If you want to see evidence of 21st Century British colonial invasion, go to Magaluf. Magaluf is a small town on the south coast of the Spanish island of Majorca. Don't let the sun and the sea fool you - today, the area is stripped of all its culture and replaced with fried British breakfasts. Ok, that was a bit harsh. But take a look at this.
Now picture it running along the entire length of the street, and around the corner, and around another corner. Only on the second evening did we meet a real life Spanish person. I didn't know places like this existed anymore, but apparently, there are quite a few such pockets across Europe, where the Brits flock as soon as the temperature hits double figures.
Back to my Magaluf experience. It wasn't all bad. I went for sun, beach, rest and food. The first two I got. The weather on the island was stunning. Clear blue skies and temperatures in the high 20s everyday. Perfect for swimming, sunbaking and frozen daiquiris, of which we had many.
We stayed at a resort called Majorca Rocks. It's a party resort, massive pool, giant screen, and hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of pasty, sex-crazed, 19-year-old boys. And did I mention that the World Cup was on and we just happened to be there for the week England played twice? I must say, they did have a good set up for the World Cup. Everyone sat around the pool, 2 for 1 drinks at the bar and the big screen could be seen from most angles. As you can see, it was actually quite nice.
Until England scored their first goal against Slovenia and every boy and his dog jumped into the pool. Did I get any sleep that night? No.
My favourite part of the holiday was the two day-trips I made to Palma, a 40 minute bus ride east along the coast. The city is a large urban centre but has managed to keep much of its charm, particularly in the old city, where streets are narrow and windy and where I managed to get lost more than a few times. The cathedral dominates the city view and is surrounded by beautiful tranquil gardens.
It was while sitting in these gardens reading my book that I got chatting to a man by the name of Manolo. He was a horse and carriage driver and was having a slow day. We talked for a while as he told me about his other job, training horses, then were interrupted by a group of Spanish visitors wanting a ride. Manolo invited me to join him at the front, free of charge, and so I enjoyed the next 20 minutes taking in a tour of historic Palma.
I didn't want to say goodbye to Manolo but it was getting late and I had told the girls I'd be back to have dinner with them.
Speaking of dinner, when in Magaluf, don't expect to find much Spanish food. Do prepare yourself for pizza, omelette and chips with gravy. However, I did get lucky on the final night and found this beauty.
The BEST paella I have ever encountered. Almost worth going back for. Almost.