This is Spain


Mallorca - a friend's-eye viewI thought that you would enjoy this travelogue from a dear Spanish friend, Silvia Martínez, who kindly allowed me to re-print this here. Thanks Silvia.

Mallorca is a little Spanish island in the Mediterranean sea, just 3650 km2. It’s part of the Balearic Islands, together with Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera. My holidays there have been very relaxing, and I have enjoyed very much the beautiful landscapes of the island. Please, come with me for a little trip’¦

I went there for the first time 20 years ago, in a trip to celebrate the school graduation. Many things have changed in Mallorca since then, or maybe it’s just that I’m coming back with an adult’s view. Probably both. The first detail that called my attention was the size of the airport. I still remember myself 20 years back, arriving there with my little suitcase, lots of projects for those holidays and still celebrating that I had finished one period in my life, and secondary school was awaiting. It was a pretty small airport, just a few flights a day and most of them to Madrid or Barcelona. This time, I came on a direct flight from Asturias and it’s at the moment the second airport in Spain in aerial traffic, right after Barajas, with flights to many provinces of Spain and lots of international destinations. I had to walk around 15 minutes to get the luggage, and wait for it for around 30 minutes. I don’t remember at all how my luggage came back to my hands 20 years ago

We found a great apartment in El Molinar, the fisher’s port of Palma de Mallorca. It’s a less touristy area, full of little beaches and small restaurants all over the place. Ah, and there is just one hotel, so you can imagine that it’s a much quieter area than others in the island.

In the mornings, we walked camera in hand as typical tourists, to visit each corner of the island. But late in the day we went back to El Molinar to enjoy some peaceful hours and breathe the original atmosphere of Mallorca, that hasn’t been spoiled by tourists from all over the world. Laying on the beach, walking by the port, swimming in the Mediterranean sea’¦ What a peaceful and warm sea, completely different from the brave and cold Cantabric sea that we have in Asturias (North coast of Spain).

Mallorca - a friend's-eye viewOne of the restaurants in El Molinar, S’Eixerit, was especially great because they treated us as if we were lifetime customers, giving us conversation, little treats and plenty of smiles. And they prepare one of the best ‘paellas’ in Mallorca. Paella is a traditional dish in Spain, made of rice, seafood, meat and almost any other ingredient that we like to add. The most famous one is the Valencian paella, but Mallorca natives say that their paella is even better :-). Check below how delicious it looks:

Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the Balearic Islands. Narrow streets in the old part of the city, green areas to rest and sit down under the shadow of a tree and lots of interesting buildings to visit, like for instance the gothic cathedral, the Almudaina Palace built by the Moorish, the Arab Baths’¦

Atop of a foothill you can visit the Castillo de Bellver, an entirely round castle built in 1300. Up there you can enjoy amazing views of the Mallorca Bay and go back in time, when the castle was used as a prison.

Among the great variety of interesting spots to visit in the city, I especially enjoyed El Pueblo Español (Spanish Village), a tourist complex that contains a collection of the most famous Spanish buildings and interesting spots in the country, everything just in a short walk: the Alhambra of Granada, beautiful hermitages in different cities, the Door of Toledo, the House of El Greco’¦ A few examples:

Pueblo Español (Spanish Village):

Mallorca - a friend's-eye viewEvery corner in the island is charming: amazing coves, monasteries in the middle of the mountains, manufacturing centres of Majorcan pearls (especially Manacor), factories for glassblowing (handicraft process used to manufacture glass products)’¦ One of the trips that I enjoyed the most was a full day tour to Soller and Calobra. You start it at the Palma train station and take a little old train that crosses 27km through the mountains and arrives to Soller, a lovely village on the coast. There you get a tramway that takes you to the Port of Soller, where there is a boat service that connects the port with Calobra, allowing you to appreciate the rugged coastline of north west Mallorca. What a clean blue water there! Like a beautiful paradise. Moreover, you can go for a short walk through a tunnel excavated on the rock, and arrive to Torrent de Pareis, a beautiful mix of rocky mountains and water.

I would write pages and pages about Mallorca, but I better stop now and leave the rest for your own visit to the island. I truly recommend this destination to have some relaxing days, with good weather assured.

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