The first trip abroad I went on with Sarah was to the lovely little town, Puerto Polenca on the far north North corner of Majorca.
We went to stay with our lovely friends Michelle and James who own the fab production company, Cherry Duck and the wonderful CherryDuck Studios in London. I coincidental shot a 'naked photo shoot' for a Christmas edition of Fabulous Magazine at their studios a few Christmases ago and it it's a great place to get creative!
They have a terrific apartment over there and they were staying there for a few weeks and had invited us to come over for visit. Lucky us!
We decided to go after I finished work on a Friday and return late on the Sunday giving us, a short but nice little weekend trip.
Liverpool's John Lennon airport is literally 5 minutes away from us, so we decided to fly from there. It's a cracking little airport, fairly new with ample parking near the terminals. It has a decent departure lounge for an airport of its size and doesn't seem as fraught as some of the bigger airports.
We decided to take hand luggage only (we could do that before we became parents!) so we expected the check in and security checks to be as easy as it usually is at that airport......
However, on this occasion there was a problem and the problem was all my fault! I had booked the tickets to come back a day early, making the trip practically pointless. Not only that, I had used Sarah’s 'stage name' not her legal name on her passport, to book her ticket - double whammy.
I was absolutely gutted, I was really looking forward to a nice relaxing cheeky weekend in the sun after several months of tough filming and I'd got us cheap flights with the bonus of no accommodation costs - but now it looked like either, we'd be flying there and straight back again or I'd have to pay for flights all over again or we might as well just go home.
EasyJet got an honourable mention in my last blog and they are getting another one here!
The chap on the phone dealt with a very stressed yours truly brilliantly and he was able to sort the name change out easily so we could at least check in. He then told me how to sort a new return flight out on my iPad as we walked through into departures. It was as 'EasyJet' as that and they didn’t cost me extra for the new flights either. Easy Jet were friendly, helpful and very understanding that I had just made a mistake and they did everything they could to help sort out the situation. Weekend saved!
We didn't know how we were going to get to Puerto Polenca but Majorca isn’t very big, it's just one main road down the middle really. As we landed, I decided I would just hire a car as it didn't cost much more than getting taxis to and fro and it meant we could do as we pleased somewhat. It was a lovely evening drive from the airport to Puerto Polenca and it only took us 45 minutes to where we greeted our friends and fell in to our beds.
In the morning we woke up to bright blue skies and lovely views of the mountains. Polenca is a picturesque old town. Most of the buildings are 17th and 18th Century and there is a really lovely old square that is surrounded by restaurants, cafes and bars. The square has a charming atmosphere especially in the evening. I could easily spend a week exploring the different places on that square and just enjoying the ambience of the place.
There is a large 13th Century Church, that I’m told was built by The Knights Templar, which of course, geek that I am, I loved! A huge stairway, that has 365 steps leads up to a chapel, needless to say I swerved that and stuck to the good food and company down in the square!
Apparently on Good Friday they have a huge parade and there is a reenactment of The Stations of The Cross, I’m sure that would be wonderful to see, even if you're not religious, I imagine it would be quite a spectacle.
We were spoiled with the number of beaches around Puerto Polenca. The port itself is quite small but packed with boats and a little ‘modern’ town centre. There are some lovely local shops for groceries etc. This is important for Sarah and me as we love a treat. There are also a number of very quaint cafes and bars on the water front.
The best part of our trip was going out on our friends boat! You can hire boats and go on boat trips and I really recommend you do.
We took their boat out to a quiet area just out from the port over to a cove near a Palatial Villa. We dropped our anchor here and the adventure began.
This was the first time I had swam in the sea for many years. I had even said to Sarah and friends, that I didn’t like going in the sea or to the beach. I think I had memories of being uncomfortable, covered in sand and being badly burnt by the sun as a kid and they had sullied my mind to the experience. I just hadn't been to a hot country for so long I had nothing to compare those childhood memories with.
I'm pleased to say this trip changed my memories of the sea, for the better! The minute I jumped in to the water, I felt like I was home.
It was warm and calm, not too deep and very refreshing. With my goggles and a snorkel on I was away, diving down, chasing schools of fish and investigating rocks and the coral. It was the most relaxing experience I've had in a long time. It was like a meditation, I felt like was flying at times, drifting through the water, it was a real treat for the senses. The others could barely get me out of the water. I spent hours in that sea and I could have spent hours more. If I could go back to that exact spot right now, I would in a heartbeat.
All that drifting around does make you hungry though - time to get some food! We took the boat a little further round the coast where we came to a cute beach restaurant.We dropped anchor a little off shore and so Sarah made me carry her through the sea to the beach on my shoulders, as it was a little too deep for her and she isn’t the best swimmer. We must have looked a site as I waded through the water with little her sat on my shoulders.
On our way back I even got the chance to drive the boat, which was exhilarating, I felt like James Bond.
It was during our little boat excursion that we got ‘papped’, we didn’t mind, we actually ended up with some nice photos of our time on the boat from the press! Which was jolly nice of them.
There is a lovely 9 hole golf course just out of the town up in the hills with some pretty fantastic views. There is a nice little swimming pool, bar and restaurant up there too. Even if you’re not a golfer its worth heading up for a bite to eat and to chill. The course itself is a 3 par, simple enough for beginners to have a go but there is enough to do there to interest keen golfers as well.
We played a few holes (badly) drove the carts round then spent a nice few hours sitting outside having a bite to eat and a few drinks while taking in the beautiful scenery.
With a short flight, a short drive and reasonable prices on food and drink. I would say this is an excellent destination for a short break or holiday. It's not too touristy, a little off the beaten track but still with plenty to do.
Interestingly a director I have worked with a few times, went out for two weeks last summer with his family and had a great time too. He said they hired bikes and that there were some great cycle routes to enjoy.
I am very much looking forward to returning, maybe even having a holiday home and my own little boat or maybe yacht moored there in the future.