September is one of my favourite times of the year for a holiday – balls to going to the Mediterranean in July/August during heatwave season.
September is still hot, October can be hot, or at least very warm. It’s also that final opportunity to get some sunshine before the gloom of the northern hemisphere winter sets in – like the summer wasn’t gloomy enough.
I was reminded today of my most recent holiday to Ibiza, 5 whole years ago this weekend, which seems insane. The last year we could go on holiday I went to Albania in early-ish October which was glorious.
Yet it is a total ballache to go on holiday in the covid era. Can I really be bothered?
First I need to do a test before I leave. Then I need to pay for a PCR test 2 days before I come back to England. Then I need to do one 2 days after I arrive back, and again pay for it. If I get covid when I’m abroad, I’m stuck there. If I get covid before I leave, I cannot go on holiday. Urgh. I know the rules are changing at some point but that seems confusing.
Then there are masks. I know that I’m used to not breathing much now (until I’ve had a few drinks) but wearing them on a plane is urgh, and then some countries seem to make you wear them even outdoors. WTF?
And then to do anything cultural I’d need to wear a mask in most countries.
Where could I go?
So I started looking at Reopen EU.
Sweden, which nobody seems to quote in their pro/anti lockdown arguments now (do people still argue about it?) says “there is no general requirement to wear a face mask in normal social situations, in public places, and in public transport. However, Swedavia Airports recommends passengers to use face masks at their airports.”. Fantastic.
Denmark says I need to wear one at the airport, but otherwise I don’t. Fantastic again.
Finland – “currently recommends the use of face masks in all parts of the country”. I had a read of their government website and was utterly confused – think British rules in autumn 2020 but more perplexing.
Hungary. Well, they seem to love a bit of covid denial, and suitably I’d only have to wear a mask in hospitals.
Romania – “use of face masks is mandatory in indoor public spaces and in crowded outdoor areas”. Hmmm.
So far Sweden and Denmark are both possibles – I’ve already been to Budapest so I feel like I’ve ticked off Hungary. As cool as Budapest was.
But I’m like…well…I want warm sunshine, especially given how miserable our summer was. I probably wouldn’t be fussed with a holiday if we’d had a good summer. Am I going to get warm sunshine in Denmark in late October? Absolutely not, especially if my autumn forecast comes true.
So what about somewhere hot?
Croatia? “Face masks are required in all public indoor spaces. Wearing face masks is also recommended outdoors when it is not possible to keep a safe social distance”. Fuck right off.
Italy? “In ‘yellow’ regions, facemasks must be worn both in indoor and outdoor public places”. Vaffanculo.
Portugal? “The use of face masks is mandatory in closed spaces. The use of masks is recommended in outdoor spaces if distance between people cannot be ensured”. Hmmm.
Spain? “Face masks are mandatory in public spaces indoors”. Hmmm…progress…and Spanish women. But I’ve been to Spain loads.
Malta? “Wearing of masks is obligatory in indoor public spaces. In outdoor spaces removal of masks is only permitted for vaccinated persons in groups of no more than 2”. Well, kind of works.
I’m not really keen to fly further for 2 hours away because of – yeah – masks. That I’m willing to do up to 2 hours is a miracle in itself.
Bearing in mind everything I have booked on weekends, a few work commitments, all the roast dinner plans, avoiding half-term and waiting for the rules to be relaxed, then I’m looking at the last week/weekend of October or first week/weekend of November as my opportunity.
As much as a Copenhagen to Gothenburg adventure sounds fun, especially the train over the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmo (I’m proper going to be a foreign trainspotter when old) – it doesn’t sound especially glorious in colder than normal autumnal weather – it feels more something for May/June/July.
Which leaves me with España. The south, preferably. Beer, sangria, sunshine, Spanish women. I might well persuade myself.
Though there is still a good chunk of me that is like, “can I be bothered”? It’s still going to be a hassle compared to pre-covid. And what if I got stuck out there? Maybe I need to buy a proper laptop first, just in case. Which makes it a bloody expensive holiday, though I need a proper laptop anyway.
Spanish women though…