Monthly Archives: September 2009

Menorca 2009

So here we are again …

Day 1

Good flight out, despite 1/2 hour delay in taking off, due to two slight mechanical problems with the plane. First, the seat of the bloke in front of Lesley collapsed, causing some rearrangement of seating — we actually benefited, being relocated to seats with extra legroom. An engineer was summoned and declared the seat could not be repaired, which caused some concern among the crew, as the return flight was going to be fully booked, unlike  ours. Then the captain announced we were still unable to start, because one of the luggage containers was giving problems. Tried not to spend the rest of the flight wondering what might be " the third thing"!!
Landed more or less on time, but then had best part of an hour waiting for luggage! — due to a combination, I suspect, of the size of the plane (we’ve never been on a 400+ seater before) and the speed at which the Spanish seem to (not) move.
The car this year is a Seat Leon diesel — quite impressed so far.
As usual, we lunched at the Arenal beach bar on the way from the airport. This always puts us in the mood, and the marvelous setting is unchanged, though somewhat busier than usual, we thought.
Basic shopping in the Spar at Mercadal, before going the the apartment (just a few essentials, quite a lot of then in bottles). Inevitabley, forgot something –  this year, tomatoes and mahonesa (really should set up a standard shopping list and keep it in the Holidays File).

Day 2

Lazy day (pretty much as expected).
The wind, which had started to get up yesterday evening, was at full belt when we woke this morning. Consequently the breakers are rolling in, in a most un-Mediterranean way, and the attendant noise has, by late afternoon, begun to be a bit wearing!
Breakfast was followed by a stroll to the supermarcado to buy bread (barra Provenzal) and some tomatoes for lunch.
Enjoyed the first of many late lunches, consisting of cheese (La Paysena semi –  one we haven’t tried before), ham (jamon curado, that is) and chorizo, with a said tomatoes and bread.
Cooked loin of pork with baby new potatoes and tinned sweetcorn for evening meal.

Day 3

Wandered into Fornells in the morning, having bid bon voyage to Christine and Des, returning home to Manchester today.
Had coffee at the bar in the centre and mooched about, observing that not much has changed. Failed to buy Roquetta, which was our main objective, but content that we’ll probably find one in Mercadal tomorrow.
Bought a cooked chicken (allegedly the best in Menorca, according to the notice outside the deli) for this evening’s meal.
Lazed around afternoon, exhorting the sea to be calmer from time to time.
Enjoyed said chicken with Ainsley’s Morrocan couscous after watching a nice Mediterranean sunset.
Hoping to wake up to less wind and a millpond sea.

Day 4

The wind has finally dropped and the sea has gone down overnight, though still not quite calm enough to swim in the cove.
Lazed around most of the morning. Took some pics of a group of fishermen on the rocks in front of the apartment. They didn’t appear to be catching much, but then that’s not necessarily the point of the exercise, I suspect.
To Mercadal for a bit of shopping and a late morning coffee. Found a Roquetta in the paper shop, as we had hoped.
More lazing after lunching on the remains of last night’s chicken. Siesta – slept for nearly two hours (damned hard work this vacationing business!)
Dined at Es Cactus, up the road — both had fish. Pretty good and reasonably priced.
Only note of discord an invitation to go out for dinner with Peter and Jacqui; they’re nice people, but I really don’t want to do socialising on my holiday (or most other times, to be truthful!)

Day 5

Another lazy day! Really must make the effort to do something soon.
Eventually summoned up the energy for a swim, before strolling to the supermercado to get bread for lunch.
Unable to get any reply when I tried to ring Casino de Sant Climent so we are assuming there’s no jazz club tonight due to Fiesta de Virgen de Gracia in Mahon.
To restaurant Ca Na Marga for our evening meal – chuletas de cordero accompanied by Azpilicueta crianza; excellent as always. Lesley thinks the proprietor has lost a little weight, but I’m not convinced. Mostly the same staff as before – most of whom we suspect are family!

Day 6

To Es Castel for BCP communion at Sta Marguerita. Revd Michael Bunce in his usual ebullient form (one of the few people I’ve met to whom that adjective truly and appropriately applies). Fewer in number this year – partly due to the fiesta, perhaps, but sadly also possible that some of the older folk we are used to seeing are poorly or have been promoted to higher things!
To El Sol Naciente afterwards for customary noon beer — in contrast to the church congregation,  positively thriving here!
Then onward to Es Grau for lunch of tapas, as usual. Had planned to call at the Syp supermarket in search of Pernod for Her Ladyship, but it seems to have closed down; however we found a new and very impressive hypermarket in the polygon industrial which provided said beverage and sausages for tea tonight.
Bar Es Mol in Es Grau disappointed a little, not having tortillas de patatas or carne en salsa, but we made the best of things with alternatives.
Home for a short siesta and then bangers and mash for tea.
Hard to believe first week almost over!  😦

Day 7

Packed up a picnic lunch and went across to the little "beach" on Cap de Caveleria, where we like to swim. Quite a lot of traffic on the road as far as the carpark for the main Playa, which looked pretty full. Fortunately, not so busy where we were headed, though more people than we have sometimes seen; and goats aplenty – which is new! Party of French people turned up later — quite unusual for Menorca, in our experience.
Jacqui strolled by the apartment late afternoon, but thankfully didn’t mention going out together! — maybe by avoiding contact for a few days and then not refering to it today, we have got the message over to them.
Take-out pizza from Es Cactus for evening meal — OK but not outstanding; maybe it’s worth the extra distance to get them from Ca Na Marga.

Day 8 (Friday 11th)

Active start to the day, changing beds and dealing with minor influx of ants!
To Fornells to order a take-out paella from Es Cranc, then a beer in the square, before shopping for a few essential supplies — mostly liquid!
Swam in the pool, late lunch and usual siesta.
Had planned to snorkel late afternoon, but in the end hadn’t the energy — maybe mañana!
Paella in the evening was most enjoyable, as usual. Unusually, didn’t feel completely stuffed afterwards!

Day 9

Snorkelled in the cove in the morning — a little bit choppy, but greatly enjoyed none-the-less.
To
Mercadal for weekend shopping. It transpires it’s fiesta weekend, so
they were spreading sand in the central square in preparation. Don’t
think we will be attending —  when you’ve seen one jaleo, you’ve seen
them all 🙂
Corned beef hash for tea.

Day 10

To bar Es Cactus for morning coffee and to use the free internet.
Weather took a turn for the worse around lunch time — became quite
dull and cloudy. After siesta we had the odd rumble of thunder and
early evening a bit of a shower, though nothing by Mediterranean storm
standards. Jacqui reported heavy rain in Mahón while lunching near
Hamilton hotel.
Cooked some nice steak with tomatoes, mushrooms and sauté potatoes.
No improvement in weather by bedtime 😦

Day 11

Overcast
at first; thunder seemed to be moving away North after breakfast, and
sun began to shine: looked hopeful … false hope — black clouds and
some rain just after 10:00
Weather improved a little towards midday and we had a bit of an outing to the leather-good shops on the poligon industial this side of Ferreries, where I bought a t-shirt, then up El Toro.
Managed
to have lunch with the doors open, but shortly after that it took a
turn for the worse again; raining properly when we woke from siesta.
Brief improvement late afternoon/early evening.
Dinner at Es Cranc: shared a mixed-platter starter, followed by caldereta de marisco (shellfish soup/stew), with cheesecake and coffee to finish. Very good!! (Very expensive!) We shall return DV  🙂
Rain
set in properly by the time we got home; thunder and lightning began by
bedtime; full-blown Mediterranean storm during the night — up at 04:20
for a cup of tea.

Day 12 (Tue 15th)

Not a promising start – still raining when we woke at 8:30, but improved by the time we’d had breakfast.
Decided
to chance a trip into Mahón. It was not too bad for a few hours, even
sunny part of the time, and we had a long walk round the town, seeing
some bits we hadn’t seen before,including a former windmill done up by
the GOB which gives a panoramic view of the town from the top floor.
Few spots of rain while having a midday beer. Enormous (private?) yacht
parked next to the ferry terminal — "Mayan Queen", registered in Georgetown.
Home
for a late lunch, with a bit of sunshine, but raining again as we went
to collect a cooked chicken from Fornells for tea tonight.
Very heavy squall around 5:30 — lighthouse and Cap de Caveleria totally obliterated for a few minutes.

Day 13 (Wed 16th)

Church a.m. — Michael has had a successful trip to UK: baptized baby
of a friend and landed a grandchild (Fleur). Better attendance this
week (12 including Michael). It transpires in conversation that MB has
been here nearly ten years,  contrary to what we had thought: tempus
fugit
!
Weather really not up to scratch: sunny at first, but began to cloud over while we were having midday beer at El Sol Naciente.
Headed for Canutels, at least hoping for sardinas a la plancha, thought
swimming looked decidedly doubtful. In the event, the bar was dead; so
we headed up to Es Grau for tapas.
Bar Es Mol positively heaving, but managed to grab a table. Proprietor
doing blue-arsed-fly impression, but in due course we much enjoyed a
lunch of tapas and some sardines. It looked very much as if we would
get wet before we finished eating, but we got away with it.
Decidedly cool and overcast afternoon and evening, though it began to
look more hopeful by sunset. Hoping for a better last day tomorrow!

Day 14 (Thu 17th)

After and uncertain start,
it turned out to be a perfect last day — some light cloud, but mainly
hot and sunny. Water in the pool very cold after four days of rubbish
weather.
A bit of last-minute shopping at the Spar for things to take home (tuna, ham, brandy).
Then
a run down to Es Migjorn for coffee in the central bar (v. quiet) and a
brief visit to Graham Byfield’s gallery — had a quick word with
himself and bought a couple of postcards.
Final lunch of chicken leftovers, tomato and the remnant of Coinga Semi.
Swim, sunbathing and packing.
To Ca Na Marga for tea tonight.