Spain, Balearic Islands, Menorca, Mahon - checking in and out
After arriving the Balearics we enjoyed thoroughly the nice but sometimes overcrowded anchorages and jumped in between islands making new friends.
After a while, the cut off date for our departure started getting closer so we started the search for the relevant authorities.
And that’s when the mini-saga to find the Customs immigration office began.
Having noticed that there was actually no indication of the presence of Customs on a specific marina or a mention to their office's address we started calling all services we could think of that should know where the precious stamp is hiding.
We started by calling (both in Spanish and English) the Port Authorities but they had no idea what was Ana talking about, ...stamping passports?!
Then we tried the Capitania with the same result.
Tried the marinas but they were on siesta mode, duh it’s afternoon, what are we thinking?!
A couple of days later we arrived in Mahón and try calling the Port Authorities again, after all, it was no longer weekend and maybe we would be lucky and get someone that actually knows about these things. They gave us a number (091) that we thought was a direct "hotline", to our surprise when the call was answered the first sentence was: "...what’s your emergency?", we explained it wasn’t an emergency but we were looking for the immigration office. The lady replied that number was the local equivalent of the European emergency number 112. Oops!
After having no luck with the phone calls decision was made, we were going to start visiting these offices to see if someone could be of more assistance. We got on the dinghy, went straight to town and started what seemed just about a soap opera:
Stop number 1 - Port Authority
Port authority told us to go to Policia Nacional Oficina d’expedició DNIe i Passaport (passports office), behind the Capitania building, on the main street, all the way up the stairs until we reached the square on our right-hand side.
Stop number 2 - Policia Nacional Oficina d’expedició DNIe i Passaport (passports office)
After climbing a ridiculous number of steps in the heat of midday we get to the indicated office, after explaining in Spanish (because of course, they don’t speak English) the officer tells us that’s just for Spanish nationals to deal with documents issuance, he recommends us to try the Policia Nacional Comissaria Local two doors down to the left once we leave their office.
Stop number 3 - Policia Nacional Comissaria Local
At least this one was just around the corner so a couple of minutes later there we were ready for the next round of explanations, again in Spanish because the English skills were very reduced. There they tell us they don’t have those stamps to go maybe try the Dirección General Gobierno En Baleares - Delegación de Menorca next door, on the big stone building.
Stop number 4 - Dirección General Gobierno En Baleares - Delegación de Menorca
At this point we started thinking that maybe we need to return to Palma a full days sail away, clearly, no one knows where the relevant immigration office is or even what are we talking about. But we give it a try, we enter, get told to sit and wait and then when the time comes to explain, in Spanish, as usual, they say they only deal with nationals registration, to try maybe the Policia Nacional Comissaria Local or the Policia Nacional Oficina d’expedició DNIe i Passaport (passports office) both next door buildings or try our own embassy?!
(Not sure how our own embassy could help us with the Schengen exit stamp...)
Stop number 5 - Policia Nacional Comissaria Local
Return to the Policia Nacional Comissaria Local, our new friend says they don’t have the stamps (we already know that) but maybe someone from the “estrangeria” office may help, they will arrive at 12.30. It was 11.30.
Stop number 6 - coffee shop
Having to wait for 1h for the new developments on this saga of ours we decide might as well go get some sun, check the views while enjoying a cold beer and an ice cream while having a little introspection on the island rhythm on very official matters.
Stop number 7 - Policia Nacional Comissaria Local
12.30, go back to Policia Nacional Comissaria Local, talk to our new BFF and wait for the guys from the “estrangeria” office to be ready for us. After a few moments, someone asks if we know where we need to go, which we didn’t obviously, so this guy walks us up to the first floor, first door on the left and the first door on the right to the Estranjería y Fronteras office. Hurray, at least the name of the department seems to align with our needs.
I polish up the Spanish once again, because believe it or not the two officers here despite their age don’t speak a word of English and hurray, this is the spot and no one on all previous offices/authorities including the ones on this same building knew it was there... and if Ana didn’t speak Spanish we would still be looking for these guys and probably having to go back to Palma to check out.
Anyway, in case anyone needs the precious stamp to legally leave or enter Schengen from Mahón and on time here’s the address and phone number:
Policia Nacional - Oficina Extranjería y Fronteras
Plaza Miranda c/Concepción n.1
(little alley to the right-hand side of number 22 building on the main plaza)
Phone: 971 356 398