24 September 2007

Lazy Weekend in Spain

On Thursday afternoon we departed for our much anticipated weekend on Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean. The trip was to celebrate GLH's 40th Birthday. (Can you believe I am married to a man a DECADE older than I am? 'Cause I'm still in my 30's!)

Our first experience was dealing with the rental car company. While GLH was sorting out the difficulty I stood and watched the chaos surrounding me. Cars swerved in and out, pedestrians darted and were almost hit. Horns blew and people shouted things in a variety of languages. I noticed that most of the cars had multiple scrapes and dings on them, not surprising given the driving methods I witnessed. So I mentioned to GLH that I thought we might go ahead and purchase the full insurance this time. (And am I glad we did. The next morning our rental car had been involved in a hit and run in the hotel parking lot. Still driveable, but scraped pretty badly.)

I also stared in amazement as a car swooped in at high speed and some tourists got out. They were still wearing their beach gear and were dropping off their rental car. As I stood watching they stripped out of the swimsuits and into regular clothes. Right there in the middle of the garage! Then they ran at full speed for the airport. I suspect they cut it a little close.

Finally the car situation was sorted and we headed for the hotel. As we creeped along in rush hour traffic I noticed the scent of olives filled the air. And realized that everywhere I looked olive trees, laden with ripe fruit, grew like weeds....

Apparently Mallorca is well known for its olives and it is no wonder why!

We stayed at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a five-star luxury resort perched on the hill overlooking Palma. We had arranged for the cheapest rate available, but we fortunate enough to get upgraded to one of the garden suites with a terrace connected to the courtyard. It was beautiful!

We had decided before we went that we both needed a lazy weekend with plenty of sitting around and daily afternoon naps. We accomplished this goal.

But we also managed to see a bit of the island as well.

The city of Palma sprawls over quite a large area, but most of what you want to see is in the city center. So we went for a walkabout.

I really enjoyed the winding, narrow alleys and the old residential buildings.

We also saw an old fort that is now the Museum of Modern Art...

And the Catedral de Palma de Mallorca...

Which also has a beautifully opulent, if overly warm and humid, interior...

While in Palma we were also astounded by the number of feral cats we saw everywhere.

Literally everywhere we went there were stray cats. They like to be close to the people because people tend to drop food. But they won't let you get close enough to touch them.

Indeed, we saw stray cats everywhere on the island except in those areas we saw stray dogs.

Kind of like the different tourists we saw. We only once heard American accents. All of the other tourists were either Germans or Brits. Interesting, they seem to have draw up a treaty about where each group is allowed to vacation on the island. We rarely saw the two groups at the same place. Both sets had their own resorts, beaches, restaurants and the like.

We also spent some time driving about the island. The west coast is amazingly beautiful with tall, limestone cliffs dropping into the sea.

And on the north side of the island is the walled medieval city of Alcudia.
Also well worth a trip with its charming streets, small boutiques and sidewalk cafes.

Although we didn't spend much time at the beach, the reason most people go to Mallorca. The weather was overcast and stormy most of the weekend. We made it to a beach once...

...but few braved the water because it was freezing cold! We were not among the hearty souls who went for a dip.


Anonymous said...

What, no picture of the scratches on the car? Now that would have been interesting.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good time!