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1. Magaluf 2. Cala Major 3. Puigpunyent 4. Peguera 5. Camp de Mar 6. Port d’Andratx 7. Estellencs 8. Valldemossa 9. Deiá 10. Escorca 11. Port de Pollença
Our Plan As Such: Northern & Eastern Mallorca – Jun 24, Wed
Mallorca is the final destination of our 2009 trip to Spain. It is the largest Balearic Island east of Spain standing at a crossroads in the Mediterranean. We had no idea how big or how small Mallorca is. After our trip, I did some research (shouldn’t I do some research before the trip?). With a total area of 3,640 km², Mallorca is more than 5 times the size of Singapore, or close to twice the size of Mauritius (the two places on Earth I have a sense of bearing except Hong Kong island that is actually pretty tiny). No wonder it took us quite some time to cover the distance in our road trip, especially through the hilly at times tiny roads.
And of course when we planned our trip, yesterday over dinner, we had no idea how large Mallorca is when we said: let’s cover the northern and eastern Mallorca this day and the rest the next day. Time to scale down our ambition just a little bit.
Another thing to share is that in English, this island is called “Majorca”. That is because “ll” is Spanish is pronouced somewhat like “j” in English.
A Visit to Cala Major by Chance
We didn’t start our day ridiculously early in the morning, which in retrospect it could have been a good idea. But since the sun set late in this part of Spain during the summer, starting our trip after nine, we still had about 12 hours of daylight. And starting our road trip after nine, on the 24th of June, our first stop was a little town called Cala Major.
I had no idea what was in Cala Major. I still had no idea why we ended up in Cala Major until this morning, as I wrote this entry. So I asked Cynthia this very morning, “Hey, do you remember why we were in Cala Major?” “Cala Major?” said Cynthia. “Yes, here,” I showed her the pictures of Cala Major. And I showed her the map.
“Oh, I was lost,” said she, as she was our navigator. “And we were supposed to head to 3 from 1 right?” I asked. I remember during lunch, on that particular day, I asked her why we did not consider the route 1-4-5-6-3-7 instead of 1-3-4-5-6-7. That would have saved us some time. Nevertheless, driving in Mallorca was fun. I am happy to cover more area. Especially if not for a little detour at Cala Major, I wouldn’t have seen …
A Nude Beach?
Maybe I am a little frog living inside a well. From where I come from, people don’t sunbath naked in a beach. Maybe it is really no big deal in Spain, to tomar del sol (sunbathing or literally means ‘taking the sun’) in totality. Just a stone’s throw from the bay of boats, we found a little quiet beach. A spot for the locals I reckon. As some ladies sunbathing naked, Cynthia and I were taking pictures of the sea. They seemed to be oblivious to the sound of my camera’s shutter. Amazing.
The Countryside of Puigpunyent
As you can see from the map on top of this journal, Puigpunyent is away from the coast. We love the countryside scene and apparently, there are many popular cycling routes in Mallorca. The roads are often hilly and tiny. As a motorist, not only did I need to watch out for incoming traffic in these tiny roads, but also to take care of the cyclists too. And to my friends who are into cycling, Mallorca has 10 cycling routes covering a distance of anywhere between 21 km to 86 km. You may even want to have a cycling holiday in Mallorca!
A Beach at Peguera
What is a visit to Mallorca without checking out the beautiful beaches that Mallorca has to offer? We love the sun, the sand, and the sea of Mallorca. The houses that are dotted along the coastline are beautiful too. How fortunately it is for those who live by the sea.
By noon, we were starving. It was a really warm day. And so we entered the first restaurant we saw by the beach. The food turned out OK. The dessert was delicious (check out the presentation of the ice cream at the photo album). We examined the map and there was still much to cover. Time to step onto the gas and press onto our next destination!
Tripod and the Terraced Village Called Estellencs
I have no idea why only till then did I recall that I have a tripod with me. I mean, I have been focusing on taking pictures of Cynthia, and of the scenery, it was only on the 11th day when it suddenly struck me that we should take some pictures together. And a little terraced village like Estellencs is a good place to do some tripod shots. There was hardly a soul in this little village. We could take all the time we needed to set up the shots.
The Mountain Town of Valldemossa
By the time we reached Valldemossa, I was a little bit tired of all the clutching-and-gassing stopping-and-going as we tend to stop the car whenever we saw a scenic spot. Spain should adapt Australia’s friendliness to motorists. That is to put up a brown signboard for any upcoming scene spots that are worth stopping for. If I was to drive that Opel like we did on the 4th day of our trip, I would have totally worn out by then. Fortunately, the Fiat Bravo was such a pleasant car to drive. I love the low biting point of the clutch. I could even start the car on 4th gear on level road. That is how drivable the car is. Clutch changing was a joy. The only observation I have with the Bravo is that I found it hard to see the speedometer as I drove. My hands on the steering wheel constantly blocked my view on the speedometer. How silly is the design right?
Back to Valldemossa, it is a town worth visiting when you are in Mallorca. It is one of the major towns in the island and perhaps because both the French novelist George Sand and the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin had stayed in Valldemossa before, that makes the town famous. We found a huge public car park (thank God), with a faulty parking machine. And hence, we parked for free, took some time to walk around the town, and do some shopping.
A Lake at Escorca
If I was to plan our trip again, I might have considered staying at the east side of the island and to do coastal drive in a counter-clockwise manner. Simply because in Spain, people drive on the right and it is much easier to stop the car whenever we see a scenic spot on our right.
By the time we reached Escorca (6:30 pm), we were very close to our final destination of the day – Port de Pollença. I was of course delighted that all the high speed corning at the hilly roads of Mallorca paid off. And hence, we took a moment to enjoy the lakeside scenery Escorca has to offer. The water was still (it’s a reservoir), a different kind of charm from the sea view. Everything seemed to have stood still. Just the moving cloud and the gentle breeze.
Final Destination – Port de Pollença
I have such a huge affection towards Port de Pollença. I love the boats, and the sea. I was so drunk in it that I have blocked off everything else but to admire the port at every possible angle. Cynthia understood. And she took a seat by a bench while waiting patiently for me to walk aimlessly along the bay taking photos. We needed food. But I reckon as the dusk approached, that was the moment when the color of the daylight was the most brilliant. A moment that was best to take photos. Of the sea, and of the boats.
What is there not to love about Port de Pollença? I have not seen that many boats in my life before. It was an eye-opening experience. There were many people walking around in Port de Pollença. Maybe most of them are locals, the boat owners. Or maybe they come from the neighboring cities and countries of the Mediterranean by boat. As we walked along the seaside, I saw a kid running across the beach. Quickly, I took out my camera and below is perhaps one of my favorite shots of the entire holiday. Like I said to my friends. If you are carrying a dSLR camera, forget about putting the lens cap on during the day. You would miss the shots like this.
There were many restaurants along the bay too. We picked one Spanish restaurant. As we were going through the photos we have taken thus far, Cynthia commented that she looked somewhat darker, compared to her photos on day 1 of the trip. It is true. Too much tomar del sol I reckon (taking the sun). But since we are in the Mediterranean, I think it is OK to have a darker skin. I was in fact quite happy that I looked tanned. And whatever color Cynthia is in, she is still the most beautiful girl on Earth. For me.
Tomorrow would be a day to visit the other side of Mallorca. Something perhaps different from what we saw today.
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PS. Thank your for reading our journal and feel free to drop a comment or two. You may wish to view our photo collection for day 11 too.