Sincerest apologies for being MIA last week but I had a very important project to complete and unfortunately my life wasn’t interesting enough to write about. Living in Menorca isn’t 100% relaxation I’ll have you know. Only 95%.
Please note: The first part of this blog was written 11/05/2017 (For those of you who have just had to look at the date, that was a week ago).
Summer is finally showing it’s face in here Menorca, not that winter was necessarily cold but summer brings with it so many wonderful things. Sunbathing, beach visiting and late night parties. It also brings guests. It’s rare for me to get back to my house and not have to introduce myself to some stranger raiding our fridge. I would probably welcome a burglar into our house with open arms at this point. This will only get worse and worse as the summer period gets underway. But, tomorrow I am hosting my very first guest. Albeit it’s my boyfriend but he’s still a living human being and therefore counts.
He is travelling over from England to come and spend the weekend with me. Unfortunately, I don’t think he realises that this isn’t going to be an all inclusive holiday with a pool and unlimited cocktails. More like frozen pizzas and a bit of orange juice if I feel nice enough to share. This is a general problem living on a tourist island, people think you lead the glamorous life but it simply isn’t the case. I live like a very hot, sweaty and grumpy student without the added bonus of being able to call mum up for emergency rations. (I have taken full advantage of my boyfriend however and he is bringing me my much loved Cadbury chocolate and some toffee).
This is where the past ends and the present day begins. That was written last Thursday which means for me, my boyfriend has been and gone and the majority of my chocolate has gone too.
I have developed a new piece of advice, one that has only formed since my first guest arrived
If you lack confidence or you are too caught up in your old life to focus on your new one, you need to have a guest visit you within the first couple of weeks of being somewhere new. For me I wanted to show and develop my independence, I didn’t want someone coming over here and making me look weak and unable. But I have been here over 4 months now and in the couple of days my boyfriend was here I visited more places than I did in the whole time before he arrived. Up until now I had no idea how the buses worked and didn’t have the confidence to try them and risk getting lost on my own. But once I had the company it was no longer a problem and for the first time since arriving on my small island I spent a weekend at the beach. It was so easy and took less than 10 minutes to get there. I wasted four months worrying about that?
We ate ice-cream at the local ice-cream parlour which I had always hesitated visiting and we ate out in the capital city in a restaurant that I’ve always wanted to dine at. It was simply the unknown that was stopping me.
I really wish I’d had someone to visit sooner because that little boost of confidence has helped me discover not only the island but it has helped me to rediscover a little bit of the fun confidence I lost whilst being here alone.
I have around 14 weeks left of this project. 14 more weekends to explore the island that I’ve gotten so used to calling home. My sister is coming to see me in three weeks time and my cousin in a month. In June I have my mid-way evaluation in Malaga from the 12th – 16th and then on the 19th my parents are visiting for a week. They leave on the 26th, the same time that I leave to go camping on the island for four days. That takes me into July where the summer project begins, we continue the summer project until the week before I leave in August when my boyfriend will arrive for the second time, but this time to take me home with him.
Looking at that schedule, I’ve run out of time.
I don’t look back and regret anything about my first four/five months here but I do wish I had been less concerned with what was happening at home. I couldn’t disconnect from England and enjoy where I was living for a very long time. I’d find myself wanting to stay in and talk to my parents over going out and enjoying the island. It’s always easy to look back and say what you would do differently when you are no longer feeling the way you did then.
To end this weeks post here are a couple of places that we visited last weekend and I believe are worth a visit if you were to ever visit Menorca yourself.
Punta Prima is probably the closest beach to Sant Lluis and the easiest for me to get to. Having no access to a car means public transportation is the most viable means of getting anywhere. Luckily here in Menorca (unless it’s midnight as we learnt the other week) the public transportation is top notch. The beach itself is beautiful, it’s clean and there are lifeguards on duty. This is because it is one of the more popular beaches with tourists so it can get quite busy. Despite this, every time we visited we were always able to get somewhere to put our towels and there were always free deckchairs and sun loungers. From the beach you have a clear view to Illa de l’Aire lighthouse which is an active lighthouse first constructed in 1860. Right next to the beach there is a restaurant/cocktail bar called ‘Noray’ which looks out towards the sea. Perfect for a mid-day snack or a way to end your day.
Surrounding the beach are novelty beach shops which provide everything you would need for a day out near the sea. You have supermarkets which to my delight sell more English products than any other shop I have come across, which shouldn’t be a surprise at a tourist beach. You have various other restaurants and access to boat and bike rentals. There is a local play park for when the children get tired of having sand in their underwear and the Insotel Hotel is just up the road next to the bus stop.
Hidden away in the port of Mahon this Asian restaurant has been recommended to me multiple times, mainly due to my love for sushi and Chinese food. Me and my boyfriend visited early afternoon and were delighted at how peaceful it was. The waiters were attentive but would often get confused as to who was responsible for which table which made for entertaining viewing. The food service was quick and the food itself was wonderful and fresh. We were expecting the total cost to be a lot more than what our bill said, especially considering we’d purchased too much and forced by our full stomachs to leave half of it behind. I am definitely visiting this place again and would recommend it to everyone. Ultimately it’s a stylish and modern restaurant, it’s only fault being that it could be a run a little better.
This is the capital city of Menorca and I include it in this list simply because this is the first time that I saw it in action. Tourists gazing at the phenomenal buildings and glass-bottomed boats exploring the bay. You can do everything here. There are restaurants on every corner for tapas and drinks, unique independent shops which emphasise the beautiful culture of Menorca and of course the port itself which (If there isn’t a giant ferry in the way) has a beautiful view out across the harbour. One thing you need to remember here is that the siesta still takes place even in prime shopping hours, so many shops will shut from 1:30pm and reopen at various times in the evening. But many restaurants and bars will remain open so if you time your meal right it won’t affect you (just be aware that the restaurants may get busier during these times). I prefer to sit and eat ice-cream at one of the many ice-cream parlours and trust me, there are loads. The bus station is easy to find and provides access to almost every location on the island including Cuitadella, the former capital city which is known for its medieval fortifications and is well worth a visit. It also provides a regular bus service to the airport and the beaches. On average the bus tickets cost 1.65 so it’s a cheap and reliable way to explore the island and a great way to meet other sightseers.
Lots of love, Lottie xoxo