Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It’s Got To Be, Perfect

Well more statistics if you can bear them. “Ultima Hora” today reports that it is indeed a record year. The front-page headline blares out: “The Balearics register the best tourist season in the last ten years”. With the exception of the increasing (or should that be shrinking) basket-case that is Menorca, the other islands have been faring well, Mallorca topping the league with up to 95% hotel occupancy, business profitability up by as much as 5% and activity in the restaurant sector up by 10%.

But scratch beneath the surface, and what do we find? The restaurant figure is skewed by a 15% increase in Palma alone. Not Calvia, not Alcúdia, not Pollensa. Palma. Moreover, the occupancy (and that restaurant activity) is assisted by the strength of Spanish national tourism, with the British market somewhat down.

While the figures can allow a collective pat on the back for those organisations and authorities that thrive on positive numbers, the increases are not necessarily universal. Spanish tourism, while not inconsequential in the north, does not fill the bars along the Greasy Mile nor indeed many an establishment in Puerto Pollensa.

So, as always, one takes these figures for what they are not - an accurate reflection of the local market. 

One of this blog’s most popular themes, especially since the redesign of the road. I have to be honest and say it isn’t as bad as I had anticipated. The slowing of the traffic seems also to have brought a hitherto unknown courteousness when it comes to letting people cross the road - at crossing points. It is the non-crossing points that are the problem. Despite the increase in the number of crossings and the islands without actual white lines, you still encounter people appearing from nowhere in the middle of the road. It may come as a surprise, but jaywalking is an offence here.

Despite the apparent best intentions of the road’s planners, there is no accounting for people’s bone-idleness. There again, one does have to question the positioning of some of these crossings. One, like that where people walk from the boat that ferries them over from Bellevue to the beach, is eminently sensible. Another, or rather one that doesn’t exist, is that in front of the Delfin Azul (for which read also Port d’Alcúdia and Alcúdia Beach). Yes there is a pedestrian crossing up the road a bit; yes there are a couple of crossing islands close by. But behaviour isn’t like that. “I’ve walked up this road, I want to cross this big one, so I’m going to cross it here, not there.” And so they do.

And just on those crossing islands. I used the one near the Delfin Azul one day. There I was on the island. To my right, a line of traffic at the head of which was a Trafico car. What do you know? Trafico stopped, and waved me across. What fine people they are.

Thanks to all who suggested 1967 records. And thanks also to those who replied to yesterday’s quiz. One of the most popular yet. It was The Waterboys “Whole Of The Moon”. Which brings me to today’s: Briefly The Waterboys counted among their number a female singer who had a number one hit with her own group. Who was she and what was the group?

The latest of this blog’s contemporary music recommendations. Don’t know what it is with female singers, but here we go. Candie Payne. There’s a myspace: www.myspace.com/candiepayne

(PLEASE REPLY TO andrew@thealcudiaguide.com)

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