Monday, October 5, 2015
On our last full day in Mallorca we were planning to go to Sóller to meet up with some friends from Puerto Rico, also here for a week. They have a house and family in Sóller, so the plan is to meet them there for lunch around 2:00 pm.
On the way to Sóller, we stopped smack dab at the entrance to the tunnel, to visit the Jardins D’Alfabia. This is a garden that it almost 1,000 years old and built by one of the Arab rulers of the town from that time. It is thought that they were created by Benihabet, who was a Muslim governor of Inca. Over the centuries it has been replanted and enhanced, changed a bit and then changed back, but even today, it retains its North African charm and feel. It is also a working farm!
Many different plants and trees call these gardens home. Among them are almonds, date palms, oranges, lemons and limes, figs and many decorative plants like bamboo and wisteria. The very beautiful tall pines, with straight trunks and a ball of vegetation near the top have to be my favorites!
The garden was very peaceful, a lovely place to walk and take pictures. We even stopped to enjoy freshly squeezed sumo de naranja (jugo de china for us Puerto Ricans, orange juice for those who don’t speak Spanish Spanish or Puerto Rican Spanish!)
There is also a house in the gardens, though it does not date from the origin. Still it is interesting and welcoming, and filled with some curiosities that are worth seeking out.
All together we probably spent about an hour and 15 minutes there – which was exactly the amount of time we had, but you could easily stay longer, especially if you decided to sit and enjoy the sounds of the flowing water and the birds in the trees.
By now our lunch plans have changed. Via text we are informed that lunch will not be in Sóller, but in Deía (also spelled as Deya) another mountain town in the Serra Tramuntana. We stopped in Sóller for a walk anyway as I was looking to buy some of the flame fabric that is typical of Mallorca. I did find it, as well as a cheaper imitation. I bought the real thing – three meters worth – surely enough to make some gifts for anyone I forget to buy for!
The town of Soller is best known for the old train you can ride to it from Palma. We did that on our last trip and it is really quite fun, and something you must do when you visit Mallorca. It was not an option for us today as we are continuing on to Deía.
The ride to Deía did not take as long as the townsperson we asked said it would, but it scared us enough to postpone lunch with our friends until 2:30pm. We did indeed make it by 2:00. The extra time gave us a chance to relax and enjoy the lunch venue.
The place is called Sa Pedrissa, a huge old farm house now a rural bed and breakfast (agroturismo here in Spain). The place is beautiful, inside and out. I loved the decoration in the common areas of the hotel, and the view from the terraces is toward the sea, far below.
We also had a delicious lunch, as well as a convivial one!
We didn’t leave the table until almost 5, but we had to go straight back to our hotel at that point. We took the road through Valdemossa, which we also visited last trip. I was sad when we drove through it that we hadn’t made time for it this trip as it is a charming and beautiful town, supposedly the most charming and beautiful mountain town on the island.
That evening, and the reason for our rush back, was reservations for dinner in Palma and a desire to get in some evening walking beforehand. Our restaurant, Forn de Sant Joan, is located in an old city house, over three floors, each of the original rooms outfitted with tables for dining. The only negative thing we could say about the place was that it was noisy. Our little room had 12 people eating in it and the noise level was pretty intense . The food and the service however were superlative! Jot down the name and particulars – many of the best restaurants are closed on Mondays.
After dinner, we got in our walk, taking night pictures as we walked back to the parking lot.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
I was sad to leave, but I am sure I will return again. I like it that much, and I still have more to see! If you would like to continue following along as we travel to Italy, please click here.
Now the BIG Question: Should you go to Mallorca?
There are certainly many places to go in Spain, and if you are checking places off a list, I don’t think Mallorca will be on it at all. But you should definitely go.
Mallorca is an excellent destination because there is so much to do there! The island is small enough that you can get around to see a lot. The geography is fascinating, based as it is upon is its geology. There are mountains and beaches, farmland and cities. There are museums, and churches and shopping. There are hikes and watersports. The food is fantastic – just stay away from the British and German haunts. Palma is like a miniature Paris – plenty of cafés to sit in and watch the people go by sipping your drink of choice!
You can practice your Spanish (English, German and Mallorquín, too!).
My other favorite thing about Mallorca is that it can fit into any budget. You want deluxe- there is deluxe. You want budget – there is budget. And of course, there is everything in between!
And if you like beaches and relaxation, there is lots of that! So: Yes! If you want to go to a semi-exotic destination in Europe, enjoy the beaches and a foreign culture, never be at a loss for something to do, someplace to go, something to see – consider Mallorca!
Based on my two trips, for the weather I would go in June or July (August it is probably packed). If weather is not important, but a lack of crowds is, definitely go September, or May. But go! You’ll like it!