Intolerable noise is no welcome to tourists

Dear Sir,
Monday morning, the working week resumes and the cacophony has begun slightly early. Bang-bang-bang-bang, at 08.12 the jack-hammer goes to work and echoes across the bay. Ten minutes later and clack-clack-clack, its cousin slightly above us, joins the intrusive sound-show.

With rarely any let-up during daylight hours, save for Sunday, this unrelenting, calamitous chorus goes on ... and on ... and on. There are gaps in the noise of course, momentary gaps as the ghastly, mechanised hammer shifts its impact on the rock-face, but we are talking seconds. Silent but expectant seconds.

Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang, a series of hammer-blows, five or six, maybe ten or twenty in a longer sequence of blows. A slight pause then off it goes again - or rather, off THEY go again.

Alone, in many other civilised parts of the world, the continuous noise from one of these horror-machines, would not be tolerated. Together, they create an unbelievable level of noise pollution.

We have been coming to Puerto Andratx regularly for the past 14 years and we now have relatives living here permanently on the restaurant-and-bars side of the port, where the constant noise is intolerable. On this side, above the Club de Vela, it’s debilitating, the effect of the added echo makes it that much worse.

As a longer silence suddenly intervenes, it is noticeable and a welcome relief. But the senses are poised, waiting for the hideous noise to begin again ... and they are not to be disappointed.

The answer is obvious, shut out the ten-hours-long mental battering, if we can ... or follow the advice of friends and wear ear-plugs. Or take ourselves off to another part of the island for the day, take our custom to the restaurants, bars and shops elsewhere.

The logical extension of this option, of course, is to avoid coming to Puerto Andratx altogether.

Sincerely,
Edward Laxton


Safety in the air

Dear Sir,
Certain aspects concerning travel safety are difficult to evaluate for the common traveller. The planning of the winter stay 2016/2017 brought forward some consideration about the route followed by our ordinary airline. There were two relevant destinations, either going to an island situated far to the east of the Mediterranean where the plane is crossing Turkey, just over Istanbul. We landed, literally, in Majorca, the plane arriving from the western Europe. Irrelevant anxiety? Maybe. Maybe not.

According to reports the authorities in Spain have allowed the Palma airport to handle 80 planes every hour: is this something to be afraid of, to put it that way? Certainly it is; the air-traffic controllers had expressed grave concern in 2016, when the limit was 60!

Leif Krogstad

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