Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Beaches and churches: Majorca continued

As noted, the highlight of the trip was probably our drive on the north-west coast on the first day. The rest of the time, we really didn't do that much, particularly Sunday and Monday which was essentially taken up with shopping and eating (and waiting ages for people to get out of bed).

Saturday was a pretty good day, however. We spent the morning faffing about and seeing the cathedral, thus wasting the best weather (grizzle, grizzle) and then drove south-east of Palma to Cala Pi, a pretty amazing beach in a secluded cove. Not so secluded that it wasn't a bit cold between the thin layer of cloud and the breeze (temperatures ranged from around 16-25 while we were there. Which is okay, I don't like being super hot, and the rain threatened in the forecast never came, so can't complain too much.) Not only did I sunbathe, I actually went "swimming", how brave! I say "swimming", as we went quite far out and the water still wasn't above hip level, so you did have to crouch down in order to stop absolutely freezing your nuts off. The evening before we had gone self-catering (and actually had a lot of fun drinking, nibbling home-made tapas - well, ham and cheese - and playing cards in the apartment) and someone had picked up a small beach ball at the supermarket. It was actually a lot of fun splashing around trying to throw the ball to each other despite the breeze playing havoc. I hadn't really been to the beach since 2011 I think, and I think the last time I went swimming in the sea was in 2009 in Italy, so it was very welcome. I am going to have to make the effort to go more often - why do I keep moving to cold places miles from the sea?

Beach at Cala Pi

The cove was narrow but quite deep, and the sea very shallow as far as we went out

A scenic lookout near Cala Pi

Lonely Planet suggested this was a good picnic spot. Maybe not eh?
Even though it delayed our beach visit, the cathedral was pretty impressive. On a grand scale, old, and with some lovely stained glass. It was also really rammed with tourists, wouldn't like to see it when the season's properly under way. For the most part though, I think May is a great time of year to visit. As mentioned, it was warm enough (hot in the sun) to sunbathe or just hang out sipping sangria on a terrace, but while there were certainly a fair share of tourists, it wasn't choked with them. And talking of tourists, beyond "hola" and "gracias", I don't think I had to (or did) speak a word of Spanish the whole time. I'm sure, as with France, "everyone" does not in fact speak English, but in the touristy professions they at least get by. And they do it with a smile on their face, attention France!

Inside the cathedral



Canopy by Gaudi

Chapel also by Gaudi? The pamphlet is all the way in the living room, so we'll never know

Cathedral window

View of the water from the cathedral

Panorama of the cathedral





On Saturday night, we went to MISA for Amber's birthday dinner. We really had a good time. The food was excellent, wine was plentiful, and the waiters were helpful and efficient but not at all stuffy or formal. Very reasonably-priced too. I split half a roast chicken with someone else. It was amazing, although I really did not need dessert after that, I was stuffed!

Amber's birthday dinner

Delicious roast chicken (for two). 

Me and Amber
I don't think we really did anything on Sunday. On Monday, I was dragged along for a carriage ride. The price came down from 30€ per person to 15€ by the simple expedient of walking away after he named his price - I think we could have got it to 10€. It's not really something I would have done, I don't really see the point of riding around in a carriage, but hey. The particularly interesting part was that the carriage just chilled out in the normal lanes of traffic. I suppose if we'd got one at the top of the steps by the cathedral it would have gone around the narrow cobblestone lanes of the old city, which seem more carriage-appropriate, but since we got it at the bottom of the steps we just bombed around on the normal city streets, surrounded by cars. So I guess that's a new experience!


Carriage ride
After that, we had a look around the very cute Cort shopping district, full of little boutiques where I picked up a new dress and a gorgeous sparkly clutch for my friend Liz's birthday. We'll see if I actually manage to give it to her or if it mysteriously falls off the back of a truck between now and then... The girls went home on Monday afternoon (the others left the day before) and I stayed an extra night. Initially we had planned to stay out on the coast somewhere, so I thought I'd tack on an extra day in Palma. Since we changed to staying in Palma, I really didn't have much to do with myself on the last afternoon/morning - just some more shopping and plenty of sitting around in the sunshine with a glass of rosé and a platter of ham. There are worse things to do with your time.

Majorca: very brown


Adios Mallorca

8 comments:

  1. You haven't been to the beach since 2011?? I don't go to the beach that often, but that seems long!

    That cathedral looks gorgeous. I haven't seen a church with that many circular stained glass windows.

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    1. I've been around the coast, e.g. in Italy, but not really "lying on the beach", I don't think. It is ages!

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  2. Beautiful pictures! I'm very jealous of you soaking up some sun with a glass of wine. A perfect end to a trip!

    -Shannon

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    1. Thanks! Yep, one of my favourite things to do! Fingers crossed one of the balconies in my new place gets afternoon sun :)

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  3. Sounds like you actually had perfect weather for touring around. I hate going on trips when it's 30+ degrees outside - the sun is dangerous and all you do is sweat and feel sleepy and thirsty.

    I don't think you're going to solve your problem of lack of beach trips any time soon. With every move you head even more north!

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    1. Yeah, me too. A little warmer at the beach would have been good, but for trekking around in the city it was perfect.

      Arrggh, don't remind me! At least there are more transport options from Brussels!

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  4. How did that tiny pony manage that??

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