Plaça d'Espanya

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    • Day 21

      Road Trip - Soller to Cape Formentor

      January 23 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      “From royals like Prince Rainier of Monaco or Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, to celebrities past and present such as Charles Chaplin or Leonardo Di Caprio. All of them fell in love with Mallorca in their day, leaving a little piece of their soul behind them on the island for all eternity.”

      We have done a lot of walking so far and have not used the rental car for 2 days so we are going on a 50 km road trip from Soller through the UNESCO World Heritage Tramuntana Mountains to the northern point of the island (Cape Formentor) where there is a stunning lookout over the Mediterranean, the Mirador es Colomer.

      The road that we took through the mountains was a good one but narrow and filled with curves, but Chris did a great job staying focussed and driving at a good speed. Whoever planned the road did a good job of including spots where the road widened so people could get out of their vehicles, have a break from driving on the winding road and could enjoy checking out the views. The landscape is truly postcard-worthy and with unforgettable views.

      We passed a wildlife reserve and a huge water reservoir, lost our phone connection a few times and had to be careful when rounding a corner and seeing sheep or goats on the road! I kept thinking of my brother’s sheep in a garbage bin story! Ugh.

      Cyclists use this road for races also. It would be very challenging. We talked to a 67 year old man from Alabama who was in a cyclists camp and cycling the route. Amazing.

      At one point, we arrived at a monastery, Lluc, high in the mountains and surrounded by a pine and oak forest.

      Legend has it that in the 13th century a Moorish shepherd boy, newly converted to Christianity, discovered a dark wooden statue of the Virgin in a cleft in the rock. The image was placed in the local church but three times it returned miraculously to its cave, whereupon the villagers recognised this as a message from God so a small chapel was built on the exact spot where the discovery. Historically it was an important place of pilgrimage and is still a key religious site on the island. These days, as well as the chapel, there is a shop, restaurant, and a museum, and you can stay in one of the 100 rooms created from the old monk’s cells. Cyclists and hikers use this spot as a meeting place as there are many trails that start here.

      Continuing onwards, we arrived at the towns of Pollenca and Formenta, where many famous people have either stayed in the Formentor Hotel or have Mallorca villas. Some of the famous guests include Charlie Chaplin, F Scott Fitzgerald, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Sir Peter Ustinov.

      We finally got to our destination - the Mirador es Colomer with its magnificent cliffs and views of the sea. There's a well looked after stone walk on the edge of the sea, built right on top of the steep cliff, that allow us to move around the viewpoint and take in all the different angles of the scenery. Vertigo played a small part in being in this spot! Chris can attest to that, haha. At the end of the path there were some rounded terraces that we could walk around and enjoy the views. There was a winding road leading to an old tower that was high upon a cliff but we decided that the view from our high point was high enough. Lol.

      Heading home through the medieval town of Alcudia and then down the middle of the island on a straight highway was a good way to end the road trip. Easy and quick.

      All in all a good day - a break from walking and … Chris’ arms got a good workout from driving on those winding roads.

      Note - We are happy that we thought of bringing our Isotoner slippers. The tile floors in most houses here are cold and these slippers are perfect - warm, lightweight, washable and easy to pack. A traveller’s staple. Lol. Ad over.
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    • Day 9

      MTB-Tour zum Stausee de Cûber.

      March 29 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Heute ging es von Sóller, über Fornalutx, zum Stausee de Cûber.

      Die ersten 13 Kilometer hatten eine Steigung von 900 Höhenmeter. Aber der Blick auf den Stausee hat für diesen Anstieg entschädigt! 😁

    • Day 15

      Von Banyola bis nach Palma.

      April 4 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      Die heutige MTB-Tour ging von Banyola in der Serre Tramuntana bis nach Palma.
      War sogar am Ballermann! 😆

      Auch Palma ist mit dem Rad super zu erkunden. Radwege überall, in der Stadt und am Meer!

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    • Day 4


      August 13, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Weil wir zu spät aus den Laken kamen, sind wir nicht wie geplant nach Polença zum Markt gefahren, sondern nach Sollér. Liegt recht weit oben. So drückend waaam, dass selbst Stefan immer stiller wurde. Also ab zum kühlen Pool. 😊
      Übrigens hat Stefan seinen Urlaub eingetragen und wir haben das Zimmer direkt für nächstes Jahr wieder gebucht. 😁
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    • Day 19

      The San Antoni Festival Photos

      January 21 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 8 °C

      Just a note about traditional Mallorcan musical instruments. The musical groups can be as simple as having several sizes of drums or xeremies (bagpipes), flabiol (5 hole flute) and tamborí (small drum) or more complex with the addition of bandúrria (similar to a lute), guitarrós (small guitars), violins, castanets, and triangles. There´s also the musical curiosity called the ximbomba, a type of friction drum, small versions are often on sale to tourists.Read more

    • Day 21

      Ensaimada and other Mallorcan Foods

      January 23 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

      Mallorcan cuisine, that is based on pork, fish and vegetables with a generous use of garlic and olive oil, is hearty peasant fare “steeped in tradition and rooted in local ingredients”.

      We didn’t eat out a lot but when we did, we enjoyed the prawns in garlic sauce, the clams in tomato sauce and the fried octopus. So good.

      They also have something that we tried and liked called patatas bravas, or spicy potatoes.
      It is probably the most popular Spanish tapa, made of crispy fried potatoes that are tossed with salsa brava or bravas sauce. It's really the sauce that gives these potatoes the delicious slightly spicy and smoky flavor and distinguishes them from any other fried potatoes that we tried.

      Ultimately, the ensaimada is an incredibly simple pastry that's made out of rolling up a flattened piece of dough and shaping it into a circle. Then, they're baked quickly and topped with powdered sugar before being served. People eat it for breakfast and sometimes it is topped with apricots. It is Mallorca's most famous pastry and a very popular souvenir. We saw a lot of people carrying big boxes with ensaimadas on the
      flight to Malaga.

      We also tried the Malorcan empanadas and meat pie. It used to be made with lamb meat, but today sobrasada (a typical Mallorcan sausage made of lard and paprika) is added to the filling. The dish is found everywhere on the island and works as a meal or a snack. It’s perfect for taking on a day trip as it works as a sandwich. Not our favourite but it was okay.

      Apparently, there is a vegetable stew like Ratatouille called Tombet that is made on the island but we didn’t have a chance to try that out. Sounded and looked good.
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    • Day 16

      Von Alcudia zum Kap Formentor.

      April 5 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      Meine heutige Tour ging von Alcudia bis zum Kap Formentor. 🚴‍♂️💨

      Eine sehr schöne Landschaft mit tollen Buchten, heftigen Anstiegen und schnellen Abfahrten.

      Alcudia ist im Bereich der Festung sehr schön, mit engen Gassen.Read more

    • Day 22

      Deia, Valdemossa and a Bike Race

      January 24 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Soller, Deia, and Valldemossa are three of the most beautiful towns in the area and because of that many rich and famous people have secondary houses in them.

      Just a short twenty minutes drive from Sóller, on a winding road with great views, and directly at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains, is the small, dreamy village of Deiá. Narrow, picturesque streets wind their way up between olive groves, bougainvilleas, and palm trees. The beauty of this town was probably why the bohemians settled here in the early 20th century. Among them many famous painters, poets, and actors.

      In 1929, the British poet Robert Graves moved to Deià with his American wife and writer Laura Riding. But Graves wasn’t by far the only notable person paying Deià a visit. Famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso also enjoyed staying in Deià and so did actor Sir Peter Ustinov.

      Musicians such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mike Oldfield, Bob Geldof, Pierce Brosnan, and Eric Clapton came here to relax and find inspiration. Finally, Hollywood star Michael Douglas bought Finca S‘Estaca where once Empress Sissi used to stay.

      It is such a pretty place. We sat on a terrace with a beautiful view and ate our Serrano ham, cheese and vegetable bocadillos (sandwiches) while drinking the best coffee that we have had in Spain. A nearby waterfall provided us with relaxing background music.

      Another 20 minutes down the scenic road and we were in Valdemossa. The Mallorcan Kings favoured this place for its pleasantly mild climate.

      As we entered the town of Valdemossa, we noticed that there seemed to be a big police presence. It looked liked they were closing down the road. And we eventually learned why - the Challenge Mallorca Bicycle Race 2024 was on! There were going to be five days of racing for the men, a series of one-day races with 24 teams. The organisation brought in eight WorldTour teams. What a great opportunity for us to park the car and join in the excitement as the cyclists sped by us. Fun! Once again we were in the right place at the right time. Lucky us.

      Once the road cleared and we could head back into town, we walked to the centre of town to find the place that really put Valdemossa on the map. It became truly famous after a pair of lovers spent the winter of 1838/39 at Valldemossa’s Charterhouse, a monastery. Those two lovebirds were Polish-born composer Fréderic Chopin and his partner, French writer George Sand. More about them and where they lived in the next footprint.

      Valldemossa is also the birthplace of Catalina Thomás, the island’s only saint, who was born in 1531. Almost every house in the village has a tile with motifs from the life of the saint next to the entrance. The house she was born in was converted into a small chapel. Her body, however, is laid out in a glass coffin in the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena in Palma.

      We felt very lucky today for 4 reasons.
      1. Chris’ back had been sore for 2 days and miraculously it got better.
      2. We parked in a pay for parking area, didn’t pay anything and didn’t get a ticket.
      3. We noticed a big dent in the rental car but after awhile realized that it had been there when we picked it up (photo).
      4. We caught the exciting bicycle race.
      We have learned to count our blessings.
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    • Day 4

      Der Endbahnhof von Sóller

      April 13, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Genau wie die Straßenbahn, wurde der Zug 1912 gebaut und erstmals eingesetzt. Er diente in erster Linie dazu, die damalig eingesetzten Eselkarren abzulösen, denn die Wege waren beschwerlich und zeitintensiv. Die Gleise verbinden Sóller direkt mit Palma.

      Der Endbahnhof in Sóller ist voll funktionstüchtig und ist eine Augenweide für alle Bahnliebhaber.

      In der Bahnhofshalle sind Souvenirs für alle Geschmäcker zu haben. Für 16:40 Uhr ist die Abfahrt nach Palma geplant.
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    • Day 20

      Port de Soller

      January 22 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

      After yesterday’s walk, we decided to do something a little different. We read that no visit to Sóller is complete without a trip to the Port de Sóller, so our day started with a tram ride to the port. Lucky for us, the 100+ year old tram (1913] was running today, for the first time after a few weeks of maintenance work.

      Some cities in the world, such as Lisbon, San Francisco or Melbourne, are famous for their historic tramways still in circulation. The one in Sóller is a little different in that it joins the inland mountain town of Sóller to the sea port and beach in a half hour trip.

      The tram, besides transporting passengers, has also been used to transport boxes of fish from the docks to the market or oranges to the ships that sailed to the French ports in the past. It also carried vegetables from the orchards to the town and coal and war materials to the naval base located in the Port of Sóller.

      We were the only ones to board the wooden tram at 10 a.m. and we enjoyed the short trip to the beautiful harbour. The sun was shining and the scenery around the harbour was stunning.

      Since it is off season here, there was no one on the promenade. We pretty well had the place to ourselves. We spent a few hours just walking around the port, checking out the boats and taking the stairs up to a monastery with great views of the bay as well as the sea.
      Most places were closed for the season so it was a peaceful and beautiful place to be. Not sure what it would be like in high season!

      Chris took his socks and shoes off and walked in the water. Refreshing but not overly cold.

      We decided to walk back to town. It took us about 1+ hour but it was an easy walk through the valley.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Plaça d'Espanya, Placa d'Espanya

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