I do not go to Cala d’Or very often; why should I? There was a time, years ago, when I went there to get some foreign newspapers. Now I read the local papers, and the weekly trip to this holiday resort has long since become dispensable.
Yesterday, I had a valid reason to go to Cala d’Or. I had to buy cigarettes of a brand that my local Tabacos in Felanitx does not stock. It felt like going back in time. It actually felt like going to a different part of the country, a different Spain altogether. It’s quite remarkable how many faces this island has, how many ghettos, how many areas which are so completely out of contact with the rest of the island. I wonder how many of the many visitors to Cala d’Or this year actually made it to the hinterland, into the island, to Felanitx and beyond, to Palma for instance, or to the mountains. I would expect that not many have ventured out much beyond the confines of this resort, in itself a kind of theme-park and unrelated to Spain or Mallorca or the real world, as it were.
I hadn’t been to the beach too many times this year, either. Yesterday, I was surprised to see how many people still were here on holiday in October, and how busy the beach was. Cala Gran (see photo, top) was packed. The weather was good with temperatures around 29° C in the shade. The water temperature might have been around 23° C. People were busy swimming or splashing about.
What struck me most about Cala d’Or was the fact that many bars, shops and restaurants were boarded up or closed, with Traspaso or Se Vende signs put up. If one were to believe the newspapers, this season saw more people coming to Mallorca than had been for many years (effects of the Arab Spring, as it were). But the larger numbers do not seem to translate into bigger gains for the local businesses or higher employment figures. Maybe it is all the consequence of the All-Inclusive holiday trend that seems to have besieged Cala d’Or in particular and Mallorca in general. The hotels are fuller than they were, the beaches are packed to capacity, but, the bars and shops and restaurants are waiting for punters and waiting in vain.
All-Inclusive is not the answer and can’t be the solution. I do not know what the answer could be. It would seem that no-one else knows, either.
The photo was taken in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 5th, 2011. The time was 14:59:27.