Mallorca travel, blog notes
Few notes, in case I’ll get online at some point during the Balearic Islands.
Flying over Italy somewhere between Verona and Milan. It is dark already, I can see lights of villages, roads, towns below.
It is easy to love Europe in a night like this. Not an abstract idea of Europe, nor the Europe as an administrative-commercial unit. Rather, to see the face of the earth, and the place of man in the history — in the arrangements of narrow streets going back to times Medieval, or even the Antiquity. To be reminded of a book you once read, an encounter in a crowded Interrail train cabin, of the hungry alley cat you gave your last sardine pieces from the bottom of a tin can.
The old Spanish lady on the seat next to me falls asleep and starts to snore faintly. I try to think about life, your place on the earth, about concepts like family and home. Some things you need some distance from, to be able to see clearly, or at all.
Today, after the meeting, I tried to climb to the hill overlooking Palma and its harbour, but dark fell quicker than I had anticipated. I could see rows of sailing boats and a few big cargo ships down there, in the distance. Lights form golden paths over the salty Mediterranean sea. Back in the hotel, I join the Swedes who have staged a Wii Sports tournament. Even later, in “Pizza Industria” the “anchoas” and “aceitunas” are tasty, and oregano fresh. Young, smartly dressed men are kissing each other to the cheek; the Spanish language pop music has distinctive Latin, passionate and wailing tone to it. I eat and look at the traffic passing behind the window.
Yesterday was almost too long day for me, pervasive game design and technology discussions lasting to late evening, and I made my excuses rather early from the joint tapas dinner. Today was easier, more focused in work terms, and I even got free afternoon (got up at six am to write a lecture I needed to deliver today, though).
Afternoon walk took me to the harbour, then to La Seo, the cathedral. But it was closed for renovation. Palma appears to have that certain quality that tourism creates to otherwise poor areas: fashion boutiques and department stores exist next to street beggars and low quality shelters. Newspaper writes about new drug rehabilitation program. But sitting here, in ‘Bar Minimal’, sipping an Illy double espresso, and listening to soft tunes of Sade in afternoon sun, it is easy to like Mallorca.
The walk was perhaps a bit too much; I have been a bit feverish since I came back. Sudden changes of temperature, foreign viruses. It is good to go back home, like always, even if an occasional look to other parts of the world, other ways of living is good for your world-views. Albeit, the only English-language tv channel for the entire week has been CNN, which means that rise of radical Islamism and storm disasters have been the only stories in the air.
Now. Some hot nachos, ice-cold Heineken, and sleep, before 5 am start to the airport. Home, here I come 🙂
4:45 am. I am awake in the dark, few minutes before the alarm sounds. Check out. In taxi, we are suddenly caught in wee-hours traffic jam; the discos of Palma are about to finally end their Friday night celebrations, and young people are blocking the roads around the city centre. Looking back, I see the shapes of buildings, the cathedral, last time, attached to vulcanic rock, surrounded by salt water. Goodbye, Mallorca.
Two airport check-ins, two airport security checks. Then, watching the sunrise in Barcelona. The Spanish speaking weather guy smiles and points symbols of suns in the map. I feel the need of coffee. It has been a long week.