Arena Travel Blog

  • News from the Bridge Room in Poreč, April 2017

    Host report by Barry Watts:

    The Istrian Peninsula of Croatia lies at the North-Eastern end of the Adriatic. It is unlike other parts of the Mediterranean because the limestone Karst geology makes it a region of beautiful islands and mountains. The red soil in the plains and the region’s higher rainfall have led to centuries of prosperous agriculture; most notably, wine and olive farming. Occupation of the area by Rome, Venice and then Austria has produced towns and villages of great beauty with all the architectural influences of these cultures.

    Our holiday was in the town of Poreč on the western shore of the Istrian peninsula. The Island of Sveti Nicola lies across the entrance to the bay, making it a natural harbour that has been occupied for over 2000 years. Today it is part of the most popular tourist areas of Croatia.

    The Valamar Riviera hotel sits in a prime position on the harbour of the old town of Poreč. Part of the hotel complex is the Villa Parentino on the end of the Poreč promontory. The villa built by the family Polensi in 1887 looks across the Northern Adriatic and on a clear day Venice can be seen across the bay. That alone puts the history of this natural harbour into perspective.

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  • Show us your stash!

    Last month we shared with you lots of ways of how to spring clean your yarn stash. This inspired us to speak to our lovely experts and have a nosy around their textile grottos! So, this month we asked them to show us their stash and to describe it in a few words... Continue reading
  • Expert Focus : Sarah Hazell

    This month we chat to our brand-new crochet expert Sarah Hazell. Sarah will be taking a small group of crocheters out on an adventure to the stunning Austrian Tyrol this Autumn. She will be leading workshops over-looking picture postcard scenery of green pastures, onion-domed churches and craggy alpine peaks. Sarah is passionate about colour, pattern and texture. Her stand-alone collections are designed with an emphasis on the creation of sustainable clothes and accessories. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind Sarah’s designs and what she is most looking forward to on our trip to Austria!

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Majorca 2017

    Host report by Toby & Janette Mace:

    We returned once again to the splendid Bella Playa Hotel, with its excellent spa and capacious bridge room, that we manged to fill with 19 tables every evening and 20 at the peak. The beautiful weather didn't dent the afternoon sessions much with a peak turnout of 9 tables during our stay. In fact there was only one day of rain over the two weeks, preceded by some impressive overnight thunder. The outdoor pool always looked very inviting but I only saw one person in it over the 2 weeks - you really need a wetsuit to enjoy it in late March, easier just to work on the sun tan on a poolside lounger. Many people opted for the indoor pool with its hot tubs, saunas and steam room.

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Cyprus 2017

    Host report by Pauline Durie:

    Cyprus - the beautiful island of Aphrodite legend saw us return for an enjoyable two weeks of bridge and more. A change of hotel due to renovation did not disappoint. The Pioneer Beach has excellent facilities. The bridge room easily accommodated our 16 tables of enthusiastic bridge players. The outdoor pool looks beautiful though very few hardy souls used it! The indoor pool was far more popular especially the weekly aquafit session. Other activities included line dancing and tango lessons as well as the opportunity to make and sample frappe and cocktails. The bowls programme was well received by many and honours were shared in the many matches played. Even the wind didn’t deter them. Many guests enjoyed a walk along the promenade to Paphos harbour with its range of bars, restaurants and gift shops taking in the splendour of the spring flowers coming into full bloom along the way. The harbour is also home to the famous mosaics some of which are almost complete. Something for everyone.

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