This post is coming way after the fact, I wrote it a while ago, but recently been quite busy and having been going through some shit. However, this way my trip to Spain in early October.
Mallorca, or Majorca as the Irish spell it, is a lovely island in the Balearics and technically part of Spain. Its official language is Catalan, though you see German, English, and Spanish translations almost everywhere you go. My friend and I were staying in Magaluf, a very British touristy area, known for its crazy “spring break” type summer madness with copious amounts of booze, sex, and crazy shenanigans. However, we came at the tail end of the tourist season, so there weren't hordes of crazy young drunk Brits out and about and it was generally pretty quiet.
Magaluf is very centered around the British tourists. All the restaurants serve British food, or variations of British food, and most of the remaining party promoters were British. Being an American and an Irishman in a sea of Brits can be somewhat entertaining. However, people were always more interested in why I was there, seeing as they don't see many Americans there. Our holiday was very centered around the touristy areas of Mallorca unfortunately. That's what you get when you book a last minute holiday with a company that sells holiday packages. That also means, we didn't get to eat that much amazing authentic Spanish and Mallorcan cuisine, but we did get to experience some great stuff.
Our flight to Mallorca was supposed to leave at 6 am. However, we both slept through our alarms and woke up after our flight was supposed to depart. My friend was freaking out, as I was trying to calmly figure out our options for the cheapest and earliest flight there. After scouring options and being unhappy with how expensive the flights would be, I finally realized that I forgot to check if there were any flights from Belfast, which thankfully proved to be the best and by far the cheapest option. We ended up making it to Mallorca at 2 AM the next morning.
In comparison to the quickly fading Irish summer, the weather in Mallorca was lovely. I would have preferred a bit more heat to compliment my beach holiday, but it was still amazing, nonetheless. My friend and I spent a few days of the holiday just lazing around Magaluf and the beach, drinking too much cheap booze. This proved to be quite bad for me as well, since the alcohol and penicillin I was taking for my respiratory infection didn't mix well at all. At all.
The highlights of the trip were when we actually left Magaluf and went to the much more cultured and interesting cities and areas of the island. That and the one day we tried this simulated surfing experience, which proved to be super fun.
We rented a car for three days and unfortunately only used it for two. Oh well. Driving proved to be incredibly stressful. Haha. He got his license just a couple years ago, but had not driven since actually getting his license. Also, him being from Ireland where they are drive on the wrong side of the road was a factor. I felt like I was coaching a 16-year-old on their first time in a car. Okay, maybe it wasn't thattt bad, but still.
Anyway, we decided to spend one day driving to Cuevas Del Drach and spent time in Porta Cristo. On our way to the caves, we stopped in Palma the capital city for a late lunch. We went to a lovely restaurant and both ordered off the menu del dia. For something like 13 euro, you can get a starter, a main course, a dessert, and half a jug of wine. We were first handed the regular menus, which had all the translations in various languages, but we had heard about the menu del dia that many restaurants do, and asked for that menu instead. Since this was the menu of the day, it was only in Catalan. We both have a basic understanding of Spanish, but this still proved to be quite difficult. My starter was a lovely cod paella, and my main was supposed to be a pollo dish, however, what I got instead was not something I would never order (though I am still unsure the name of what I was actually served). I was given some sort of fat and bone dish that was at one point a pig. There was not any edible meat. Just FAT. Needless to say, eventually the waiter came back, and in his very poor English said that I was given the wrong meal and asked if I wanted the correct dish. The chicken dish proved to be lovely. I had tiramisu to finish off the meal, but since I was driving, I had to begrudgingly give my friend the remainder of my wine. Overall, a lovely, and very authentic Catalonian meal.
The next time we ventured out, we went to Alcudia, which was quite lovely. We spent time walking around the old town there and for food, ended up getting a shared tapas platter that wasn't super authentic, but still good. As we were leaving Alcudia, there was a "hidden" beach nearby that according to the internet, was a hellish hike to get to, but absolutely beautiful. The hike was more difficult than I was expecting, but Coll Baix was so beautiful once we arrived. Too bad we got there pretty late, and it was no longer really warm enough to swim. Plus the water was kinda freaky with all the seaweed trapped in the crashing waves, especially after another couple had gotten in and started yelling for help. They were German and apparently one got caught in the tide, and the other got bitten by something. Despite all this, the beach was still beautiful though.
On our way back from Coll Baix, we stopped in Palma again to grab some dinner. We were trying to find a specific restaurant and happened to come across the Lorien, a small bar that is Lord of the Rings themed. It was terrific! After drinks, we ended up going to different restaurant than we had originally intended, and felt like mad bums walking in with our shorts and t-shirts. However, the food was amazing. We ordered various tapas and pinchos, and I failed at getting a good picture before we devoured everything. It was divine, though.
Those were the highlights of the trip. It ended up being a nice holiday despite our initial hiccups, and the super touristy area we stayed in. Spain, I will have to traverse one of your more cultured cities on my next visit.