Or, how not to drown.
Not so very long ago, during a solo vacation in Turkey, I very nearly drowned in the Mediterranean.
These are my co-vacationers in Turkey- who didn’t almost drown.
As I’m going to Crete in a couple of weeks I thought I should do something about my non-swimmer status, (for all practical intents and purposes). So casting around on the internet I found Sarah Kentish, ( http://www.swimwithsarah.co.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org ) who could give me some intensive, 1 to 1 swimming instruction, before my vacation in Crete. And believe you me, finding some proper swimming instruction in the narrow time-window I had available was nothing short of miraculous.
Sarah said that she could teach me how not to drown every time I went in the water, and she was going to be teaching in the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno. And so, I booked a series of lessons and sent off my payment. Snag was, I had no real idea where Llandudno is, other than it’s a seaside resort.
Llandudno is in Wales, and about 250 miles from where I live….. which doesn’t sound so bad. Except I was travelling by train. The journey there took six-and-a-half hours and involved 5 different trains. (The journey home from Llandudno was not as bad.)
Still, I got there to find that the Imperial Hotel is a Magnificent Victorian Edifice. My room was nice, the pool in the basement was nice, and Sarah was nice. Under Sarah’s instruction, in 5 x 40 minute sessions I went from being effectively a non-swimmer to a chap who was more than just ok in the water.
Other than just how much I needed proper swimming instruction, the most surprising thing about this trip was that the main dining room at the Imperial Hotel is world-class. They serve the most sublime food in elegant surroundings, (posh frock and expensive shoes elegant). How they can have a world-class dining room in Llandudno is beyond me.
The downsides were; the trip cost a small fortune, the weather was dreary, and Llandudno by rail from my place may as well be on the dark side of the moon.
Llandudno is a pretty smart place, but it seems to attract the elderly more than cute girls in small bikinis. On the other hand there is a hell of a lot more to do in that Welsh seaside resort than you’d think. The Imperial Hotel is fairly pricey, but mostly worth it. Individual, 1 to 1 swimming instruction is also fairly pricey, but very, very worth it. It might save my life one day.
And, that’s why I took a short break in Wales.
The pool at the Imperial Hotel