Monday, August 8, 2011

Mallorca part 4

Wednesday was another morning by the pool, and afternoon at the beach. Things built out of sand this time included a castle, an airplane, a small figure (!) and a rather splendid bridge while the big boys played ball in the sea. 

In the late afternoon we went to Alcudia for a walk round the old streets and walls - a lovely evening again. We did a bit of shopping, and had a  meal in the main square, washed down with beer of course, and a walk through the town which looks lovely in the dark. Alcudia really is so different from Port d'Alcudia - so much more Mallorcan. No English bars, no full English breakfasts, no supermarkets every few yards. Much nicer!

Thursday it was off to a Waterpark - one we've been to before, Aqualand at Arenal. About 45 mins drive, and we were there by 12. After setting up basecamp on the grass in the shade of trees and hiring some floats so we didn't have to queue for them at the rides, off to explore! I'm not keen on the rides (I hate water so not much good in a waterpark!) so I'm happy to watch and take pictures. The rides with the floats were first - the Diablo, Black Hole and Rapids. the girls liked the rapids so much they went down 3 times.

Stu managed to fall off, apparently more than once, and came down several minutes after everyone else. After lunch of baguettes and beer on the grass, it was off to explore the other rides. The Banzai where you come down an almost vertical slope on a tray and hit the water at full speed looks as though it provides colonic irrigation, is always popular!  I spent most of the afternoon in the Jacuzzi pool with an ace view of it, especially the look of sheer terror as people set off.

We stayed almost until thrown out, and had a great time. On the way back we stopped off at a supermarket and picked up food for a BBQ.  As the BBQ was in a strange place at the Villa - nowhere near the sitting areas, we kept the men company while they were cooking by drinking a bottle of Cava with them. The jacket potatoes, salad, pork chops, sausages and chicken went down very well, and we had a great night in. A few more games of pool, can't say I won any this time.

Friday was another day at the villa - our last one. Lots of reading, and a last session in the pool for all of us.

In the evening we went to Pollenca - another lovely Mallorcan town - and walked a little way up the Calvary steps - not to the top - there's too many of them!  But, there's some good shops on the way up and we managed to do quite a bit of present shopping. After a beer in the square, we drove to Alcudia for our final dinner here. We ate in the small garden at the back of the restaurant we'd eaten in last week. An excellent set menu - squid, steak and ice cream.  Back to the villa for a last game of pool and an attempt to empty the fridge of alcohol. We did a good job, and only had to leave one bottle of wine.

Up relatively early next morning (9am - very rare that anyone had been seen before 10am normally), to find cleaners already there and keen to get us out. But, we had packing to finish and breakfast to have, so they had to wait. Then we were ready to set off. But we had one minor problem. We had a 7 seater car with virtually no boot space, and 7 people, 7 cases, hand luggage and a banjo to get in! After cramming as much as we could in the small boot, everyone got in, and had something balanced on their knee - only Stu the driver didn't have to look over a suitcase for the hours journey to Palma!

Palma is one of my favourite cities, and the view of the cathedral as you approach via the coast road is stunning.

We walked up the steps to the cathedral, past the living statues - we saw pirates, cowboys, headless men, brides and men in boats. All will let you take their picture - providing you pay! Also lots of pavement artists doing portraits and charicatures, and guitarists playing Spanish music and trying to sell their CDs. We went inside thr cathedral, which has some interesting decorations inside. An altar canopy by Gaudi and a modern mural by local artist Miquel Barcelo representing the miracle of the loaves and fishes. What I love best about it the light from the stained glass windows which floods the inside with beautiful colours.

After a drink in a bar under some trees, where one of our party got decorated by a pigeon, we walked up to town, saw the Giants in the Town Hall, and had to stop in an amazing sweet shop. Eventually we reached the Placa Major - the big main square, full of market stalls, street entertainers and cafes. We had lunch in one of the cafes - and a final drink!

 Then it was everyone in the car again, pile the suitcases on top of us, and to the airport. Plane was delayed by over an hour (that's all 3 plane trips - not good Jet2!). But, we occupied our time somehow - I mainly played Angry Birds on the iPad, others read, and one of our number (who shall remain nameless to spare the blushes...), decided to step outside to get some fresh air.  Not a good idea when you're airside, have gone through security, and don't have your boarding pass or passport on you! Luckily, we were sitting near the windows so he was able to wave to us and mouth "I can't get back in", through the glass. Well, it amused most of us. I'm afraid I'm laughing just thinking about it as I type....

Of course he did get back in, the plane didn't crash (I'm not a good flier...) we got home late and tired but OK. A great holiday!

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