We came to this hotel firstly because we had seen it (and liked its location right on the beach) during an excursion in 2004 but also because it was thoroughly recommended by a couple of our friends (who I shall refer to obliquely as Barbie and Ken because I don’t have permission to use real names) who came to it on their honeymoon about 30 years ago and have been back many times since.
The Hotel (which has changed hands over the years) is currently called the Melia Cala Galdana and is only slightly grander and slightly better located than the similarly named Hotel Cala Galdana in the town and across the “river” from the beach.
Before we left we were told that another mutual friend and former work colleague of Faith and her above mentioned friend Barbie had also accepted a similar recommendation but had inadvertently booked the wrong hotel.
Our week on Menorca was from Friday to Friday while this friend and her husband (who for similar permission reasons I shall refer to as Sindy and Paul) were flying out on the Wednesday; so discounting their day of arrival and our day of departure the only overlap was the Thursday. We were not expecting therefore that a meeting had much chance of happening and by Wednesday I had forgotten all about these people arriving.
After the excesses of our Wednesday evening buffet meal we felt a need to get some exercise and decided to walk into the town and re-visit a small bar that we had been to earlier in the week and which I knew not only did excellent Mojitos but also put out nice bowls of peanuts (as if I really needed to EAT).
As the hotel restaurant had a “no shorts” dress code and it was still quite warm out we stopped off at our room on the way out to enable me to get comfortable again and then set off along the promenade in the twilight.
We were strolling along listening to the soothing susurration of the small waves on the sand when Faith slowed right down and started to stare intently at some people walking towards us.
“It’s Sindy isn’t it?” she asked after a pause that was probably a lot shorter than it seemed and it transpired this was indeed her former work colleague who with her husband had checked into their hotel, eaten, and then set out to investigate the one that they had meant to book.
After a brief chat during which we arranged to meet up in the bar of their hotel the following night we both continued our on our respective walks and, while I suppose this wasn’t all that surprising an event, Faith and I reflected on the chances of meeting, in that location and at that particular time, the only people on the entire island who either of us knew.
We took a table outside the bar with Faith looking out onto the square and me with a view of the other customers and a large TV screen showing a football match between (I believe) Manchester City and Glasgow Celtic. At some point Celtic scored and I made a comment about it to the man of about my own age who was sitting with his wife at the adjacent table.
This led to a discussion about football and I discovered that he was from Lancaster and supported Blackpool FC despite living in Carlisle. Naturally, Faith and I picked up on this and mentioned our younger daughter who went to University at Lancaster and later worked for a volunteer charity in Carlisle.
This chap (whose name by coincidence was Dave – the same as me and both of my sons-in-law, you may recall) became more interested and asked which charity she worked for. I told him the name and he stared hard at Faith and I for a few seconds.
“Your Daughter’s name isn’t Carla is it?” he asked. And as regular readers will know, it is.
It turned out that he had been involved in a Community Allotment project that Carla had run and remembered fondly her cheerful enthusiasm.
As soon as we left the bar it was, of course, necessary for Faith to call Carla on the phone and report this quite remarkable coincidence and Carla remembered him quite well.
Consider if you will the odds against our happening to go to that bar, taking that table and actually having conversations with strangers who knew our daughter from her brief spell at the extreme other end of England and I think you’ll agree that they had to be astronomical!
I reflected on the way back to our Hotel that if an outlet selling lottery tickets had been available to us at that moment we would surely be millionaires by now!
That’s all for this little series – back now to more mundane topics that don’t make my readership insanely jealous at all my holidays!