Travelogue: Magaluf, Mallorca
A few people asked me why we picked Magaluf as a venue for a boys weekend, the fact is that it picked itself. It was in Magaluf that 25-years ago me and 12 of my closest mates had our first ever foreign holiday. Most of us are still in touch and we were all at secondary school together albeit spread over three different years. In fact one of the lads I went to nursery school with (42 years ago) and he still harangues me about never letting him have a go on the plastic tricycle!
We travelled in style. Six of us in my mate´s London cab to Stansted (where we met the rest of our group), Easy Jet to Palma for around 100 quid, and then our own mini-bus to the 3 star hotel that we´d booked bang in the middle of it all and next door to the monstrous BCM nightclub, which unsurprisingly smelt like a cocktail of puke, Red Bull and bleach. Despite the fact the Island’s largest nightclub was next door, our hotel was pretty quiet save for the obligatory banging on doors in the middle of the night and loud British voices.
The town of Playa de Magaluf hadn’t really changed much from a quarter of a century ago. Yes it was bigger, the beach was still attractive, every bar is named after someone or something British and happily everything still comes with chips. We chose Magaluf 25 years ago not for cultural reasons but based on a few photos and a passage of text in a brochure plus some word of mouth, we thought it would cater for what we were looking for from a lads holiday, and it certainly overachieved and our combined memories were joyfully retold over many San Miguels.
Nowadays young people, and old, almost certainly there weren’t many of us 40 something’s walking around town, come to Magaluf because of the price-point, weather and nightlife although Mallorca as an island is extremely pretty that is not a word associated with this little corner of the island.
Other than two water parks, a seriously sick in the mouth inducing sling-shot that towered over the town (photo), a go-karting track that was there when we last came and with Real Mallorca away there wasn’t much else to do other than pull on your union jack shorts and ‘get on it’. So, we duly obliged.
We felt compelled to try Majorca’s biggest nightclub bearing in mind it was our neighbour. BCM (photo) is a three-story club, and from what we saw it had a licence to print money as well as to sell booze to under age groups of kids from the northern reaches of England.
We paid our €30, which included all booze. The water in all the drinks was also free gratis, which, like old men, we all had a good moan about, yet somehow we did all manage to wake up Sunday with large hangovers!
Radio 1’s Dave Pearce was guesting on the Saturday night we visited, and he was actually pretty good and even shook my hand as he left for reasons I am unsure about but maybe it was because he had seen someone his own age.
Downstairs there was a perpetual wet t-shirt contest as the water party soaked most of the floor space and everyone else jumping up and down on top of it. It was the (edible) popcorn party the next night, is it no wonder that the place smells like a pack of wet cocker spaniels?
The town’s restaurant’s were solely a means of sustenance and absorbing the previous night’s intake of booze but on our last night we did find one that deserves a mention. The Godfather had a menu worth reading, the steak’s were good and the house Rioja was very palatable.
One afternoon we went on a reminiscing walk to find some old haunts and the hotel we stayed in 25-years ago. The Hotel Honolulu still stood proud on a hill (with it’s flags replaced) and immediately we had the realisation that we probably stayed in a nicer hotel then when we were each on a couple of grand a year!
We also hunted out some old bars and clubs, some were unbelievably still there just as we had remembered them, others though had long gone. One in particular we did some investigative work to find out what had happened to it.
Fawlty Towers was a tiny downstairs bar run by two ex-miners from Nottingham and they would greet every customer with abuse and an oversized plastic mallet whack on the head. Their humour appealed to ours and it was often a stationing point for our evenings. Nonetheless the owner of the Prince William next door had long bought the owner out and converted Fawlty Towers into his bar’s toilets.
Magaluf hadn’t really changed though, sure it was bigger and smellier and it’s reputation now comes before it, whereas 25-years ago it held a bit more mystery for thirteen 19 and 20 wet-behind-the-ear-year-olds.
We had a laugh though, although we probably laughed at different things than we did 25-years ago, well at least I’d like to have thought so but you know what? I’m not too sure.
Photos courtesy of fellow Magaluf weekender Stu Mayhew.