Friday, April 9, 2010
Semana Santa - Majorca (Days 5, 6, and 7)
Once I had arrived in Palma de Mallorca, I was happy to see that it was indeed sunny (albeit extremely windy and a bit chilly for my liking). Nevertheless, I couldn't complain as I was thrilled to be on a lovely island in the Mediterranean! From the airport I took about a 20 minute bus ride to the center of Palma. From there, I had to catch another bus to my hostel. After about 30 minutes or so on the bus, I realized and was slightly surprised to find that my hostel was located in a lovely (but pretty far away) district known as Cala Mayor. I followed my printed out directions and got off at the correct stop. However, after wandering around for about 15 minutes and not finding the hostel, I decided to stop in a bar and ask for directions. So, I approached a man (who only had two people in his bar), and said "excuse me, can I ask you a quick question - I think I'm lost," to which the man replied, "no." I was slightly taken aback, and just said "uh..." and left. That was my first of many experiences with what I would consider to be very rude and unfriendly mallorquins. I was fortunate enough, however, to find someone else who was much friendlier and pointed me in the correct direction. My hostel was lovely, and for the first time I had my own room and bath! As usual, I dropped off my bags, freshened up a bit, and took off to explore Mallorca!
On Wednesday, I woke up early, hopped on a bus to the center of Palma and immediately caught a vintage (albeit touristy) train to Soller, a small town on the other side of the island. I must say the train ride was nice, but to be honest I wasn't very impressed. Most of the time, the train was going through dark tunnels...and there wasn't much to see. However, it was a fun experience. Once in Soller, I took a few moments to look around, then took off walking the 4 km to the Port d'Soller. Port d'Soller had beautiful views of the Mediterranean, and was a quaint little port town.
I got on the bus to Valldemossa...and about 10 minutes later, it came to a stop at a slightly sketchy looking bus stop with a sign that read "Valldemossa." I didn't see a town, but the stop clearly was marked Valldemossa, so I proceeded to ask the bus driver if this was the stop for Valldemossa. I had just expected a "yes" or "no", but instead he responded "Where is Valldemossa?" I said, "well, I suppose this is it, isn't it?" He said, "Where is Valldemossa?" Then I said, "I don't know - hence why I'm asking if this is the stop or not." To which he replied, "Do you see a town? Do you see Valldemossa?" I confusedly responded, "I see a few buildings, and for all I know, the town is down the hill and I can't see the rest of it." Finally a lady in the front row spoke up and said "It's the next stop." To which I said, "thank you very much" and sat back down. I mean, was all that discourse really necessary???? All I wanted to know was if I should get off the bus, or stay on. Apparently the bus driver was not in a good mood, but he should be happy because he wins the prize for being the third unfriendly person I met in just two days on the island.
At 18:30, I hopped on my last bus for the day, and headed back to Palma de Mallorca. Somehow I managed to find yet another unfriendly and extremely cranky bus driver who cussed out two passengers (they didn't understand, but I sure did) and almost killed a pedestrian by accelerating on purpose (and saying, in Spanish of course "take that and shove it up your @$$"). I am not sure how, but I managed to make it back to Palma in one piece...and I took off on the 90 minute walk back to my hostel. All in all, it had been a very busy day and I was ready to just chill out and do a few sudoku's in my room.
Thursday I had planned to explore the city of Palma..., however ended up spending most of the day on the beach. I left my hostel around 9:00 and walked along the coast and peninsula in an attempt to visit the naval museum. However, when I got there, it was closed...despite the fact that it's timetable said it should be opened. Since it is connected to the naval base, I proceeded to the guard's hut and asked one of the guards if it was a holiday (that was the only reason I could think it would be closed). He said he didn't think so, but that it was quite possible. Well, I took that to mean, "yes." So I went on my way, slightly bummed I wouldn't have the opportunity to visit the base or museum. When I finally arrived in Palma, I headed over to the famous cathedral. I couldn't quite figure out where the entrance was, and I saw people lined up to enter the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, so I joined in the line. When I bought my ticket to enter the palace, I asked where I should buy the ticket for the cathedral. The attendee then proceeded to inform me that it was a holiday and the cathedral was closed. Fantastic. My last day in Palma, and I wasn't able to visit the famous cathedral. I was once again, bummed, to say the least. However, I took my time exploring the Palace of Almudaina, which was actually quite impressive...then spent a few hours exploring central Palma. However, there really was not much to see, so I headed back to my hostel, put on my bathing suit, and went out to enjoy the last few hours of sun. I at least had a relaxing afternoon, so again, really cannot complain!
On Friday morning, I had set my alarm to go off at 5:40 am in order to catch a bus at 6:30 am. My alarm did indeed go off...but I for some reason turned it off...and continued sleeping. At exactly 6:40 am I woke up, looked at the clock, and screamed...well, I won't tell you what I yelled. I had missed the bus, and now was thinking I would miss my plane. I have never dressed so quickly in my life. I didn't do my hair, I didn't put on makeup, I just dressed, grabbed my suitcase, and went running (literally) out of my hostel and down the street. I anxiously waited for the bus, which luckily came only a few minutes after I got to the bus stop. It was only 7:15 am, but I was still worried because I had to transfer buses and get to the airport no later than 8:15 (and that was really pushing it as it was). However, no sooner had I gotten off the first bus, than the next bus pulled right up. It was truly my lucky day! I arrived at the airport with a few minutes to spare, ran to the restroom, put my face on and fixed my hair, and headed to catch my flight to Sevilla. Whew, what a whirlwind of a morning.