Saturday, December 09, 2006

Service / Winter walk / Hotels

I have had cause before to rant against service here, and here I go again.

This whinge concerns the Policlinica Miramar. Now, this is in Palma, and is where you tend to get sent when the Hospital in Alcúdia doesn’t have the facility. I was there to confirm authorisation for the minor op to remove the melanomas I referred to a while back. So I went to the desk of the insurance company at the clinic. It was all dealt with easily and efficiently enough, except ... except for the fact that the girl behind the desk was munching on a box of Ritz biscuits. More than this - while attending to me, a friend of hers came up, they started chatting, and she offered the friend a Ritz. Didn’t bloody ask me. That’s service for you.

Despite warnings of dire weather again today, it has been splendid, and right for a beach walk. The sea was calm, and the light extraordinary. One of the pluses of the recent wind is that the views are clear and bright. And one never ceases to notice something new. Looking out across the bay from Playa de Muro towards the hills above Arta and to the headland by Cala Ratjada, the light was catching the green of the forest past Can Picafort. I had not noticed this before, but it stood out quite vividly, as did the settlements of Son Serra and Colonia. One can stand and stare at this for ages; at least I can. Like the caballo (horse) promontory at Cala San Vicente, the view is quite awe-inspiring.

Then walking in the quiet roads back of the beach, you see all the cats and kittens. There are loads of them; nearly all strays, but they do a job. Occasionally I have to remove the remains of their work from the garden - a tail here, a rat’s head there, bits of entrail forming an ant feast. Disgusting, but it’s better than having a rat in the house, which once happened. And there’s the flora. The bougainvillaea lasts well into autumn and early winter. There is one house close by that has three huge bushes of it climbing over the front wall; each a different colour - mauve, crimson and and a sort of russet-orange. Fabulous.

There were more cats hanging around near to the start of the forest past Alcúdia Pins. They didn’t seem to be bothered by the noise and the work going on at the Iberostar Albufera Park. You wonder at the sheer amount of work that goes on in maintaining the standards and quality of hotels here - and the Iberostars are outstanding hotels. There were huge skips full of doors, most of the rooms look as though they have been gutted, while some of the ornate balustrades have been demolished. Last winter, the Iberostar Dunas Park was totally redone, resulting in the designer-style feel of what is now the Iberostar Playa de Muro Village. Whatever the result of the work at the Albufera Park, it will be splendid. It is a strange feeling of being a part of this economic life, if only through observing the work that is put in, knowing that in a few months there will be a new set of tourists who will arrive and think “oh, this is nice” (or more likely “ganz herrlich”).

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