I Took A Chill Pill in Mallorca

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain (map)

Upward: Scaling limestone cliffs high above Mallorca's Bay of Pollença
Spain's Balearic Islands sit in the western Mediterranean, roughly midway between Barcelona and Algiers, making it a short flight for Nina and me when we visited last September. Our destination was Mallorca, the largest of the chain's four islands—the others being Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera (known, respectively, for stone monoliths, stoned club-goers, and stone-faced German nudists). By contrast, Mallorca is a more middle-of-the-road vacation spot, with something for everyone, from outlet shopping and lazy beaches to brutal cycling routes and harrowing rock climbing. Whatever your pleasure, wine and fresh fish dinners bring everyone together at the end of every day.

This was my second year accompanying Nina and her family to Mallorca, who find the place pleasant but oddly familiar, since a significant portion of the island's residents and visitors are Germans like them. There are even German street signs, German doctors, German menus in restaurants, and German radio stations. (Suffice it to say I learned much more Deutsch than Español in the course of this trip.)

We stayed in the north of the island, in a rented villa outside the quaint old stone town of Pollença. Highlights of the trip included a morning of horseback riding along the beach, sailing on the Tudor Dawn, a precipitous drive to the Cap Formentor lighthouse, grilling and lounging poolside at the villa, snorkelling blue-green coves on the island's southeast coast... and of course climbing.

Guidebook in hand, each afternoon Nina and I clambered to a series of routes overlooking the Bay of Pollença and spent hours scaling and descending the cliff while chatting with Spanish, American, and Swiss fellow-climbers attacking the adjacent routes. Seaside routes provided us with a new experience: hanging on to the rock face for dear life as gusts and gales swept through. Each evening, we would end the day by driving to a nearby pull-off and scrambling down a steep, rocky track to the Cala Figuera beach to catch a dip before the sun slipped below the crags.

Lazy, so-called "relaxing" vacations certainly aren't my idea of a good time (nor Nina's—there's a reason we get along so well). But after ten days in Mallorca even I couldn't help but feel a weight lifted from my shoulders. Spain will do that to you.

Enjoy some of my Rolleicord shots from our trip:

Rooftop lounge at the gorgeous little Airbnb where we stayed our first days in Pollença
Cala Mitjana
Cala Sa Nau
Nina at Cala Sa Nau
Evening in Cala d'Or
A lane in Pollença
Aboard the Tudor Dawn
Cap Formentor lighthouse, on Mallorca's northern tip, offers a stunning Mediterranean view.
Evening at Cala Figuera
Macaw at a local animal park
View along the Cap Formentor peninsula
Punch-buggy brown!
A local beach-goer of the flip-flop-eating variety
Mallorca's cliffs offer dramatic, unobstructed sunset views.
Full album available here: Rollei 2016 - Mallorca.
Full album from the previous year's trip available here: Rollei 2015 - Mallorca.

1 comment:

Rayane said...

I have started reading your blog today... So far so good. I had a really good time reading it,and enjoyed the the album but i hoped to see more photos so i could travel there with you and your family... Maybe next time �� ✌ ��

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