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Spain, Valencia

Stansted to Alicante - 0 km - Saturday 9th February 2008

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Uneventful flight after car problems with Neil's Mercedes A Class

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Our trip to Alicante was uneventful but we had to use Anne's car because Neil's had broken down again.

This A-Class Mercedes is the least reliable car Neil has ever owned. What makes it worse is the rip-off prices quoted by Mercedes for repairs which are down to their poor engineering in the first place. This car has needed a new engine management computer, a new automatic gearbox and two new rear springs. Other unexpected failures include the power steering drive belt and the passenger seat sliding mechanism.

The airport transfer bus cost one euro! Nice. We were upgraded to a two bedroom flat which was very nice. The red-light district in the road outside did not disturb us at all. (Calle Rafael Terol if anyone is interested).


We set off at 2.45am. The temperature was above zero and mostly at around 4 degrees. Neil cleared the windscreen but the rest of the car was OK. We got to Stansted, ever so fast, and left the car at the PInk Elephant. There was a bus waiting for us so we didn't get cold or have to put on our extra clothes.

Inside the terminal building, we ate our Müller yoghurts. They were blueberry ones but diet and not nearly so nice as the corner ones. Then we had our drinks and threw away the residue. Neil had checked in on line so we didn't have to queue twice. At security no one was checking how many items we had so it was all straightforward. My completely foolproof system worked perfectly. They did a random scan on my liquids pack but I passed.

In the departure lounge we bought our journey drinks. Boots seems to be the cheapest and Neil got some sockets because he had only packed one. If he had said, I could have lent him one as I have brought two. We arrived at Alicante just a few minutes late which I don't count and got out just in time to catch the bus to the town. We got out fast because we didn't have any checked-in bagatjes.

We got to our flat earlier than expected so our man wasn't yet there. We went to the port and had our lunch of made-up sandwiches and a happle. Neil also had a hard-boiled øg. By the time we had finished and Neil had taken a few photos, it was one o'clock and we went back to the flat. Our man made his approach at the identical minute. He said he was always "punctual". We never said we'd already tried once because we had been too early. Our flat is enormous, as big as the Santiago one was small. We booked 2B but he has given us 2C. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms so we have our own private quarters. The bedroom windows look out over an inner well - no view but excellent for keeping out traffic noise.

We unpacked and had a little sleep before going out to research tomorrow's departure and to make a small shopping. I forgot to mention that as we got off the bus in Alicante Neil was accosted by some English people wanting to know how to get a bus to Denia. Having seen the two bus stations on Google Earth, Neil confidently directed them to the intermodal bus station near the railway station. Imagine his chagrin when we called at our local bus station later in the afternoon. That was where Denia buses went from and he had directed them away from it (they were standing almost outside it at the time) to the other one. Luckily we didn't see them again and I hope we never do. We found a Mercadona and got our supplies including a chicken, cooked on a spit, like we had at Christmas. We spent 43 euros - only half of what we spent on the first shopping at Christmas so it is Mini who eats everything. It was a beautiful warm sunny day.

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2008-02-09-Alicante-City-flat-in-red-light-district.kml

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