Majorca visit to Amanda and Sam
I had booked a week in Majorca at the beginning of November, and I booked a bag for the flight out so that I could take all the stuff from Butlins etc which Amanda had been unable to take with her in August, together with the supplies of Bisto Best, Azeera coffee, Corsodyl and Cadburys Chocolate which Amanda craved. I bought a brilliant bag from Amazon which zipped up into itself for the flight back. It was big and heavy but I was going to be driving to the airport and would use a trolley in the airports as much as possible.
Lee and Emma, Neville and Beau, who were going to be staying for a week, turned up the evening before I was flying out. They immediately took the dogs out for a nice long walk, and then we had a supper of Linda's black pudding scotch eggs with olives etc. Mike was out for a works meal but arrived home in time to have a drink with them.
I set off to drive to Stansted quite early the next day and found the car park after a slight detour! I was a bit taken aback at the rough look of the place but I was committed by then so went with it. The instructions said to book in at reception before unloading the car - then the first thing they said when I walked through the door was to ask me if I had taken all my luggage out and sent me back to do it! The shuttle service was very efficient and was a small mini bus. There were only two other people in the bus. I got to the terminal so early that the checkout desk wasn't even open. I got a trolley and then went through bag drop and then security and was in the main shopping area with a couple of hours to spare. I bought myself some perfume and a watch (a nice Sekonda with a bracelet strap - a bit different from my usual basic Casio). Then I got a coffee and spent a happy hour cross stitching until the gate was displayed. I found myself helping a couple of Spaniards with the vagaries of the shuttle train it was necessary to get. I let the whole of the queue go down before boarding, and ended up helping a lady travelling on her own with a child in a buggy as there was no lift and no assistance from the staff! I had booked a window seat and was very pleased to find that the middle seat was empty for the flight - although the lady in the aisle seat piled it up with her stuff and coat but at least there was lots of elbow room. The flight was straightforward and seemed to pass quite quickly as I did some more cross stitch. I treated myself to a cheeky mini bottle of wine and some pringles to accompany my home made cheese sandwiches.
At Palma my bag came through quickly and I easily found a trolley. I went to the transfer desk and easily found my driver and was soon whisked off in a big black Merc all to myself! Felt very posh. I got to the hotel just before 6 - and had to wait for ages at reception even though I was the only person waiting while the two members of staff behind the desk had a long conversation about something. They didn't actually check me in until the manager came out and asked if anyone was seeing to me!! Once I had checked in the receptionist advised me that the line dancing had just started if I wanted to join in! I gave that a miss.
The Vistasol was looking even more run down than usual. There was a large crack in the wardrobe mirror door which had been taped up. The turntable in the microwave didn't turn. There was no kettle. The fridge door didn't shut properly, and was very black round the seal. The loo flush wouldn't turn off - the first night it ran all night! I had to jiggle the button every time to make it fill up and stop. The towels were thin and old - with the odd moth hole. However it was perfectly adequate for my needs as I only needed somewhere to sleep and make breakfast. Amanda came to pick me up and take me to her apartment and I had a pleasant evening with them all. The kids were very excited to get all their things from my bag of goodies and both of them immediately dressed up as fairies!
Later Harry escaped from the living room and jumped into his bath fully clothed in his pyjamas and slippers!
Once the kids were in bed we watched Game of Thrones from Episode 1 and I was completely hooked. I've got a way to go as it is currently showing series 7, but by the end of the week I had seen all of Season 1. Sam is going to try and download the rest for me.
The next morning I had breakfast on my balcony - enjoying the morning sun which was streaming across the sea. I felt lovely to have some sunshine again.
I walked to the school in Son Caliu to meet Amanda in the cafe after she dropped the kids off, and set off to follow the route along by the beach which we had taken in February. I didn't remember the way to get to the beach, and ended up doing quite a long loop around the head making me a bit late. After coffee we went back to the apartment and I then did some cross stitching sitting on her terrace while she went to do an airport run for a friend. In the afternoon we had a cheeky shandy and shared a serrano ham baguette before picking the kids up. We had a curry in the evening - it cost 85 euro (£76)! Mind you it did all of us including the kids and there was some for another meal the next day. I helped Bethany do the jigsaw puzzle she had been given by Lorraine.
On Saturday I walked up to their apartment at Cala Vinyes. It was a very enjoyable walk about the same distance as Son Ferrer but a lot more uphill! I logged it on Map My Walk - and made good use of Google maps to navigate. It was great to be able to use mobile data for free in Europe.
We went to the Aquarium in Palma. It was very good and I could have spent longer there. There was plenty to see and the children were entranced. We had some lunch at the cafe - which turned out to be in total chaos. The cafe proper had closed at the end of the season and there were 2 people trying to provide sandwiches and frozen pizzas from a kiosk/counter. They had completely run out of sandwiches, and could only cook two pizzas (from frozen) at a time. We eventually got our pizzas, which were actually very nice but it was a very long wait.
On the Sunday they picked me up and we drove to the new shopping centre, which had been advertised as being open on their website. However when we got there we found that it was only open for access to the cinema, and all the shops were shut and cordoned off. So we had a coffee and went back to the apartment. Amanda and I went down to the playground with Bethany for a while and had a look at the beach, both of which are just at the bottom of their communal garden. It was still warm and sunny although cold out of the sun.
The rest of the week I walked to the school each morning to meet Amanda - using google to find the right way to the beach from the hotel. It was a lovely walk and the weather was always good, although there was quite a cold wind at times.
|My walk took me all the way round the bay to the far shore|
Meanwhile I received holiday pics from Suki (courtesy of Emma) who was having a great time seeing the sights in London, and the nightlife in Richmond and cuddling up to Emma on the sofa!
All too soon it was time to go home. My pick up was at 2.30 so I met Amanda for coffee in the morning, then she went off to Spanish lessons while I did some cross stitch, and then we went for lunch before saying goodbye. Yet again I was the sole traveller in a big posh car and whisked to the airport. I sat in a nice quiet space at a closed gate and cross stitched until my gate was displayed and then made my way to the departure lounge. I once again let the whole queue go down - and I was absolutely delighted when I realised they were tagging hand luggage and taking it to the hold. I was relieved I didn't have to try and stow my bag in the cabin. There was an incident where an elderly chap tried to ram his large hand luggage into an overhead locker and ended up dropping it on someone in the seat below. The injured party didn't shut up about it for the whole flight! The wife of the "assailant" sat in the middle seat next to me and immediately stuck her elbow on the arm between us. I tried to squeeze myself up against the window so that I could cross stitch unhindered but it was difficult. Once again the flight was fine, the baggage was delivered to the reclaim belt quickly, and the shuttle pick up to the car park came quickly. I was on my way in the car by 8 pm - less than an hour after landing - and drove to Linda's to collect Suki (Lee and Emma had taken her there in the morning before driving back to Dartmouth).