John Edward Cooper’s Notes

HomeContentsAlphabetical listingWhom I’d like to meet in eternity…
 

Saturday 31 August 2013

[Friday 30 August 2013]

06:00 Arrive Palma—18:20 Palma, Mallorca—20:00 Manchester

Day 243 Saturday 31 August Ezekiel 16-17


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 01:20:58
Seen through the cabin window: a ship on a parallel course to ours

This was the Cruise News for today:





This was the disembarkation information that was issued to us:





This was the Explore Ashore sheet:





Janet wrote: “We both slept well. We were up at 7.15am. The ship had berthed in Palma, Majorca. I went to Reception to ask about using the safe in our other cabin, etc. At ca.8am we went to breakfast. It was, of course, very busy. [John] had a good tuck in. We returned to ‘5075’ then at ca.9am decamped to ‘5099’. Then we set off for the Sóller train. It was already very hot. Good! We only waited around five minutes at the bus stop.” We got the №1 bus (09:20, according to the tickets) to Plaça d’Espanya. We descended steps to a likely looking underground concourse, but it was just a Metro station.


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 09:21:58
Bus to Plaça d’Espanya

Janet continued: “We eventually found the train station after I stopped a ‘little man’ and asked. I used the loo after we’d bought tickets and [John] found seats on the train.”


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 09:38:58
Station of the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 09:42:02
Boarding the Ferrocarril de Sóller

I figured that the gauge was about a metre.[i] “What a wonderful vehicle!” Janet wrote — “beautiful. And so clean.”
[i] Less than that — 3ft (914mm), according to Wikipedia.


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 09:51:34
Ferrocarril de Sóller

Janet wrote: “At 10.15am the train departed. The whole journey took just over an hour. It went up into the mountains and we were treated to the most spectacular scenery.”


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 10:33:20
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 10:41:06
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 10:42:34
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 10:46:58
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller

Janet wrote: “At one stage we went through the longest tunnel[ii] I’ve ever been through. It felt like it would last for ever.”

[ii] Perhaps the “longest tunnel” in terms of the time taken to pass through it — but at almost 3km in length it is shorter than the oft-travelled Totley Tunnel between Sheffield and Grindleford (5.7km).


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 10:50:32
In Túnel Major

Janet wrote: “The train stopped for ten minutes en route for passengers to take photos. How wonderful!”


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 10:59:26
Photo-stop above Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:00:46
Photo-stop above Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:00:58
Photo-stop above Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:01:54
Photo-stop above Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:21:16
View from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:27:00
Alighting at Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:27:38
Alighting at Sóller

After alighting, we stopped first at a nearby café. “¡Hola!” the friendly proprietress greeted us. I had freshly squeezed orange juice.


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:35:44
Refreshments at the nearest café

Janet went in a shop and bought some items of Spanish confectionery that weren’t of much interest to me. We kept hearing pipe-and-drum bands playing, and there were market-stalls and crowds in Constitution Square. There wasn’t much time to explore — Janet in particular was anxious about this — but we did go to look in the nearby church, before heading back to the station for the 12:15 train.


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:45:24
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:46:20
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:51:56
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:52:08
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:54:06
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:54:54
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:55:10
Sant Bartomeu Church


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:56:48
Plaça Constitució, Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 11:58:56
Station of the Ferrocarril de Sóller

It wasn’t immediately obvious that the train to the left was “the” train, but Janet confirmed this from a guy who was standing there. In fact, what at first sight appeared to be a train to the right turned out to be cars of the “Tramvia de Sóller”.


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:01:28
Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:04:54
Depot of the Tramvia de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:05:12
Depot of the Tramvia de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:18:12
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:20:50
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:38:24
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:39:50
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:42:10
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:43:40
Fig tree


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 12:48:28
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 13:00:54
Views from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 13:11:20
A Palma street seen from the Ferrocarril de Sóller


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 13:14:42
Station of the Ferrocarril de Sóller

As we waited at the bus stop for the №1 bus back to the ship terminal, there was on an illuminated display an estimate of the time till the next bus would arrive. It started off saying something like 6 minutes, but when it crept up to over 20 minutes, Janet flagged a taxi.


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 13:24:06
In a taxi


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 13:35:56
Approaching the Thomson Dream


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 13:36:10
Bellver Castle

We got back in the late check-out cabin just before 2pm, and were about to leave again to go for lunch, when that awful feeling of growing horror gripped me because I couldn’t find my wallet. In disbelief I kept feeling the right trouser-pocket where I normally kept it. The last time I had it was in the taxi, paying the driver; I must have lost concentration and left it on the seat. What happened next is a bit of a blur because I was so upset. We went to Reception to report the loss, where I fretted and fretted because there was a long queue of people. A young woman did eventually see me, and was very friendly and helpful; I explained the problem, and she suggested I use the ship’s mobile phone to make the necessary calls. She asked me to stand aside till she could get it for me. More stress! I thought initially that all my cards were in the wallet… but it turned out that Janet had removed most of the cards and put them in the safe, so it was only the “Current” account one that was missing. I’d been the one paying for things today, so there was €10 or less left in it. In it were also my library card, European Health Insurance Card — and the train tickets home. I went back to the cabin and got the “little feller”, brought it back, and opened the password-protected document on which I keep bank details, PINs and passwords (14:15). Eventually the receptionist did let me have the mobile phone, and because the automated loss-reporting didn’t work — the account number and/or card number that I keyed in weren’t recognised — I was transferred to an operator. I think he gave an English name and sounded Indian. The sound was becoming more and more distorted, but I managed to understand and make myself understood — “Has your PIN been compromised?” “No”, etc., etc. — and the missing card was cancelled. Anyhow, that was how we spent the time we’d intended to use for lunch. “It was ca.2.30pm by then,” Janet wrote (strange: with all the anxious vain searches, waiting in line, and fumbled log-ins and phone-dialling, it had all seemed longer), “so we left the ship to transfer the last bits [of luggage] into our cases [which were laid out in the port terminal building], then at ca.3pm we boarded the coach for the airport.” I realised too late that I’d wanted to photograph the Don Quixote-style windmills that we’d spotted from the coach on the way in, a week ago. It was Janet’s turn to experience the aforementioned “awful feeling of growing horror”, short-lived in her case; she wrote: “Once in [the airport], I thought I’d lost my engagement ring, but to my relief I’d put it in my satchel. Phew!” We checked our hold luggage in, and paid for extra leg-room seats.
 Once we were air-side, it seemed to me that I was standing around for a long, long time on my footsore legs, while Janet was in the loo. It was next to a German-themed bar/café too, and I wished we’d found a seat there before she’d gone to the loo. “It all suddenly sunk in and I couldn’t stop myself weeping,” Janet wrote. “When we got through [security] I went to the loo — and felt a lot better. We went to a café and [John] had a butty and a wheat beer and I had a Coke. We looked at yesterday’s photos in Barcelona. Then we headed for our terminal [i.e. boarding gate]. I was still thirsty so I got another Coke and a packet of crisps for [John].”


Saturday 31 August 2013 — 16:37:58
Refreshments at Palma Airport

“We boarded our plane and it took off slightly early,” Janet continued. “Once we took off I suddenly felt very ill… I went to the loo… When I came out I was directed to sit until the trolleys had finished dispensing then I returned to my seat. I still felt very iffy. One of the hostesses gave me a cup of tea and instructed me to drink that — and made sure I put the sugar in! I was a good girl and did that! I still felt iffy.” I got the “little feller” out and did Day 224’s Bible reading (to 18:11). “18:11” is a contemporaneous note and perhaps doesn’t need to be corrected to “19:11”. Also, the note that follows, “Janet felt ill”, lends support to its being relatively early in the flight. Did Day 225’s reading (to 18:32), and Day 226’s” (to 18:52). “It’s 7.50pm Spanish time now,” Janet wrote. “I’ll be so glad when I get to the hotel and in bed — and when I’m home tomorrow. The plane landed on time [scheduled for 20:00, British time]. I still felt so bad… During the final part of the plane journey… I was cold. I could hardly stop my teeth chattering. I managed to explain to the couple I was seated with [Janet and I had aisle seats opposite each other] that I wasn’t contagious. It was also cold in dear old Blighty — no surprise there. Dark, too. We got a taxi to the Premier Inn.” The taxi seemed to go quite a long way, leaving the airport access roads and going along a dual carriageway before turning off, winding around a bit, and depositing us outside the Premier Inn, Runger Lane South. The friendly receptionist in a kind of turban checked us in, and provisionally booked us a table in the bar/bistro.… I set the phone to give us an alarm call at 5.45am tomorrow, following the instructions on a slip of paper issued to me by the receptionist, and we went off to the restaurant. Premier Inn seems to specially train its waiting staff in obsequiousness, which seems out of place in an otherwise non-posh sort of establishment such as this. I had a steak; I ordered medium, but it was well done. I wasn’t going to say anything, but the waiter asked if everything was all right. I think he offered me another one, but I’d already almost finished this one. We went to bed almost straight away after returning to the room.

[Sunday 1 September 2013]



Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]





<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]