changes. Some feel that Israel will have to change with the times if it wants to survive in the Middle East. Calling on the US for help, as israel did today, may not answer all of Israel's needs nowadays.
Egypt's Information Minister Osama Heikal said in a statement, "Everything that happened is a gross violation of the law, and one cannot call the perpetrators of the act as either brave or patriotic. What happened severely injured Egypt's pride as well as its international standing, and that is not something we can accept."
42-year-old Sergeant Barry Weston became the first UK soldier to be repatriated to the UK via the re-vamped RAF Brize Norton.
For some time repatriated soldiers have made the journey home through the town of Wootton Bassett. Wootten Bassett became famous across the world for the respect the towns people showed to he fallen on their journey home.
In the last four years 345 UK service personnel were repatriated through the town of Wootton Bassett. Today 2,000 people lined the roads near Brize Norton to show their respect for Sgt Weston.
Repatriations will not travel through the nearby town of Carterton but that did not stop the locals travelling the short distance to be there for Sgt Weston and his family. Concerns have been raised though about how safe or practical this amount of people will be at the roadside for such processions. Barry's loved ones said they were overwhelmed by the support they had received.
When singer P J Harvey, Polly Harvey, won the Mercury Music prize for the first time it was 2011. She was touring the US and it was at that fateful 9/11 time.
That year the prize ceremony was held on September 11. Harvey won for her work, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.
Last night, September 6, 2011, Harvey became the first person to win for a second time.
P J was a popular choice of winner for 2011. She was the bookies favourite and Jools Holland seemed genuinely happy to be announcing her victory. Harvey won the award for her album, Let England Shake. Now 41 years old many would say that PJ just gets better and better.
Let England Shake has 21st Century relevance. War is at the heart of the album. P J told the mercury prize audience, "It's really good to be here this evening, because when I last won 10 years ago I was in Washington DC watching the Pentagon burning from my hotel window."So much has happened since then. This album took me a long time to write. It was very important to me. I wanted to make something meaningful, not just for myself but for other people, and hopefully to make something that would last."
General Momcilo Perisic sentenced to 27 years in prison
September 6, 2011, The HagueAs the remaining trials of alleged war criminals approach the finishing line, another former general was sentenced to a long prison term today.
General Momcilo Perisic was sentenced to 27 years for providing ammunition and logistical support to rebel Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia
.Again this writer is struck by the hypocrisy of the West. It is quite happy to supply the rebels in Libya with weapons and munitions but never sees that such steps can lead by the wrong sort of example.
Perhaps the difference here is that this General offered help to fighting forces held responsible for the Srebrenica massacre and deadly four-year campaign of shelling and sniping in Sarajevo. The forces he aided are deemed to have been responible for terrible atrociticies. However it is still a case of twisting the truth and words to suit our own ends. Justice for the people of Bosnia and Croatia.
The judges accquitted the General on charges of being diretcly responsible for any war crimes. The General is aged 67 and if he serves the whole of his sentence will probably die in prison. If not he will be an old man by the time he is freed.
September 5, 2011, UKIn July of 2010 newly released prisoner Raoul Moat went on the rampage. Before being released from prison the warning signs were evident. Raoul subsequently killed his former girlfriend's new partner and blinded a policeman before a stand off ensued. Raoul killed himself
after a taser or stun gun was used by police. Today the inquest into his death opened and has been hearing evidence.
37-year-old former night-club bouncer Moat was besotted with his ex. She, 23-year-old Samantha Stobbart, had a new love in her life, 29-year-old Chris Brown. In a prison phone call to Moat Samantha told him about Chris. She warned Moat that Chris was a “handy f****** bloke” who could knock him out. It is claimed that in the past Samantha had been scared of Moat.
Her call to Moat turned hin into an angry man, out for revenge. He told her that he was “going to go crazy”. Prison guards and Maot knew that he was on the edge. However, Moat's appeals for help fell on deaf ears. He was released and, armed with a double barrelled shotgun, made his way to Samantha's home. He blasted Chris Brown who died at the scene. Moat also had suicide on his mind but enraged now he went looking for police officers to kill. PC Rathband was in a police car when Moat struck. He was blinded in the shooting.
Moat was eventually located and a stand off between him and police officers esnsued. Moat sat with the shotgun aimed at himself. The inquest is trying to determine if Moat shot himself or was accidentally caused to do so when police used a taser gun.It will concentrate on Moat's final hours on this earth.
He had various suicide notes on his body. One letter to Samantha read, “I don’t know what to say except I love you. Always have, always will. You are the love of my life. I can’t live without you and knowing that you hate me is tearing me apart. This hot and cold thing has pushed me too far and maybe now you will understand just what affect it’s had on me. I’ve never cheated and never would. I know I’ve made mistakes but I thought I was just doing the right thing and giving you a good life. I don’t understand much about what’s gone on lately, but I can’t go on without you. We were so much in love and we have a beautiful daughter. I love you both so much. Now you’ve gone I’ve nothing to look forward to. I’m sorry.xxxPlease take care of our daughter."
The inquest at Newcastle Court continues and is expected to last around 4 weeks.