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Category: Mallorca 2018

Trip to Mallorca at the beginning of my 2018 Europe tour

Departing Paradise

As with all things, eventually they come to an end.  The week in Mallorca was absolutely fantastic, as I’m sure you’ll agree from the pictures and stories.

Today we had breakfast at the Monastery, enjoying the view once more, before packing up.

After we packed we decided to take a look at the museum in the monastery.  Turns out the Monastery was in the place where Ramon Llull had his visions and breakthroughs.  The museum (and wikipedia, by the looks of it) go so far as to credit him with creating the work that influenced the thinking which gave us computers…  A bit of a stretch if you ask me, but a cool story none-the-less.
Besides a pretty cool video, which was repeated word-for-word in multi-lingual writing on the wall, the museum was unfortunately a complete disappointment.  Everything was numbered, but there was no reference to tell you what the item was! It made for an interesting half an hour though, and I was much more fascinated by the old farm tools and descriptions of jobs which were in a side-room from the main exhibition. As always, Manja took some great photos!

We strolled through the rest of the grounds, and found that the Monks apparently had a cactus farm.

IMG_8335rEventually it was time to depart, so I drove the treacherous road and all the way to a petrol station just before the rental place, accompanied by feet on the dashboard, just like most days..

When we got there we had to switch seats and Manja had to drive the last 500m to make sure the car rental place didn’t know I was driving the whole time.  Wouldn’t want them to worry 😉

I was reminded that I would have been a terrible passenger for this trip. I reverted straight back to my “Rubber-duck” sounds from the first night…. *sigh*

None the less, we go there just fine and the drop-off was problem free.  We jumped onto the shuttle bus, and were at the airport with plenty of spare time, browsing the duty free for a bit and having some airport food.

The flight back was nothing special, and this time left and arrived perfectly on time.  

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By Mallorca! We loved you!

Back in Tegel, we caught a bus back to Manjas place ordered Sushi and spent the evening looking through pictures of the trip.

You may have noticed that these blogs are a bit behind – Sorry about that.  With all the adventures and so many cool pictures to sort it took a while to find the time to write and to curate the best images.   I’m catching up, and I hope you enjoyed going on the Mallorca trip with me.  Leave a comment if you’re reading!


Listening to

 

No Google. Not that way.

Today, started like may others on the trip so far.  Breakfast!

The cold buffet downstairs was quite nice, and we snagged the prime seat with a perfect view again.

After breakfast we traversed the treacherous road back to the plains, and headed to Es Pontàs (The big bridge) which is a free-standing water locked arch…  Which you can theoretically climb from underneath.  You can see why I was interested I’m sure 😉

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Unfortunately there was no easy access to the water….  Which wasn’t going to stop us. We found a scramble path down to the waters edge.  For those who’ve been climbing with me, think Morialta scramble but with an ocean filled with rocks as an edge.

We managed to find a reasonable platform by the sea and I felt confident enough to jump in. Manja was (reasonably) a little more cautious and decided to remain on land. So, I took my GoPro to swim under the arch and see if there would be any point in me attempting the climb at some point.

I haven’t had the time or processing power to cut that video down, sorry. Suffice to say, the water was beautiful, the swim was really good and my rock climbing skills would have me falling off before I even really started that climb… It’s HARD.

When I returned to land we scrambled back up to the car, and decided to try and get to the beach we could see in the distance.  Some U-turns later, we got to a road which google said would take us to the beach, but in this case google lied.  We jumped out of the car and tried to find a way down but were only greeted by private property signs.  Eventually we gave up and drove around the other side of the cove, where we found signs to the beach and a carpark nearby.  We jumped in and then made use of the little cafe in the area to have an iced-coffee as we dried in the sun.  It wasn’t long before we had enough of beach and crowd, and decided to move on.

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65697650-66ae-48ed-b32c-ba51050a4e1bManja had found another recommendation for a beach and we tried our luck with google once more, and failed again.  None the less we got to a coast, and the map suggested there’d be a beach a short walk away.  Well, short the walk was not, but we happily chatted and enjoyed the scenery.  And it was rewarding, we were at a bit of a hidden beach with comparatively few people.  We swam for a bit but the day got cloudy and cooled down a fair bit, so we didn’t spend too long in the water before beginning our walk hike back.  Both the slightly longer drive and walk were worth it for the solitude though.  I’d definitely come back here for a day next time….  If we could find it again.

Manja did a spot of research online and found us a little town with some good restaurants for dinner.  We headed over and explored the rocky foreshore a bit where we played with my the camera for a bit.

Eventually it was time to have food, so we decided on Tapas for our last dinner in Mallorca.  We chose well, the variety was excellent, and they even agreed to make a reduced seafood version for Manja 🙂

One slightly unusual thing was that there was plenty of stray cats begging for scraps.  Manja and I didn’t hand any out, but some tourists definitely did…  I guess that’s why they come and beg!  Instead we captured one on camera.

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Having once more eaten way too much, we walked off our food-coma through the township and along the other side of the foreshore.  We really didn’t want to drive the hairpin road back to the Monastery in the dark, and I wanted another go at capturing the sunset, so we headed back again to enjoy the sunset from our balcony.  Tonight we really got front-row seats to a lovely sunset. The day had exhausted us both and we called it a night relatively early.

These are the two sunset clips from the monastery!

 


Listening to…

Another awkward beach and a really good feed

As predicted, the day started with a call of a rooster.  To be fair, the windows were double glazed, so I did manage to go back to sleep for a bit.  A basic breakfast was included, in the sense of pod-coffee and pre-packed muffins… Which we tried but definitely didn’t like.  But today we’d pre-planned for a buffet lunch, so it didn’t matter much!

As we’d not gone to a beach at all yesterday, we were having withdrawals and headed to a beach which was recommended by one of Manjas friends and recommended /against/ by another.  We figured that was a place to check out, and it wasn’t far from our lunch plan.

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The tray matches my bathers…

At the start of the road we stumbled onto a local salt refinery which had plenty of local produce, so we stopped by, had a coffee and picked up some small souvenirs for Manjas friends who were looking after her cat.

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Soo much salt!

 

 

The only catch with this beach was that it was down a nasty street which was only wide enough to be two-way by centimetres.  After traversing that, we got to a carpark where we had to pay 7 Euro to park, or turn around and try our luck on the road the other way.  We decided to cough up, especially seeing that the money went directly to maintaining the area…  Or at least thats what the sign said.

65697650-66ae-48ed-b32c-ba51050a4e1bIMG_8271rWhen we got to the beach, we found a pristine long beach, with massive crowds on the right and not so many people on the left.  Obviously we headed to the left without a second though, figuring the bar was probably to the right.  After a quick dip we walked down the beach a bit further, and quickly understood why it was less crowded.  As seems to be the pattern for us, we stumbled into another FKK location. None the less the beach was nice, though not many photos this time 😆

We were both hungry by now, so we went back to the car and drove the 20 minutes to the all-you-can-eat Mallorcan buffet.  Another recommendation from the host at the farm!  I jumped out of the car, only to find Manja hesitating due to a lack of shoes. We searched the car, and realised that she must have left them at the carpark.  Ah well, we’re on holidays, and it’s only 20 minutes. We headed back, and I pleaded with the carpark gatekeeper to let me look for the shoes.  He didn’t let us back into the carpark (even though we had a ticket from a few hours earlier) but he did allow us to park on the side of the road for 5 minutes and race in to find her thongs.  I was pretty impressed with my memory of where we’d parked (the carpark has no lines, it’s just sand and cars) and we beelined to the shoes and found them. Lucky!

Another traversal of the one-way road and 20 minutes later we were at the buffet, seriously hungry but happy we had regained Manjas shoes. The Buffet was excellent, and cheap.  It had loads of decent quality food, most of which was what the locals would eat.  I tried a large variety of meats and seafood, including paella etc. etc. etc.  There was even a dessert bar, and while we sampled a lot none of it was particularly to our tastes, except some exceptional local ice-cream. None the less we left feeling like we’d eaten waaaaaay tooooo muuuuch.  Totally worth it though!

 

 

IMG_8292rAnd then it was off to our last accommodation for this holiday where we’d spend two nights – Santuari De Cura – a monastery on top of a mountain which had been partially turned into a hotel.  We splurged a little on this one because we weren’t completely sure about the previous accommodations and wanted to make sure we finish on a high, so we had a suite to ourselves.  It was TOTALLY WORTH IT. We had a corner room with balcony overlooking Palma, with a perfect view of the sunset.  The drive was a little tough, more narrow roads with tight turns, so we decided to just spend the evening at the monastery.

 

Santuari de Lluc

Panoramic view from the

We explored a little before relaxing on the balcony and eventually enjoying a seat at the restaurant directly below us.  We had a perfect view with a really nice dinner, and then enjoyed the complimentary champagne while watching the sunset.

It wasn’t as brilliant as some of the previous ones because we’d had a few clouds and a bit of drizzle overnight, but it was still awfully pretty…  And we played with the champagne for photos anyway 🙂

As the sunlight left us, we headed off to bed.

 


Listening to…

Unusual post, Unforgettable food and Unique accomodation

BreakfastThis morning I got to do one of my favourite things – cook breakfast.  Yesterday we already bought a few more things so I could make an awesome omelette.  We even had some chilies left, so a spicy breakfast omelette was a perfect start to the day.

After such a hearty and delicious breakfast, it didn’t take long for us to pack up and hit the road again, though we were a little sad to leave the pool behind.

We decided to take a detour to our next Airbnb via a fancy shopping strip where we also wanted to send off some postcards – which needed a few more stamps.  An ice-coffee at a nice cafe later we went to a shop, bought some stamps and asked for the local post office.  We were pointed in the right direction.  Upon getting to the post office we were told that “Those stamps are for another postal service”.

….Uh, what? Different postal service?

Yes! It turns out there’s several postal services on the island.  The stamps we had bought didn’t fill me with confidence so I decided to buy them again at the more offical looking post office, figuring spending an extra 3 euro was better than the cards not arriving. Sometimes you have to pay to learn things 😉

We took a stroll to the foreshore and looked at some of the super-expensive yachts moored in this area, just for fun.  While there was definitely many impressive boats, it’s amazing how ugly something super-expensive can be!  We also noticed this beauty, parked on the side of the road with no easy access to water.  My best guess is that it got stranded during the last flood 😉Boat Parking

Our stroll concluded at the car and we drove over to the next Airbnb.  Manja had found another spectacular place, a little bit inland and isolated: A farm.  The owner had recently freshly renovated some rooms, super modern and comfortable.  The only issue was, that while the toilet had a separate room, the sink and shower were visible from the bedroom.  Ah well, showers in shifts worked just fine for us, the terrace outside was beautiful anyway 🙂

As we arrived, though, I also found out that they had a TINY DOG. Which was super playful and bouncy.  *shudder*
In return for my protection from the big dog a few days earlier, Manja distracted the little beast away from me while I unpacked the car.

We explored the farm a little bit before heading to the Cassai Beach house which was a restaurant recommended by the host.  It was a pretty little place, and we managed to score a table with a seaside view.  Absolutely perfect. The menu looked nice enough, but pretty standard fare.  They did have virgin Mojitos, which made for a very tasty start to the meal.  I decided on a local pork dish (of which I forgot the name!), while Manja tried the Salmon.

When the food arrived we were both totally blown away.  Best food we’ve had so far, by a long shot. Given that the table was reserved in another half hour, we decided to go for a bit of a walk, and find some ice-cream for desert somewhere else.  After_Dinner_stroll1

The area was beautiful, so we strolled along the seaside for about 30 minutes before heading back and finding an ice-creamery close by the beach… They had choc-mint, so that was pretty much as good as life gets.

I was pretty keen to try and capture the sunset on time-lapse tonight, so we headed back early, and settled down on the balcony.  I setup the GoPro and wrote another blog entry before we explored the farm a bit more.  We got stuck pretty quickly – a cat had just had kittens which caused Manja to squeal with delight, AND there was another kitten which was about 6 months old and super playful and cute…  Even I was inclined to squeal at that little fur ball.

Eventually we left the cats to pat the miniature horses and watch the chickens and ducks for a bit.

As sun set, we settled back onto the terrace, watched the sunset, took some photos and chatted over a glass of wine while the time-lapse ran.

 

 

Eventually we dropped into bed just after the sun had set. We were on a farm, so a sunrise-timed wakeup call from a rooster was to be expected – a reasonable tax for the serenity of the evening.

 


Listening to

Oasis by the pool and defence of Mallorca

IMG_8214Another day on holiday has to start with another breakfast buffet.  Todays wasn’t all that great unfortunately – it seems that the room is brilliant but the restaurant (and staff!) are pretty average.  It was all tasty, but just a bit loveless and really nothing special.  Also, no signs on the food to tell you what anything actually was…  after eating our fill we headed back to the room to get ready and go.  As we got to the room we noticed that the ghost cleaner had struck again and our towels had already been removed…  Weird!  Luckily we had both showered before breakfast.  As I was packing up the last few things Manja was already waiting outside my room, as a German tourist stormed out of her own room yelling “Was für eine Unverschämtheit!  Die haben uns die Handtücher geklaut! Ich gehe mich beschweren!” (“The Impertinence! They’ve stolen our towels! I’m going to go and complain!”)…  so I guess we weren’t the only ones with that experience.  Given that someone else was going to let them know that this was less-than-ideal, we figured we’d just check out quietly, lest we anger the spirit of the ghost cleaner.

 

Today Manja had found a nice area which had an old defensive fort built onto a peninsula.

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The Cafe

Back in the day Mallorca needed to be defended from Pirates and the like after all.  As it turns out the fort was a bit of a hike, but through pretty cool terrain with nice beachside views.
When we got there we visited the cafe for a cold drink before exploring the fort.  It was pretty cool: a defensive ring had been cut out of the ground with a step on the outside, presumably this would have served to hold soldiers with rifles to fend off any oncoming attackers as a first line of defence.

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Where’s the Kaboom?

The fort itself is only accessible via a thin drawbridge.  Inside it was open, though there was a second floor with cut-out windows, again for shooters I presume.

Upstairs was accessible only via a very narrow and steep (thus defensible) staircase, which ended on the roof.  The roof itself had space for several cannons, although only one was left as the exhibit.  I’d wondered how the cannon was secured, because as it was currently it would have shot back into (if not through) the other wall.  I eventually found some hoops built into the corners where the cannon would have been chained…

….. and yes, I find this stuff fascinating!

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Inspecting the garrison

 

Unfortunately there wasn’t much of a museum, so not very much information about whether or not the fort was ever attacked or anything.

 

 

 

It wasn’t that long before we decided to head a bit further out, walking along the coastline.  There /was/ a path…  Though we did seem to regularly loose it and there really wasn’t a soul in sight.  When it got toward the afternoon and we were both adequately sunburned, we decided to do the Aussie thing and bush-bash back to the main path, right through the wilderness and over a hill.  Again, I was impressed to see Manja take the lead, navigating thorns and crevices without any problems.  I was a little slower, given my lack of experience bush-bashing with shorts and thongs.  Turns out I kept loosing the thongs as I manoeuvred around the obstacles!  We did get there eventually, and I managed to get back to the car with a few scratches but both shoes.

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Somewhat overheated, we headed to our next Airbnb.  The place was brilliant.  For tonight we had an old house which was once used to store wine (A bodega I’m told).  Most importantly though, it also had a snooker table, a table-tennis table and a beautiful outside area with POOL!eedca28b-51b8-4d4d-9303-d52c93279620
Being a little over-heated and sunburned there was only one thing for it, so we splashed straight into the pool.
Sweet relief!!

 

Once we cooled off, we explored the area a bit and enjoyed the sea-side views, before deciding that we should use the kitchen and cook tonight.

The view from our Airbnb:

 

4d528bee-4f43-496e-a46e-b2a52e3887f3A supermarket was only about 10 minutes by car, so we toddled on over to buy what we needed for dinner.  We settled on a pasta with heaps of fresh veggies, feta and some local salami.  Manja also offered to show me how to make the Pimientos de Padrón which I’d fallen in love with over the past few days.  Turns out they’re super simple: Shallow fry, add salt and enjoy!  IMG_8216Given that it used to be a wine-cellar, the host added a bottle of local red wine.  While both of us don’t love reds, it did suit the pasta, but we didn’t end up finishing it.  Retrospectively I should have used a bit of it for the sauce!  Also, it appears I drink wine now, it certainly was a staple at every dinner this week…

 

 

As we were eating, the pool cleaner came by and gave the pool a clean, informing us that he’d be back later in the week…  I had a nice chat with him about the difficulty of keeping a pool clean when there are plants poolside which have leaves which discolour the water – much like gum leaves!

8c0350d3-f7c9-4cf3-bd6d-bb1123594534There was still a few hours of daylight and sun after dinner, so we got comfortable poolside and wrote a few postcards to our families and I wrote a blog post.  I may have also written a postcard to Manjas mum about having kidnapped her daughter and taken her to Mallorca…  She had no idea Manja was on a holiday, so it seemed funny at the time…  It may have come back to bite me later, but that’s another post all-together 😀

When the daylight left and the mosquitoes began to arrive, we retreated to the table-tennis table.  Two matches later we left it at a draw to prevent any fights (we might both be a bit competitive..), and called it a night.

 

 

Yet another perfect day

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Breakfast!

We managed to get up a bit earlier today for breakfast, which was just as good as yesterday.  After packing our stuff and checking out, we were on the way to the next accommodation straight away as it was about an hour drive away. We got there with no problems, and even found a public carpark nearby.  We checked in, and got our key but when we got to the room it was still being cleaned….  efebacb5-6a90-4df2-b2ac-94513ef080b9At least we hoped so.  There wasn’t anyone /in/ the room, but the beds were definitely not made and the door was unlocked.  At least the bathroom had a door this time 😀

To kill some time, and give the ghost cleaner an opportunity to finish the room, we decided to do a bit of a tour of lookouts today.  Mallorca has plenty of stunning views from the mountains over the coastline, and Manja has found a nice road leading to the peak where there would be a cafe for lunch.

The roads were curvy and tiny as always, but this time we could also tell that it was tourist season.  Most lookouts had too many cars crammed into them, and some even caused real congestion on the narrow roads.  Given all that, we decided to drive straight past most of the lookouts on the way up, figuring that it would be easier to catch them on the way down after the peak time the day.  So we made our way up the mountain very slowly, only to arrive at the peak with cars parked on the narrow road about a kilometre before the cafe.

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View from the top

Stubborn as I am, I decided to just drive up to the cafe, and got really lucky.  As I was waiting for traffic to move, someone pulled out in front of me freeing up a parking space for me.
We had a snack and a coffee at the cafe, surrounded by the largest seagulls I’d ever seen.  Either that, or Australian Seagulls are much much much smaller?   I kept thinking that anyone ordering chips at the cafe would surely be killed by a flock of over-sized birds.

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Lunch goat is annoying tourists

The terrace we were sitting on was open to Nature, so we it was also open to the local goats, one of whom decided to check out what the tourists were eating.  Amusingly, I managed to make it skip our table with a firm stare and wave of my hand.  Others were not so luck 😆

We decided to escape the tourist masses by taking one of the walking tracks in the area.  We had no idea where it went, but it took us into the crevasse toward the ocean. The path wasn’t really well maintained, so it was a bit adventurous.  Luckily Manja and I both appear to be mountain goats and were not too bothered.  Unfortunately the last 100 meters or so were completely washed out, and I would have needed climbing gear to traverse it safely.  So we decided to take a break there and enjoy the view for a bit.  We even took some photos and I had, for the first time in a REALLY long time, a super uneasy feeling about the heights when taking some photos of Manja.  My brain was just saying “She’s about to fall” and I’m putting that down to the angle we were sitting on, though she had no problems when the positions were reversed.

 

Eventually it was time to head back up the hill.  I’m pretty sure that in the time we were resting, the hill had moved because it was much steeper on the way up than on the way down.

When we returned things really had settled down.  There were car parks available and a much smaller crowd.  As we drove back down we stopped at a bunch of look-outs, many of which we had completely to ourselves.  Sometimes it’s worth waiting a little longer!

 

When we got back to the hotel we were relieved that the ghost cleaner did finish with the room and had done a fantastic job – it looked really nice!
Manja was a bit exhausted from the day, so I suggested we could probably just order food to the room. After all, the main business of this hotel was a restaurant.  So I headed down and asked if we could order some food to take to the room.  The response was “No, you are not allowed to take any food into the room”.   … … ?!!?  Really???  That’s one way to piss me off.  Be difficult about something trivial and silly. But: I can work around you.  Challenge accepted!

So I headed back upstairs, grabbed my backpack and took a tour of the local restaurants. I had planned to just order some take-away, put it in my bag and then take it upstairs.  As I strolled through the place, I took photos of Menus, sent them back for Manja to choose something.  On the way back I also noticed that the restaurant /opposite/ to our hotel had a special on Tapas, and the waiters from our hotel and the restaurant opposite were competing for people passing by. After a quick discussion with Manja, we adjusted our plan and went to the restaurant opposite, cheerfully greeting the waiter who had refused me food in the room as we went to the competition for dinner.  I’ve got to say it was a really good choice.  The tapas and accompanying wine were absolutely excellent.

 

 

After dinner we headed back and dropped into the first soft bed in Mallorca.

 


Listening to…

 

Easy day on the tram to a dream beach

20180623_101507rToday we started with a sleep in, before heading to a lovely breakfast in our Airbnb.  The food was all locally sourced and the setting and view were excellent.  Really can’t complain!  While the mattress was a bit hard, we both slept much better than the first night.

Fully charged, we were ready to head off for a relaxing day.  Todays trip was to Sóller, specifically to take a trip to Port de Sóller, via the historic tram “Tranvía de Sóller“.  20180623_135903rAfter about 45 minutes on the road, we arrived and couldn’t figure out where the tram departed from, but found a market in full swing in the town square which had a nice cathedral in it.  We decided to take a look and parked nearby.  As we were wandering about and taking some photos, we suddenly saw a tram making its way through the market square, and stopping randomly about 5 meters in front of us.  So we jumped on board, and had a rattly but really nice ride to the port.

 

 

IMG_8115Port de Sóller is a really really idillic and beautiful location.  The beach is in a cove and really just perfect, and there’s plenty of little cafes and shops on a nice promenade.  We decided to make a day of it, going for a swim before wandering along the promenade and checking out some of the local shops and the rows of yachts moored in the little harbour. 81b536ae-bc8d-4636-aead-54ed26db32ed It was a really peaceful and relaxing afternoon, and after some frozen yoghurt we eventually decided to catch the tram back…  slight problem though: There were no marked stops.  Manja eventually noticed that there was a small raised “platform” next to the tracks at one point, and we assumed that the tram would stop there.  After about 10 minutes, the first one went right past us, but a second one following a minute later stopped.

Back in Sóller we jumped off the tram, and I heard a blood-curdling scream behind us.  The tram-driver had jumped off the tram, missed the step and fallen badly – breaking his arm into a rather unnatural position.  The whole crew was immediately with him, and were already dealing an ambulance, so the best thing we could do was to move on.  We took a look through some of the local stores to distract ourselves before heading back to the car and to the AirBnb.

 

 

We hadn’t really done very much, and we had a late start, so we were naturally hungry and tired.  After a quick shower, we decided to try our luck at a local super-recommended place for dinner, but they were booked our 3 weeks in advance.  Next time!9deeb0d4-a76f-4932-ba59-93d4b1338e36

34e4de68-7beb-4c38-9245-3f974d6e08d5Just around the corner, though, we found a really nice but relatively fancy place.  Luckily the dress code didn’t prohibit our entry 😀

4e31878f-03c5-4b85-86f7-9f67326632c0The dinner was fantastic though, we had Rabbit Gnocchi and Steak with Harizo sauce which were both completely awesome.  The desert wasn’t quite as good – but still tasty.  Granted, I did go for the odd combination – chocolate cake with a curried caramel sauce.

8d8d473c-fecb-4fc2-9bad-946781c61f99It wasn’t bad, just different.  Even though, I didn’t end up using most of the caramel sauce – I guess they’re experienced enough to leave it on the side 😉

 

After such a large dinner, and given that we were on top of a hill, we decided to go for a bit of an after-dinner stroll.  It was a balmy night, and the view was beautiful. de5464bb-2139-408c-82b1-611cca1d53ff There was a LOT of (probably feral) cats around, which were all being really cute and playful.  We didn’t get too close, but they really were perched all around.  The local church also looked great with the moon right behind it.

Eventually we drove back to the Airbnb, determined to start a little earlier the next day.


Listening to…

Very noisy neighbours in paradise

Today began to the sweet sound of… No, the was nothing sweet about the “Drunk Karaoke sung by a tone-deaf donkey” singing emanating from the room next to us. But hey, it did wake us in time for breakfast!  The mattresses at the hotel were also comparable to a concrete slab, so both Manja and I started the day a little more groggy than usual.

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In case of fire, bite people?

That didn’t stop us from appreciating this “Biting” sign as we headed down to breakfast.  The Elevator was so busy that we decided to use the opportunity and exercise…  By using the stairs for 10-ish floors.

The way down was easy enough, but the lift congestion hadn’t lifted when we returned, so we did take the stairs up again too!

 

 

 

Hotel_Bfast2Hotel_Bfast1

The breakfast buffet was lovely though – typical all-inclusive fare, which always makes for a nice change!

 

 

 

Hotel_Pool
Today we also had a look at the view from our room.  it was much nicer during the day! Looking down, we also got a good look at the pool – party tourists included.  Given there’s beaches all around we decided that it wasn’t worth trying the hotel amenities.

Hotel_Panorma

 

Balleman1

Ballermann 6. The nicest version.

And so we were off.  One of the key party destinations in Mallorca is “Ballermann 6“.  While that’s totally not either of our scene, we decided to tour the area and watched the people with a “I’m at the zoo!” like fascination.  I have to say, it is a very nice beach.  A bit of a shame to waste it on party culture.  What I did like was that a busker built a massive sand-castle.  I gave him some change, it’s a much nicer way of asking for money than begging, and the castle was impressive!
Oh, and I had to admit that Jeans and beach didn’t go well together.  We picked up some shorts at a shop, which I proceeded to wear for the whole next week.  It’s a year for change after all!

 

Ballerman_sandcastle

The Buskers Sandcastle

 

Beach_Perfect

Private beach?

We took a couple of photos of the more quiet areas.  We even managed to snap one where it looks like we had the place to ourselves, because all the drinking tourists (it was before noon, and drinking had well and truly started) were behind us on the beach.

It wasn’t all that long before we’d had enough, and so we moved on to the local palace to have a bit of a look around and to have a smoothie for lunch ‘on-the-go’.

Ballerman_Palace

The Palace

 

 

 

After that it was time to head to our inland accomodation for the next 2 nights, a lovely place called Casa Caimari (In, you guessed it, Caimari).

I was driving and Manja was directing.  She did a much better job than me – there was no squealing from her side of the car, only the occasional “You’re too far right…” which helped me get the hang of this whole “driving from the other side of the car” thing pretty quickly and accident free.

Casa Caimari_dogWe arrived earlier than anticipated, and our rooms were not quite ready.  The host of the Airbnb, Maria, was fantastic though, and their dog welcomed us warmly…  Too warmly for Manjas taste, but I thought he was cute!
We could store our luggage and she told us all about the sights around the island, recommending local things and places in all areas.  It was like a virtual tour!  She also supplied us with some beach towels so we could spend the afternoon at a beach if we wanted, while she got our rooms ready.

 

 

View_Simon_feet

I definitely had a moment looking over this edge!

We decided we’d take one of the longer drives to a slightly more out-of-the way beach at Canyon de la Calobra, via corkscrew road.  Turns out the tight streets we already found last night are quite common, and you can tell the locals from the tourists by how confidently they drive through them! Generally all the roads were really well maintained though.

Before we got to corkscrew road though, we stopped at a really pretty and steep lookout.  Even I had a moment about the heights when I looked over the edge…

View_Manja_taking_Photo

Taking photos

 

 

Then I sat myself down on the wall, and I was pretty impressed that Manja just sat down on the wall as well. I have an adventurous companion on this trip I think!

An ice-cream later we were on the way again, off to meet the adventure of corkscrew road.

 

 

Panoramic.jpg

Corkscrew road was true to its name.  I REALLY want to come back by motorbike one day – loads of hairpin turns with awesome views, which made for about an hour of concentrated driving…. one way! Manja was kind enough to risk life and limb by attaching her GoPro to her arm and recording this video for your entertainment…  Entertainment if you like that sort of thing 😀

On the other side of the road, we were rewarded with a really stunning view, a beautiful path carved through the rock wall and a really nice stone beach with perfect water.

 

 

 

Casa_CaimariAfter a second traversal of corkscrew road we got back to our accomodation at Casa Camairi and had a good look around.  The room was quite nice, and the common room was really nicely setup too.

The beds were a little hard again, but not as bad as the ones from last night.  We felt almost right at home… except for the fact that the shared toilet/shower only had a curtain as a door… You can’t have it all I guess.  I’m sure we’ll manage that too!

 

 

After settling into the room we noticed that we were both REALLY hungry, and decided to try out a place recommended by our host.  And it was awesome!  Because we stayed at Casa Caimari we also got free wine, which was so good that even I didn’t turn it down!

Dinner_together

Nice people at dinner

The dinner was delicious and I was introduced to a new passion – Pimientos de Padron or “Fried Padron Peppers”.  Sooo good.  Could do the same with jalapenos for some more kick I guess? The waitress was also kind enough to take a photo of the two of us.

 

Eventually all the food had been eaten and we headed back to the Hotel exhausted but happy.


 

Listening to…

 

 

 

 

Overseas from Overseas

When I first started talking about this trip, Manja suggested we could do a week in Mallorca which I eagerly agreed to.  So today is the day that we were finally going to set off on our trip.  We had a small mountain of things to arrange before heading to the airport – including a suitcase for me!  I arrived with a slightly large (read: as large as the airlines allow) suitcase, which wasn’t going to be appropriate for this trip.  Luckily Manja actually had an old smaller “Inter-city” sized suitcase which suited perfectly.

To keep the cat fed, Manja had enlisted the help of Ilka and her neighbour, as well as technology.  As it turns out, you can get little robot feeding trays which feed the cat in programmable intervals.  Unfortunately they’re pretty well human proof (I had to read instructions to make sense of the menu.  INSTRUCTIONS!!! I don’t even read Ikea instructions!) while not being particularly cat-proof.  I see a market opportunity for a skilled industrial engineer – although some premium product probably already exists….  Now that I think about it – perhaps something with video surveillance where you can talk to your cat and monitor the food intake?  Anyway.  I digress, but if you want to design one I’ll give you input!!

_Traing_Leaving

Escaping the bad weather!

After a little (long) while we had the two machines setup and working.  The suitcases were packed.  Instructions for feeding had been written.  And we were off to the airport via S-Bahn and Bus, escaping the bad weather which was following us.  I should point out that this was the first bad-weather day since I got here!

 

_Airport_Wasabi PeasAt Tegel Airport we had some issues actually finding the check-in…  which was funny because we eventually asked at the desk with no line and a non-descript sign, which was of course the one we needed to go to.
Murphys law, the check-in was completely quick and simple.  But! The plane was delayed, so we got to spend a delightful hour or so at the airport.  I was running out of patience when we found a wasabi pea and peanut mix which saved my mood.

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Delayed Simon is grumpy!  This might be one of the most hilarious images of me, so it had to be full-size!

 

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Manja hard at work

We did eventually get to board about 1.5 hours later than anticipated. The delay proved an advantage, we got the most spectacular sunset on our flight over! Manja did her best to capture it, but the photos still don’t do it justice…  Just imagine it perfect when you look at the pictures below 😀

 

Arrival in Mallorca was equally simple, but we could not find the shuttle bus to the car rental place.  Neither of us speak a lick of Spanish, so the fact that the staff at the interchange didn’t speak a lick of English or German didn’t help.  Communicating with hand waving and nodding, we got a general direction which was filled with a large group of confused looking tourists.  I asked one of the drivers who I heard speaking English, and they said “No problem – you wait, shuttle bus every 20 minutes from here.”
“Here” being a carpark without any signage.   None-the-less, a few minutes later we were on the bus.

We got our car (a little Nissan Micra) which Manja technically had to drive (before you think anything bad, I had separate insurance but not from the rental place).  Given that she was registered with the rental place, we thought it best that she drives the first few meters at least.  She gave me the GPS location to the hotel and we set off, direction Palma.

Initially we got almost every turn wrong.  I eventually realised that google maps was running about 30 seconds behind where we were. Adjusting for this delay, and much to Manjas amusement, I was finally able to give directions which kept us on the route google had indicated.  Just as I got the hang of that, we had to detour through a maze of one-way streets (only some of which google thought were one-way!) because of a crash on the main road.

But we persevered, being thankful that the hotel has 24 hour reception and check-in as it was getting toward 11pm.  When we got close the streets got tighter and tighter.  I started to feel like we’d loose the mirror on my side every time we turned, but that’s because I’m a terrible backseat driver.  Manja did a stellar job at navigating the maze without freaking out at my panicked squeals (Think the sound of a rubber duck).  We were in some sort of old-town area of the city centre, and the hotel was not where it was supposed to be.

Eventually we pulled over and I got the name of the hotel from Manja, punched it into google and…. we were on the way to somewhere completely different and random. The ACTUAL hotel was about 25 minutes back toward the car rental place.  5 minutes around the corner from the car rental place in fact.  Once we both got over our laughing fits, we headed off, much more experienced at navigating tiny streets with lagging GPS.

Hotel_area

Party town!

This really helped – we were at the hotel 20 minutes later, and after finding a carpark we headed to check-in utterly exhausted but happy.  The area was a little more Party tourist that either of us likes, but it was only for the first night.

We headed upstairs and the key didn’t work to our room.  Room 1228.  Whoops.  Our room was 1218. We quickly retreated and learned that our key worked just fine on the right door…  A Night for learning new things I guess 😆

 

 

Hotel_Berlin_SupermarketUnfortunately, I was also hungry.
Really hungry.  Manja just wanted to sleep but was kind enough to stroll down to the local kiosk and have some water while I inhaled a burger.  We did try to get something at the “Berlin Supermarket” because it would have been funny, but they were closed….

 

Back at the hotel, we held the lift for some REALLY drunk German tourists.  Typical party tourists. Manja and I were just thankful that our floor was so quiet….  Until they got off at the same floor. They’d pressed the wrong button when they got on and given us false hope.

Ah well.  It’s a large floor, surely they’ll be somewhere…. Nope! Right. Next. Door.

Luckily they were drunk to the point of passing out before we’d gotten ready for bed. As it turned out, they didn’t sleep well so we were woken to the shrill sound of them singing party and drinking songs the next morning….  But that’s the headline of the next post.


Listening to

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