Palmanova and Magaluf
Beautiful hotels on a peninsula hill above two holiday towns. Family beach resort Palmanova and young persons hot spot Magaluf.
Magaluf – tattoo parlours everywhere. Many or most of the fathers in the hotel carry tattoos on their suntanned skin. All very artistic – I would frame them in a picture on the wall, but not on my skin! Even if the family people are here for the all inclusive meals there is ample evidence that they have all been down in Magaluf or some such place before.
We are all like beached whales with our all inclusive expanding stomachs. It is impossible not to have that extra dish or that bit of cake or ice cream or mousse at the end., two breakfast plates. Even the stoic avoidance of cooked breakfast leads to cereals and too many jams on the croissants and breads. Kids with short attention spans are nonetheless content for hours in the beautiful pools and under the bucket waterslide. Some of the adults are the same!
We queue briefly for free drinks of most descriptions and sweat it out on the sunbeds. The lucky ones get the sunbeds in the shade, but everyone is welcome to cool down in the water.
The hotel staff are well mannered and very pleasant. Underneath they probably seethe with quiet anger as their wages fail to keep up with the costs of living. It probably winds some of them up more than others. The Spanish debt crisis is in common with quite a few of the Mediterranean states and the keen competition of the hotel chains and holiday companies and the end of the hotel building boom.
At the same time there has been great criticism of financial corruption in high places. The old king has been on expensive hunting expeditions, chasing endangered species, and such criticisms have caused him perhaps to resign in favour of his son.
The truth is that many are being made to work longer and longer for less and less, while the rich get richer and the big companies get more efficient. Isn’t that always the story of the world. At least one member of staff thinks that no one believes in royalty any more. Government and economics should be for the people. Maybe the winds are going to change and things will start to get better.
We walked through Magaluf. Pretty young ladies and lots of young men, walking in groups, looking for each other but a bit scared of each other. Attractive young ladies and men attracted into employment outside bars, encouraging the young and even the middle aged into their establishments, with free drink offers. All manner of businesses clamour here to earn their share of the tourists money.
A class of young 18 to 30 clubbers walk swiftly from bar to bar, trying to have a drink in each one, leaving stragglers behind or keeping up more slowly. We wonder whether they will all survive the grueling trek and end up in the same place together. They are like boy scouts and girl guides, just a bit older, off the production line of life, coming into adulthood, doing their rites of passage and hoping to score, males and females.
How many of them actually do? A fair number perhaps but far from all. A lot depends on the self confidence of the individual, and the willingness to risk. While the young devotees to the cults of sexuality and adventure risk their self image and their pride they are still drawn to the adventure! After years of schooling, and perhaps universitying, they are ready for the ‘real’ world, learning to part with their money, make fools of themselves, and enriching the businesses here!