Mallorca, Balearic Islands
Mallorca was a white-sand, blue doorway dreamland. As the sun rose we were flying into the island from Barcelona and the light touched the expanse below us, from the green fields to the blue beaches. Palm trees filled the city centre and every doorway was picturesque.
We arrived at Palma de Mallorca and made our way to our airBnB across the island in the tiny town of Esporles. Our Spanish host greeted us, along with her strange dog and a shy cat. We explored the medieval town by foot, getting lost in the streets only to turn a corner and realise we were back in the town centre only 5 minutes later. Orange trees surrounded the villas atop the hill and palm trees guarded the larger, white houses from trespassers. The town was a peaceful escape from the bustle of Barcelona, but a little out of the action in Palma's city centre. The 30 minute bus ride to the city wasn't terrible, despite the fact that missing it means waiting another hour for the next one.
The city of Palma was always buzzing with people in the streets. Wandering in and out of boutiques or drinking wine while people-watching on the sidewalks. Our first morning there we stumbled across a gorgeous side-walk cafe, La Molienda. Good coffee can be hard to come across in Europe; especially when you're used to your regular Australian soy flat white made by your favourite local barista. But our coffee tasted as good as the perfect coffee art on the top, so the small Spanish island had my approval.
It was February so the sun wasn't too harsh - the perfect temperature to sit outside and soak up as much as we could before retreating inside for another coffee and mapping out our next move. We had arrived with no plans, so I searched the web for the best spots to go and it wasn't long before I realised I wanted more time on the island. From hikes along the coastline to caves and underwater explorations, Mallorca had it all. But for today, Palma would have to do.
Tuesday night in Palma translates to tapas in the streets with the locals. As the day drew to a close and the boutiques lining the streets shut their doors, the hidden, hole-in-the-wall tapas bars opened theirs. Suddenly the street corners transformed into a festival-like scene. Groups stood with tapas in one hand and wine in the other, occasionally glancing at the football when a pause came in the conversation. We made our way to a popular spot and devoured a round of tapas and wine, before following the crowd and migrating to a new bar to do the same. Tourists and locals alike wandered the dimly lit streets finding new or old places before the evening came to a close.
Across the island you’ll find Porto Cristo, a haven of white sand and crystal clear, blue water. We explored the up-hill streets of the town and found a deserted look-out area to take in the views of the water beneath us. Families ran across the beach, in and out of the water and up and down the sand while old men fished on the edge of the cliff. The water was the clearest I had seen, as though I was looking through a sheet of glass into another world. Australian beaches will always have my heart, but this one was sure up there on the list, I thought to myself. We strolled around the edge of the beach, gazing into the vast expanse ahead of us: clear, aqua eventually melting into the deep blue on the horizon.
When reality came back to the forefront of our thoughts, we walked to the entrance of the caves across town. We descended into the depths where millions of icicles dangle, trapped in time and space. It seemed as if the slightest movement would end in shattered glass beneath our feet. The light was dim and orange, creating the illusion of being trapped in another world’s eternal sunset.
Mallorca remains in my fond memories. The days spent by the quiet afternoon coastline in Porto Cristo to the late night tapas tasting in Palma. We departed sadly, hoping to return in the near future to revisit the hidden boutiques and cafes and explore the worn architecture of the old town walls.