Once in a while I need to get away from it all, take a break and relax. This year I found a perfect haven in the Spanish island of Menorca in the Mediterranean Sea.
I stayed in La Quinta Menorca by Porte Blue Boutique Hotel near the beach and marina of Cala en Bosc. The adults only hotel is tranquillity personified and I extend my thanks to Eva and the staff who made my stay so comfortable and serene. Bravo. Keep up the great work.
The marina was filled with numerous sailing craft and is an enjoyable area in which to take a stroll, or partake in an early evening cocktail, a plate of paella, a beer or a glass of Spanish wine. I’d recommend the rosé which is most refreshing.
Towards the end of my break I took a boat tour with Amigo Boat Tours to explore the south east Menorcan shoreline with its many coves, sandy beaches and azure waters. It was a fabulous trip giving me a chance to admire the plethora of yachts bobbing in the summer sun and to swim in the crystal clear water.
The sea was a wee bit rougher than I thought when I dived in, but it was great to see the fish cavorting in the depths and escape the thirty five degree heat for a while.
The shoreline in places was very similar to that of Hunstanton with red and white striated cliffs. (https://www.aechambersnovelist.com/post/chambers-at-large-in-hunstanton-norfolk-england) The sea is doing its worst in Menorca too creating fissures and small caves in the cliff face. I suppose it is just a matter of time before the sea erodes the soft rock away altogether.
One morning I headed to the largest city on the island named after the fact that it was once a walled citadel: Cuitadella. The market was in full swing and it was one of the first I’ve visited where “the price was the price”. Haggling was not on the cards, which is a shame as I love to indulge in the fine art of barter, but I came away with a couple of bargains by way of summer dresses and family pressies.
Views over the port were spectacular from, of all places, Burger King, but after wandering the narrow streets I chose to eat in one of the cafés near the cathedral.
Next to the eatery was a statue of Rafael Olèo Quadra who I had to google as the waiter hadn’t a clue! He was an 19th century chemist, botanist and historian and a native of Cuitadella, but I’ve learned little more.
After a plate of calamari, one of my all-time favourite dishes, I headed into the cathedral which, by European standards, is relatively modern. The interior is an eclectic mix of baroque and modernity considering it was restored in 1936.
The temperature at around 2pm hit forty degrees and it was time to return to the hotel, however I couldn’t help but notice that even in the town the houses were immaculate. All were shades of white, terracotta or wine red, and the gardens were beautifully maintained, not necessarily landscaped, but clean and tidy.
I discovered that homeowners must paint their houses every year to keep them pristine during the tourist season. Although this “rule” is to ensure the tourists are impressed I couldn’t help but think that those who work on the island would appreciate the effort to make the island so scenic. Maintaining one’s property to a high standard is something other places in Europe should consider too. How much does it really take to keep an area clean, tidy and pleasing to the eye?
When in Rome I usually eat what the Romans do, but there were two lovely Italian restaurants in Son Xoriguer and I enjoyed a pizza in one and delicious fresh pasta in another.
I have to thank the owner of Dallitaliano for introducing me to acai berries, a new superfood, from which she had made a delicious sorbet for dessert. (I must google how to make sorbets from the fruit I grow. They can’t be that difficult, can they?)
Fine wine, fine food, sun, sea, sand and serenity. My holiday in Menorca had it all. I am now back home well rested, ready to write another novel and more blogs of my travels near and far.