Saturday, 2 April 2011

Palma Nova, Majorca: A cultural review

I've never reviewed a holiday before! Cos I haven't been on holiday in ages. It saves me having to actually tell people how my holiday went and we did see some culture (of sorts). My boyfriend and I just got back from five days in sunny Palma Nova, Spain. And yes, it's sunny in Spain. Bloody sunny! In admirable Brits-abroad style we've come back burnt to a crisp.
We got a really cheap deal through Ice Lolly and flew out with Easy Jet (I'm not getting sponsored by these, more's the pity) and arrived late Sunday night. The flight was great, two hours, really easy and our hotel was right by this bar we'd read about before we went called Banana Joes- a classy establishment, drenched in neon and selling pints of vodka and Red Bull for 5 euros. We rather overdid it on the first night considering we got there at midnight and ended up not being able to sleep due to the Red Bull. Silly. The vodkas they give you are quadruples as well. We also sampled sangria but I didn't like it (surprise, surprise).
Our hotel was called Aparthotel Aquasol (also not sponsoring me) and was so cool. We had this cute little apartment with a couch, our own kitchen, bedroom, and even a bath. I loved it, it was such a great place to relax and we had our own balcony. The hotel had everything you could need from a bar, shop and an outdoor swimming pool (although it was ABSOLUTELY FREEZING!) Some of the clientèle left a little to be desired- ie. the bloke who flashed his arse and penis on the last day. Nice. It was definitely a bit on the Jeremy Kyle casting-couch side. In fact, the worst thing about Palma Nova is the pandering they are doing to the scummy British tourist, with every pub showing Corrie and Eastenders, and doing awful approximations of British food. In fact, we need to talk about the food.
Food isn't a good thing for me at the best of times, but the food in particular was TERRIBLE. Even a fry-up tasted gross, and I'd rather not mention the half roast chicken I had one night that was swimming in a pool of grease. It was absolutely rank. The best thing my boyfriend had to eat was an Indian from a place called Saffron Desi. That was the only decent food we had the whole holiday (and I don't eat Indian). We did eat about ten McDonalds (a day). Oh, I did have a nice toasted sausage sandwich on the last day.
Apart from that, we spent every day on the beach and it was absolutely gorgeous. Really deep light-coloured sand in a lovely little cove, and a small strip with shops, cafes and bars. It's a really cute little area, and it was really relaxing to just lie on the beach all day and have hardly anyone around. The sea is a perfect blue and we had a paddle but it was too cold to go in! There's not a hell of a lot to do (particularly off-season when some things are shut) but all we wanted to do was eat, drink and read so it was great.
We could also walk to Magaluf from where we are, which was quite empty, but full of trashy bars, karaoke places and people trying to drag you off the street to drink disgusting cocktails. I can only imagine what that place is like mid-summer.
The only other thing we did is on Thursday went into the town of Palma and saw the gigantic cathedral and then went to the aquarium (expensive, but pretty good, except a turtle that looked a bit mental). Apart from that we laid around the pool and drank to kill time on our last day before the flight (but we didn't drink that much, it was too hot!)
I'm really glad we went 'off-season' as it was so warm and lovely and not too busy. It definitely got busier as the week went on. I do feel a bit sorry for the staff at the hotel where we stayed as I get the feeling they must see some sights. But I think we timed it just right to avoid the glut of the riff-raff. Is it snobbery to want to experience Spanish things in Spain? If I'm gonna watch Eastenders I might as well stay at home. There's this 'British' bar/cafe there called Castaways and people go there and drink from morning to night. They are just slumped there frazzled by the end of the day. It really is a sorry sight. My boyfriend coined a new phrase for people out there *indomitable* which means they are a certain size and shape. We saw a LOT of indomitable types.
All in all, a really enjoyable holiday and worth it for the beautiful beaches alone. And our flight back only had about five people on it!

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