When I first started talking about this trip, Manja suggested we could do a week in Mallorca which I eagerly agreed to. So today is the day that we were finally going to set off on our trip. We had a small mountain of things to arrange before heading to the airport – including a suitcase for me! I arrived with a slightly large (read: as large as the airlines allow) suitcase, which wasn’t going to be appropriate for this trip. Luckily Manja actually had an old smaller “Inter-city” sized suitcase which suited perfectly.
To keep the cat fed, Manja had enlisted the help of Ilka and her neighbour, as well as technology. As it turns out, you can get little robot feeding trays which feed the cat in programmable intervals. Unfortunately they’re pretty well human proof (I had to read instructions to make sense of the menu. INSTRUCTIONS!!! I don’t even read Ikea instructions!) while not being particularly cat-proof. I see a market opportunity for a skilled industrial engineer – although some premium product probably already exists…. Now that I think about it – perhaps something with video surveillance where you can talk to your cat and monitor the food intake? Anyway. I digress, but if you want to design one I’ll give you input!!
After a little (long) while we had the two machines setup and working. The suitcases were packed. Instructions for feeding had been written. And we were off to the airport via S-Bahn and Bus, escaping the bad weather which was following us. I should point out that this was the first bad-weather day since I got here!
At Tegel Airport we had some issues actually finding the check-in… which was funny because we eventually asked at the desk with no line and a non-descript sign, which was of course the one we needed to go to.
Murphys law, the check-in was completely quick and simple. But! The plane was delayed, so we got to spend a delightful hour or so at the airport. I was running out of patience when we found a wasabi pea and peanut mix which saved my mood.
We did eventually get to board about 1.5 hours later than anticipated. The delay proved an advantage, we got the most spectacular sunset on our flight over! Manja did her best to capture it, but the photos still don’t do it justice… Just imagine it perfect when you look at the pictures below 😀
Arrival in Mallorca was equally simple, but we could not find the shuttle bus to the car rental place. Neither of us speak a lick of Spanish, so the fact that the staff at the interchange didn’t speak a lick of English or German didn’t help. Communicating with hand waving and nodding, we got a general direction which was filled with a large group of confused looking tourists. I asked one of the drivers who I heard speaking English, and they said “No problem – you wait, shuttle bus every 20 minutes from here.”
“Here” being a carpark without any signage. None-the-less, a few minutes later we were on the bus.
We got our car (a little Nissan Micra) which Manja technically had to drive (before you think anything bad, I had separate insurance but not from the rental place). Given that she was registered with the rental place, we thought it best that she drives the first few meters at least. She gave me the GPS location to the hotel and we set off, direction Palma.
Initially we got almost every turn wrong. I eventually realised that google maps was running about 30 seconds behind where we were. Adjusting for this delay, and much to Manjas amusement, I was finally able to give directions which kept us on the route google had indicated. Just as I got the hang of that, we had to detour through a maze of one-way streets (only some of which google thought were one-way!) because of a crash on the main road.
But we persevered, being thankful that the hotel has 24 hour reception and check-in as it was getting toward 11pm. When we got close the streets got tighter and tighter. I started to feel like we’d loose the mirror on my side every time we turned, but that’s because I’m a terrible backseat driver. Manja did a stellar job at navigating the maze without freaking out at my panicked squeals (Think the sound of a rubber duck). We were in some sort of old-town area of the city centre, and the hotel was not where it was supposed to be.
Eventually we pulled over and I got the name of the hotel from Manja, punched it into google and…. we were on the way to somewhere completely different and random. The ACTUAL hotel was about 25 minutes back toward the car rental place. 5 minutes around the corner from the car rental place in fact. Once we both got over our laughing fits, we headed off, much more experienced at navigating tiny streets with lagging GPS.
This really helped – we were at the hotel 20 minutes later, and after finding a carpark we headed to check-in utterly exhausted but happy. The area was a little more Party tourist that either of us likes, but it was only for the first night.
We headed upstairs and the key didn’t work to our room. Room 1228. Whoops. Our room was 1218. We quickly retreated and learned that our key worked just fine on the right door… A Night for learning new things I guess 😆
Unfortunately, I was also hungry.
Really hungry. Manja just wanted to sleep but was kind enough to stroll down to the local kiosk and have some water while I inhaled a burger. We did try to get something at the “Berlin Supermarket” because it would have been funny, but they were closed….
Back at the hotel, we held the lift for some REALLY drunk German tourists. Typical party tourists. Manja and I were just thankful that our floor was so quiet…. Until they got off at the same floor. They’d pressed the wrong button when they got on and given us false hope.
Ah well. It’s a large floor, surely they’ll be somewhere…. Nope! Right. Next. Door.
Luckily they were drunk to the point of passing out before we’d gotten ready for bed. As it turned out, they didn’t sleep well so we were woken to the shrill sound of them singing party and drinking songs the next morning…. But that’s the headline of the next post.