Addaya to Mahon 39:53.454N 004:16.542E
Charles & Maggie Bevis
Wed 9 Jul 2014 11:18
After a very pleasant stopover of two nights, the weather took a decided downturn, so we decided to go south, along the coast to Mahon. Following several days of strong winds, the seas outside were quite big and although initially it was uncomfortable with a corkscrewing motion, coupled with a large swell, after an hour or so, we were able to alter course slightly and the seas lessened, leaving us in peace to enjoy the coastline. Again, vacant beaches, rugged cliffs and large tracts of undeveloped land.
The entrance to Mahon is quite something with imposing cliffs and headlands adjacent to the entrance. The cliff tops are fortified, historically some of it goes back to the British occupation.
Apparently, the younger brother of Hannibal founded Mahon in about 206 BC and is thought to have been named after him. With it's large natural harbour the port and city have been fought over many times down the centuries and there are many beautiful buildings, with a strong British influence from the 18th century, with streets and houses with sash windows and a very English appearance. Lord Nelson was here during his time in the Mediterranean and although there's no evidence to support it, there's a strong belief Lady Hamilton was also here at the same time.
There are vast formidable walls lining the hills surrounding the city, all in beautiful honey coloured limestone with many fortresses. It really is quite stunning.
Interlaced with all the historical buildings and structures, lies modern day Mahon. Beautiful houses lay surround this deep natural harbour and inevitably there's a large selection of restaurants, bars and shops to be found. We strolled past a large, very tastefully decorated, floating restaurant last evening, which was not very busy - once we saw the menu and price list, we weren't too surprised why only a few were dining there.
Some harbour side restaurants were busy, whilst others stood completely empty, with no logical explanation why this happens, as they all looked really nice, however, as we've been dining a la Alkira, for us, it wasn't an issue. We were going to stop at one place for an aperitif as we felt a bit sorry for the manager, who was standing in the doorway looking out at all his empty tables, but when I asked if we could have a glass of wine, we we're told "no" - every table was reserved!!! Didn't really want one anyway...
On our arrival, we passed the very grand super yacht (the one with the helicopter on deck, first seen in Ibiza) leaving the port. Within the harbour, there are many more super yachts, both motor and sail.
We are presently tied up to the harbour wall, with a road running alongside. Not very busy and thankfully, completely quiet at night, as is the whole town. A walk (promenade) along the water's edge last night, revealed that we are very nearly the smallest yacht here. There's one super yacht whose tender is almost as big as us! Gulp ... Clearly, you get an awful lot of boat in the Mediterranean, but not without handing over a lot of millions. The nationalities on board are varied, from Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Russian, American, British, Italian, the list goes on.
We plan to move onto an anchorage tomorrow, as even in this spot, it's rather expensive, but our stay provides another opportunity to freshen things up, do some sightseeing, buy groceries and get rid of the garbage.
Today the weather is overcast and we keep getting heavy downpours, the temperature is around mid 20's centigrade, so comfortable, but disappointing.
We're off to walk around the old town shortly, it's quite a lengthy steep walk to get there, but we've got all day. As it keeps chucking it down, we've decided to leave the bikes on board as, knowing our luck, we'd probably get soaked. Charlie's back is a bit better, my sciatica is not, however there's always a need to stretch the legs and importantly, have a good look around, so ......... armed with pain killers and umbrellas, these two old crocks are off to make the most of it.