The island of Mallorca has had a pretty bloody history really, everyone back in Blighty thinks of it as one of those places to go for a cheap beach holiday, but get off one's bottom and head North Easterly and you can catch up on some of the more exciting things that happened here. Pirates from the Ottoman Empire and Berbers from North Africa would show up regularly and treat the place as if it was Market Day, they would steal, pillage, ransack the villages and then kidnap the locals to be sold into slavery. Highly exciting stuff! This was around the 13th & 14th Century, but Mallorca's history goes further back than that.... The first fort here was probably Roman and then Byzantine, so you're looking at five hundred to seven hundred AD. The Moors then paid the old surprise visit and they were here for around three hundred years. King James I of Aragon then hit the island and managed to pull off a coup by making the Moors believe they were being invaved by a massive army and they surrendered without blood shed - this was the treaty of Menorca and apparently is the oldest surviving peace treaty in the world. It is on public show in Paris. Moving swiftly on from King James I reign from 1231 to 1276, his son James II began shoring up the fort that we see today, to deal with the invading hordes that I mentioned at the beginning - so the place was pretty much sorted around 1300. It's an impressive place and it's history tells you that this was no place for the timid.
Getting here was one of the longer bus rides from Palma and took about two hours. It was well worth it. There's even a nice Byzantine church there as well. We headed off back down to the town for a coffee and again got laughed at for asking for milk. We then had a bit of a wait for the bus and we thought we'd head off to Manarcor and see what that was like. We didnt see much of that as we got lost and ended up walking around the town in search of the railway station, we eventually found it and this one has modern trains on it's tracks. We had just about enough time to hit another casino that Grant had spotted. He won again, just in case your wondering.
We jumped on a very full train and I was quite surprised to see some Bible Bashers getting on board, they were a couple of young guys in suits with name badges on, you see them all around the world really, so I shouldnt have been too surprised that they were here preaching to the converted. I made a derogatory remark about being God Botherers thinking they were locals. Turns out they were Americans and understood every word. How to make new friends. They then let me know that they understood what I'd said but being the good Christians they are, they forgave me. I know this because they told me to move my ass onto the other train in a station we stopped at otherwise we'd be heading back to Manarcor and I didnt really want to be going back there, so I ate humble pie and thanked them for giving us the heads up. If I was them, I'd have kept quiet and had a wave at me when the train took off in the wrong direction, but that says more about me than them.
The train took quite a while and despite being modern seemed slow going - it was on a par with the quality we get here I suppose, but not quite that bad. It was the usual evening, couple of bars and oily to bed. Tomorrow he head to Alcuida.