Negotiating the Spanish '˜roundabouts of death'

Nothing concentrates the mind more than the prospect of family or friends visiting you for a week or two.
Mick Dennison. former landlord. York Hotel, Morecambe.Mick Dennison. former landlord. York Hotel, Morecambe.
Mick Dennison. former landlord. York Hotel, Morecambe.

Not difficult if you are living in an established dwelling, more so if you have 30 unopened packing boxes and half your household possessions spread about the living room.

We were in that situation from the minute we arrived in Spain as two of our very good friends booked a date in our diary for June 14 immediately followed by our daughter and granddaughter the following week. No pressure there then?

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We’ve had some shenanigans with Ikea furniture. Handy Andy I’m not, but even I can’t make a table with three legs or levitate a mattress on to a bed with no slats.

It meant, first of all, a phone call to Ikea from my Spanish speaking son-in-law then a detour to Murcia to make things good while en-route to Alicante to pick up our friends from the airport. We were certainly getting to see a lot of Spain in our first three weeks here.

Driving on Spanish motorways is great, there’s hardly a soul using the toll roads but when you hit the A roads - look out!

To reach Ikea in Murcia you have to negotiate the “roundabouts of death”. Not only that, there are no actual signs to guide you to the place even though you could almost reach outside the car and touch the building. So, with my eyes firmly shut, I navigated three roundabouts, avoiding other stunned drivers probably all trying to get to Ikea.

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Traumatised. but with all the exchanges done. we drove to the airport with about 45 minutes to spare, or so we thought.

Those lovely French air traffic controllers decided to call a last-minute strike putting back all the flights to Alicante an hour behind.

Our friends were as shell-shocked as us as they walked through arrivals with the hens and stags on their way to Benidorm but they were here. All that remained for them was an hour’s drive to our house - ready to admit visitors.