Size does matter


THERE ARE some events in our lives that we forever savour.

These will include our first romance, special holiday or a treasured family moment. Never forgotten the occasion years ago when I closed my car doors and put Britain in my rear view mirror. Hallelujah!

I never harboured misgivings about my Brexit. In fact, being a Europhile I looked forward to being in mainland Europe without the North Sea and English Channel to cross. I miscalculated: Here on the Costas I am further away from Europe than ever.

The UK is well-equipped to provide low-cost excursions to Scandinavia, Baltic States, Denmark, Germany, Low Countries and France. Within 12 hours I could be in such locations and it didn’t cost me an Isle of Man leg.

From my home in the UK there were cheap coach excursions to Paris, Belgium and elsewhere. Without breaking the bank one could catch a ferry to Denmark, Germany or Scandinavia. The choice of air routes is breath-taking and a daily flight to Riga inexpensive and takes only a little over two hours.

When it comes to planes, trains and automobiles Spain simply doesn’t compare. The distance from Marbella to Biarritz is a deep-breath 1,076 km. From Cartagena to Perpignan is 815 km and there are then formidable distances to negotiate if one wishes to visit the aforementioned locations.

It once occurred to me that it would be pleasing to motor from Costa Spain to the Baltic States where I am well-connected. Checking out Michelin Route Finder I caught my breath. Riga is 4,045 km distant. Even at an ambitious 700 km daily motorway marathon Latvia was a 6-day very expensive and formidable holiday option.

There are no flights from the Costas to Riga; the second largest city in Northern Europe. After a four hour flight one has to alight in Lithuania and then travel by rickety road for another four hours. I then decided to see elsewhere in Europe. Yes, budget airlines are reasonably priced but only if the choice of destination is theirs not yours.

Seeing Europe from Spain is problematic. I like Munich and always hankered to visit Budapest and Prague. The distances by road are 2,000 km, 2,500 km and 2,300 km respectively.

I have to face facts; Spain is lovely in so many respects. However, if I want to take advantage of low cost access to northern, central and even southern Europe I should have stayed in Britain.