Morgan's monster pizza. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter
The food of the stars
The past few days have once again revealed the gastronomic preferences of Hollywood stars and the consequent publicity. Morgan Freeman now had two menus named after him at the Sandro de Palma restaurant, where he had dined on two occasions. The menus were what he had ordered. At 18.50 euros per menu, the price didn’t sound at all bad, while Sandro was further exploring the Freeman theme by letting it be known that he had got hold of two bottles of the actor’s favourite Tito’s Vodka. Morgan was meanwhile spreading the PR to El Alpendre Pizza y Carne in Palma, where he was presented with a “monster pizza”, which one suspects he shared with several others. Not to be outdone, Zoe Saldaña, another star of the Lioness series (which is why they are in Mallorca), was Instagrammed by the Ritzi in Puerto Portals. Alas, there was no report as to what she ate, while we haven’t as yet discovered what Nicole Kidman’s been having for breakfast. Or indeed where.
Production crews are very clever when it comes to lighting and all that, but even they may have struggled with elements of the Mallorca January weather. It was rather over-egging it to have suggested that “extreme” weather was on its way, but then there was a gust of 129 kilometres per hour, which is hurricane force.
However, this was a gust at the Serra Alfabia weather station in Bunyola, which is where strongest gusts are typically registered. Gusts reaching hurricane force aren’t actually that unknown on mountain peaks. The met agency reported on Tuesday, when this gust was registered, that the sustained maximum velocity had been a mere 66 km/h - gale force. As to the temperatures dropping since Tuesday, they are in fact forecast to drop further over the weekend and into next week.
Even so, Aemet had issued amber alerts for high winds and rough coastal conditions. It initially appeared as if a 56-year-old German woman, who went missing on Tuesday afternoon, may have been swept away by waves. This was in the area of the Hotel Bendinat not far from Portals Nous. On Wednesday morning, Guardia Civil divers recovered her body from the sea. It then emerged that she had in fact gone for a swim. Terribly sad, but alerts are activated for a reason.
The police officer who no one noticed was missing
Sadder still was the discovery of the body of a police officer at his home in Son Servera. The bodies of his two dogs, believed to have starved to death, were also found. The officer, 45 and named as Jonathan M., was with the unit in Porto Cristo. He had taken leave after the summer and had been due to report back for duty on December 20. He didn’t, which is one reason why the case has aroused the discussion that it has. A colleague from Porto Cristo went to his home on the outskirts of Son Servera village on Thursday last week. This was when his body was found. The best part of a month had passed. His personal circumstances may have been one thing, but what about the police?
The Hells Angels leader - ten years on
Memories of a police operation from ten years ago came flooding back with the report that Frank Hanebuth is finally due to stand trial - starting on January 23 in Madrid. From the Hannover region of Germany, Hanebuth was the leader of a Hells Angels chapter whose underworld dealings were said to have spread beyond Mallorca. On the island, his organisation focused on Playa de Palma, allegedly having controlled much of the drugs trade, while also dedicating itself to prostitution, money laundering and extortion.
He was netted by Operation Casablanca in July 2013 and spent two years in prison before being released on conditions. He was able to travel between Spain and Germany, where, by those who knew him and were on friendly terms, he was apparently welcomed back as though he were like a head of state. Spanish prosecutors presented charges four years ago, and the trial will now hear these charges.
Deportation for Moroccans who “escaped” from the plane in Palma
On Tuesday, there was a mass release of prisoners who had been detained in November 2021 and over subsequent weeks. The so-called “escapees” from the Air Arabia Maroc plane that had made an emergency landing in Palma, their release was requested by the Prosecutor’s Office. They had been charged with sedition, but as this law has been repealed, the charges have been dropped.
They were released from Palma prison but the National Police immediately detained them again. They were taken to court where requests for internment at a mainland centre for immigrants and for deportation to Morocco were made. An exception concerns the individual who had faked the diabetic medical emergency which had forced the landing of the plane. He still faces a charge of facilitating illegal immigration.
A “perfect” robbery that wasn’t that perfect
The National Police robbery squad is working with the Guardia Civil in seeking to trace three men who robbed an Eroski supermarket in Bendinat on Thursday last week. The robbery was staged around 9pm, the Guardia saying that it had been planned “perfectly”. One of the three went to pay for something, and once the cash register was open, the other two burst in; a firearm was brandished.
It wasn’t that perfect in that they only got away with 550 euros, but the suspicion is that they may well have been responsible for robberies in Palma; hence the cooperation with the National Police.
Rafa Nadal, a hotel and the future
Along the Calvia coast from Bendinat, Palmanova is to be the location for the first Zel hotel. The business venture between Rafael Nadal and Meliá Hotels International, the aim is to create some twenty Zel hotels over the next four to five years. The CEO of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer, explained at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid on Wednesday that this new brand will reflect the Mediterranean lifestyle and will “surprise” the new generation of travellers.
The Innside Cala Blanca is being redesigned for its rebranding as a Zel hotel. Is it just me or does Zel sound more like a ‘magic’ floor or toilet-cleaning liquid than a hotel brand?
For Rafa, though, this is clearly going to be a venture of great interest in the future, and his future - in terms of playing career - is again being questioned. His wife, Mery Perelló, was in tears and coach Carlos Moyà looked very sombre as they watched on while Nadal struggled with another injury. This one, to his left hip, was at the Australian Open, one of two Grand Slam tournaments he won in 2022. He went out in the second round, having lost in straight sets. Afterwards, he admitted that the injury and defeat had “mentally destroyed” him.
Megayacht not a superyacht
Apart from his hotel (and his academy), Rafa also has his yacht to occupy him, but this isn’t in the ‘megayacht’ league, a category which appears to trump a mere superyacht and which has been on exhibition at Palma’s Club de Mar. Limitless, owned by American billionaire Les Wexner, is one of the largest yachts going - 96.25 metres long. It was reported to have been the first megayacht to be spotted in Mallorca this year (rather than superyachts), although this wasn’t wholly accurate as it had already been at Astilleros Mallorca for a bit of a brush-up.
A spotless bay
One trusts that Limitless is spotless when it comes to marine sustainability and anchoring regulations. This, anchoring, is a matter of great concern in Pollensa Bay and is one aspect addressed by plans for the environmental recovery of the bay. A great deal of attention has been paid to anchoring, contamination and seabed degradation, and a preliminary project for recovery, which has the support of the Puerto Pollensa yacht club, local hoteliers and a Puerto Pollensa pressure group, has been put together and costed at 20 million euros.
The most urgent need has to do with the water cycle and the monitoring of possible pollution. Pollensa town hall, it is hoped, will use the report for this project in obtaining European and state funds.