Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Hundred Million Suns

Got a hold of a copy of Snow Patrol album - A Hundred Million Suns today. I've already got some of their earlier work such as Eyes Open and Final Straw and quite liked both of those so I'm hopeful that this one will prove to be worth the same investment in time listening to it.

At first play through it seems a bit raunchier than earlier albums at the beginning but it's still Snow Patrol and there are some more familiar sounding tracks through the course of the album to appease those that don't like change. The final track, The Lightning Strike, lasts for over 16 minutes and is definitely a bit of a change. It might take a few listens to grow on me but I think it will and it may prove even more popular than their previous offerings.

If you like songs with lyrics you can actually hear and some very nicely arranged acoustic guitar music backed by some amazing orchestrated themes, then you may very well find A Hundred Million Suns is your cup of tea.

Genre: Alternative
My Rating: 7/10

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fuerteventura - Corralejo

We're not long back from a couple of weeks on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, hence the lack of posts here lately. Following right on from that I got hit with a pretty bad cold and throat infection so that more or less stopped the posting too. Anyway, I'm almost back to normal, well at least as normal as usual so I thought I'd better start scribbling again.

Corralejo BayCorralejo Bay

Corralejo is the main tourist resort on Fuerteventura. We chose the holiday at pretty much the last minute and, as we'd never been to Fuerteventura before, it was somewhere different to go. We'd heard that the island was pretty quiet compared to the better known islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote so needed somewhere with a bit of life to it, which is what made us choose Corralejo over some of the smaller resorts.

Corralejo lies at the North end of the island with good views over to the island of Lanzarote and just the South-East of the town is a huge area of about seven miles of sand dunes and beaches that have been designated as a nature park and is really popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. It's essentially a resort built around the core of an old fishing village, which still has a pretty busy harbour what with the local boats, fishing trips for the tourists and two regular ferries to Lanzarote.

Kitesurfing at Flag BeachKitesurfing at Flag Beach

We booked a self-catering apartment in the Playa Park complex. It's sited a bit further away from the main centre than I'd have liked but it wasn't too far and it was quite handy for walking out to the beaches. Playa Park itself was pretty good as a place to stay. The staff were friendly and the place was kept very clean and tidy. The apartment wasn't bad either. It had a lounge, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom along with a balcony so it catered for everything we needed. The ony gripe was that they charged extra for the TV but, since it only had the basic channels like CNN, Europsort, etc. it wasn't worth it so we didn't bother. Better things to do of an evening anyway.

Aside from lying in the sun by the pool or wandering out to the beaches, the Corralejo night life is reasonably good. There are loads of restaurants to choose from and most are pretty good, although avoid the Indian in the Plaza Centre as it was pretty poor. There are lots of Chinese places too and, even though they're almost all called Slow Boat something, they were reasonably good. For Italian cuisine, the La Mamma round the back of the karaoke abomination called the Atlantico Centre was very good and for a change, try 5th Avenue.

Corralejo HarbourCorralejo Harbour

There are also lots of pubs, which was good, and we spent a fair number of nights in the Rock Island Bar listening to the live acoustic music sessions. The only down side was that they stopped playing live music at midnight. We also frequented the Aussie-themed Down Under Bar, which had a pretty good resident rock band and a few good guest artists on as well. The Down Under kept us up a lot longer, with the bands keeping going until 2:30 a.m.

Corralejo has a lot going for it as a decent tourist resort but it is still being developed pretty heavily so it may well eventually burst at the seams. On top of that, Fuerteventura is getting drier and drier every year and can no longer sustain the current population's water needs. Even with a desalination plant, it needs to import water so there has to come break point where it may well either prove too costly to keep afloat or it'll need to scale back a bit.