Salut! from Mallorca
Finally……. I was on the plane and I managed to calm down. The airport security was so time consuming I felt like turning around and staying put in the UK. In the back of my mind I kept thinking about the fact that I had so little in my suitcase due to having less than 20 minutes to pack. No beach towels, no sun cream, and no emergency jumper.
However, I did get over this once I made it to Liverpool “John Lennon” Airport. Soon “All my troubles seemed so far away” as there was no more preparation, just relaxation and escape. Apart from the high security I had little problems getting to Mallorca. My first evening in Pollenca consisted of my favourite Rioja and tapas cooked by my mum. I also officially commenced the escape to Pollenca by switching off my mobile telephone.
Mallorca has been around for centuries and has been part of my life for 28 years. Being only 27 I had the luxury of going to the island while mother was expecting. My parents met by chance in the Port de Pollenca almost 29 years ago. They’ve often said that it was the resort they had to thank for providing such a setting to allow them to meet. So despite being famous for its package holidays its attraction in my eyes runs much deeper, similar to its diverse history.
It was invaded by the Romans, and later the Arabs. What I find most interesting about Pollenca (and this reflected Mallorca as a whole) was looking at a cathedral on one side, and then turning around and seeing a bustling functioning market with its local produce, surrounded by a bustling community. Despite its gradual move towards tourism Pollenca still amazes me … sunny filled streets with typically unique shops and tapas restaurants, and amongst them contemporary hotels. The dominant language “Mallorcino” is commonly spoken, rubber-stamping the authenticity of the culture and the region. The close family ties were also abundantly strong with Abuelas and Abuelos sitting with grand -children in the Square.
My favourite time on the island was the 6pm sundown at the Ill a Dor Hotel. To help you visualise the setting Agatha Christie was once an early visitor to this Hotel which provided the inspiration for the fictional hotel “Pino d’Oro” in her 1936 short story “Problems at Pollensa Bay”.
It catches the last of the sun in the day and many of the tables sit peacefully almost in a trancelike state while the sun lowers and the evening begins. I’ve lost count over the years how many times I’ve sat down to this 6pm congregation with friends and family and had time to talk openly, whether it be past stories, football, or the “wildlife” from the previous evenings. It often makes me realise how little people openly talk to each-other as they get distracted by everyday life. Out of all the places I’ve been this seems to be the only place that feels like a genuine escape from “porridge”.
After we returned back to our apartment most evenings we would sit, watch and observe people beginning their evening, usually assessing fashion tastes (or possibly “the lack of…”). There would be the usual suspects such as; Lobster pink sunburn tan lines and synthetic clothing (cue excessive sweating)
The two weeks revolved mostly around lunchtime coffees, newspaper reading, tapas and long evening meals. Apart from a few traditional family “storm in a tea cup” arguments it was a perfect two weeks with friends and family to be quite honest. The hardest part I find now is leaving as each year I go the island provides special memories and new friends. The friends I have met through my various holidays have stayed in touch and some have even got married themselves through meeting there. It must be something in the water!
The day before I returned there was the shock bombing in PalmaNova, killing two Guardia Civil and injuring 40 people. The ironic thing was when I heard that the airport was closed I actually secretly wished it would stay closed just to give me an extra few days on this magical island. Alas, the airport opened on time and I returned to Liverpool Airport where it was a sweltering 12 degrees.
I plan on returning to Mallorca as often as possible now as I feel it is constantly changing, becoming younger and more diverse every year. The culture of Spain is one that I truly adore … the people are friendly and fun and the atmosphere is always upbeat and absorbing. Shame about the exchange rate…… !