Mallorca: Between mountain and sea

20 Apr

First a note of thanks to the many people who provided support, empathy and kind words about the Grenoble robbery. Our love goes out to you all.

As a place to mend our spirits and rest our weary limbs we couldn’t have found a better spot than the Balearic island of Mallorca. Time with Julie and David Howell in their beach apartment in Palma followed by three nights in sleepy Soller, half way up the west coast, were the tonic we needed. Our original plan called for mountain biking, hiking and sailing – all the things Mallorca is famous for- but as Stuart reinjured his knee falling on the last run of the ski trip that was all off.

Instead we had a lazy time exploring Palma and Soller, shopping for basic clothes for me and riding the antique train to Port Soller and a larger version back to Palma. Nina and Matthew’s Bougainvillea Bed and Breakfast proved to be the perfect retreat. After five years hard work (somehow finding the time to produce two small boys) they’ve refined the art of hosting visitors to Soller. We loved the decor, the good wifi connection, the honour bar, the breakfast buffet and the enchanting garden, but the real treat was Adriana’s massage in the garden complete with harmonic chi bowl chimes. (I had only ever seen that on ‘Ab Fab’ previously.)

Our impression of Mallorca overall is very positive, blessed as it is by impressive mountains, a clean sea and bountiful land. Artists love it for the light and we could see why as we sat with a cocktail in Soller’s Constitution Plaza while the sun warmed its way across the cliffs above us changing the rocks from gold to amber to pink, purple and finally grey.

The local government has cannily pitched its tourism to the middle and upper echelons. You won’t see backpackers, campers or campervans here. Instead there are busloads of energetic, superannuated north Europeans and flocks of cyclists both on and off road. Add to that the rich and the super rich with their boats and villas and it’s no surprise this is one corner of Spain that’s weathering the economic crisis well.

Today with Ryanair’s cooperation we’ll be back in the UK for more reunions this weekend before Stuart heads to Brisbane for a medical check and to touch base with his loyal business team. I’ll return to Seville for another dose of Flamenco and my first Feria!

Photos taken in Palma, Portals Nous, Port D’Andratx, Saint Elm, Soller and Port de Soller.

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