So we finally arrived at the villa which was to be our home for two weeks. “Don’t think I am going to be chained to the cooker all the time” said Judith as I tried to turn our small car into a smaller driveway before the electric gates closed. ‘No darling’ I replied thinking about 14 days of fried food, barbecues and cosy home suppers.
Now we get to the ‘paradise’ bit of title. The villa was beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone. We have used Villa Select before and they have never let us down so far. It had three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a bright and spacious living area.
The design was modern and the facilities were all there from the large infinity pool to the sunny barbecue area to the large balconies with views over the bay of Alcudia. There was a modern halogen hob, new looking cooker and washing machine and an excellent fridge freezer. You will be able to make great meals here I said to Judith as she gave me an icy stare. ‘No, let’s go out instead’ she snapped.
That first night we drove the short distance to Alcudia where we promptly got lost. ‘Left here’ she shouted after we passed the turning for the second time that day. We eventually ended up in the old town where we seemed to be the only tourists and came face to face with an eighteen inch penis. It was attached to an eight foot statue of a naked violinist that was ‘mounted’ in the forecourt of a small bar. Naturally we could not resist dining there.
We sat adjacent to the statue but we could not escape from its member as the setting sun threw its shadow right across our table. Rather unnerving when you are eating a ham baguette I can assure you. I placed the pepper and salt at one end and it looked quite lifelike! After being stared at by the locals, drinking beer and watching the sunset we drove home. Apparently our naked stone friend was called Javier San Pedro but I am not sure if the scale used was lifelike or wistful thinking.
We went out touring in the car a few of the days and found some really nice places that make mockery of the concept that Majorca is all crowded beaches, nightclubs and tourist dominated. There are such places for those that want them but they are mainly in the south, except for perhaps Port de Alcudia.
A great place to go is Port de Solier on the west coast. The drive is quite hair raising over mountains and around many tight bends but it is worth it for the views. We ended up behind a very nervous driver who panicked and nearly stopped at every bend and then shot off afterwards to stop you overtaking. He met his match when he met a bus driving psychopath on a particularly bad loop. They ended up bonnet to bonnet with neither able nor willing to give way. We nipped past whilst they screamed at each other.
We then ended up behind another bus which was aptly named ‘no frills bus tours’. An inspiring name and the people aboard looked wretched. By the look of it no frills meant no air conditioning, no shock absorbers and no windows that opened. It was dull rust red in colour (no paint) and the driver was wearing a vest (no shirt). Even Michael O’Leary would think that this bus had less frills than his Ryanair planes.
We went to a lot of the usual places like Formentor where you can climb down from little car parks to gorgeous little beaches and Cala San Vicente which is a very pretty little resort in a small bay that has some very nice cafes.
When we ate out we either drove in to Pollensa old town or Port de Pollensa depending on what mood we were in. If we wanted pretty and quaint it was the former where you could sit in the main square, eat good food and watch people who were probably watching you. Everybody eyes each other up on holiday; it is part of the ‘fun’. I think they particularly appreciated it when I got drunk with a Brazilian waiter who demonstrated (repeatedly) how to make an authentic caiprinha.
Port de Pollensa is at the seaside and full of cafes lined along the front. This place is great fun on any evening and you would be amazed by some of the sights that walk past. In June the local people are out in force too so it is quite a scramble of tourists and residents of all sizes, ages and dress sense as well as the local dogs which get taken walkies in the evenings. The latter provided great entertainment by escaping, tangling leads, fighting and occasionally defecating while you are trying to eat your paella.
Picking up dog litter seems an alien concept to the Majorcans. Very often they do not notice what their dogs are doing as one lady with a chihuahua demonstrated. It was on one of those extending leads so it got ahead of its owner and squatted down by a palm tree in an orderly manner. Sadly for him and everyone else his owner failed to notice and the next minute Fido was projected through the air when the lead tightened. It continued to ‘go’ as it flew dropping bombs like something out of the dam busters film.
What can you do? You cannot pick it up and you cannot tell ever passerby about it. So we decided to wait and watch while vast numbers of people came from either side all converging on these brown bombs. We felt so helpless but it was compelling viewing.
Eventually there was a bulls-eye by a local on a bike followed by a glancing blow from a lady in heels. We really did feel guilty!
Food at both these locations is of a reasonably high standard taking all into account although it is not particularly cheap. Wine costs far less than the UK and Majorcan grapes are quite acceptable. Food in the supermarkets is pretty extensive and you will find many international brands. The bigger the supermarket the bigger the range and the cheaper the price but that is the same the world over. You can use credit cards at most places but only if you can show ID like a passport or driving license.
More about villa life and the homeward journey in my final blog on this subject out later this week.