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I abandoned disposable razors in my teens as the products were usually flimsy and weak and often left me with irritated skin and nicks and cuts. It was therefore with some trepidation that, ten years later, I realised I needed to buy a disposable razor to take on a weekend away. The reason? The last time I'd been away I left my £8 Venus razor in the hotel room! If I didn't buy something disposable, this was going to end up costing me a fortune!
It might be an old wives tale but my mum always told me that we raven-haired ladies had tougher hair than blondes and therefore a good quality razor was needed to get a decent result. So, still scared of the cheap yellow bic style razors I thought I'd plump for something a little more expensive in the hope it would be good value for money in terms of effectiveness.
Looking through the brands available, I thought it would be nice to stick with the Gillette brand as I'm familiar with it and trust it and it is more expensive than the value brands so I hoped that it would be of a better quality. I selected these Venus razors in the hope they would live up to their big sisters. They are currently £5.00 in Boots for a pack of four-quite expensive in comparison to Boots own brand and Bic disposables which are between 87p and £1.20p for a pack of 5-10.
The look of this razor is very similar to the non-disposable Venus razors. You can choose from blue or pink and the main difference from the original Venus is that the razor does not look as robust. The feel is very light and plastic-y but strong enough for a few uses, which is all you would expect from a disposable. The most important feature of this razor's build, in my opinion, is the wave shape of the handle. This ensures that you hold the razor at the right point along the handle, giving you a steady hand when shaving. I think this is where cheaper razors fall down. There are also rubber grips on the reverse side further ensure you don't slip or drop the razor.
There are three blades in these razors which makes for a close shave and I feel that each razor lasts just as long as one of the blade inserts for the original razor. This makes the disposables much cheaper than buying the blade inserts. I have found that cheaper disposables sometimes only last two shaves so they would not give the same value for money as this does. The resulting close shave was the same as I would expect from the original Venus and much better than I've had from other disposables.
The razors have the same sort of moisturising strip above the blades as the original and I feel that this is the only area that the razor falls short of its counterpart. The strip is fairly dry and is more likely to come off in chunks than work effectively as a moisturiser. However, I have never seen a real advantage to the strips on the original Venus so this was not a great disadvantage for me and did not put me off using the razors.
I used this razor with a shower gel and with a shave gel made by Gillette and found that both produced a good close shave and I had no nicks or cuts and no irritated skin-what more can you ask really?!
I will definitely be buying these for when I'm travelling around so that I haven't wasted too much money if I lose one, but I can still get the shave I would at home whilst I'm away.
A friend was given a sony e reader for her birthday 2 years ago and I remember thinking what a useless present it was. I mean, obviously this whole e-reader thing was going to be a flash in the pan! Plus, what was wrong with...BOOKS?! I have rarely been so happy to be proven wrong.
Reason for buying
Let me say first off that I am not a gadget freak. I do like to own cool things but am not one for jumping straight on the bandwagon, would never queue at the Apple store for their latest offering or anything like that. If I buy a gadget, it's because I think it's very practical, an old product has died some horrible techno-death or I REALLY want the product and have been waiting for it to come down in price! An e-reader definitely fell into this last catgegory. I started to consider the merits of an e-reader when thinking about an upcoming road trip to America. Space saving, handy, easy to put to one side and pick up again, very portable. But ooooh, spending hard earned money on it? I needed convincing.
Let the research begin
Here's what I found out on my forays into review-ville.
1. Kindle is the cheapest e-reader out there for the quality and quantity of its features. Good start!
2. Prices are around £110 for the wifi version and £150 for the wifi+3G version-much cheaper than I anticipated
3. Kindle has a top-notch display (more about that later)
4. Lots of books are available for free (love the word free)
5. It looks very funky and sleek.
Ok, now the nitty gritty.
How do you use it?
Ok well it's pretty simple (thankfully). The machine has an on button, press it and you are taken straight to your home page which lists all the documents and books you have loaded onto your Kindle (think of it as a document folder in your PC/Laptop). Once you are connected wirelessly to the internet by registering your kindle's serial number with Amazon, books can be sent to your Kindle within 60 seconds by buying them on the website-no leads! However if for some reason wireless isn't available then you can connect using a USB cable. This is also useful if you want to transfer documents to your kindle to view later-you can put your Word and PDF docs on the kindle to travel with.
There is no touch screen facility-instead there's a Qwerty keyboard with Menu, back and arrow cursor buttons. This makes navigation simple if a little low tech (think of it like using the menu on a dvd player and you'll get the idea) You can select the book you want to read by using these cursor buttons and once you click into it, you will be taken straight to the start of chapter one, or to the place you last left the book if it is one you've already started-no more losing your page!
The Kindle comes complete with a simplistic web-browser which is useful for Wikipedia and dictionary sites but isn't really built for other browsing. However if you wish to use the internet connection anywhere you go, it's worth plumping for this 3G version as access is free and there is a wide network you can use-no waiting until you can find a free wifi hotspot. Personally, I'm not too fussed-I'm not likely to be so desperate for a new book that I need to download at the shopping centre, so wifi downloads at home would suffice for me. If you turn the wifi off the battery will last A MONTH! There is a charge lead which is mains or USB for when the juice eventually drains though.
There is the option to download an App which allows you to read kindle books on your phone, iPad or computer. You can sync these so that, after reading your book on the Kindle the previous night you can pick up at the same page on your phone the next day-I love this idea as I'm quite absent minded and could well forget to take one or the other with me!
What books can you get?
Most new books are being published on amazon in e-books form if they are expected to be big sellers (at least that's what I deduce from the selection available) Prices at the moment are the same, if not higher, than hardbacks. I think this is fair enough from the publisher's point of view and it doesn't affect my purchasing habits-Price is what my decision will always come down to, regardless of format.
There are lots of books available for free-mainly out of print, and therefore out of copyright, books. There are Hundreds of classics available-within the first 5 minutes of connecting to Amazon I had Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol and A Midsummer Night's Dream loaded onto my Kindle. Other free books tend to be from new authors hoping to gain an audience.
I have not tried this but my internet research tells me that you can download an ebook in any format and convert it to Kindle format with a free program called Calibre. This might widen the range you can buy. It certainly expands what you can borrow. Unfortunately only a handful of libraries in the UK let you borrow ebooks (By borrow they mean the book is deleted from your e-reader at the end of the borrowing period) None of the libraries are anywhere near me so for the moment I cannot borrow any books, but I cannot wait to do this-perfect for someone busy who might not be able to plan when to get to the library to avoid late fees.
WOW!! The Kindle is not like a laptop as you may think. The screen is not backlit so you avoid that annoying "Oops where's my picture gone" effect that happens when viewing your laptop from the wrong angle. Instead the screen is built deliberately to behave like paper: each time you turn a page the words settle as if they have just been inked. I don't pretend to understand the technology involved but the result is stunning, hold it at any angle and it still looks like a flat, non-shiny page in front of you. Incredible. This means no glare from the sun stopping you from reading on holiday.
The display for the pages is 6 inches which is a comfortable reading area for me, but the text can be adjusted and there is the option to have a Stephen Hawking-esque voice (male or female) read the text to you if needed. My friend commented that this would be useful if completing needlework or other delicate work but still wanting to be entertained. Beats having My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on in the background, that's for sure!
Best of all, this product is SO neat. It is the perfect size for holding, with your thumbs resting at the page turn buttons on the sides of the unit (on both the left and right, no discrimination here). It is very slim and as light as a paperback.This makes it so easy to carry around in a bag and if you are indecisive, saves the space of carrying three separate paperbooks!
The unit is available directly from Amazon, through John Lewis, PC world or Currys (better options are the in-store ones as you can try before you buy)
I will be taking this with me on my trip but have already found it very useful as I like to move position often when I read and have always found reading while lying down something I could not get comfortable with. This unit means that you only need one hand free to hold it, making positioning easier. (If only those chaps on The Apprentice had though of that instead of their failed bookstand-for-the-beach effort!
I had read a lot of negative reviews about this website when I researched it and was a little wary of using it. However, most of the negative feedback was regarding a direct debit being set up and taken from the customer's account apparently without consent. Reading between the lines, it sounds as if it was a case of not reading the small print and unticking/ticking those pesky boxes you often find at the ned of order forms and competition entries online. Also, most of those negative reviews were over a year old so I decided to go ahead and try them out, reminding myself to check everything carefully! You might decide differently after doing your own googling but I am here to tell you that I have had absolutely no problems with this company and have received great service from their online department.
How I heard about the company.
I first checked the company out after I heard about a special offer on fridge magnets, intended for business use, but being designed by brides for their "Save the Date" reminders to their guests. With a wedding to pay for, every little helps so I thought I'd see how much it would cost to make these magnets. We were able to use a standard Vistaprint picture on our cards because it exactly matched our colour scheme, then we just added our details at the side and hey presto :). We paid only postage for the magnets as this was the special offer they were advertising at the time.
Pricing and discounts.
We then did not order anything from the site for about a month, during which vistaprint bombarded me with emails offering other discounts. Since I have a spam filter on my email this did not bother me, but to some it might be irritating. Eventually, I needed some more personalised goods for the wedding and checked out what offers were now available to me. I ended up with a mug and T-shirt, a personalised pen for guests to use when writing in our guest book and a banner welcoming guests to the wedding-all for £10! I found the quality to be very high and everyone was impressed with the products we had.
There is the option with most of the products to add your own photographs and logos etc for an extra charge. However, we never needed to do this as there were enough standard graphics to choose from for us to get what we needed.
Post and packing
Everything was individually packed and then shipped in one large box which meant I had to go to the sorting office to collect it. Delivery was very quick-exactgly as stated on their website (you can however, opt for slower delivery to save money if you don't need the goods urgently).
I have not needed anything else personlised since the wedding but if I did I would certainly return to the site, although discounts seem to have slowed down since I have shopped there less frequently
I recently bought the 8GB MP3 player on offer in Argos at £28. It is identical to the model pictured in everything but capacity. Comet had other models with half the capacity for the same price, that was a no-brainer for me.
I bought this for travelling, and to take to the beach on holiday. It was bought with both my Husband and myself in mind as users and the simple look of this player appealed to us both. The unit is very compact, measuring about 5cm square. The casing is silver and the screen, although small, is very clear in white writing on a black background. The controls are simple, using arrow keys and a central play/select button
The device will store around 1500 songs which is more than enough for me. People looking at IPods or similar would probably consider it a puny amount but I would find more storage clumsy to navigate and would probably still only listen to a quarter of the songs on it!
The best thing about this player is that it doesn't involve iTunes or any other program to load the tracks on to the player. All you need to do is plug the player into your computer using the USB cable provided and drag tracks from your music folder to the player's folder-takes just minutes.
There is a voice recorder function on here too but I have never used it and this didn't influence my purchase.
The battery life claims to be 20 hours, I can't confirm this to the hour but I haven't run it out yet and have travelled for 8 hours with it, so it's enough for me.
In short this player provides everything I needed at a much lower price than other models.
I have a feeling this player is being phased out as it is not in the new catalogue so if you see it at a knock down price, then grab it!
We wandered into here on a whim when in London recently. We were looking for a restaurant which had been recommended to us and couldn't find it. Short of time, we saw the spaghetti House and checked their menu outside. The dishes looked like our sort of thing so we decided to chance it-I'm very glad we did.
Inside there were plenty of tables for two by the window, allowing us to indulge in a little people watching. The décor is plain but stylish, no fake plastic grapes and red checked tablecloths here. Although the restaurant we visited is just off Oxford Street, it is at the end of the row and Bella Italia is nearer to the main drag so it was much quieter than the other restaurants we passed. Also the toilets were very swish! The whole place felt understatedly glamourous in comparison to the other restaurants we had to choose from in that area.
The staff were very helpful, polite and attentive. Our waitress showed us to a table and made sure we knew what the chef's special menu offered, checked on us twice during our meal and brought the bill very promptly.
We had two main courses, two soft drinks and two cappuccinos and the bill was £28. Now, this is more than I would normally spend on lunch, but what we ate would have been suitable for an evening meal so I think it's fairly reasonable in that context.
The food-ohhhh my goodness! I was expecting run of the mill pasta but was very wrong! My husband and I had the same dish which was a ravioli with Beef, pork , pear and parmesan filling and it was by far the tastiest filled pasta I have ever eaten-the flavours were so robust. I must admit though, I still had food envy when the couple next to me tucked into their soup and crab pasta as they also looked delicious.
There was a good range of wines and other alcoholic drinks available and they had employed a proper Barista so the coffee was lovely and made the experience feel a little more authentic.
We will definitely be visiting this restaurant again but I will find it hard not to order exactly the same pasta again!
We stayed at the Marylebone Travelodge last week for 2 nights. We were really just using the hotel as somewhere to keep our luggage and have a quick sleep so didn't plan on spending a lot of time there. If we had been staying longer or spending more time in the hotel, I would have complained at the service we received at the time.
The first problem was obvious as soon as we walked into the "Double" room-we had two single beds pushed together. Not necessarily a problem but the beds had a height difference of more than 6 inches! Also the room was cold and noisy due to the ill-fitting single-glazed windows. The room was equipped as per all Travelodge rooms-with tea and coffee making facilities, bath, shower, desk and chair, and somewhere to hang clothes.
The hotel itself is quite small, with all the rooms on one side (a reason we didn't ask to switch rooms as we assumed they were all the same!). There is a reception desk and small lobby with two computers for internet access. There is the usual Travelodge bar and restaurant in the basement but we did not use these. Also a well-stocked vending machine was available after the bar closed.
Our room and the communal areas were all clean and the housekeepers came round each morning and even paid attention to our do not disturb sign. The staff on reception were very helpful and check in was very quick indeed.
The hotel is in an excellent location, directly opposite Marylebone train and tube station. This was ideal for us as it's 3 stops from oxford circus and therefore gave us easy access to all of the tourist sites we wanted to visit. He station is well equipped with cafes and a Marks and Spencer Simply Food so had everything we needed for Room Snacks during our stay. Regents Park is only a 10 minute walk and Sherlock Holmes' house is around 5 minutes away.
The price of the room was very reasonable; we paid £89 for two nights as we booked more than 21 days in advance. The price can rise to around £60-£80 if you book last minute but it is still cheaper than the Travelodges nearer to the Covent garden/Leicester square areas of the city. We paid extra for a late checkout at 2pm on our last day and an early check in is also available on request. I ordered this online at the time of booking.
In summary, the hotel was fine for a couple of nights when we didn't intend to spend much time there but if I was planning to stay longer or spend more time in the room, I would pay more to stay elsewhere
We visited this theatre last week to see the current production of "Wicked" and found it to be entirely fit for purpose. You might find that a strange thing to say but that's really all I'm looking for from a theatre! If I've visited to see a show, all I want is for that particular show to be well-presented, for there to be loos, food and water where needed and to be able to get to and from the production when I need to! All the boxes were ticked here.
Firstly, the whole of the outside wall is decorated with an enormous "Wicked" poster and the whole of the lobby is light in bright green, leaving you in no doubt you've found the place! The location is directly outside the Victoria tube station and surrounded by restaurants which makes for a nice easy visit. Inside, the routes to your seat are clearly marked with section and seat number signs above each stairway to show you the way. Also on these signs are notices of where the toilets and bars are. The theatre is therefore easy to get around as foot traffic is fed around these two staircases and everyone knows where they're going.
Once seated, there is an average amount of leg room and it's easy to find your way out-the ushers even announce which is the best exit to use for the tube station. There are a couple of bars if you need refreshments and ushers during the interval who sell ice-cream. There is also a wide range of "Wicked"merchandise available in the lobby.
All in all a great venue for its current production.
I hadn't really used the Debenhams website much until a promotion this summer led me into their store a few times. Then, our work colleagues gave us a Debenhams voucher as a wedding present. between the two, I became much more familiar with the Debenhams product range!
I first used the website when I saw a bargain posted on an internet forum. I am a sucker for a bargain and generally consider debenhams products to be slightly more expensive than I prefer so I thought it was worth looking at the offer.
The website is easy to navigate with pull down menus at the top of the page to lead you directly to the category you want to be in. Once there, you can order the relevant items by price or relevance as you require. There were quite a few sales leading up to Christmas where I bought half price gifts on this website and I soon got the "Click Sale, Click Discount: 70% or more, Click Order by price Ascending" routine down to lightning speed! Using the website I was able to look through and purchase a much wider range of goods than is available in my store.
I often have a problem with parcels being delivered as our sorting office does not open at times convenient for work. Therefore I always request that deliveries are left with a neighbour or in a secure place but most companies simply ignore these instructions and I have to make arrangements to have someone collect the parcels for me. However, debenhams are different: they will always leave the parcel in our recycling bin or shed and have saved me many many trips!
After ordering you receive a confirmation email immediately and another when your items are despatched. I have always found delivery to be very swift, even in the bad weather before Christmas I only experienced a delay of 2 working days on the service I would normally expect. Other websites like amazon tgook in excess of a week longer so I was quite impressed. You can also request to be kept up to date by the mailing list and while not all emails are of interest, I have received two vouchers this way which have saved me a good deal of money.
All in all, I will be continuing to shop using this website (when there is a sale on of course) and Debenhams have gained a new customer by providing sucha reliable service.
I was bought this as a birthday present by my lovely other half. I had never smelt it before and, worryingly, neither had he-I think he picked it from the Amazon.co.uk website because it was purple and pretty and he knows that's the kind of thing I like to look at!
Now, this could have been an absolute disaster but Hubby escapes because, lucky beggar that he is, his rather risky thought process worked out: the perfume SMELLS purple and pretty, and I do indeed like it!
Ok so what could I possibly mean "It smells purple"?! Well I would clssify most women's perfumes as being floral or fruity and "pinky" smelling. This fragrance however is much deeper and muskier than your average scent and has a very adult spicy feel to it. But....it doesn't really smell anything like the other delicious scents-no sign of any apples here! For that reason, anyone who's a fan of those DKNY fragrances and is looking to add to their collection, it would be worth trying it out a couple of times first as it won't be what you're expecting.
Price & Stockists
This isn't really widely stocked as the green and red Delicious fragrances are, so you tend to get it online and at cheaper stores. £30 is the dearest I've found but ebay and other websites have prices as low as £20
The packaging is lovely, a really deep coloured glass and the shape fits nicely in your hand. The spray is nice and fine (which is good as the scent is strong and lasts a long time so you don't want to use too much).
This perfume is musky and spicy and will last you a long time!
Ok so "Fridge Soup" is a weird title, I admit but it'll all make sense in aminute. This soup was invented during a time of extreme penny-pinching where I needed something for lunch at work. It was made from the contents of my fridge at the time (Aha!). SInce then it has had many variations (more on that later).
Once made, soup is the easiest ready meal in the world: take out of fridge, heat up, nom. So what I would do is make a large batch on a sunday and take it to work each day.
Ingredients for 4-5 servings of the basic soup:
two stock cubes
whatever fresh herbs you have, or dried mixed herbs
chop all vegetables into 1-2cm dice, making the carrots smallest as they will take longest to cook. Dissolve the stock cubes in boiling water and add all ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer until vegetables are tender.
Now, I don't like my soup chunky but you could leave it like this if you wished, my mum does. I blitz it to within an inch of its life until super smooth. Then at the last minute, add the seasoning and cream to taste.
Now, the beauty of this soup is that it is just great as it is, but being so simple it is great as a base to be added to. So far my favourite variation is to blitz it then add sweetcorn and/or crispy bacon bits-try whatever you like!!
I have to admit I am a sucker for a sweet perfume, and this one appealed to me as soon as I caught a whiff of the tester. However, I didn't puchase it immediately as I bought Kylie Sweet Darling as it was on offer! However, when I saw this on offer in TJ Hughes it was such a bargain I was able to buy myself a small bottle.
The box for this perfume is nothing special, just white card with fairly plain script. However, the bottle is lovely. Mine is different from the one in the picture above, it is totally purple, with no clear glass inbetween. Also the colour is more plum than the violet shown. The bottle is indented with a petal pattern which makes it eay to grip and casts a loevly pattern in the light! The top is shaped like a butterfly and make the whole thing look lovely on a dressing table. I bought the 15ml bottle as it was only £8 and it's a great size for my gym bag. However in larger stores I have only seen the 30ml an 50ml bottles which are obviously more expensive.
This perfume is unusual in that the fragrance when dry is not all that different from when it is first sprayed on. The scent is warm and I think it's more suited to autumn or winter due to it's spicy undertones which remind me of cloves and christmas. Over that is a breezy element smelling slightly salty (I actually think it smells a little like cooking salt, but it works) Then at the top is the sweet smell. However it's not a sickly candy sweetness like the Kylie perfume, it's slightly more fruity-like a faint hint of raspberries and gardenias.
This perfume lasts all day and you don't need much. However I would use a couple more squirts if I wanted to wear it out for the night. It's very good value based on the number of squirts needed!
Overall if you like sweet perfumes you'll love this. However if you're not normally a fan, give it a try-the spicy notes might win you over
I remember going on a shopping trip with a firend when I was a poor broke student and looking on in amazement as she shelled out more than £45 for a Matthew WIlliamson perfume. I must admit the scent did smell lovely but the price really put me off and I haven't really considered buying any of his perfumes since, having stored the brand in the "Far too expensive for you missy" compartment in my head! All this changed when I walked into TJ Hughes earlier this year and found a 50ml (yes really) bottle of the "Butterfly" fragrance for £9.95!! This was definitely worth further investigation!
Now, I know we tend to throw away the boxes for our perfumes but we all know that storing perfume in it's original box can help prolong its life. What a shame then that most of the boxes bear a dodgy image of the pop starlet behind the scent or a scene better suited to a lingerie ad. This perfume was a different story, with the box being simple but beautiful. There is an inner box which is fuschia in colour and is covered by an outer lid which is turquoise with WIlliamson's name embossed across. Both parts of the box have a linen finish to the cardboard, making it look quite luxurious.
The bottle for this perfume puts me in mind of art deco design. It is made from two squares of glass joined by narrow sides inset, making a ridged edge to the sides. the stopper is chrome effect. The whole appearance is simple but elegant.
this perfume is very strong when first sprayed so don't go mad! The immediate note is very sweet and heady, a candy smell. There is a fairly short drying time during whch the heady scent recedes and what is left is a sweet scent with a slight floral and citrus undertone. I know everybody experiences the smell of a perfume differently but I think of strawberry sherbet when I smell it! I vcertainl see this more as a daytime perfume as it is not as sophisticated as traditional night time scents. However it is still my favourite ever perfume :)
My husband and I first checked this out a couple of weeks ago. It was one of the many slasher flicks that passed us by up until now. It seems that since Scream re-launched the slasher genre 14 years ago, Hollywood has churned out countless movies featuring buxom simpletons who serve merely as cannon fodder for some deranged psychotic killer.
Since this film was launched to a fair amount of fanfare and it is an Australian effort, we thought we'd check it out and see how Australian grit compared with US muscle and silicone. Quite well, as it turns out.
Liz and Kristy (Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi) are two English tourists who encounter a young Australian party animal, Ben (Nathan Phillips) and, taking a liking to the rogue, decide to spend the rest of the summer with him.
Together, Liz, Kristy and Ben decide to venture to Wolf Creek park, the basis of which is a huge crater formed when a meteor impacted the earth long ago.
After investigating the crater, the trio return to their car to find that their watches have stopped and their car won't start. They decide to stay the night, until a stranger by the name of Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) comes along and offers to repair their motor and give the trio a place to sleep.
And so begins the chaos...
The film's plot is simple and terrifyingly effective. Three kids lost and scared find what they believe to be sanctuary, but turns out to be a nightmare cat-and-mouse scenario with a deranged madman.
The script is not exactly Aaron Sorkin, but this film never needed that kind of wit or intelligent writing. In spite of, or maybe even because of this, the dialogue is realistically clumsy, awkward and human, with a less "clean and sparkly" feel to it. It's all rather mundane, every day dialogue, which adds to the realism. Only when the trio encounter Taylor do the cliches start coming two-a-penny (the Crocodile Dundee references in particular risked being terribly cheesy, but for Jarratt's menacing delivery).
The acting is hard to judge. The characters are not very well developed, but again, this is a straight-to-the-point horror, and what the three kids do very well is scared out of their minds. Morassi plays terror better than most slasher movie victims I've ever seen, whilst Magrath takes a 2 dimensional character and makes her a sympathetic one. To their credit, all the leads do. The only character with any discernible...well, character... is Mick Taylor. And Jarratt is great in this role, pushing Taylor to the very limit of cartoonish, but never quite crossing the line.
It's the horror you have to appreciate here. For a long time the only discomfort one feels is in the slightly odd behaviour of Taylor. There's something not quite right about him.
When it hits, the horror feels very real. Torture, a madman hunting the girls... and lots of shocks. Once it grabs hold of you, it doesn't let go. And few films will leave you feeling quite as queasy as this one.
Enjoy it for what it is; a horrible thrill ride.
Well what a disastrous time we had at Malaga airport!!
Our flight from East Midlands Airport had been delayed (the fault of the airline) however arriving an hour late we thought that everything would run smoothly once we touched down at the airport. Alas no, it took a whole hour for our luggage to appear on the belt! In this time we did not see one baggage handler or other official to approach. Eventually one of our party walked all the way to the other end of the airport and found a member of staff who told him that our luggage was on a different belt in another section of the airport! As all 150 of us trudged in that direction, someone else came to tell us that our luggage was on it's original belt so we had to go all the way back. We had now spent an hour standing around waiting and got plenty of exercise going backwards and forwards across the airport!
Once we had our luggage it was smooth sailing. The main arrivals lobby is large, with an area cordoned off for taxi drivers to wait for their customers so it was easy to find our transfer. It was then a very short walk to the area where the taxis were parked (undercover if it happens to be raining). Then the roads out of the airport were very straight forward and we were on the way to our villa in no time.
Unfortunately we would be victim to slow service from the aiport staff on our return journey. Firstly when we arrived we found our flight was to be delayed for 1.5 hours due to a staff shortage on air traffic control. There was also no check in counter listed on the departures board so we waited. And waited. It transpires that Ryanair hold the same three check in desks every day and the airport does not advertise which one you will check in at. I only found this out by asking at the ryanair sales desk (knowing it was nothing to do with them really). If I had not done this, check in would have been closed and we may not have been allowed on our flight. Having finally got through security, where there were delays due to one of the scanners being broken, we had to queue up straight away for a flight we knew wouldn't appear for at least another hour-this was due to there being no seats at the gate other than in the bar. Neither was there enough room to queue so the whole area quickly filled up with passengers and was hot and uncomfortable. When we were eventually let onto our plane, our captain addressed us and we finally seemed to be on track. However, our luggage was very slow in arriving and there seemed to be a lot of ground staff lingering. Eventually we were told that the airport staff had not readied us for take off in time and therefore we had been allocated another runway slot, 2 hours later! We were then stuck on the plane without the air conditioning functioning properly, again something the ground staff said they would fix and did not. Thankfully our slot was moved up and we eventually took off, arriving in the uk at 2am, 2 hours late and having missed our connection to our hotel.
Overall a very unsatisfying experience which makes me reluctant to use the airport again if I can possibly avoid it
I had read many rubbsh reviews of Gibraltar before we went and wlthouh determined to make up my own mind, I must admit I was apprensive about using up a day of our Andalucia trip in order to visit it. I needn't have worried. In fact I could probably have spent three days there. However, I'm not sure I would have stayed in a hotel there. Let me explain: all the bars and many of the restaurants seem to have been geared towards the British tourist who wants nothing more than to eat egg and chips on his holidays. WHile a certain measure of this wouldn't offend me, I think the sheer volume of these places would have me holed up in my hotel room!
However, by day, in terms of attractions and shops Gibraltar was a delight. there is plenty to keep you occupied, it's possible to spend a full day on the rock itself with the apes, wandering round the caves and tunnels there and using the cable car.
There are some decent shops, although a lot are British shops so may show yo exactly what you've jus left behind in good ol Blighty. However we found a nice little jewellery shop on Casemate square and a few others worth a look.
The best part of our trip was relatively unadvertised-having some time to kill before our dolphin-watching trip, we headed towards the ferry terminal and there we found Ocean village. Now, it's intended to be an apartment village muchlike you'd see in a larger british city with restaurants and shops on the ground floor and accomodation above. To us, it was a little gem! We had been lookingfor somewhere to eat lunch and on the previous street had been faced with dodgy-looking kebab shop, dodgy-looking curry restaurant etc etc. Here, at the rear of Ocean Village we found a line of decent, clean restaurants (mainly chains like Pizza Express) whre we could get a decent meal! We tried the curry at Laziz and it was Brilliant! Thoroughly recommended and streets ahead of what was to be found in the city centre. The setting was amazing too-a purpose built pier housing all the restaurants and shops, giving a great view of the water.
The dolphin trip was also outstanding, 20 Euros each and an hour and a half of watching amazing creatures in their natural habitat. We went with DOlphin world which was easy to find, good value and very organised. A must do
There was plenty we didn't do on Gibraltar as we didn't have time so we will be returning at some point to try again.
One more note: Don't try and drive there, the queues in and out of he border can be horrendous. We parked our car for free on the street in La linea (there's a very long road with parking bays running alongside the road you will drive towards Gibraltar on, just turn off on of the roundabouts and pick a space). The walk into Gibraltar will be 20-40 minutes depending on where you park but all you have to do is show your passport, takes all of five seconds. once through the door, get on the red open top tourist bus-it has ten stops and an all day ticket will cost you £1.20!