Sunday, 10 October 2010

We seem to have got off lightly!

As we waited in Manchester airport on Thursday afternoon for our plane to Mallorca we noticed that there were an amazing number of people wearing kilts. As they mostly had Scottish accents we decided they were probably entitled to wear them. It was quite interesting to note that the female of the species tended to wear a much shorter kilt than the males. There was, however, no indication of why there were so many of them around.

On Friday I discovered what had been going on. They were all football fans on their way to Prague to watch their team play. I found this out because there was a news report about Easyjet having refused to allow a group of Scotland fans to get on a plane from Amsterdam to Prague and sending them back to the UK. Apparently they had imbibed too much alcohol and were deemed too drunk and rowdy to fly with Easyjet. One group of disappointed fans. The drinkers on our plane fortunately did not get particularly rowdy. Their language deteriorated as their alcohol intake increased but they responded pleasantly enough to requests to sssssshhhhhhhh!

I was informed by my daughter that we were lucky to be flying to Mallorca rather than Menorca. Apparently a plane leaving at the same time as ours for that smaller island had to offload its passengers and delay its departure because some wag had filled a sick bag and labelled it “BOMB”. Just in case this happened to be true all the passengers had to disembark while the dubious bag was checked. Such are the trials and tribulations of today’s travellers.

As we flew into Palma airport we could see at least three huge cruise liners docked in Palma harbour. It was quite like being back in Vigo. I wondered which of those boats I had actually seen in Galicia. By the time we had landed, trekked about a million miles across Palma airport to the exit and caught the bus into Palma centre it was already going dark. So when we saw the cruise liners again from the bus to Magaluf we could see that they were decked out with fairy lights, all bright and sparkling against the night sky. Now that was something that we never saw when the boats were in Vigo harbour. But then Palma and the whole strip of places out to Palma Nova, Magaluf and beyond are in general much more twinkly than Vigo which still has the business of being a working industrial port to deal with.

Today we have continued to explore this part of the island of Mallorca, having certain items we needed to buy, including mosquito repellent as the warm weather here seems to have brought the little beasties out. For the first time in a long time I have had my ankles chewed. I am not impressed! Neither, I must say, am I impressed with the shops around here. There are loads of places which laughingly call themselves supermarkets but in fact are just more places to buy sunhats, beach mats, cheap towels, babies’ dummies with the infants’ names on, t-shirts for bigger people with THEIR names on, any number of mugs, plaited braids, brooches and bangles with people’s names on. (And they NEVER have my name!!!) Very few, however, seem to stock normal supermarket items. It must be assumed that all those who have holiday flats will eat out all the time. And anyone who lives here permanently must have to go further afield to a proper supermarket.

Most surprising though has been the difficulty in getting hold of fresh fruit. Having grown accustomed to places in almost every part of Spain where small fruit and vegetable shops – old fashioned greengrocers, in fact – are all over the place, indeed on every second corner, it is strange not to find a single one here. Of course, this IS essentially a holiday resort not a place where people really live. I shall take trip back into Palma itself one day soon and report on the situation there, almost certainly more normal.

Meanwhile, the sun has been shining on us. I have once again played dormouse (as in Alice in Wonderland) swimming round and round in circles in the hotel pool and will make that a daily occupation. There’s not really a lot to complain about.

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