Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Vista Bahia Hotel, Portimatx, Ibiza.

 
I have recently returned from 11 nights at the Vista Bahia Hotel from the 6th / 17th July 2014. I took a number of pictures of the hotel, grounds, and views and thought I would share a few of them and give a small review about the hotel.
 
The Vista Bahia Hotel is about 15mins walk from the centre of Portimatx and about a 40min transfer from the airport. The hotel is situated on a hillside and is ideal for families but not advisable for people who struggle with walking as it features lots of steps and steep slopes to get around, the travel agent I booked with advertised there was a lift on site in the main building but this was not the case. There are 175 rooms split over 8 buildings and each building features 2 floors. The rooms are quite clean but could do with a little decoration to freshen up the look of them. They feature air-con, bath and shower, and were advertised as having Satellite TV, whilst this is true the satellite TV was German or Spanish the only British channel being the BBC world service news channel, whilst I do not go on holiday to watch TV I booked this hotel with the satellite TV in mind for my daughter. The walls between rooms are quite thin and I was woken by the kids being kids during my firdt week there, on the 2nd week the family staying were a lot quieter. There is a little terrace area outside the door but unfortunately the view from my room 208 offered only the back and roof of level 1 of the hotel room, I asked for a sea view and if I stood on the path at the front of the room I could see the sea, but whilst sat on my terrace this was impossible.
 The path that ran along the front of my room.
The steps up between the buildings to the rooms.
 
The hotel also features a main building that houses the reception, restaurant, bar area, lounge area and internet terminals. This is built over 3 levels with a mid level reception area, with lounge and shop. The lounge furniture is dated but is comfortable. There is a balcony area with pool table, table tennis, air hockey and this area offers extensive views of the hotel, pool areas, surrounding woodland, hills, and bay. The upper level is the restaurant area which is clean and comfortable, and features a terrace area for eating meals again offering excellent views of the surrounding area. The food in the restaurant is very boring with chips, pasta, and white rice offered twice daily and not much of the international offering my travel agent promised, I go on holiday to Spain I expect to eat Spanish food but this was only offered on the Friday evening menu. I booked all inclusive but ate out in local restaurant's 5 times during my stay due to the bland food offering, Another criticism of the restaurant when eating breakfast on the terrace if you left your table unattended then the seagulls tended to eat your breakfast for you and were always hovering whilst you ate. There were a lot of flies that became very annoying whilst eating but this was general to the area not just the hotel. The lower level of the main building had bar and stage area which also had a pinball machine, basketball game, and 2 pool tables, this bar area closed during the day but featured a tea and coffee machine and could be accessed to enter the upper levels or the terrace that overlooked the pool area.
 The slope down to the main building.

 The main building that houses the restaurant, reception, lounge, e.t.c.
The lounge area looking towards the reception.
 
When I booked the hotel was advertised as offering tennis, basketball, football, archery, and many other forms of on site activities, this was simply not the case the only activities offered during my stay were sunbathing and a choice of 3 swimming pools. There were a couple of kayaks on the rocky sea front area but no information on hiring them. The 3 pools area were generally clean and tidy but the sunbeds were quite dated, the sea front rocky area again featured a number of sunbeds which were dated but this area was covered in cigarette ends and empty plastic drink cups I never saw this area cleaned during my stay. There was a tennis court in need of repair, a football / basketball court that was covered in glass, and a archery court that I don't think has been used in many years despite being advertised by my travel agent at the time of booking as an activity to enjoy this has now been changed on there website. The hotel was also advertised as offering nightly entertainment this has also been changed by my travel agent to occasional entertainment. The evening entertainment offered was a Argentinian dancer, parrot show, singer, bingo and a quiz during my 11 night stay.
 The swimming pools.
 The rocky seafront sunbed area.
 The archery lane not been used in a long time.
 The football court which was covered in glass.
The tennis court in need of repair and covered in sand  and glass.
 
Overall whilst the hotel is supposed to be a 3 star I have stayed in better 2 star hotels, the views from the hotel are amazing and the sunsets even better, the staff are friendly and work hard but they do not seem driven to do any more than they need to, if they had more of a can do rather than a that will do attitude this hotel could be so much better. I did not book here expecting a 5 star hotel at a 3 star price but I did expect with a 3 star that I would have my towels and bedding changed more than once during my stay, I did not expect to have to go to reception for toilet rolls 4 times during my stay, I would expect the garden area outside my room not to be covered in plastic cups, cigarette ends, and even plates from the restaurant, and I would expect a better food offering with more variety. I would recommend this hotel for a short stay of up to 4/5 nights but 11 nights was far too long. This hotel is ideal if you want nothing more than to spend your holiday sunbathing, but the lack of activities on offer and there is not much to do in Portimatx either make it a poor choice if you are bored easily.
 The view looking south from the lounge terrace area.
 One of the amazing sunsets I view whilst at the hotel.
 Looking up towards the hotel from the rocky sea front.
Interesting piece of graffiti on a building site near the top of the hotel.
 
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Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Boat Cruise from Portimatx to San Miguel, Ibiza.

 
Whilst on a recent trip to Portinatx I took the aqua bus to the neighbouring town of Sant Miquel. The distance by road between the 2 resorts is 16.7 km ( 10.3miles ). The route taken by the boat runs along the northern coast of Ibiza approx. 1/2 mile out in to the Mediterrenean and takes approx. 30mins to cover the distance between the 2 towns. The service is provided by Aqua Bus ferry boats and cost's 18 euros return which also includes access to the Caves Can Marca.
 






 

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Abandoned Pickle Bridge Railway Line, Nr Brighouse.

 

The Pickle Bridge Line was a railway that ran through the outskirts of Brighouse in West Yorkshire. The construction of the line started in 1874 and it opened in 1881 and closed to all railway traffic in 1952. The line ran for 3 3/4 miles exiting what is now the Caldervale Line between Brighouse Station and the now closed Cooper Bridge Station passing through 2 stations ( Clifton Road & Bailiff Bridge) and over 2 viaducts ( Thornhills Beck & Wyke) and reaching what is now also the Caldervale line between Halifax and Bradford stations near Norwood Green.
 
The walk I took was in 2 stages and took me along the remains of the line from what was the Clifton Road Station near the A643 Clifton Common near the centre of Brighouse to the current Caldervale Line between Halifax and Bradford near Station Road, Norwood Green. This was approx. 3 miles and took 2hr 20mins at a steady pace taking pictures. Large amounts of what was the track bed still remain accessible but sadly you can no longer cross the top of either Wyke Viaduct or Thornhills Back Viaduct.
 
 The Remains of Clifton Road Station and the start of my walk.
 Thornhills Beck Lane running under the viaduct.

 Overgrown and hidden foot path bridge near Woolrow Lane. This bridge is on the edge of some farm fields at the back of a new housing estate called Farfield Rise. It was once a footpath down the hill but is now sadly overgrown and has a small stream running through it. It was quite difficult to access and I would not advise anyone doing so on there own as you will have to climb out from under the bridge.
 Birkhouse Road Bridge.
 Remains of the track bed between Bailif Bridge and
The remains of Wyke Viaduct. The viaduct is also known locally as the Red Lion Viaduct and was partially demolished in 1987.
Looking down on the Caldervale line at the point where the Pickle Bridge Line used to Connect. This was the end of my walk.

 
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/108700614@N04/sets/72157646302205642/

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Spanish Sunsets From The Hotel Club Vista Bahia.

 
I have recently returned from a stay at the Club Vista Bahia in Ibiza and whilst the hotel experience was disappointing the one thing that made it better was the sunsets which could be viewed from the restaurant, swimming pool terrace, and the rocky beach area belonging to the hotel. I took the following pictures on July 15th from all of the above mentioned areas of the hotel.
 
 








 
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These pictures can also be seen at my Flickr account 2 have been changed to black and white, and sepia tones. To see them click the following link,
https://www.flickr.com/photos/108700614@N04/sets/72157646218913061/

Monday, 4 August 2014

Another View of the The Summit Tunnel Under the Pennines

 

I have posted a little about the history of the summit tunnel before when I took a few pictures of the Yorkshire side of the tunnel with my tablet in November 2013. I was recently up by the tunnel in May / June 2014 and took some of both entrances of the tunnel.
 
The tunnel crossers under the Pennines between Littleborough and Walsden at a length of just over 1.6 miles (2.57 km) allowing the railway to connect West Yorkshire with Greater Manchester.
 
The tunnel was built by George Stephenson and completed in 1841. Fire shut the tunnel for 8 months in the early part of 1985. Despite this closure and others for minor problems and repairs the tunnel has remained open for over 170 years.
 

 The Littleborough tunnel entrance

 Airshaft undergoing restoration above the tunnel.
 Looking down onto the lines about 50 metres from the Yorkshire side tunnel entrance.
Train exiting the Yorkshire tunnel entrance.
 

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Portinatx Pirate Tower, Ibiza

 
Portinatx Pirate Tower is the remains of 1 of the 10 pirate watchtowers built between the 16th and 18th century to protect the people of Ibiza from attacking pirates.
 
The towers were home to 2 watchmen and armed with a small cannon. The walls tended to be approx. 10feet thick and the towers were built over 3 levels with opening to the front for attacking invaders and the roof level used to tip boiling water over those same attackers.
 
The tower is situated near the Club Vista Bahia Hotel approx. 0.6 miles (1km) from the centre of Portimatx.
 





 
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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Mearclough Bridge, Sowerby Bridge.

 
Mearclough Bridge is a 3 arch single track stone bridge that carries Fall Lane over the River Calder near Sowerby Bridge. The bridge is often damaged by heavy goods vehicles crossing to access the nearby industrial units and refuse centre and the surrounding river bank is often covered in rubbish due to it's closeness to this.
 
The first crossing on this site was built to connect the township's of Norland and Skircoat. The current stone bridge was built in approx. 1800 and was given grade II listed status in 1988.
 




 
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