HOLIDAY SPECIAL: WHAT I DONE IN MAJORCA – PART THREE
Episode one covered airports and pikeys. Episode two was all about airplanes and pikeys. Here then – a mere three episodes in – is the bit that covers the holiday itself… Or at least selected highlights of it (with some concessions to pikey bashing).
Join me then, internet reader, as I deliver my insightful ‘Holiday 90’ style report on the Balearic Island of Majorca.
MAJORCA – SOME USEFUL INFORMATION
Majorca is – you’re probably aware – the largest of three islands hanging just off the arse of Spain. Its brothers are, of course:
- The more diminutive Menorca.
- Upmarket Hippy commune / amphetamine capital of the world, Ibiza.
- Fun fact: I went there on a “Lad’s holiday” during the 1998 world cup. Mid way through the first half of the Scotland v Morocco game – after a brief introductory chat that consisted of “What time is it?” – a woman attempted to take my virginity. There remains some debate to this day as to how successful she was.
- Oh aye, and there’s Formentera as well. That’s four islands, not three… But that last one is tiny.
Unquestionably the best thing about the place is the scenery. And by that I basically mean “the sea”, which isn’t the same as our one. It’s called the “Balearic Sea” and it’s different in two key aspects:
- It isn’t grey
- It isn’t cold as balls
I’ll be honest, I just assumed it was the Mediterranean (which it turns out, it basically is).
Also, there are some cliffs – best viewed from the ocean, admittedly – and the odd Mountain in the distance, which we made no attempt to visit.
The bit we were in was Cala D’or, a small chunk in the bottom right corner of the island. If it was a square.
Not to be confused with the popular Walls Ice-cream variant Carte D’or, Cala D’or is – for the most part – really fucking hot, and a perfectly pleasant place to be (provided you adequately smother yourself in Factors 30 to 50). It’s also well away from your Magalufs and your whathaveyous, which – frankly – is to its credit.
Other than the hotels, there’s no building taller than 30 ft, and – in a very broad sense – it looks like the Mexican levels on ‘Red Dead Redemption’. But with mopeds.
DEMOGRAPHIC OF THE TYPICAL TOURIST
The place seems to be a big hit with the following demographic:
- Tired looking families with young children
- Germans of all shapes and sizes
- Overly tanned, merchant navy tattooed “ex-pat” style Baby boomer Brits, i.e. Leave voters.
- To my mind these people – and not the Germans – were the chief culprits of early morning sunbed theft, i.e. Marking your area with a beach towel before fucking off for breakfast.
- A small smattering of polite, seemingly middle class French folk
- Severely sun damaged, kind of rough English people, largely from Rochdale
- Plus around 2% Polish, Ukrainian and other
In terms of ethnicity, for reasons unknown, it’s almost exclusively Caucasian… At least that was my take on it. I’m certainly not placing any kind of spin on that, either positive or negative – I’m just making an observation. (Christ, I’m going to get vilified here… Best move on.)
There are no nightclubs, so there’s no teens or 20 somethings throwing up all over the place. I went a full 11 days without witnessing a single street fight.
No sir, this is a family place…
And by family place, I mean a holiday town where people are quite prepared to take their toddlers out on the piss with them, provided they can wheel them home in a buggy at closing time (which appeared to be around midnight). If you want my opinion, the majority of folk seemed to be pushing it with the whole pushchair thing. Actual babies, fair enough, but it wasn’t uncommon to witness gargantuan, perfectly able bodied 5 year olds being carted around by boozed up, sunburnt Brits – just for an easier life.
TACKY SHOPS FULL OF NIK-NAKS AND TRINKETS
The majority of shops in Cala D’or look exactly the same: they’re small, squat and white. Most of them – apart from the pharmacists, maybe – sell:
- Diving gear
- Friendship style bracelets (of which even I bought two)
- Novelty phallus shaped bottle openers, and
- 33cl cans of San Miguel.
Some of the better ones also have snide, copyright infringing toys which your children will pester you to buy, on sight. There’s also the odd bong and replica firearm.
FUCK UGLY BARS
If you can tolerate the tackiness of all that, there are some incredibly ugly bars aimed at drunken Brits to enjoy the look of. There was a weird Hawaiian themed one that – in all seriousness – appeared to be a direct copy of the one that gets incinerated in Goodfellas as an insurance scam.
Another good one was a grotty looking family bar, sat just opposite Cala D’ice (the award winning, trip advisor recommended ice cream shop). This run down pub restaurant – complete with photographs of egg and chips, etc. – may once have been some tropical, desert island deal, but now it looked beaten and weathered. It came complete with an artificial lime green lagoon that surrounded the bar, meaning you had to walk over a little bridge to get to it. Sounds alright – granted – but it had an upturned bin floating in the water, and possibly a dead Spanish dog or two. That kind of let the side down.
In fairness, I might’ve been alright once inside. I wouldn’t know though, as I never set foot in the place. Can’t remember what it was called either. Tropic Thunder, probably.
These bars – and about a hundred other similar ones – shared the same handful of Working Men’s club style turns. There were about a dozen tribute acts doing the rounds – two rival ABBA acts, one fatter and more awkward looking than the other; a Tina Turner or three, and about 14 “Motown Experiences” who mainly just did fucking Bruno Mars covers instead. Each of them came complete with poorly designed Photoshop posters, which appeared all distorted and Lo-Res when blown up full size.
The Turns would flare up from around 21:00, when it started to get dark, and run on for a good couple of hours. They largely provided the soundtrack to the other activity around there…
Within 100 ft of each other, Cala D’or has two mini theme park deals. Going by the name of ‘Happy Park’ both featured the following items as standard:
- Giant inflatable bouncy castles / slides / punch bags bearing the somewhat off-model likeness of popular cartoon characters, e.g. Minions; The Avengers, etc. Both sites had giant heads with mouths that opened, allowing sweaty children to either dangle from or dangerously leap down off (in spite of visible warning material). 3 euros a pop bought you unlimited time on the bouncy castle play area of your choice.
- Coin operated, euro gobbling, electric go-carts: These buggers ate 1 euro coins at a rate of knots, but often provided amusement in the form of the occasional near miss, of partially serious collision.
- Staff who got flummoxed when asked to give change from a 50 cent and three 20 cent pieces… Well that only happened once, but it took a team of three people of work out that I wanted a euro an 10 cents worth of shrapnel. It lives long in the memory.
Parents were at liberty to sit, drink and ignore their children at their leisure – which was fair enough. It’s a holiday, isn’t it?
NEXT TIME: BACK TO ACTUAL NO SHIT HOLIDAY ANECDOTES! SICKNESS! DIARRHEA! GLASS BOTTOMED BOATS!! PLUS – DEFINITELY AND WITHOUT FAIL – THAT STUFF ABOUT THE LATE NIGHT KARAOKE BAR.
* Deranged waving and flailing of arms.