Holiday Hangover

So, we´re back from Christmas&NewYears vacation, a bit wobbly on our feet. How did we use to do this again? Work? Make our own food? Shovel all the snow from our parking space? Make our own beds? (No, just kidding - I haven´t done that since I moved away from my parent´s house...) We ease our way in to regular life, using restaurants and canned food. I do have ambitions (not resolutions) for the new year, but first I want to regain all my strength. I caught a bug in Spain, and have been a bit under the weather during the first week of the year. I´m not entirely myself yet, but getting there.

I can´t really collect my thoughts to write anything intelligent about my holiday reading, but I will share some snaps of the holiday itself. What we wanted was a rest, nothing more, and there is this hotel, Barceló Corralejo Bay, in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, that I visited with my mother-in-law almost three years ago, in March 2010. Half-board, pretty pools, a pool bar, a lounge bar, a spa, every service you can think of. And still not tiringly posh. The dresscode, "elegant for dinner" just means that gentlemen will not be admitted wearing shorts and/or vests.

I can´t say that I was disappointed, but the level of quality wasn´t the same. The profile chef from before was nowhere to be seen this time, and the buffet wasn´t quite as creative as it used to be. The rooms were clean but the sheets and towels worn threadbare. The daily cleaning wasn´t as ambitious as before. There was staff everywhere, all the time, but the same faces both morning and evening, so I imagine those who do work in Spain, work a lot. You can also see a lot of shops in town having closed, a lot of abandoned building projects, a lot of emptied hotels falling apart from neglect. And a lot of luxury villas and flats for sale. The promenade along the strand and harbour facing Lanzarote wasn´t as upkept as it used to be. A folly we used to walk to had been torn down. Of course I knew what state Spain is in, I have seen enough of reports about it on the news. But so evident a change in financial fortune, it was disheartening to see. I hope things will improve.

However, none of this affected the quality of our holiday. We were there to rest, and we did. Reading, or just being, by the pool, on the balcony, in the lounge, in a café. The longest walk we took was to the national park, Las Dunas, where we had lunch one day. It is made up from sand blown in from the Sahara. The African coast is actually only 90 kilometers away from Fuerteventura. So, Spain, but not really Spain. Geographically, we are in Africa. This beach is one of many popular among the surfing crowd.

There is quite a lot to see on Fuerteventura if you have a car, and we made the tour in 2003, when we came to visit the in-laws, who spent several winters in Spain and two in Corralejo. It´s mainly desert, a lot of volcanos, very windy. Lots of wild goats and rabbits. At first I thought it was ugly, but after a few days I started to see the beauty of it. It was like a proper revelation during a drive, like the landscape just opened up to me and what had been this rocky sameness suddenly filled with colour and diversity. 

The harbour and the ferry to Lanzarote.

Sand art: Nativity Scene. A truly gifted artist!

Killer cat

I think Fuerteventura has to be my favourite Canary Island. The perfect place to go when you just want to wind down and kick your feet in the sand. I wouldn´t have minded two weeks. But more than that - I don´t think so. If you want to stay longer you need a real project, at least if you´re like me.

And I´m not sorry to be home again, working. That is my life, after all.


  1. is that labyrinth a permanent feature? walking a labyrinth in sand would add a new dimension to the experience.

    1. I imagine the labyrinth is made by a bunch of partying surfers, or something. It can´t last very long with all that sand moving around. I have a memory of something similar from a few years ago... I shall make a post from another beach, right now!