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Day 5 - Culture & Massages

Day 5 (Thursday) – A fairly early start to the day and we decide to take a beautiful 50-minute walk along the rustic, wooden promenade which runs from the villa along the majority of the way to Menorca’s capital. The early start and cool breeze from the sea air makes the journey more bearable and although there are various levels of groans from sore hips, a few stops along the way to partake in the local ‘liquid ointment’ raises the journey to 2 hours.

First official stop, the Xoriguer Gin distillers of course. This small distiller, produces beautiful, botanic gin that only needs a slight dash of natural tonic water to enjoy. I discover that the gin is tasted every 10 minutes. I contemplate a change of career and house move. Would Pete be up for it? I’m sure he would. Ideally, I want to purchase 6 bottles then remember we have a long day of walking so only two bottles make it to my back pack. Santa Maria de Maó is the next stop – a Gothic Cathedral set high above the town. The hip-gripping-pill-poppers make their concerns known and are persuaded that the hill walk will do them good and are blackmailed with the prospect of an ice-cream at the top. Surprisingly, this worked. Unsurprisingly, there were no ice-cream shops at the top. I promise to buy dinner… They believe me again. We wander to the fish market which is closed, but behind this market is the Plaza Miranda which has a viewing point overlooking the harbour with an awesome panorama. Mahon boasts one of the largest natural ports in the world, some of it can be seen from this lookout point. No chattering but cameras snap merrily away interrupted only by our ‘oh my goodness’s. We saunter around Plaza de la Esplanada, the city’s biggest square, which features the impressive red Town Hall - ‘a unique neoclassic town hall, Baroque elements and the red façade of the Guards lodge’. Cultural stuff done for the day, we flag a taxi which takes us back to the villa at 3.30pm and all showers become quickly and gainfully employed.

A knock at the door at 4pm brings 3 massage therapists through the door, pristine in their whites, and within minutes, massage tables and manicure stations are set up and the first bodies are naked and motionless on the plinth (this was not a necessary request for the ones getting manicures and pedicures) A glorious 3 hours of pampering and preening, leaves us chilled and hungry. We slip in to linen and flip flops and head to the nearest restaurant square, a 2-minute walk away for a long and enjoyable evening watching the sunset. The bill works out 9euros a head and of course, as promised, I’m paying for the hip-holders, I’m a woman of my word yet they taunt and tease me for ‘choosing a cheap place’. I decide to hide their pain killers…

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