20 Apr 2010

Back home in spite of volcano!

So my parents and I went to Mallorca this weekend for a First Communion:

my crazy 8-year-old cousins

and a Baptism:

first of the "next generation" on this side of the pond!

in which we actively participated:

(thankfully we sound much better live than recorded, even with as little practice as we got recently!)

and to spend time with these crazies:

my "three guys"... what nutty fun we had one summer climbing trees and breaking rocks and driving our grandfather crazy...
sister to two of the above
the "second batch" of dangerous cuteness

We figured in between family events we might treat our eyes to some of the local sights, along the towns and mountainous western coast -la Tramuntana- of the island for example:

looking south from a watchtower
Na Foradada (also called "the turtle" by my cousin)
church in picturesque town of Soller
fishing cove in Cala Estallencs

The original plan called for a Sunday post-Baptism-lunch departure on an Air Berlin flight from Palma to Alicante. Well, just as my sister couldn't make it from London due to a certain volcanic ash cloud... our flight got cancelled as well!

The Palma airport only closed for half a day on Sunday, but that was enough to cancel most of the flights (particularly those like ours which depended on airplanes arriving from Germany!). Only 40 (out of 400) left that evening... and we were rebooked for 2 days later!

What to do with our time? Well, more sightseeing in town:

"restored" windmills from the "old industrial" neighbourhood of Palma (now all residential)
Arab baths
Palacio de la Almudaina (Arab) and Cathedral
inside the Cathedral

go for a swim...

baby swimming lessons!
she LOVES the water! definitely related to me, lol!

but especially to spend play around with this:

We were actually crossing our fingers at the airport this afternoon hoping for another delay, but no such luck! ;o)

We tried to keep an eye out for "the cloud"... but other than the haze:


I did notice that we flew a lot lower than usual... could make out houses on Ibiza, details along the coast of Benidorm, and (even though you can't see it through this hazy-dirty-window-photo) the castle in Alicante and my apartment building!

Alicante from above

But once we touched down we knew things weren't back to normal yet... the only thing on the tarmac were some Ryanair planes collecting dust!

I feel bad for the people stranded all over the place due to this Volcanic Ash Cloud, but better safe than sorry! I've read some tests with military planes didn't turn out so well... (melted glass from the particles in the engines, ouch!) One of my English students left Thursday morning with his parents for a 4-day weekend in London and I just found out they managed to leave the island 2 days late thanks to a BUS organised by the Spanish embassy that will get them to the north of Spain, then they still have to make it over here. Another friend is stranded in Boston... this whole thing is CRAZY!!! Good luck to anyone else who's out there in the middle of it!

It's going to take me around to catching up on the blog-reading that I missed while playing with my cousins... work has piled up as well... so sorry if I can't manage to get around to visiting your blogs that soon! If you wrote anything special let me know and I'll start there!


  1. Wow! What great pictures, I think it was fortuitous for you to have all that time together. You can thank that Icelandic volcano I won't even try to spell. I enjoyed this post, and the singing was quite nice! It was also nice to hear you were able to get home after all the switching around.

  2. boy are you fast DJan! I just posted this! :p

    It was a wonderful weekend, and exhausting! my damn ankle kept me from some of the more "exciting" options my cousin had planned (he took my other cousin mountain climbing and spelunking!) and was actually a bit of a problem with the walking around towns/cities... but other than that: FABULOUS!

    It felt great to have a big family reunion after so long, even though we were missing some crucial people! Next time... ;o)

  3. Looks gorgeous, glad you had a good time!

    (I didn't go to Catholic School and my Mum was raised Presbyterian and didn't know the traditions so my First Communion was... interesting!).

    Can't think of anything super amazing on my blog... best thing is to do as my ex-housemate does and pick the ones you've seen/read!

  4. Hey Juliette! I barely remember my First Communion... except that there were A LOT of us doing it at once, in an improvised church in the basement or gym of some school! We were living in Saudi Arabia then and although the Saudis "overlooked" other religious practices for "diplomatic" reasons, it still had to be done discreetly. :p

  5. That darned volcano! It sure messed up a lot of plans...

    Glad you got the fun delay. Looks like it was a fantastic detour!

    I think little girls look so beautiful in their communion dresses.

    Glad you're getting your blue skies back!

  6. Forgot to say... thanks for the challenge. People seemed to have enjoyed my post.

  7. Hey Lily! Glad you enjoyed the challenge, it was fun! :o)

    Yeah, all those white dresses make for some beautiful pictures...

  8. What beautiful photos! My wife and I are beginning to plan our first trip to Europe next year. Planning on mostly Italy with a quick trip to Germany to visit old neighbors. But after seeing your photos how can we pass up Spain? Too much to see, too little time!

  9. @Kind of Curious... too much to see, too little time is indeed an apt description for a trip to Europe, or pretty much any single European country! :p
    But if you want to add Spain to your trip and want some advice I'm all yours! This country has so much to offer and such a variety, that I know people who've taken most of their vacations travelling around the country (over 40+ years) and say they're still not done! ;o)


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