I’ll be honest, my attempt to return to the UK failed MASSIVELY! Within about a week, I was out of the UK again in Barcelona, and a week later, off to Spain! All of this was fully planned in advance so we could be involved in the wedding of the Century (well, September at least).
I was honored to be asked to be Best man for Gary. Alongside Oli) the other best man), who was also traveling around Asia the past year, had the pleasure of organising the stag from across 3 different continents at one point. Somehow, we pulled this off. Gary and Kakie actually planned their wedding to work around our trip away! I will never be able to thank them enough for this.
So, a week after returning to the UK, I was back on a plane, this time to Barca! Somehow, we managed to keep this entirely secret from the groom, including who was actually coming along. In the end, there were 9 of us for the weekend, mostly from Uni, with Oli, Glen and Sam from other pastures joining too.
Obviously, what happens on a stag stays on a stag, so I can’t report all that much (although nothign was particularly cliche stag activity), but I will say this was like no other stag i’ve been on, and obviously, it was the best (as I played a part in organised it, I would say that).
The weekend consisted of Gary Flyboarding, a bubble football tournament, an absolutely quality craft beer tour, probably the best meal i’ve eaten since this past year, a night out at a Techno club, and plenty of exploring this stunning city.
There’s too much to mention here about Barca; it’s absolutely stunning and full of beautiful architecture, people, and food. I will 100% be coming back here to do some more exploring.
The next step was the wedding! Gary and Katie decided they didn’t want a UK wedding, so went for the obvious next choice, Santorini. I mean, they really didn’t do things by halves here! Santorini is world famous for one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the world: I can definitely see why! This island, once a bloody great active volcano that effectively blew itself up (romantic eh?) is world famous for it’s blue and white buildings off the edge of the steep cliff edges. But there’s so much more so Santorini than just wedding vibes though. The island has some beautiful hikes, like the one we did from Thira Oia. You literally can’t get away from absolutely breathtaking views everywhere you look here, it’s actually ridiculous!
The wedding party was a small one, only super close family and friends. The Percival clan consisted of Gary’s brother, wife and 2 small kids, his mum, and her best mate, whilst the Ainsworths consisted of parents, sister, and brother in law. Mine and Oli’s respective other halves, Kelly and Fo, made up the final part of the Santorini crew, all sharing a flat together in amongst a villa overlooking the beautiful coast line,
So before the wedding itself, we had the best part of a week here to explore. Our days consisted of a fairly routine approach; wake up, go for a swim in the pool, do something awesome, go eat somewhere beautiful, have a few drinks on the balcony, and repeat: not going to turn my nose up at that! During that week, we undertook a monster hike half way across the caldera, a boat tour around the island, went to explore the ancient ruins, got to experience the local winery and craft brewers, and, oh yeah, witness one hell of a wedding!
The ceremony itself was absolutely breathtaking. This location is just stunning, the views continued to blow us all away, and the celebrations into the evening kept us all dancing all night long. Basically, it was all bloody awesome!
After a final week in the sun, it was time to ACTUALLY return home. This time, for the first time in a year, with no plans to fly anywhere else anytime soon. It’s a very weird feeling, knowing the life we’ve lived the past year is actually over. In a weeks time, i’ll be returning to work, and back to reality in a big way… Watch this space to see how I get on with that!