Tuesday was a day we will not forget, in checking into the airport for our budget flight from Stockholm to Mallorca it became apparent that 'those easyjet types' were not just restricted to England. For a while I feared that we were in the queue for an African airline due to the amount of baggage around us (for those of you who have never noticed, the game when flying home seems to be, how much stuff can I fit into the biggest bag I can find ignoring any weight limits, cars, fridges, widescreen televisions all seem to be fair game for hold baggage for these guys). Behind us were a couple who had brought their dog!
The flight was much like any other budget flight, some people got drunk, someone forgot to turn off their phone, the tell tale 'beep beep' text message congratulating them for using Vodafone ES gave the game away somewhat whilst we were still coming in to land. Scenes at the baggage carrousel were in keeping, one older distinguished gentleman in his beige travelling (nee' Safari) suit positioned himself right by the rubber slats separating us from the clumsy bag handlers and proceeded to turn over every bag that come through in an unintentional slap stick style whilst still maintaining a faultless 'no, now I look at it that doesn't look like mine' expression throughout his entire baggage assault. He was assisted in this feat by two small children, who as far as I could make out were sent in as a reconisance team by another couple, they simply copied his actions on the small cases. Buzzing round them and generally making more of a nuisance of themselves than you would have thought possible were the familiar faces of the couple from behind us in the check in queue, their moment of triumph came, and I could only stare open mouthed as I watched this happen, when the carrousel spat out, bag, suitcase, bag, bag, dog in a carry case, bag, suitcase, bag.
The handlers had successfully managed to damage Tash's case enough for one of the wheels to have got lost, for the rest of the holiday I carried it in a manly manner only pausing during moments of stress to remind Tash that I was doing this for her and she should be grateful, so god only knows what state the dog arrived in.
Our first night was spent in Palma, it is memorable to me for two reasons, firstly there was a bloody big hill to carry Tash's invalided bag up and secondly I have the memory that I should have really got up an done something about that Mosquito that we could hear in the night. Two days later I conferred with Tash over the incident and the score is as follows; Tash 0 bites, Mark 9, this includes a 'bullseye', that I only noticed while using the toilet on Wednesday morning!
As Tash was telling me, Mallorca was just a beach based resort until the mid 1980's when some enterprising sole set up a hotel away from the beaches in the interior of the island, since then this has also become a place to visit. I had previously warned her that the international symbol for Mallorca was the builders crane and that we would be only hear English and German voices during our stay, but no, Tash the intrepid explorer carried on and as we entered the market town of Pollenca I spied building sites...... The market square of this quaint 14,000 strong village/town took up a lot of our time, we would sit, drink coffee or wine dependant on the time we were there. Tash invariably started to chat up the waiters of every bar we were in as most of them, either spoke, or were Italian and looked out on the children led mayhem that would be unfolding before us.
The kids and new born baby ratio was a bit of a surprise for us, not being in the parenting way, we usually like to limit our exposure to such attention grabbing items as children, but as 1-3 seemed to be 'an ankle biter' we had little choice but to relax into the environment, order another cevezza and hope for the best.
Normally on holiday being a native English speaker puts us in the minority, but on this trip it was the opposite, on noticing that there as usually more English people than Spanish in any place we went to. On Thursday we 'bit the bullet' and went in to the port of Pollensa on the way back from the beach. The Spanish waiter at the (only) Spanish bar that we found thought that we were non English because after walking down the beach front, past the hotel restaurants filled with people the colour of roast chicken sporting regional accents and almost every one with a cigarette in their hand, I was rendered unable to speak intelligently by a mixture of shame and guilt. Tash for her part finished eating and took the picture on the left of the cafe next door (and opposite an Irish bar), you note that it does a 3 course Sunday roast, which can be ordered in advance!
I did my bit to balance things up by ordering a 'Toscana pizza' for lunch. When it arrived I quickly deduced that our Spanish friends had never been to Tuscany as it had a lot of undeclared (on the menu) salmon on it and what can only be described as a full Tri-Colore salad in the middle, not cooked, just well, dropped there. I finished it thinking that this one selfish act would restore my sense of a social equilibrium, my country has destroyed Mallorca's identity and now subjects people like this bar owner to continual displays of unsophisticated loutish behaviour and I have been given a disappointing pizza in return.
During our time on the island we started playing a game of 'Match the photo in the tourist book with the reality', or perhaps this should be a simple 'spot the difference' game.
Postcard of the beautiful Formentor beach Vs. The reality
Once more, the idilic view of Torrent de Pareis Vs. beach full of people
Next update weekend 7th October