Several open bottles of chilled white and pink sparkling wine were resting in the oval silver ice bucket at the end of the breakfast buffet. Glancing around the restaurant I noticed that most of the 150 or more senior tourists were enjoying a glass or two with their leisurely breakfast as they chatted and mingled throughout the group. Pouring myself the first coffee for the day, I sat quietly pondering why it is that whenever I am in a room of people of a similar age to myself that I always feel that I am still a young woman in my early twenties.
From the moment we arrived at Hotel Helios, we were impressed by the outstanding customer service, the stunning views from our 6th floor balcony and the daily activities organised by staff, my favourite being the evening dance classes. The flailing talents from the not-so-young but rather good-looking Spanish barman would have certainly impressed Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise – “Cocktail”).
One-way streets wrapped around and around, up and down and in places were so narrow that a car could barely manoeuvre the bends. Motor bikes were a logical choice and riders sped over the cobblestone pavements, up and down flights of steps while pedestrians, including me, jumped out of their path.
White walls of the terraced apartments were contrasted with plants of many colours, hung from windows, displayed on balconies, walls and footpaths.
Sometimes I was alone on the esplanade; other times I was joined by joggers or people walking; others were simply standing while many chose to ponder on benches or just gaze at the ocean. During the day groups of adults and children gathered for a variety of spontaneous and planned activities, ball games, picnics or just to soak up the sunshine and the smell of the sea.
Traditional and modern designed buildings were painted in brownish-orange terracotta while bright contrasting colours of the Tourist Information Centre were inviting and cheerful.