We were still in France, except when it got dark I couldn’t take any pictures, so the best part of the country (La Côte D’Azur) we could not see. Nor could we see northern Spain, but we made it to Barcelona in time but not without experiencing a near heart attack or two :-O
Over the phone they had told us we had to be at the port 90 min before cast-off as we had a dog with us. Unlike the Swedish-German ferry, dogs are not allowed in the cabins and have to spend the night in a ”kennel”. At the 90-minute point we had just arrived at the Spanish border and didn’t have enough cash to pay the road toll. I jumped out of the car into the dark and scrambled across the lanes to grab a customs guy for help. He directed me in a most gentlemanly fashion back to the toll booth, speaking gibberish all the way (Spanish I suppose. Or was it perhaps Catalan?). Eventually someone who could give us small change showed up, and in a very slow manner counted the coins (by then we were seething from stress) whilst flirting with the dog in the backseat….note: the dog was in the backseat, not the man even though he looked like he’d enjoy it immensely…being in the backseat with the dog that is…
When we finally reached Barcelona we had 60 minutes to go and naturally the port was way over on the far side of town. Well town seems like too small a word for Barcelona which is HUGE, and the far side of town took 30 minutes to reach by motorway. I was hyperventilating, trying to keep up with all the signs pointing towards the port. Naturally they disappeared only to reappear after 15 minutes. In the frenzy that followed the ”missing” signs we were quite sure that we had lost not only our way, but the ferry as well. Pelle was in a daze but kept driving while I shouted out directions. Suddenly the gas meter started blinking furiously and after a short while it commenced shrieking s well. Super duper, just what we needed! With 20 minutes to go we managed by some divine intervention to crisscross the car to and through a dark and deserted (and ENORMOUS) port, hoping we could be at least in time to rebook our prepaid tickets (after all, they cost 250 €).
Miracles of all miracles! Suddenly we were there, at the right place! I don’t know how it happened but it was definitely a miracle. I dashed into the closing ticket office hoping they would be nice and let us re-book the tickets when the girl behind the counter said: ”You’re not too late, the ferry leaves in 20 minutes. But HURRY!”
So we did.
The quay was a long distance away from the office and we drove like Bonnie and Clyde on speed while the car was screaming: ”Give me gas, give me gaaaasoline or I’ll stop right here!”
But in the end it held out and we made it on board. The ”kennel” turned out to be a number of transport cages all precariously stacked on top of each other out on the car deck. It was very windy (we rolled about in our cots like marbles all night) and the cages look extremely unsafe and uncozy – soft blankets anyone? huh I don’t think so! There was only one little unhappy dog incarcerated, crying for his owner who wrung her hands and fretted over the pup’s well-being. We took one look at the set-up and decided this was no place for Her Highness Steffie, the-peculiar-dog. Then we encountered the next miracle: the crew said is was ok to leave the dog in the car overnight, thank God! So in the end she was snug as a bug in a rug .
Spain is not the ultimate dog friendly country…..but I will tell more about that some other time.
We were please to see that all of four obese people could be rescued in case of an emergency.
Mmmmmm, I LIKE!
As the house deal was dragging out (we had a week before meeting up to sign all the documents) we needed a place to stay. Luckily there are lots of vacant places at this time of year and prices are good. We ended up in a functional apartment on the 6th floor in Santa Catalina. Steffie hated the stairs and we had to CARRY her up and down for her walkies…The roof terrace held a fine 360 degree view of Palma.
Way down below, beneath the trees you can see our car. It has been a very good little car that managed to take us all the way from Sweden to Mallorca.
Palma is a beautiful city, especially the old part of town. As we will spend the rest of our lives on this amazing island I will have plenty of time to document the capital of Mallorca.
Steffie and I could relax as well. In the six days we stayed in Palma we had dinner at some excellent restaurants….
……..like the Patron Lunares. We also met with all the important people involved in the house deal. Tell you more about that next time.