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Logistics being somewhat different this year for our annual visit to southern Spain we left Wingrave Bucks in the early hours for a fast car run to London’s City Airport, a most exciting start to this super holiday. First time flying from the Docklands Airport for me  and I must say our party of happy travellers were very impressed. I loved the early glow of morning views to this interesting and now magical part of our capital city, as sunrise fast approached over this part of London with its very modern skyscrapers and viewing the docklands airport runway, seeming a mere strip in my excited eyes and somewhat short; was the perfect start to our much awaited holiday.
How very efficient is London City Airport and with not a moment kept waiting we  proceeded Airside to its very good coffee lounge, a nice aroma of good coffee always embraces and pleases my senses particularly in the early hours. We comfortably boarded the BA city flyer- Embraer190 Jet and flew steeply up and out over a newly waking London, I loved it. Could anything be more exciting?
A few facts here for those that like and are reading from other parts of the world.. London City Airport is located on a former Docklands Site in the London Borough of Newham. It has a single 1,500 metre long runway and only multi engine fixed-wing aircraft with special aircraft and aircrew certification to fly 5.5 approaches, are allowed to conduct operations at London City Airport.
My son Jo who always arranges these marvellous trips has everything down to a fine-art. Good car that manages all our luggage, parking is always made easy and everything laid ready for a most enjoyable holiday.  The short trip down to this favourite place  on leaving Malaga Airport to the Los Arquerous Apartments in Benahavis, Andalucía – Nr Marbella, is a pretty drive, glimpsing the coast and the blue sea beyond  – tis perfect. 
This year we had a penthouse apartment with a wonderful roof terrace with plenty of shade and a roof top shower and loads of comfortable seating arrangements which plus our normal wraparound balcony was a real delight. Where almost every evening we sat under twinkling stars late into the night over dinner and drinks. The weather was just amazing this year, with long hot days usually starting with a short early mist which cleared into blistering hot dry days. We spent most of these swimming in the infinity pool, set in the stunning sweet smelling, flowered filled gardens and enjoying the beautiful  view we have come to know and love over the past years.
Our first port of call when arriving is always the Mercadona, a large supermarket a little way from our location but the one we considered to be the absolute best. Marvellous produce in every department and to be honest much better quality than our regular supermarkets here in the UK. We do just one big shop perhaps topping up if needed on fresh fruit and extra water but we usually managed to get it just right after these years of going. The food in Spain is high quality, superb fruit and vegetables, great fish, meat and chicken and it is considerably cheaper than here.
 Of course no holiday, which is after all a special occasion, is without treats, so we select just everything we fancy, plus lots of special drinks and mixers to make-up Jo’s fabulous cocktails. Favourites are always Mojitos, long and cooling with their abundance of mint, especially nice for hot days. Something new this year and something different on Jo’s repertoire to our cocktail range was the “Carmel Sunset” made with Knebep the delicious Vodka Based Spirit, also the favourite Espresso Martinis which are a real treat at sundown.
We did eat out a couple of times during our stay normally at the clubhouse where the standard is very high, but apart from midday at the wonderful Cappuccino Grand Café, we did not eat out in the evening in Marbella as we were there in the busy month of August so we chose quieter locations that were much preferred in the heat.
We also spent a day in Gibraltar, not visited for me since 1967. Not much had changed, it was nice to  see The Rock Hotel still standing!
 An interesting visit and an enjoyable day, going of course to the top, for the marvellous views across the bay and to visit once again the man-made caves but for me Gibraltar has lost much of its charm of earlier years, looking most shabby in parts now, not much seems to have be spent on maintaining the uniqueness it once engaged. Still our party enjoyed a very nice late luncheon in one of the squares close to the moored luxury boats. Luckily arriving at ‘Happy Hour!’
Friends made on holiday are all part of the travelling process and bring extra pleasure and delight to these trips. In the beautiful area where we enjoyed our leisure time were three super families that met up at the same time every year. It was so nice to see these caring families enjoying the time with their children in harmony and much joy. Such daily water fun often when they had returned from a day on the beach –  which certainly helped the younger ones with their learning of swimming skills, all under the watchful eyes of family and friends. Creating lasting memories of happy times spent in the sun. I hope we meet up with these lovely folk once again…somehow I think we will.
I would like to thank here my dear son  who arranges these lovely luxury trips of the highest calibre and for putting-up with four ladies – he is amazing and caters for our every need and truly deserves a medal. Love you Yousef x
You can see some more of our holiday snaps on my flickr page over at should you wish. I am now back in my little village which I love and although always enjoy embracing the warmth of Southern Spain I am content to return…until next time of course…