If you follow me on Instagram you will know that in early May I jetted off for three days to the Balearic Islands with my two Best Friends from Uni. Writing this is giving me the absolute yearning to go back and re-live it, but I am excited to nontheless give you a little round up of what went on!
As you can imagine, travelling with friends is very different to travelling with family. Maybe similar tensions, but a hell of a lot more independence. Who wouldn’t want to jet off somewhere cool with cool people? Here is an honest account of our holiday.
Let me tell you that time is really weird, like super weird! We set off from Sheffield to Leeds on Monday 8th May, leaving behind the rain and the groggy skies. By the time we reached overcast Leeds I began wondering where all of that time went, from destination to destination when I remember waking up and kicking the covers off with excitement. It’s almost like we travelled through a vortex and suddenly we found ourselves eating Veggie pasta in the departure lounge and hurriedly trying to buy a bag of Starbursts for the plane. It was all a bit of a daze and even being buckled in on the airplane didn’t kick start reality very much.
After arriving at Mahon airport in Menorca at 20:30pm, it all began to sink in. We were oceans away from home and somewhere completely new and cultural, knowing very little of the language but enough to get us by. The airport itself was quiet and thank god we managed to find a toilet! I don’t know whether it is just me that has an irrational discomfort around aeroplane toilets?
One thing I must advise anyone to do when traveling on a plane, long haul or short haul, is to not forget to moisturize your face! The dry air on the plane made my skin very dry and rough, and my skin has now only just recovered. My moisturizer go to is the Nivea Light Moisturizing cream which is so lightweight and only needs one squeeze to get the right amount of coverage on your face and neck. I have anxiety around travelling in the air and so I needed to distract myself. On the way there me and my friend played hangman on pieces of paper and came up with the funniest categories to amuse ourselves. I was also told off for eating too many of the Starbursts out of fear we wouldn’t have anything to suck on as the altitude changed. Games are definitely a great way to take your mind off flying.
Can I just comment on how polite the Spanish people are also; our taxi driver was very polite and the hotel staff were incredibly hospitable when we arrived very sluggish and in need of a good night’s sleep.
We stayed at the Carema Gardens Hotel, a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous Playa overlooked by mountains and hills. I was quite taken aback by how unusual it was to be somewhere so peaceful, away from the bustling life of Sheffield. We were no longer in a traffic ridden city, we were in paradise in the middle of an exotic island. After checking in, we had a very amusing yet equally as frustrating goose chase around the vicinity, in search of our room which took us about twenty or more minutes. While my friends shook heads and turned the map several times, I couldn’t help but gaze at the palm trees and wonder what life was like in such a beautiful Spanish place. As we trekked on I saw cute little Geckos scaling the walls and cats sitting glass eyed in every corner. I was living for the cats not gonna lie! Spanish tabbies are gorgeous.
Our apartment was more than I could have ever asked for! Green vintage shutters on the windows, Turquoise and white interior, two bedrooms, staircase covered in stunning Spanish tiles and even a balcony which overlooked part of the sea!
When we dropped off our things we headed down to the restaurant in hope of a drink and a meal. Luckily the waiter reluctantly got us a pizza to share at 10:00pm when they were closing shop. I don’t know how my poor stomach would have survived!
On our first day we woke up at 07:30am on a mission to find the Supermarket nearby which we thought opened at 8. I was so excited that I quickly threw on my bikini and denim shorts from New Look. I am the biggest numpty and ended up forgetting to pack sun cream, which meant half of my travel euros went on buying sun protection, whoops! When travelling abroad, make sure you’re absolutely prepared, even down to the most minute details. Unfortunately we had to wait outside while the Supermarket opened at 08:30am. Between us we bought food supplies from fruit down to delicious seeded bread and yoghurts. Gonna put it out there, I am the pastry Queen! I went straight to the Pan au chocolat selection and bought myself a multi-pack. My focus was on buying essentials and not luxuries asuch, but breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I must admit I was eyeing up the chocolate but soon refrained haha. Top tip, always buy fresh fruit.
Once we had eaten breakfast back at the apartment we then headed down to the poolside where we each got a bed no problem. I found it so much more comforting and relaxing knowing we weren’t there in Peak season time and could afford to leave our towels out on the beds without a whinge and a moan from other tourists. The poolside was quiet, bar a few young children pottering around the resort. We had the pool to ourselves that first day. After the pool was cleaned and prepped, my friend dove straight into the freezing water, brave! The funniest part was they really went for it and ended up flopping the water. What made the experience a 10/10 was that the pool manager threw in unused and abandoned pool floats and volleyballs which we were able to use for ourselves. Lol of course I went straight for the pretty pink inflatable ring and my friend went for the inflatable crocodile. Ii had never been on holiday with friends before, so the level of cringe at how exciting the pool floats were was probably up there.
I am not remotely a fan of the cold, and dipping my feet in the pool water was enough for protest. After a few grumbles and screeches I jumped right in and it was the best feeling ever splashing about under the scorching sun. Pretty much the whole time me and my friend were in there, we quoted RuPaul and bashed around ( terribly) a small volleyball for entertainment. I can’t say I was in there for very long before all I could think about was our next stop- the beach.
The beach right on the doorstep of our hotel complex was Cala Tirant, an absolutely gorgeous stretch of beachland with high hills surrounding us, a lighthouse in the distance and the hotel only meters over a wooden bridge. On the first day I fell absolutely in love with the landscape. If any of you don’t know me very well, the beach is my favourite escape point. Take me anywhere with a beach and I am instantly put at ease. I have an affinity with the sea.
What is lovely about Cala Tirant is that it is only a small beach, but big enough that you can walk along the shoreline and not lose your way or your sunbathing spot. There were a couple of times that I went running across the waves that lapped on the shore and found myself immersed in the feeling of freedom. The beach was where the travel bug bit me. In that moment, in that place of divine retrospect, I wanted to be there forever. I wanted to be living somewhere just like that with no worries in the world. I definitely know that I want to travel abroad a lot more, even in the current political climate. There is so much to be seized out there.
My friends silently sunbathed and I enjoyed soaking up the rays and paddling close to the shore. It took me forever to get in the water out of the fear of the cold, but again like the pool, I accomplished the smallest of tasks and threw myself in. My best memory is me and my friends jumping at every huge wave coming towards us and nearly falling over with the sheer force. At one point my friend was knocked over by one and it was the funniest scene you can imagine. I definitely do not recommend getting salt in your eyes and rubbing them. One thing I learnt on my first day was not to where mascara when going in the sea. That stuff is crazy. Do not rub mascara eyes with sea salt. Nuh uh. Like the pool, the beach was sparse. Hardly anyone around to interrupt the serenity. I quite enjoyed listening to the rushed accents and the dogs barking away in the distance. Holidays always feel like one big daydream.
We ended up lazing around on the playa until around 16:00pm, when we finally decided to up sticks and retreat back to camp. One downside to the beach was the mini sand storms ( the wind blowing sand at us which felt sharp on our skin) and the swarms of flies bothering us ( they ended up being mosquitos eww). Back at the apartment we managed to cool off and have our first showers. I am so glad that I brought nourishing shampoo enriched with special oils to give my hair a good cleanse and leaving it fresh and soft. Without that, I think my hair would have quite literally dried out with the combination of chlorine and heat. I always use L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo, which is my go to.
Thank you to Carema Gardens for providing us with a hairdryer as my hair tends to dry very strangely if left naturally. There is nothing like washing all the sandy muck off every fold and crease on your body and throwing on clean clothes. The whole holiday I survived on minimal clothes- usually just a floaty top, my denim shorts and my converse. Both my friends looked amazing in their holiday attire, so I think we were all happy!
While we were there we found out about a restaurant bar close to our vicinity which would require us to whip out the trusty map once more. By this point we were starving and in need of some proper food. Pasta pasta pasta.
Fornells is quite a close knit environment with everything in reasonable distance of each other. Our tired little feet were required to potter up a slight hill where we would find a place to dine in at the top. That place being Bar Okapi ( Bar&Grill). If you’re on holiday in Menorca, please check this place out. The place itself was very easy to get to, and once we got there, their service was amazing. I chose a very lovely spot in a corner outside on the terrace surrounded by plants and cute flowers overlooking the resort.
Once we were settled at the table we decided to look at the mocktail/ cocktail menu. For personal reasons I have recently started to slowly go sober and not have much alcohol at all. At this point I was only just starting to drink less. My first drink of choice was a Malibu Bay Breeze Mocktail which was DIVINE. My friends settled on alcoholic cocktails which looked incredible, especially the deceptive Mojito which was very strong ( but Esme loved it so its okay). Malibu is good because it is sweet and sits well with other ingredients. You can tell that the bar staff put a lot of thought and pride into their drinks because we ‘ ooohed’ and ‘ ahhhed’ every time our cocktails were brought out.
Me and my friend also decided to order food on the first night at Okapi as we couldn’t run on empty bellies. I had a mushroom tagliatelle style dish with garlic sauce ( I can’t remember the exact name of the dish) which tasted absolutely amazing and was brought to us in 5 minutes of ordering which I thought was super. I quickly polished the whole dish off. We stayed a couple of hours, entertaining ourselves and chatting about how happy and dazed we felt. Our waitress was incredibly beautiful and friendly which was a definite bonus to our dining experience. We definitely took advantage of the happy hour.
Day two was more or less a repeat of the previous day. We managed to take the morning slow, eating breakfast together on our balcony facing part of the ocean. There were moments of silent bliss, not saying much to each other but enjoying each other’s company all the same- I think we all felt ourselves sinking into harmony. I still couldn’t believe that we were there, together abroad. I had a little breakfast and got myself ready. I’m so glad I was able to tie my hair up in little buns most of the holiday because hair is such a faff.
Heading down to the pool, we managed to find ourselves a good spot in the sunshine and continued to mess around in the pool with the floats. I kept having a dunking competition with my friend and we had the challenge of seeing who could be tipped off the crocodile the fastest. Of course that wasn’t me haha. After a while I chose to sunbathe and snooze for a while ( big mistake- sunburn). Yep, little did I know I would be sunburnt all over my back and shoulders, to the point a splodge of aftersun was a minor sweet relief.
Later we headed down to the beach and found ourselves a cute spot right near the ocean edge. The tide was definitely out for most of the day which benefited us because we didn’t have to keep moving our belongings. Me and my friend both decided beforehand to buy ourselves some ice cream which was de-licious! I chose a Nutella flavour cone and my friend chose Kinder Bueno flavour which I envied slightly. Once we’d nibbled away we were back at the beach, sunbathing yet again. Of course by this point me and my friend were getting irritated by the flies and the mini sand storms blown in our direction. I even had Seagull paranoia when Gary the seagull kept swoopong low near to us and waiting to scavenge. The only way we held him off was chasing him down the beach. I definitely do not like seagulls, nope.
We had a little swim in the sea and little individual walks along the beach for a few hours until we decided enough was enough. A slow stroll back to the apartment meant we could slowly watch the hours lull by. At one point I mistook crickets for a Rattlesnake and made a dash across the bridge. As the evening drew near, I mentioned that I wanted to take an evening walk to the beach and sit and watch the sunset as its an experience I have always wanted to have. My friends agreed and we decided to take ourselves and some Sangria down to the sand. There, for an hour we took little sips of our Sangria and watched the sun gradually set over the horizon, nattering away about the direction of our lives and our pursuit for happiness. This made me very nostalgic and bittersweet.
It was a wonderful way to end such a perfect day in paradise. After an hour we trekked up to Bar Okapi and had dinner and cocktails once again- this time just me and one of my friends while our other friend stayed at the apartment. My friend at this point was rather tipsy and we shared a very merry evening talking about how much we secretly fancied the waitress and how we didn’t want to leave. Things soon took a twist and I found myself desperate for the toilet as we ambled back to our room. It turned into an emergency and I thought I was going to have to do my business in a bush because I didn’t hold out on much hope of reaching a toilet before having an accident. Luckily I ran to the reception toilets, with my friend laughing at me. That night we all snuggled up together and chatted before feeling very sleepy. This was one of my favourite times with my two best friends, having fun in another country, three independent people together.
Day three began as normal, with the thought of leaving the next day looming over us sadly. I pushed the thought right to the back of my mind and decided to give the day my all and burn all of my energy. By this day I was a little exhausted from all of the walking and swimming I had done, but regardless I still found myself having the best time. Unfortunately we all fell victim to the ghastly mosquitos who lets just say had a right feast when we went to watch the sunset. Our bodies were covered.
Esme went off to the beach and Beth and I stayed at the pool together and spent a bit of time together trying desperately to dunk one another and catch each other while anchored to big floats. It was the most fun I had had in a long time and the sun released all the endorphines possible. I admit we both began to miss Esme a lot in her abscence, especially as half the time we were laying silently in the sun without much utterance to each other after our exhausting swim. Again we bought ourselves ice cream and this time I had a little tub of strawberry sorbet which I savoured to the last mouthful. Fruity sorbet is a winner!
Most of the day was spent in as much relaxation as possible- with the exception of me trekking solo to the beach to retrieve sun cream. By this point we were all pooped, too pooped to poop. After our last swim together that afternoon, and me listening to Two Door Cinema Club and Foals on repeat whilst napping, it was time for our last visit to Okapi. The last night for me was the most special, because it solidified my two and a half year friendship with two of my favourite people and we knew it’d be the last time we would be doing something big at Uni.
We got dressed up, put on makeup and headed up back the old familiar route to our favourite Spanish haunt. That night we ate delicious food and had one too many haha- my friends were beautifully tipsy. We stayed for hours until in our tipsy state, me and Esme decided to try and hike up to the top of a steep hill right next to the restaurant despite desperate pleas from Beth.
And so we went forth on our expedition and mounted the hill. The hill was overgrown with prickly bushed and slips so we helped each other up. I kept asking if we would get into trouble but I was soon reassured we wouldn’t. There are no words to describe this segment of our holiday. Once we reached the top we got beaten by the sunset which left us in incredible awe. There we were, on top of the world- proclaiming our love for each other and the excitement the holiday had brought us.
Never ever will I forget the memories this holiday brought us- we had the most fantastic chapter.