Beach Life in September

I am constantly amazed by the hordes of people on Mallorca’s beaches. One would have thought that now, after the end of the Summer holidays, beaches might be a bit emptier. But, far from it. If you had been to the beaches of Cala Pi, Es Trenc or Cala d’Or during the first ten days of September, as I had, you would have found it difficult to put your beach towel down without any physical contact to some unbeknown person next to you.

Statistical figures for PMI airport and the month of August 2012 were at a slight plus over the previous year (3,494,008 passengers; plus 0.8 %), the highest monthly figure in Mallorca, ever. The figures for July 2012 had been 3,435,936, an increase of 1 % over the same month in 2011. Figures for the time between January 2012 and the end of August suggest that there were 16,141,592 pasajeros (remember, each person gets counted as two, one for arriving and one for departing).

People in the hotel business are complaining that, even though this year’s tourist season is seen as a good one, income and profit are not good enough to make up for a relatively dead Winter season. Some people are never quite satisfied, aren’t they?

The photo (top) was taken in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 6th, 2012. The time was 12:56:15. The photo (bottom) was taken near Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 24th, 2012. The time was 18:53:08.

Beach Life in September

Hen Nights, Mallorca Style

If you spend enough hours at Palma’s airport like I did the other night waiting for a friend whose plane was delayed for two hours, you’ll be treated to all sorts of sights. Such as Kristen, the bride to be, and her female friends, quite probably heading for Magaluf on a Hen Night outing.

Over the last five years, Mallorca has come to specialize in Hen Nights and Stag Does, on a par with Ibiza, Barcelona, Benidorm, Amsterdam and Budapest. Mallorca may be less extreme in its offering when compared to Amsterdam and Budapest, but the sun and the sea more than make up for it, and there is always Sangria and sex. Hen Weekend packages are available from £ 69 (88 €) per person, excluding flights, with no upper limit for the more discerning hedonists. Mind you, there was not much discernment recognizable as far as Kristen’s cheerful troupe was concerned.

The photo was taken near Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 24th, 2012. The time was 20:11:04.

Hen Nights, Mallorca Style

Phileas Fogg

Once or twice a year, there is fog to be found on Mallorca’s roads. Years ago, some friends of ours came to visit, flying in from Germany. Palma International airport was closed for about five hours, first thing in the morning, and their flight had to be re-routed to Ibiza. Instead of 08h00 in the morning, they finally landed in Palma at 14h30.

The fog last night was not quite as bad. The foggy conditions on the motorway from Palma to Llucmajor were only intermittent and again, between Campos and Felanitx, where I live. Driving a car in foggy conditions is not the best setting for taking photos of the fog, and I must admit that my wife got cross and worried when I could not resist the temptation. The resulting image is not half as good as the visual impression that I had whilst driving my car but there you are. Nobody said taking photographs was easy.

Just in case you feel mislead about my Phileas Fogg reference, take it easy. Jules Vernes is said to have based his novel Clovis Dardentor on the Coves del Drac in Porto Cristo and thus, must have visited the island. Phileas Fogg never visited Mallorca; his character was fictional.

Postscript: Five aeroplanes could not land at PMI airport this morning between 08h30 and 09h15 and had to be diverted. So it was pretty bad fog, after all.

The photo was taken near Campos, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 13th, 2011. The time was 22:31:07.

Phileas Fogg

Airport Statistics

During the twelve months of 2011, a total of 22,726,459 passengers passed through PMI airport. That’s 11,363,230 real people, coming or going, a strong 7.6 % above the numbers for 2010. That’s near enough the highest number of passengers this airport has ever handled in any one year, and that’s with the chips down. Perhaps it is all related to holiday making in North Africa being diverted elsewhere; what do you think?

In January, however, passenger numbers amounted to 614,434 in Palma, or 10.1 % less than a year ago. This decrease might be accountable to fewer flights on offer than there were twelve months ago, or to the demise of Spanair who ceased operations on January 27th.

Overall, the statistics suggest a picture whereby the total number of passengers are steady on a high to very high level for most of the season, whereas the figures during November, December, January and probably February are getting smaller by the year, due to airlines cutting back their flight frequency during the winter month and thus, flight tickets becoming more expensive. The days of the cheap ticket bonanza seem to be over, perhaps irretrievably.

The photo was taken near Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 16th, 2012. The time was 17:43:15.

Airport Statistics

The Snow of a Lifetime

Mallorca has just had the most snow I have seen in 25 years of living on this island. Newspapers reported that, at least in Palma, there has not been as much snow as last Saturday since 1956. Twenty-five roads had to be closed in the Tramuntana mountain range, as well as on the Puig de Randa and the Puig de Sant Salvador. Four roads still  continue to be closed as per this morning, at Coll de Sóller, between Bunyola and Alaró, Puigpunyent, and at Coll de Sa Batalla. There were delays of up to four hours at Son Sant Joan airport, and there was some disruption with ferry crossings. The Orange weather alert has now been reduced to Yellow for today and will return to normal (Green) as of tomorrow.

Daytime temperatures are slightly up again and will hover around 10° to 11° C today and for the rest of this week. From my experience I would say that there might be one more cold snap with snow before the beginning of March.

The photo (top) was taken near Algaïda, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 5th, 2012. The time was 15:01:09. The photo (centre) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of diariodemallorca.es and the photographer, Xisco Sastre. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of riowang.blogspot.com.

Thank you very much,

muchas gracias and

moltes gràcies.

The Snow of a Lifetime

The Fiesta Nacional de España

Yesterday, October 12th, was a National holiday in Spain, the day of the Fiesta Nacional de España, formerly also known as Día de la Hispanidad. As is usual in Spain, the day was used for copious parades of the military in Madrid, attended by King Juan Carlos, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and members of his government as well as leading members of the opposition. In all, some 3,000 troupes, 147 armoured vehicles plus 55 fighter jets and helicopters took part in the commemorative event in Spain’s capital city. Here in Mallorca, there were no such major political or military exhibitions. There was a reunion of the political top brass, though, attending events held at the occasion of the Festividad de la Virgen del Pilar. The Virgen del Pilar is the patron saint of the Guardia Civil in Spain and in Mallorca, and her Fest day coincides with Spain’s National holiday.

Whilst I was at the airport yesterday, I was not allowed into the area where Mallorca’s Guardia Civil celebrated her patron, an area within the old airport terminal building complex where normally trade fairs are held. I shall have to improve my credentials, I suppose.

The photo was thus borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of elmundo.es and the photographer, Jordi Avellà.

Muchas gracias.

The Fiesta Nacional de España

A Record Figure of 3,403,098 Passenger Movements

PMI Palma International airport is going through a good year in 2011. Passenger figures between January and July 2011 were up some 8.4 % on the previous year with a total of 12,683,541 air passenger movements, according to AENA, the Spanish airport body. That in itself is not an outstanding number but, 3,403,098 passengers were counted for the month of July alone, making this a best ever monthly figure in the 50 plus years of PMI airport history, representing an increase of 11.8 % over the same month of the previous year. And the month of August 2011 is expected to better the record figure. Everybody is pleased except for the people in Egypt and other North African destinations.

Hotel occupancy was recorded for July 2011 by the Federación Empresarial Hotelera de Mallorca (Mallorcan Hotel Federation) at 93 %, a figure not recorded for the previous four years. There are some good bits about Mallorca, even in the time of crash and crisis.

The photo was taken at PMI airport, Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 14th, 2011. The time was 00:26:18.

A Record Figure of 3,403,098 Passenger Movements