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Published: November 2nd 2007
Club Riu Romantica
Our secluded hotel on the beach "Cala Romantica" in Mallorca, an island of Spain located in the Mediterranean Sea.
The purpose of this trip was to relax. Sometimes when life is utterly stressful, there is nothing to do but go to the beach. Well, there’s no beach in our town, so we decided on Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea, and booked a few days in an all-inclusive resort on a private beach.
We left Heidelberg at three a.m., and drove like a bat out of hell to the Stuttgart Flughafen, reaching the airport at 0415. There was an incredibly daunting line at the ticket counter, which led us to believe we’d miss our flight, but the efficient German employees moved the line along in only 45 minutes, and we were boarding our plane at 0535.
The itty-bitty, struggling plane showed us our first glances of Spain as we flew along the Eastern coastline of the main continent before reaching the mountainous island. We land in Palma, in a field littered with windmills, and are bused to our hotel, which appeared so much closer on the map than it was by the roadways. My first impression of Mallorca is strange, as I did not expect this Mediterranean island to be so brown and
A view of the beach from the hotel.
sandy, like a desert in Nevada. We pass a lot of fields and small towns, many stone walls, more windmills, and a lot of Spanish and Italian type architecture - all of it set against the brownish-red dirt and beige hay and occasional green ground cover.
Our bus ride was longer than our plane ride, so we were very happy to finally arrive at the Hotel Riu Romantica. We had already noticed that everyone on the bus was speaking German, and now, upon arriving at the hotel, the hotel staff was addressing us in German, but with a Spanish accent. Apparently we shouldn’t have used the German travel agency. After some very confusing dialogue, we unload our bags in our room and grab some lunch of beef with onions and croquettes at the buffet by the pool. Then we purchase some beach towels (not provided by the hotel) and head out to the beach.
The beach is the whole reason we’re here - no touristy stuff on this trip, just good, old fashioned relaxing. The hotel was very secluded, and I did, actually, get bored by the third day. There was just no shopping - there was nothing
Me in the Mediterranean Sea.
- near the hotel. But I guess the hotel made up for that with beauty. It was backed right up to the beach, which was a cove of white sand hugged by towering, rocky cliffs on either side, and the crystal clear, blue water disappeared into the horizon.
We spend awhile sunbathing, and since half the women on the beach are topless, I join them. After all, I usually get pretty bad tan lines at the beach, and it will be nice to end a vacation without them. After a couple of hours, we head back to the room for a quick nap before our scheduled dinner. But I can’t sleep, so while Seth relaxes inside, I sit on our small, semi-private balcony, surrounded by tress as if I’m in the middle of a jungle, and enjoy the cool breeze while reading a magazine.
Dinner was unexpectedly hectic. Their only dinner option is buffet, which meant that during the entire meal there were people rushing around the restaurant. It did give us another chance to observe the company we were in. We still only heard German being spoken, and there were almost no couples there our age. Most
The view from the hotel lobby/restaurant area.
people were either getting on in years, or were there as a family with their kids. It seems I didn’t exactly pick a happening place. Anyway, the food was good, but not spectacular.
Afterwards we got cappuccinos at the bar downstairs and sat out on the terrace for awhile. We took a long stroll up the path along the cliffs, out along the coast of Mallorca with miles and miles of blue water stretching out all around us. The sun disappeared at 2200 and the mosquitoes chased us back to the hotel where we ended the night with strawberry margaritas and shots of while tequila in the bar. One mosquito, however, had left a welt on my face covering a third of my forehead, though luckily it subsided before the next morning.
Seth’s back was hurting him, so after breakfast he went back to the room while I went up along the cliffs again, including a visit to another hotel where I heard plenty of Spanish spoken. I got some nice morning photographs and wandered around on the streets outside of the hotel, not finding much of any interest. It was raining on and off
Seth at the hotel with the beach in the background.
and I headed back as the grey clouds were coming out once again. We went to the pool because it was so cloudy and there was such a cold breeze over the beach. We had lunch under the awning near the pool, but stayed in the area until the sun came out.
We did buy a snorkel, something else not included in our all-inclusive resort. We spent all afternoon at the beach. Seth snorkeled and then we hung out in the water on foam spaghetti noodles. Then lounged around on chaise lounges under an umbrella. It wasn’t until we got to our room that we realized we were both burnt. There was such a cool breeze over the beach, my skin never felt warm. But there we were - both us of beet red from head to toe - and me with friggin’ tan lines. Since I know I didn’t get those tan lines on the beach, I figured they must have been from our time in the water. I was more upset about that than being burnt. Well, we took long, cold showers and used quite a bit of aloe lotion, and then laid very still until it
Our room at the hotel - the one on the right behind the balcony with the towels.
was time for dinner.
We had opted for the later seating tonight. They served some awesome pork and gravy, but I think the highlight were the pudding-filled, chocolate-covered cream puffs. It was dark when we finished and we headed out to the shore. We hung out on the edge of the water for an hour or so, enjoying the dark, breezy peacefulness. Then we headed back to the bar and had some red wine with a recent Air Force Academy graduate who was accidentally booked into a different Riu hotel than his friends. We hung out with him until one in the morning when we went back to the reception desk to continue our earlier problem-solving efforts to make sure we had a ride to the airport.
You see, there were quite a few miscommunications on this trip. The hotel forgot to give us our plastic “bracelets” when we checked in, the ones that allow you to eat at the hotel’s restaurants. We were booked at the second seating for dinner by the same person who later claimed we were in someone else’s seat at dinner and were supposed to have shown up at the first seating. Then
The beach in front of the hotel.
we find out that there is no return bus to bring us to the airport tomorrow. Every time we’d asked to confirm the time for our bus, we were told “three to four hours before your flight, the bus will be here.” But when someone went to the trouble of actually looking it up - Oh, gee, there is no bus coming for you. This has been an incredibly disorganized vacation considering its all-inclusiveness. Luckily all was figured out before we went to sleep. Well, what sleep we could manage with those sunburns.
We get up early to eat breakfast and confirm the bus, again. We leave our bags at the front desk, get some ice cream, and hang out on the terrace for awhile. Our lunch included breaded pork and fries today. Then it’s back to the terrace, continuing to stay in the shade. I’ve had enough of the sun. I could barely move and certainly wasn’t going back down to the beach with a burn like this. The weather was gorgeous, but the bus couldn’t come soon enough. Although the bus showed up at our scheduled time, the driver said we weren’t his fares
Me on the path near the hotel.
and tried to tell us we couldn’t go with him, even though not one other hotel guest got on his bus. We weren’t about to chance missing our flight and talked our way onto the bus. After a few stops we were back at the Palma airport, and starving. We wound up at the McDonald’s near our gate, and one McRoyal and chicken sandwich later, we were boarding the plane back home. Though, admittedly, it was not my most comfortable flight. We were both red for days and then peeled for days, including our scalps. And returning to the much colder Germany like this caused me to get sick. So, yes, the beach was very relaxing, and a wonderful escape for a few days… but I actually spent more time recovering than I did relaxing in the first place. Seth was luckier. Oh well. It was nice, and we’d love to return to Mallorca one day, but next time we’d like to explore the island, see the sights, and stay somewhere there’s civilization… and shopping!
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