We get up pretty early and have a quick chat to our host Catarina, who's heading out the door. For some reason we blob out a bit, enjoying the balcony views. The weather is pretty good here, a bit nipply in the am but picks up after a while. The temperature has been between 14 Deg C. & 20 Deg. C plus, so it's T shirt weather in the daytime and fleece on after 5 pm.
It's now time to get a coffee, so we head on into the old city. There's a McDonalds opposite the Bus Station Building and over in Merry Olde Blighty, McDonalds have adverts on telly saying how they dont mess about with fancy coffees and you can get your regular coffee without a song and dance. So McDonalds it is then. Now I havent been to one of these places for a while and things have majorly changed. Remember the good old days when loads of people worked there, the food was constantly being cooked and helpful staff quickly passed over your chosen scran & drinks? Yes, well those days have gone. Now they've got big computer screens which take forever to use. So you type in your order, then go to the counter to pay. There were only three people working in this one, one to take payment and process the order, another bloke cooking the grub and another girl pouring the drinks. I cant believe McDonalds have gone down this route, this business model seems doomed. The days of fast food are long gone - it took twenty minutes for my Sausage Egg thingy to show up. I'd ordered a coffee with milk. When that showed up it was milk coffee........which I cant be doing, so Grant had to drink those.
Still hankering for a cup of coffee (I prefer Black Coffee with some milk in a little jug so I can put in as much or as little as I want), we headed further into the city. There's a place we call cheap street and went to a place we affectionately call Greasy's....... we take a seat, old Greasy comes up and I ask for a coffee....."No" comes the answer. Old Greasy couldnt be arsed to make any coffee today, so we wander further down and go to a small coffee shop. We're studiously ignored for fifteen minutes and eventually get served. Grant says "Cafe con leche" but I know that's going to be milk coffee and I but in and say "Americano" and ask for a small container of milk (Leche)...all I get is strange glares but get told to go sit down and wait. Eventually my Americano shows up but no milk. I ask Grant to go ask at the counter for some milk. This turned into a drama with many people getting involved and eventually some Spanish guy intervening and probably said something like "For God's sake just give them some milk!".....so then a cup of milk (not a jug) shows up. The coffee went cold about half an hour ago. What a palava. When did it become this difficult to get a coffee? I think it started in the mid 1990's with the rise of Starbucks etc. It took about two hours of faffing about to get that coffee.
After our Coffee drama, we head back down to the old Railway Station and book our tickets for Soller in the East of Mallorca. We buy a combination return ticket which includes a ticket for the tram on the other side. It's a nice small railway station and we wait for the train to show up. It's a beautiful train and the carriages are all wood panelled, they would never ever get built like this today. Interestingly enough this train started service on the same day that the Titanic sank in 1912. The cost is Thirty Two Euros, I'm not going to moan about that, it's a popular tourist destination and all in all I give it a big thumbs up. As it's off season, there's really not many people getting on board, I bet it's a nightmare in the Summer. We head to the front carriages and there's only a few people in them. The train pulls away and it's a joy as the rails run through the sunny side of run down town and out in to the country.
The train is quite noisy but have no fear, the groups of retired Germans shouting at each other will prove to be more of an annoyance. We moved from one carriage as their shouting was grating. Into the next carriage we go and it's the same thing, we sat in front of another pair having a good shout. I accidentally found a way to make them move by opening the window, this annoyed the pair behind me and they made "Tschh" noises at me when they goose stepped down to another carriage. Unfortunately it didnt work with two other ladies, the extra oxygen just gave them more fuel to talk and boy did they talk, one and a half hours of constant yak. The joy of tourism indeed.
It's a great ride up through the mountains though and there's lots of tunnels. As I mentioned, the train and carriages are beautifully made and when the train goes into a tunnel, the old fashioned lights come on. The lights are in lovely old Brass casings but I did notice that none of them had been cleaned in years. If I was in charge I'd have had Young Spotty the apprentice, armed with some Brasso, a cloth and a firm boot up his arse, cleaning them. We eventually got to Soller and it was lovely village up in the hills, very picturesque. We then got on to the Tram and this was another gem, wooden panelled and very quaint. Health & Safety wasnt an issue here and you could ride the tram standing in the open viewing platform, try finding that in Britain, no chance. As we were running a bit short on time we stayed on the tram after it had stopped in Port Sollero. That was a nice place and I imagine this is mobbed in the summer. We headed back up the hill and as we rode on the viewing platform I noticed that The Prince of Darkness - Lucas had supplied some of the Electrical equipment for the Tram - The headlights, would you believe it. The same one I have on my Triumph. The tram probably doesnt run at night.
We got back into Palma around 6 pm, and guess what, I really fancied a coffee. This time we wandered through the old city and into the market square - in front of us was Burger King - Now they're not noted for providing fancy coffees, so surely they could supply me with a regular black coffee with a bit of milk? The answer was no. After buying the black coffee, they refused to give us any milk and told us we had to buy a carton separately. The air was blue and some Spanish people were given a lesson in how to curse properly.
We then headed back into the Graffiti Sector and had a few beers etc. We were in bed by 10.30 pm, that's probably a new record for me.
Tomorrow, he head to Valdermossa - One time home to famous plinker of the Old Joanna - A certain Frederic Chopin.