“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” ~ Steve Martin
If Steve Martin had only lived awhile in Dublin, he might have started to think there was no such thing as daytime here. While I’ve gotten used to the dull, gray skies and the daily sprinkling of rain, it was nice to take a break for the weekend, and really enjoy the sun of Majorca, Spain.
We arrived in Spain to bright, sunny skies, and 85 degree weather. Our cab driver spoke only the local language, Mallorquin, a regional dialect of the Catalan. I speak fairly coherent Spanish, but quickly realized the two languages are very different from each other. This did not deter us, and with map in hand, we were able to communicate our destination, and one cheap cab ride later, we were parked outside of the hotel. From the street, it did not look like much, which we learned was the case with most of the hotels on the island. This is because the entrances sit at the top of a cliff face, and the back of the hotel descends to the beach and the water. Ordinary from the front, spectacular from the back! When we stepped into the lobby, I was immediately struck by the bright blue water of the ocean on the backside of the hotel, enhanced by the endless floor to ceiling windows lined down the lobby.
Our room was down on floor three, with a view of the beach and the ocean. We didn’t waste any time throwing on our swimsuits, going to the pool, and having lunch and drinks at the bar. We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and playing in the surf. For those of you who don’t know, Matt has a fear of sharks. However, he sucked it up and went out into the clear, blue waters with me…well, until he decided we had entered “their territory” and we made our way back to shallower water. One late afternoon siesta later, we enjoyed dinner on the terrace of the hotel, listening to the waves crash and the sun set.
We spent the next couple of days doing much of the same during the daytime. Beach, sand, paddleball, ocean, etc. The next couple of nights, however, we ventured out from the hotel to enjoy some Spanish flair. Our second night we made our way to Paseo Maritima, a stretch of the island next to a large harbor. Here, the boats were both small and grandiose, and there were many restaurants to choose from. We sat outside, enjoyed a nice bottle of wine and a meal, and watched the locals. We went a little earlier than dinner hour, not only because we are used to a different dining culture, but also a different time zone. Therefore, we missed the heavy crowds of people. But upon returning to our hotel, we walked to the edge of the ocean and checked out the local Tiki huts on the beach.
The next night, we stayed more local to our hotel and went to an Argentinian restaurant that looked hopping the night before. Once there, we understood why. The wine was delicious, the ambiance dark and inviting, and the meats so juicy and flavorful that I realized I had forgotten what good steak tasted like in my short time in Dublin. Matt and I enjoyed not one, but two bottles of wine, and became part of the local crowd. Toward the end of the night, our waiter came over and offered us shots of Argentinian liquor, on the house. We asked him to choose, and he brought us a liquor that tasted like a mix of Goldschlager and Jager, but better. He asked to please enjoy as much as we liked, and left it on the table with us. I felt like I was a part of the city then, enjoying drinks on the house and staying late with the locals.
The next day, our last, we went into Palma to check out the city. We sat outside at a restaurant next to the Cathedral, and we finally ordered the famous Spanish cuisine called paella. Mmmmm, that was one of the most delicious things I’d tasted in a long time. Our rice was mixed with different vegetables and chicken on the bone. We then walked across the street to check out the Cathedral, where local merchants were painting, playing music, etc. The architecture was incredible and I felt like a tiny bug next to it all.
Unfortunately, though, all good things must come to an end, and mid-afternoon we made our way back to the airport to head home, both tanned and satisfied. Before boarding the plane, I put on a windbreaker in anticipation for the Dublin weather, and the young man behind the ticket counter asked if I would seriously need that upon our arrival in Dublin. Sadly, I replied, “definitely,” and boarded the plane, leaving behind a wonderful trip, another great memory, and a new stamp in my passport.