Monday, November 02, 2009

A mythical Balearic Island

I’m just back from a great break in warm and sunny Mallorca. Or rather according to The Rough Guide the mythical fifth Balearic Island called “Majorca” (the English spelling for Mallorca). Since this is apparently a long standing Spanish joke (there are only four Islands).

As much as I enjoy The Rough Guides and have been using them to get the most out of holidays for years they are extremely patronising about the typical holidays enjoyed by ordinary working people. Now I have flown into countries and used The Rough Guide to take public transport or to hire a car and tour around the countryside while staying at small hotels or camp sites and eating at local restaurants. Which they seem to think is the only "proper tourism".

However, I also from time to time enjoy staying put for a week at a well run inexpensive “all inclusive” resort favoured by the masses. Last week I still went walking and touring most days but I mainly just wanted to indulge, crash out, read and enjoy the sea and sunshine. Some of the huge sprawling resorts are pretty awful but just rubbishing anything that doesn’t appeal to a middle aged middle class graduate reminiscing about his gap year is just toffee-nosed nonsense. I would recommend the resort Calas de Mallorca on the East Coast to most folk - it was very pretty, there was lovely walks along the cliffs and beaches, there was even (God forbid) a small but compact and lively commercial centre of bars and shops - but to The Rough Guide it is simply just awful and charmless - not even really worth a mention.

On a more serious note the picture is of a memorial “to all the victims of the civil war” (in Spanish on base) just under the Santuari de Sant Salvador in Artá (well worth a visit for the views). I do not know who erected this memorial or why (The Rough Guide did not mention it!). During the War Mallorca was occupied by the Fascists while Menorca was held by the Republicans. By co-incidence last week was also the 39th anniversary of the end of the Franco regime.


Anonymous said...

We were grateful you went away

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
Thanks for that – Glad to think that you appreciate me and that I deserved a holiday!

ModernityBlog said...

Yeah, the Spanish Civil war still has a hold, you only need to look at the issue of Lorca and the excavation of those graves to see how it effects people today.

The demons of fascism haven't been fully exorcised.