"About town on foot- if steps are not your problem!" Mahón Transportation Tip by ranger49
Mahón Transportation: 5 reviews and 10 photos
The best way to explore a town is usualy on foot, specially a compact town like Mahon. It sits on top of a cliff - not a very high one ( the highest point on the island is only 1170ft/358m) but moving about on foot between sea level and the old town can be quite hard work as you climb up hills and many, many steps.
After checking in and after a light lunch in our hotel we set off to explore the surroundings.
Leaving the hotel by a set of steps and walking a few yards to the main road we crossed over to view the harbour from a balustraded Passeig Maritim. Beneath us we saw a very steep stone staircase, broken up into shorter sections by a terrace at intervals during the descent.
Undaunted we set off, pausing at each of the terraces for rest and to take in the views. An elderly lady coming up warned us that there were 107 steps.
Before we got to the bottom my husband had a eureka moment when he recognised that we were on "Pig-tail" stairs mentioned in the Master and Commander novels of Patrick O'Brian. They are said to be so-called because they were used used by the by 18th/19th century, pig-tailed sailors on shore leave.
Those used to climbing the mast would have had little difficulty here but we found it quite hard going. We subsequently found a route back to the hotel that involved a winding ramp on a partly paved road - easier on the knees but still hard work. Sensible foot wear helps!
If you can't face the walk back up the steps hop on the circular bus or even the Little Train - they both pass along the harbour road.
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