Starting our spring in the Mediterranean sun...

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

In a concerted effort to start the summer, Ed and I decided to visit his brother Berni in Mallorca, an old haunt of Ed's, for a weekend.  I'd never been before, so looked forward to exploring somewhere new with somebody who was familiar with the places worth visiting and the bars and restaurants not to miss. 

The weather was glorious in comparison to England's renowned drab, grey March weather, and feeling the sun on my shoulders sent a surge of serotonin coursing around my body. Oh, the summer!  The island was hilly and smothered with lush green canopy.  We drove straight from the airport to the quaint hilltop town of Valdemosa, famous for its cathedral and typical Spanish street-life ambiance.  After inadvertently queue-jumping the line for the toilet and offending a local within minutes of arriving, I was intending to keep a low-profile and wander the streets absorbing the town's fine views.  However Ed, as usual, had different plans.  We visited the town's only supermarket to buy ham, cheese and beer, followed by a panaderia for bread rolls to complete the picnic. Ed also bought us three rolls of soft, sweet bread topped with icing sugar called coca de patata, a Mallorcan specialty which are famous in Valdemosa for being the best on the island, and proceeded immediately to shove said roll into my face, causing the well-known 'Idiot with huge white moustache' look to be paraded through the streets lined with tourist and locals alike enjoying lunch and summer sun.  The boys cracked up, surprise surprise.

We stopped for our picnic in the shade of the cathedral, before returning to the supermarket to raid it of its crunchy red apples.  Next on the agenda was ice cream (dictated by the boys' sugar craving and the sun's afternoon heat) - almond, raspberry, pistachio, tiramisu, chocolate, and peach-flavoured yoghurt no less - lazily enjoyed whilst draping ourselves over the main square of the town of Soller. We then drove to a beautiful graveyard atop the village of Deía, perched quietly at the summit of an unassuming flight of stone stairs and encircled by the island's tallest hills and with views out to the blue sea beyond.  As graveyards frequently induce, we descended into peaceful, respectful silence, briefly remembering our own mortality and our frequently flippant attitude towards it.

Sunset was unforgettable as we climbed in the car (ears popping) to one of the highest points of the island at 494m, Puig de Sant Salvador, crowned by the the Santuari de Sant Salvador (a statue of Christ) and blessed with break-taking views in every direction.

As night settled upon us and the March chill set in, we returned to Portopetro, exhausted but relaxed, and ate an excellent paella in Restaurant Maritimo to neutralise our ice-cream filled tummies.  Ed and I took at walk after dinner, passing bobbing white yachts in the black night of the port, and sat on the end of the pier, looking up at the night sky - complete with a pearly full moon - and out to sea.  It was another rare moment of utter tranquility, where Ed and I could enjoy each other without the clatter of London life and the disturbance of living with flatmates.  Then we returned home and collapsed into bed.   

The following morning, we arose early, so atypical of a weekend at home, and Ed had hatched a little plan for breakfast.  We drove to the nearby town of Cala D' Or to hunt down take-away coffees and little French (sorry, ARGENTINEAN!!) pastries, croissants and sugared delicacies among the boarded up and closed shops closed during the off-peak season.  He then took me to a bay, filled with deep emerald green and transparent sea, wrapped by rocks.  It was perfectly peaceful - not even a bird chirped and the sea was eerily still first thing in the morning.  We squatted on the rocks at the head of the bay and enjoyed a breakfast far too ostentatious for our surroundings, watching the sun mount the sky and the wind clear the morning's haze, blowing life into the still bay.     

We beach-hopped for the rest of the day, as would be expected of English tourists seeking the first of the summer sun :) We picniced again on more bread, ham and cheese - -and in true English style (never letting my country down!) came off the beach three hours later as pink as the crab we had eaten in paella the night before.  At least my freckles were out as I returned to work the following morning, the envy of the office.  Our summer of travelling has begun....  
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