Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Puerto Pollensa Diaries: Day 1 - Wednesday 16th September 2015

Here, at long last, are my posts about our summer holiday from two months ago. Sorry for the delay, the last two months have been very busy but also have been a personally difficult time; I didn't really feel like blogging or any other hobbies which I enjoy, but time is getting on so I thought I'd finally publish these posts.

Our summer holiday destination this year was a place with an identity crisis.  In the English language it's known as 'Puerto Pollensa' but once you arrive there it's known as Port de Pollença - however for the purposes of these blog posts I will refer to it as 'PP'. Whatever you want to call it, PP is a resort on the north side of the island of Mallorca. Two years ago we spent a very enjoyable week in Palma city (on the south of the island), so it would be interesting to compare and contrast the island's capital city with one of its quieter and classier resorts.  For PP is certainly no Magaluf - it sells itself as a family-orientated resort with no 18-30 culture in sight.  After the dark and turbulent past few months, it was time to try something new - yes you may not believe this, but in all my years of travelling, I've never visited a conventional Spanish holiday resort.  In the planning stages - after Croatia and Portugal were ruled out due to financial and other considerations - PP ticked all the boxes.  A small, fairly quiet, compact and walkable resort by the sea, with good connections to nearby towns and cities, seemed like the perfect place to hang out for a week and unwind.

It's an early morning flight from Glasgow Airport to Palma.  Of course being the big Frankie and Benny's fans which we are, we don't need an excuse to pay a visit - and there's something wicked about eating hash browns and potato scones (pictured above) for breakfast just after 4.00am!

After a fairly quick flight, we arrive at Palma airport and passengers are then transferred to the appropriate coach for their particular resort. And it isn't long before we're enjoying the delights of the Mallorcan countryside, with its spectacular mountain backdrop.

After what seems like an eternity of dropping passengers off at the numerous hotels and apartments, we eventually arrive at our hotel.  The weather is bright and sunny, with a strong breeze - certainly very different from home where it's dull and typically becoming cool for this time of year.  PP has a long promenade stretching from the 'Pine Walk' at one side to the end of the resort at the other, before heading into Alcudia town.  But more about that later in the week.

It is wonderful to be here, and the healing qualities of a summer holiday quickly become apparent.  I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I'm surprised at how quickly I begin to feel relaxed.  The seafront is lovely, the beach is just minutes away and there are lots of little boats out at sea.

The seafront is packed with restaurants and shops, small supermarkets, souvenirs and clothes shops as you would expect from a resort.  My immediate impression of PP is that it is a very laid-back resort and the main categories of holidaymakers at this time of year would be either families with young children, young couples, middle-aged or older couples.....and there's one particular type of actvity which is very popular here.  PP is cycling-daft, professional and amateur cyclists come here to train in the winter months, and over the week the 'peloton' of various different cycling groups dressed in all their proper cycling gear is a regular sight.  There is one particular cycling-themed bar/restaurant here - but more of that later in the week.  

After getting our bearings, and my 'expert' navigation getting us lost in the back streets, we eventually find our way back to the hotel to get ready for an evening out.  

What we're not prepared for is the need to pre-book a table at many of the town's restaurants, particularly those in the top 30 on Trip Advisor (and I don't even mean the uber-posh ones).  SO just when our evening was turning into 'no room at the inn' we eventually find somewhere to eat.  It's Gazpacho time!!

Gazpacho is a cold soup which isn't to everyone's taste, but it's perfect on a warm Spanish night.  The other great thing about a warm Spanish night is being able to eat outdoors.  I was surprised at how early people eat out in PP compared to the traditional reputation which Spain has for eating out late at night.  Perhaps it's the 'family' nature of the resort which will also explain why the seafront is deserted by 11.00pm in September!  But back to dinner...

Yes we are doing some very cliched Spanish dining tonight - that's some of our vegetable paella pictured above.  Having checked out a lot of restaurant menus there is a great choice, something for everyone, lots of vegetarian options and tapas are everywhere.  We are going to love it here!

After a late night drink at PP's most famous and wacky bar, we make our way back to the hotel via a very quiet seafront.  We also quickly discover that although PP feels like a very safe resort, it's not always a very well-lit one, so the 'assistive light' on my phone comes in very handy to guide us home, once we leave the seafront!

In the next instalment: exploring the resort.

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