After a few months of my first travel to Europe, I returned to Germany for a year to study abroad. During my stay in Germany, I was able to use RyanAir (low fair airline) to get around. My first trip out of Germany was to Spain and Portugal. I was able to plan and meet up with a friend I had met in San Diego, California, and we took 10 days, and under 250 euros to see Palma de Mallorca, Madrid, and Faro. We shared everything and cut cost everywhere we went. We spent a day in Hamburg before leaving for Spain and Portugal. It was still Summer time, and the air was extremely humid and sticky. We opted to use hostels, and we cut all our costs in half by essentially booking one single bed, and sharing it. We wouldn’t sleep in the night, and rather just the day time to not have complaints that we were sharing the bed.
It was an incredibly tough trip to be on foot, and literally be sticking to each other all the time. Sharing a single bed was tough since we would often get assigned top bunks with no barriers. We would struggle to not stick to each other, give each other enough room, and also try not to fall off the bed. There were no actual lockers with locks, and there were several other beds in the rooms that had no locks. All our belongings must be brought with us or just left to the trust that the other travelers in the room wouldn’t go through. Mallorca, a city in Palma that is often jokingly referred to as the 17th state of Germany, was definitely a city of excess. While we had a lot of fun, there were many moments that made it extremely dangerous for us to be there. First, my friend had her belongings (phone, digital camera, makeup) stolen from out of her purse. Having travelled through Europe before and being very cautious, I carried two totes bags. One tote bag for regular unimportant items, and a second one inside, with the handles tied together, contained the essentials (passport, money, etc). Someone had motioned to me that someone had stuck his hand in my tote bag while I was at a club, and luckily, with the second tote bag tightly sealed, the man was not able to relieve me of my belongings. Second, we were harassed and sexually assaulted by men there. They were very aggressive and persistent. While I can see the appeal of it being a fun vacation destination, I think having a hotel to leave our belongings might have made the trip easier. I’m not sure I’d be so keen to return there though.
In Mallorca, we managed to go to Maguluf, then Maguluf Strip, then to Arenal. Our hostel was about an hour ride out of the main parts of town, and the bus ride was not cheap. After a couple days of taking the bus, we had the brilliant idea to just stay out in the city, and not return to the hostel to save the bus fare. Our first day was spent walking around the city and sunbathing on the beach, and going in for an occasional dip into the ocean when it got too hot to cool off. We checked out the bars and clubs, and they were essentially filled with drunk Germans.
The next night couple nights was when we made the decision to stay in the city. We cleaned up with the outdoor showers, and touched up our make up at the local makeup store. We purchased a large bottle of Citrus flavored Absolut, and a large thing of sweetened ice lemon tea. We got drink cups, and we mixed our own drinks and began our night. We partied, and had a lot of fun, but came nightfall, and we finally needed to rest. We figured we could sleep on the beach until sunrise and start over. As we began walking over to the stairs, a man grabbed my hand, pulled me in, and kissed me. It all happened so fast, that I didn’t have time to react, and my friend had to pull me away so we can continue our journey to the beach. Beach chairs were set up all over the beach, and to use them in the day, we’d have to pay for them, but it is now past midnight, and nobody is manning them. There were couples literally having sex next to us on the beach chairs, but paying no mind to them, we took up two beach chairs, and closed our eyes to get some rest. After awhile, having no sense of time without a phone or watch, I was woken by at least 5 men touching, and kissing me all over. I was frightened and I shook my friend up. We were still intoxicated and extremely fatigued, so we walked further out of the city onto other beach chairs where it was quiet. The same thing happened, and this time, the entire contents of her purse was emptied out. I had looked drunkingly into the eyes of the man who was trying to reach into my tote bag as well when I was awoken, and that was enough to stop him. Both our passports were in our purses, and she was fortunate enough to have stored in on the inner linings of her purse, or we would have been in a lot of trouble.
My friend was devastated that her digital camera was stolen, so I had this plan to “fake sleep,” to catch the thief that stole her belongings. We walked a little further and pretended to sleep, and sure enough, within a couple minutes, there was a man kissing and touching me. I got up, and confronted him. He ran, and I ran after him. I put my hands around his throat, and started choking him. My friend pat him down as I did that, but found nothing. He tried to run away, towards the ocean, and looked like he was tossing things into the sea. All of a sudden, out of the right of me, came a man running, and within seconds of this, the man I was choking was on the sand with the man kicking him. After a few minutes of exchange, we found that the man that came to our rescue is a police officer, and the man on the ground is a known perp.
Honestly, at this point, we could not wait to leave Mallorca. Having set aside 5 days for it, we were feeling drained from the sun and the alcohol, and just having to deal with all these hiccups on our trip. Overall, we had fun moments, but also real tough ones. I got about 3 shades darker being in the sun for so long. We met strange people on our journey, and if I were to redo this trip, I would definitely have splurged and opted for a hotel for the convenience of not walking miles at a time, and being to leave our belongings in the evening.
Even the bars are German
The hill up all the bars and clubs
Souvenir shot glass