Tuesday, 26 June 2007
After a nice long wait at the table for the menu (Spanish time is so much slower then Africa time!) and then trying to decipher the menu and order it from the non English speaking staff. There was loads of pointing going on!
We then strolled around to the 'lake' next to the cathedral and then up to the cathedral where we went in and had a look around. I must say that the Spanish catholics were a pretty morbid bunch. The seemed to be obsessed with bones and skulls. There was lots of this in the imagery around the inside as well as certain items(relics, artifacts) like goblets with pieces of the persons skull built into the design and rosary crosses with actual finger bones used as the cross with gold surrounds. The inside was beautiful with all the Gothic architecture and amazing height. There was even a section on the nave to the one side of the alter which was redone by Gaudi - which of course you could tell right away.
After that we carried on strolling around the old city with all it cute Spanish lanes and balconies over flowing with flowers. It all looked so unreal like something out of a movie or book. We enjoyed taking random turns and seeing where we would land up. we got ourself stunning ice creams along the way and also did some shopping while we were at it. C was def in need of flip flops in the heat as he only had heavy hiking shoes.
Then we make it back to Illetas and back down to the beach as the tan is now coming along nicely and we do need to soak up as much sunlight and UV rays as possible. Am very glad that even though it was so hot the UV rays in Spain dont seem s to be as harsh as the ozoneless rays that we get in SA.
By now it is about 5/6pm and food is calling us so we stop at the other resturant on the beach for a snack. We are by now getting better with our Spanish and are able to make orders and use other single words like thanks. This causes the waiters to speak to us in Spanish but doesn seem to be too much of a problem since we got what we wanted and didnt have to speak english and point to make ourselves understood.
Then eventually we head back to the flat from 8pm to say goodbye to Ingrid as she is off to cover the Americas cup in Valencia. After the hot day and time on the beach we freshened up with a shower and head out to meet Kev and Cala at his local little bar restaurant which is basically an open to the street tiled room with cafe tables. It does happen to be a mins walk from the flat and is always on the route back from walking Cala. It is called du peitte jardin (the small garden - no garden in sight?!?!) but the locals call it deigos as that is the owners name !
We enjoyed the evening out there drinking with Kev and a friend of his Filthy Fiona and of course Cala ...who is enjoying greeting everyone going passed and trying to beg food as all dogs do. We finally eat at about midnight which is becoming a habit !
Then off to much needed bed as a heavy night is promised for the next (friday) night.
Monday, 25 June 2007
so here I go:
Thanks to one very lazy Sunday afternoon I booked our flights to Palma, Mallorca for 6am thinking it was 6pm on Tuesday the 20th June. I have no idea how I did that but I just did. But even though it was an early start I still think it turned out pretty well giving us more time in Spain!
So this early start was 2am !!! which was only possible thanks to much harassment by C to get me up and into the shower. 20 mins later the taxi was at the door and I was throwing clothes on. Thankfully we had been pretty good at planning ahead on the packing and had the bag already waiting :)
Jumped into the taxi and down to Kentish town station for the very 1st train of the morning ! It was actually great being on the train so early with hardly anyone cept an entertaining (but don't make eye contact) drunk footie supporter ! We cruised into gatwick before you knew it and onto the self service check in machines. Which were very cool !
Then it was time for a spot of food at 5am ...and off to the boarding gate. After sitting there for about 10 mins we get the announcement that the flight has been delay for a short while due to the navigation system having to be checked. We only sat there for another 30 mins and then got to board the plane. once on the plane we get another announcement from the pilot that something else is needing to be sorted out and that it shouldn't be too long. After about 15 mins of waiting for that to be resolved we get told that there are too many bags on the plane and that all of the bag will have to be taken off the plane rescanned to sort to the ones that truly have to be on the plane and then pack them back. Since I'm sitting over the baggage compartment i get to watch them truly do all of this. Finally we are told that we can take off now and that they had just miscounted the bag in the rear and that they were all back on the plane.
Finally we taxi onto the runway and start the take off...we accelerate and then it seems that just as we would be taking off the pilot puts on the brakes ! Flaps up screeching to a halt suddenly we are standing still on the runway. Then we are taxi-ing back. We get told that the system is still broken and that they couldn't read their speed and had to replace the part. So there we sat on the runway for another hour or so. We are now hitting the time that we are supposed to be landing in Palma and we haven't even left yet ! The flight was shorter then the delay was but finally we cruise into Palma at 11:30am.
We called my brother, Kevin, as we landed and he cruised through and was waiting for us once we had come through immigration and collecting our bags. We then headed off to his place. He has a flat that is a block up from the sea with a stunning view of the med through the pine trees. We basically dumped our bags changed into beach gear, meet his little dog Cala and head off to the beach to find my other brother's ex girlfriend who was also staying with Kevin since she was in town photographing the regatta of HUGE power yachts. These are yachts that are minimum 150 foot long - that are crazy huge !!! The main Illetas (the little 'town' - more like a suburb - where Kevin lives) beach is only 5 mins walk from his flat. We walked down there found ourselves a spot on the busy beach by the water. And of course had to go and try out the Mediterranean water. Wow is it stunning and warm - it was absolutely beautiful and very refreshing in the intense heat that is Spain. Then we started on the much needed tan !!!
I would just like to comment that the Spanish seem to have going topless on the beach as part of their culture. It is almost weird to have a bikini top on. It obviously is just completely natural cause it was like this on every single beach we visited and then more locals on the beach the more topless woman...so if there are topless woman in our holiday pics, it was unavoidable !
We all then decided that it was time for lunch and head to one of the restaurants on the beach for a stunning lunch of fresh fish. Was so yummy ! and had very full tummies as C, Ingrid and myself head back to the beach to lie in the sun more.
Finally after sunning ourselves and swimming and sunning ourselves more and chatting we realise that it is about 6:30 (the sun still being pretty high in the sky put us off the time) and we head back to the flat to get ourselves ready to head off to Palma for some dinner and drinks.
A 15 minute bus ride and we arrive in the centre of Palma and Kevin leads us off down one of the many alleyways to a cute till Tapas restaurant. Now I have been to what are called Tapas restaurants in Cape Town but they really are nothing like the true Spanish tapas. You basically walk up to the counter whenever you want which has always got lots of little plates with little picky food things (half of which i had no idea what they were). You get a large plate and then just pick what you want from all the little plates. then you keep the toothpicks that are stuck in the food and that is how you are charged for your meal. There is a constant flow of new things arriving on the counter. I was picking food that I had no idea what it was. Mostly they were great! C and I only made one mistake each, I picked a deep fried chilli (kinda like chilli poppers) which C was more then happy to take off my hands and he picked a fishy thing that neither of us liked. Anyway was def a great experience and have since heard of an authentic Spanish tapas bar here in Camden that we are going to have to make a plan to go to.
After dinner we take a stroll though a bit of the old town and then main pedestrian walkway down passed the cathedral all lit up white in the dark night sky (yes it was finally dark !) We then made our way to a place called Abaco. It is basically an old traditional Spanish house that they have restored and then made into a very swanky drinks bar - where the drinks are seriously costly ...cept if you are spending Pounds like we were so was normal London cocktail prices to us. We had a wonder around the house through the old restored rooms. It was really great to see. We then settled down in the beautiful courtyard with a fountain in the centre and lights everywhere. There was classical music playing and an avery of birds filling the air with their song. We were sadly rushed through our cocktails by a very rude Spanish maitrd (spelling?).
After more strolling through the streets we realise that it is about 1am ... so we head off home getting to bead about about 2:30. I would just like to point out that this is 24.5 hours after we got up !!! I just couldnt beleive that I had survived 24 hours and wasnt to worse for wear ! But was definitely glad to be going to sleep !