Tiny beautiful beaches in Cala d’Or

Following our tradition of impromptu vacationing, Piers only started Google searching for our next location a day before we had to leave our current location.

We were in Palma, the main city in Mallorca. We decided we wanted to stay at a beach, next, so Piers started going through lists on the Internet.

First hotel on the list was full.

Second hotel was full.

Third hotel had one vacancy. Bingo.

So it was totally due to chance that Cala d’Or became our next location.

 

Cala Esmerelda cove
Cala Esmerelda cove in the city of Cala d’Or.

 

Cala d’Or is a resort city built around many beautiful cove beaches which look like they could be the smallest beaches in the world. (I think “cala” means cove.)

They’re the smallest I have ever seen, anyway. I never knew beaches could be that tiny.

Although tiny, they’re beautiful. Each features clean, fine sand as well as sparkling clear seawater lapping gently at the rocks forming a beautiful natural cove that, at a point, widens out into the Mediterranean Sea.

We stayed at the Barcelo Ponent Playa Hotel, built right on top of Cala Ferrera beach, which boasts a whole 60 metres of shoreline, the longest in Cala d’Or. (The shortest shoreline belongs to Cala Serena at 20 metres.)

 

Cala Ferrera Beach

Cala Ferrera beach

 

Cala Ferrera beach
The shore length may be short but the width is something else!

 

Piers making our camp
Piers arranges our parasol and towels so that I get shade and he gets sun.

 

Cala Ferrera beach
Our view from our camp spot.

 

Piers on the beach
Piers will kill me for this photo.

 

Piers on the beach
There are fruit hawkers on almost every beach presenting their sales pitches by wailing in singsong manner.

 

Piers on the beach
View of our hotel from the beach at night.

 

While the beach was lovely, I can’t say the same for the hotel.

We had a good first impression. The lobby looked decent, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and we had a basic but clean room with a balcony overlooking the hotel pool.

 

Barcelo Ponent Playa Hotel

Sheylara

 

It took some time before we realised that the aircon wasn’t working. It blew stale, lukewarm air. At night, the air outside was cooler than in our room. The tap water had a diluted salty taste.

 

Barcelo Ponent Playa

 

On our second night, I woke up in the middle of the night with a hangover (thanks to our three jugs of sangria), feeling intensely dehydrated after two sessions of throw-up. We had run out of water and, obviously, the tap water couldn’t be drunk.

There was no room service and no bar fridge. It was past 2 am. I resigned myself to death by dehydration.

Fortunately, Piers suddenly remembered vending machines at the car park so he ran out to get some water for me.

Only Coke was available, but that was okay. That was good. It made me feel better.

And then the noise started.

 

Barcelo Ponent Playa

 

Every half an hour, a truck or a coach would pull into the hotel driveway, either chugging loudly or reverse beeping annoyingly. Some would stay for only two minutes before rumbling off, but some chugged in the driveway for a good ten minutes.

I thought they were maybe trucks delivering goods or something, but Piers said they were coaches delivering tourists (he went out the balcony to look once). This went on every 30-60 minutes for the next five hours.

Why would there be so many tourists arriving nonstop in the middle of the night?

We hardly slept all night and, at 8 am, I woke a groggy Piers up for breakfast because my hangover was demanding fruit and toast in epic quantities.

I was glad we were only there for two nights.

 

Sangria
Sangria aka source of my hangover. One jug at lunch and two jugs at dinner.

 

If we were to go to Cala d’Or again, I might choose to stay at the Inturotel Cala Esmerelda Hotel, which is situated by the Cala Esmerelda beach.

It’s only a short walk from where we stayed. Wherever you stay in Cala d’Or, you’d probably be within walking proximity of at least two beaches.

Cala Esmerelda is smaller than Cala Ferrera but prettier, all 40 metres of its shoreline.

 

Cala Esmerelda Beach

Cala Esmerelda beach

 

Cala Esmerelda beach

 

Cala Esmerelda beach

 

Clear, sparkling sea

 

Sheylara in the sea

 

Sheylara in the sea

 

Sheylara on the beach

 

We briefly visited a third beach, Cala d’Or beach, but I don’t know why it’s called that, since it’s one of the smaller ones (35m shoreline) and not like in the centre of Cala d’Or or anything.

The area around this beach seems quite luxurious, populated by beautiful white holiday bungalows. The Cala d’Or Hotel is right beside the beach, looking gorgeously Mediterranean. I would love to stay there if we ever go back to Mallorca.

The beach is really crowded though, cos it’s so tiny. But the cove is just as beautiful as the others, if not more.

Well, they kind of all look the same after a while, to be honest, so I’m very proud of myself for being able to remember which is which.

 

Cala d’Or Beach

Cala d'Or beach

 

Apart from beaches, there’s a nice marina in Cala d’Or filled with Sunseeker boats which Piers excitedly recognised because Sunseekers are made in Poole, the town next door to us.

Piers is a bit silly about boats, almost as silly as he is about planes and cars.

When we’re at a marina, I tend to marvel at the water sparkling in the sun while he drools at the big boats.

We’d go, “Wow!!!!” in unison but we’d be wowing at different things.

 

Marina Cala d’Or

Cala d'Or marina

 

Along the banks of the marina are elegantly styled restaurants and club houses. We ate at one of those restaurants on our last day in Cala d’Or.

I had roast suckling pig. It is apparently a speciality in Mallorca.

 

Roast suckling pig

 

It was alright. Tasted a bit like German pork knuckles. Chinese suckling pig tastes better, but that’s a different dish, I suppose, since we mostly eat only the skin.

The French onion soup was great. I have never liked French onion soup but have acquired a taste for it since coming to the UK.

 

French onion soup

 

The carbonara was not so great.

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

 

Restaurants are like a box of chocolate. You never know whether the dish you pick is good or bad. Until it’s too late.

There’s a nice Mexican grill called El Patio in the town centre at Cala Ferrera. You can’t miss it. The town centre is tiny.

You go up to the second floor where it’s really breezy, taking care not to trip over the fake Mexican dude lying on the steps.

 

El Patio Restaurant

El Patio

 

I don’t know if the grills are any good but I really enjoyed the breeze.

They serve unlimited BBQ pork ribs there (eat all you can for one price) and it looked quite good. We saw a guy having it.

We were kind of full at that time so only ordered some snacks. They were very good.

My fried chicken wings were perfectly crispy, juicy and tasty, salted just right. They came with an interesting dip that was sort of like a cross between sweet chilli sauce and BBQ sauce.

 

Fried chicken wings

 

My grilled corn was so sweet, juicy and crunchy, just the right amount of doneness. The corn came with a giant pat of delicious herb butter which would be the death of you if you attempted to clean it all up.

 

Herb butter

 

I would have gone back there for another meal since we were in Cala d’Or for about three days, but then our hotel booking included complimentary breakfast and dinner (unremarkable buffet fare) so we didn’t have many meals outside the hotel.

We just had a lot of sangria.

You must have sangria if you go to Spain. We had five jugs at different establishments and they were all great.

Okay, I think I’ve just about covered everything I can (or want to) about Cala d’Or.

Coming up in the next post, the amazing gorgeous villa where we spent a week of our vacation.

Check back soon!

 

Sheylara at the Marina
Sheylara at the Marina.

 

Our holiday in Mallorca

Mallorca has about 80 beaches surrounding the small island which measures 3,640.11 km2 (but not as small as Singapore at 694km2).

That is basically the reason tourists flock to this Mediterranean island by the million (6 million in 2010).

 

S'Amarador
S’Amarador, voted Best Beach in Europe since 2008.

 

There are many other attractions in Mallorca: Historical sights, museums, golf, food and wine, sea cruises and water sports. But for the two weeks Piers and I were there, all we wanted to do was laze around to soak in the scenic views wherever we happened to be.

 

Cap de Formentor
View from a lookout point at Cap de Formentor.

 

Everywhere was sky, sea, clouds, mountain and sand. You can’t get enough of the scenery.

But you can get enough of the sun. Almost every day, the sun beat down at us mercilessly, making us wish we were back in England for the wonderfully cold English summer.

I stayed in the shade as much as I could. I bought a giant hat and we got a big beach umbrella. The air in Mallorca is quite dry so you won’t perspire unless you’re walking about under direct sunlight. It can be pleasant as long as you find yourself some shade and don’t go for long walks in the day.

 

Wearing a giant hat

 

Many shops and services in Mallorca are closed between 1 pm and 5 pm for siesta. It’s the hottest time of the day and no one wants to work or walk out to the shops. Beach and souvenir shops will usually be open for tourists, though. And supermarkets. There is no lack of mini marts where you can get supplies.

During our many long drives around Mallorca in the two weeks, we kept passing through “ghost towns”. They are small streets flanked by two-storey buildings, structured around a sort of grid pattern. And they are entirely deserted except for cars parked by the side.

If not for the cars, which look serviceable, you would totally think the towns are abandoned towns because you cannot see a single soul out and about. All doors and windows are shuttered. You can’t see anyone indoors or outdoors.

It was quite creepy to be honest.

 

Ghost town

 

The first time we drove through such a town, we had been on our way to our next hotel.

As we remarked on the absence of living souls apart from ourselves, Piers suddenly said with a smile, “Oh, here’s our hotel, darling.”

“Yeah, right,” I had retorted.

“Would you be happy if I had really booked us a hotel here?”

“No. This is the kind of place people get murdered in movies.”

 

Ghost town

 

Anyway, we basically spent two weeks being slugs at the pool or beach or, when it was too hot, indoors on the sofa. We did do a bit of sightseeing and also went on a sea adventure but it was just pure relaxation most of the time.

It was the most relaxing holiday I’d ever been on, in no small part due to the fact that I didn’t have wifi and therefore couldn’t blog. In my other holidays, I tended to spend like a third of my time blogging.

 

Sheylara and Piers

 

It was an amazing holiday for me, the only downside being that I got a tan.

I do not like being tanned because I had spent my entire childhood being teased for being a lot darker than the average Chinese. (Somehow, my skin gradually lightened as I grew up.)

This vacation, despite my obsessive use of sunblock, turned my skin many shades darker. It’s going to take me forever to reverse that because I tan quickly and recover slowly.

But it’s a small price to pay, even if I have to buy a new shade of makeup to match my new tan. I would do it all over again.

And, this time, I would remember to bring my bikinis.

 

Lying on the sand

 

England’s summer seems to have gone, with the temperature around 17°C tops this entire week. While I generally love this temperature (so much better than dreadful heat), I am a bit disappointed because I had wanted to go to nearby Sandbanks for a beach picnic. Piers had told me that Sandbanks beach is as nice as Mallorcan beaches.

And I desperately want to wear my new bikinis after having to tolerate two weeks of wearing that crappy replacement I bought in Mallorca.

But how are we supposed to have a beach picnic in 17°C temperature and no sun?

I guess this means I can now start on my de-tanning process. Staying home to blog all day is a good plan.

Today’s post is just an overview of our Mallorcan holiday. I’ll go into more detail in my next posts, highlighting the cool places you can check out in that spicy little island.

Bookmark Sheylara.com and come back!

In search of bikini babes: Fun at Siloso Beach (Part 2)

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(Continued…)

After taking the sky ride up the hill, we went down it in style!

Like our new hats?

Haha.

The Sentosa LUGE RIDE!!

That was so fun!! The luge staff all wore t-shirts proclaiming that “Once is not enough” and they’re right! But I didn’t do it again cos I didn’t want to take the sky ride up again and I didn’t fancy ascending the hill by foot (although it’s possible if you enjoy walking).

Sunset was approaching and we needed to get back to the beach to find more bikini babes!

But, first, we took some photos at the popular Siloso Beach colourful icon.

There are a few trams that travel up and down Siloso Beach, so you can hop onto one of these (free-of-charge) if you’re lazy to walk.

We went back to Cafe del Mar. We decided that’s where all the babes would be because that’s where the party was!

Unfortunately, the outside seating was all filled so we had to sit indoors. It’s pretty cool indoors, though. I mean literally! The air-con was cold! Just nice after a hot day at the beach!

We had to enjoy the outdoors vicariously.

And then the party started and the dancing babes came out.

My stupid camera can capture juice dripping out a lemon but it can’t do dancing babes without blurring.

Well, that’s what videos are for. You’ve already seen the video, so… next!

Camwhore!

But I want to talk about dinner now.

Dinner at Ami’s Restaurant!

This is also on Siloso Beach, just beside the Beach Station, which you should stop at if you’re taking the Sentosa Express from VivoCity.

Soup of the day:

I can’t remember what soup it is already. Haha. But it’s good. Really.

Satay:

Is not as good because the meat is a bit tough.

Chilli soft shell crab:

Is good!!! The sauce tastes like a cross between chilli crab sauce and sweet and sour sauce. The crab is fried in batter and tastes just divine. But you have to eat it fast before the batter turns soggy.

Potato salad:

Give it a miss unless you like hard potato. The salad dressing is nice but I like my potato very mushy!

Spicy crab pasta:

It’s not spicy at all lah. But I like! The sauce is a bit like the chilli soft shell crab sauce. This was my main course and I really enjoyed it, although I wish they had heaped on more sauce. And more crab meat.

Pepper steak:

I wish I had ordered this! It’s really tender and juicy and just nicely done. Yum.

Dessert:

This is a sago with gula melaka and coconut milk dessert. It’s really divine. But I couldn’t finish it because the dinner had made me so full!

Geez, I need to go back to Ami’s again.

The Goonfather joined us later in the night because he had class till 6 pm and after that had to collect Makkuro from the hospital. (In case you haven’t been following my blog, Makkuro’s engine busted a few weeks before. Makkuro is the Goonfather’s car.)

We went to watch Song of the Sea, a musical extravaganza that incorporates live actors, fireworks, laser effects, musical fountain and fire!

It’s a night show and there are two shows daily. It’s really popular! The queue was amazing. A ticket costs only $8 (adults) and it’s free seating.

It was about 15 minutes before showtime. We were trying to find the end of the queue and I almost fainted when I saw this. (It snakes all the way to the extreme left of the photo.)

We thought that was the end but when we got there, there was ANOTHER QUEUE HIDDEN BEHIND THE FIRST QUEUE.

OMG.

But it didn’t take too long, fortunately.

This is the stage:

It’s the whole freaking beach!

Check out the crowd.

Attap houses in the sea form the backdrop for the stage.

The 20-minute show is about a young man trying to break an evil spell to wake a beautiful princess. Hmm, okay, I prefer the cool effects. I love the musical fountain and the fire show. If you sit near enough, you can actually feel the heat from the fire and a bit of the water spray.

Nothing like fireworks to end a spectacular day!

If I hadn’t been invited to hang out at Sentosa for a day, I wouldn’t have known that there are so many fun things to do there, especially on Siloso Beach, which is for the cool and the happening!

(Yah lah, I know I’m very sua ku and I know many people do hang out at Sentosa regularly lah.)

It’s also surprisingly easy to get there. You wouldn’t even think that you were travelling to an island because it’s so near the city. I took the Sentosa Express, which you can take from VivoCity (on level 3), and it’s like taking an MRT.

The Goonfather usually drives in. It takes a few minutes to drive across and there’s a huge underground carpark near the beach where you can always get a parking lot.

No wonder he likes going there so much. I’m sure it’s not entirely due to the bikini babes, either!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention this.

There will be a New Year countdown party at Siloso Beach this year, just like last year!

Called the Siloso Beach Party, it is Asia’s grooviest beach party, where you can expect the coolest DJs, music and performances!

On Dec 31, from 8 pm onwards, there will be nonstop music and partying. And the best part is that you don’t need to dress up because, duh, it’s at the beach! Just pop a bikini on! Hehe! Okay, for guys, just go topless with sexy trunks or surfer shorts!

Having a New Year Countdown party on the beach means that you will be able to witness the first dawn of 2009 right on the shores of Singapore’s hippest beach!

There will be pyrotechnics, too! OMG. Er, that means fireworks in case you don’t know. (Pyrotechnics is the term they use in the microsite.) I LOVE FIREWORKS, pyrotechnics, whatever. Can you imagine dancing beneath fireworks?

Throughout the night, there will be a Battle of the DJs, where duo DJs will be spinning at the same time at any given time. A total of eight DJs (including both International and local names) will entertain the crowd with their “mashed-up” music. That’s like mixing all kinds of music together. Haha! Sounds crazy! =)

Other fringe activities: Games (free to play), entertainment acts (like stilt-walking), snacks, booze, foam and plenty of bikini babes!!

The party is gonna be soooooooo coool.

Tickets are on sale at SISTIC. There’s an age limit of 18 years old.

So, who’s game to witness the first dawn of 2009?

[Read Part 1]

In search of bikini babes: Fun at Siloso Beach (Part 1)

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The Goonfather often goes to Siloso Beach in Sentosa to check out bikini chicks during weekends when I’m not free to accompany him.

Idiot.

So, when I had the opportunity to enjoy some of Sentosa’s adventures on the house, I picked a Saturday when he wasn’t free. Wahahahaha.

No lah, I’m not so mean.

The date was picked for me, actually. And I wish the Goonfather had gone because I could have used him to entertain the babes while I took photos of them.

But, anyway, he had class that day, so I took Morte and Wang Wang with me.

Bikini babes later. Lunch first!

We ate at COASTES, at Morte’s recommendation. (We had many beach bars and eateries to choose from, so it was good to have a guide, even if the guide was Morte.)

Morte is the Goonfather’s babe-watching companion and is quite a regular at Sentosa’s Siloso Beach.

COASTES is one of the alfresco beach pub-restaurants along Siloso Beach.

They have wireless Internet access, they say.

But I don’t need free wireless access in Singapore. My SingNet mobile broadband gives me 50GB bandwidth a month. I think I only use up 5% of that each month. What a waste.

In any case, I didn’t bring my laptop out that day.

I was sooooo hungry.

But I had time to camwhore!

One of the creeds they make you memorise in Camwhore School: “There is always time to camwhore.”

Well, we had to wait for the food to arrive wat!

Fooooooood!

Morte copied me and ordered the Nürnberger sausages. He claimed that I copied him, though. Some people can get so argumentative over trivials.

I LOVE NÜRNBERGER SAUSAGES!!! But I wish the Europeans would do away with funny symbols on their vowels. They make life so complicated!

The Nürnbergers at COASTES aren’t as good as they look in the photo. I think they should change brands! Not that they’re very bad lah. Morte liked them very much. I just have high standards. Haha.

Wang Wang had fish and chips. She’s very boring. She only eats fish and chicken.

She loved her fish and chips.

I can’t believe my cheap $290 camera managed to capture this juicy action! (And it wasn’t planned or rehearsed.)

Lunching by the beach is really awesome. Although it’s a little warm, which is why all girls should wear a bikini to the beach (except me because I don’t look good in one), it still feels great. It’s relaxing and serene and you have a great view of the sea and half naked men.

After lunch, we went babe hunting.

I’m not, like, a perv or gay or anything. It’s just human nature to enjoy looking at beautiful things and girls in bikinis are beautiful (mostly).

We dropped in at the Bikini Bar, beside COASTES, where the waitresses are dressed in bikini tops.

This waitress turned her back on me when she noticed my camera. Haha.

We decided to walk further down the beach. Along the way, we came across two little girls playing at one of those ground fountains that would periodically shoot water at them, to their delight.

Adults can apparently have fun with the fountain, too.

There are two giant pavilions along Siloso Beach, which is great for events, or just hanging out under shelter.

Some time ago, my friends and I planned a beach picnic outing at Sentosa. We assigned everyone to prepare a specific food item but we all forgot to assign someone to bring picnic mats!

Lucky we had the pavilions, so we had a pavilion picnic instead of a beach picnic. It was cool and shady and we still had a nice view of the beach.

Siloso Beach is like almost synonymous with beach volleyball. There are four official volleyball courts which are free-to-use on a first-come first-served basis but you can see volleyball enthusiasts just playing anywhere and everywhere along the beach.

I can’t play beach volleyball for nuts. I don’t know how to bounce the ball off my wrists properly and always end up bruising myself.

I guess the only thing I’m good at is camwhoring.

Sigh.

Behind me. They even play volleyball in the pavilion, under shelter!

Moving along. I’ve been hearing good things about Cafe del Mar a lot, so I was quite excited to check it out.

And, what do you know, on the very day I was there, the happening beach pub was hosting its first massive beach party called The Water Parade! How lucky!

I showed you a video of that party the last time. Here it is again if you missed it.

This time, I will show you peektures!

I love this. It makes the place look like a resort.

Some of the guys behind the party:

Early birds:

Well, it was really early and the party hadn’t actually started (they were just getting ready), so we went in search of other adventures, planning to come back later.

We saw this dog having fun with its owner. So cute! It’s a really good swimmer.

The weather was quite nice and windy. I had a lot of trouble keeping my hair off my face. Feel like chopping off my hair again.

We found the official volleyball courts after strolling further down the beach.

There was a tournament (the Sentosa-MOE Beach Volleyball Challenge 2008) going on that day.

We didn’t hang around too long, though. We had tons of things to do!

I was really tempted to try out the swinging trapeze, which is just beside the beach volleyball courts. But it looks damn scary!!!

OMGGGGGGG!

Kids can be so brave!

This is how tall it is.

Okay, it’s not crazily high up like in the circus, but it still looks scary!

Being the scaredy cats that we are, the three of us wimped out and went for a milder alternative.

The sky ride!

This is childsplay compared to the swinging trapeze but, still, I hate heights. :(

Of course, I pretended to enjoy myself because that’s the only way to manage paranoia. The ride was only a few minutes but it felt like an eternity.

To distract myself from fear, I snapped photos nonstop. Haha. I took about 50 photos while on the ride.

I didn’t dare move my feet at all cos I was afraid my slippers would fall off!!

Some photos I took while up in the air:

Reaching a scary height:

Top down view:

Morte was the one who alerted me to the nice sea view. I wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t told me because I was totally focused on not freaking out:

Being neighbours with treetrops isn’t something I quite fancy:

Let’s camwhore and not look at treetrops:

What goes up must come down, right?

Come back tomorrow to find out how we descended in style!

[Read Part 2]