Schnex travels #1 – Mallorca

Personal.

The first ever abroad trip I went to was to my dads best friend in Mallorca. I think this was in 2001. We lived in his apartment in Palma and drove out to his small (very small) and rural cabin in the countryside, right next to Sineu. I dont remember at all what we did, and we have little photos of it, but I do remember that my dads best friend had mountain goats, that climbed on everything, everywhere, and hens and a rooster, that were f-ing insane. To this day I don’t like being near hens or roosters because I remember that stupid rooster attacking me and my sister.

Since then we traveled back to Mallorca once a year to visit the best friend and explore Mallorca. My dad dragged us up in the mountains for walks. I remember finding it very fun and exciting to walk in the nature of the mountains and eat in weird, small restaurants that were very hard to get to.

The clearest memories I have are in small pieces. I remember my dad and his friends throwing me and my sister around in the ocean.

I remember the best friends son claiming everything he saw as his, and getting real upset when you disagreed. When we were at the beach my mom bought me and my sister one floating mattrass each (mine was a dolphin and my sisters was a crocodile), and a small bathring for the son. The son got real pissed. He sat down on my dolphin, pointed at each float device and said “mine, mine, mine.”

I remember that same son taking the Swedish word for annoying (jobbig) and thinking it meant that something was fun and exciting. My sister repeatedly called him annoying when he got spoiled and cranky, and he didn’t know much Swedish because they mainly spoke Spanish at home, and Catalan at his school.

I remember him downing a glass of wine, because he thought it was strawberry lemonade, after a long day of outside adventures. I don’t even remember what we did that day, just him downing the glass and in the same breath spraying it all out. It was red wine (which is disgusting) and he was four or five years old.

I remember a small shark brushing up against me and my dad while we were at the beach, and my dad retelling that story over and over again, with the shark just getting bigger and bigger each time he told it. He’s still telling the story of when a great white shark nearly ate me in Spain and he wrestling it away to save my life.

I remember being in Sineu, at their weekly market, when my sister just disappeared in the crowd and then came back with a bunny that she had bought. They sell a lot of animals at that market, for food and cattle, and my sister saw all the bunnies in cages. My mon tried to get us away from there quickly because a, they’re not keeping the animals in very good conditions, unfortunately, and b, because she knew my sister would want something. She ushered us away to the middle of Sineu, when my sister asked if she could have some money to buy something. She then disappeared very quickly. Now. My sister has a crazy good sense of direction, so even though she was eleven or twelve years old (maybe even ten) she found her way back to the animals and bought a bunny. She came back with the bunny in a potato sack (because they sell bunnies as food, not as pets) and said very bitterly and stubbornly “Bunny!”. And my mom said “How did you think we were gonna bring that home?”. It ended up being my dads best friends job to take care of the little bunny. The joke is still that we all should be glad she didn’t decide to buy a donkey or a horse.

Another thing we tease my sister about (and I’m only writing it here to embarrass her) is when she asked my dads best friend if he found it sounded weird when we spoke Swedish. Because he and his wife spoke Spanish with each other, and we couldn’t speak Spanish. So in her mind it would sound weird to them when we spoke Swedish. Problem was that my dad and his best friend grew up together in Stockholm for maybe twenty years before the best friend moved to Guatemala. And now it’s about fifteen years later and we still ask each other if someone thinks it sounds weird when we speak Swedish.

Now all past travels to Mallorca kind of melts together since it was so many trips and so long ago. The trip in 2011 with Skatoula is a little more memorable, but not much. We mostly hung out with my family in the cabin (he built it out so you can live there now) or driving around to the main tourist spots and beaches.

We had one day where we took the train from Sineu to Palma to shop. I remember having fun, buying ugly hats and eating at Hard Rock Palma. And that the train back got stuck in the pitch black darkness for like an hour between Sineu and the station right next to it. It was kind of creepy because the train was nearly empty. Maybe Skatoula remembers that trip better.

I recently traveled back to Mallorca last year in September. My dad asked if we wanted to come with this time. And since we hadn’t been back since 2011 for me, and 2010 for my sister we definitely wanted to. Plus my dad payed for the trip so… I mean you don’t really say no to a free trip to Spain.

My sisters boyfriend went with us. He had never been to Mallorca before, so we of course did all the important touristy stuff.

We drove (well they drove, since I don’t have my licence) to Cap de Formentor, which is the lighthouse of Mallorca. On the way we stumbled over a beach called Cala Figuera Beach. The climbed up and down the mountain to get to and from this beach is definitely worth it. But if you’re not very exercised, like me (who haven’t been to a gym in five years, and can’t run seven meters without dying) the climb up is torture. My sister and her boyfriend abandoned me on the way up and it was me and a pretty big, german mister who climbed together. First I sat down to avoid death and he came waddling up past me with a understanding smile. Then I continued up and walked past him sitting down and avoiding death. This happened maybe five times each before we were up.

On the beach were three wild mountain goats, who were not afraid to just walk up to you and eat your food right out of your hand, whether or not you offered it or not. They were quite aggressive, but easy to stay away from. As long as nothing rustles in your bag, you’re fine.

We drove up to Sóller, which is a beautiful town in the mountains. The view you get when you’re driving in the mountains of Mallorca is breathtaking.

Tips

When you go to Mallorca there a few things you just have to do.

Cap de Formentor is one of them. The view is amazing. It’s a long road to get there, but the mountains and the sights on the way are definitely worth it. The Mediterranean is crazy blue, and you can just stay at one of the beaches on the way of you need a brake from the car.

If you go to Cap the Formentor, you gotta stay at Cala de Figuera. Yes, the climb is intense, and yes, the goats were pretty scary, but it’s worth it. The beach is beautiful and you can go pretty far out on the cliffs. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to cliffdive if you don’t have a boat, but who am I to tell you how to live your life. Speaking of boats, yes. You can access Cala Figuera by boat.

Sóller, one of the mountain towns, is amazing. It’s a small town, but they get a lot of tourism. The restaurant are great and the city is beautiful. It’s very relaxing to just walk around and take in the atmosphere of the calm that surrounds the mountains. From the town there is a train you can take down to the beach. The train is very cute and it doesn’t take long. The view from the train is really great and then you’re at the beach. Perfect for picnics and lunches.

Speaking of lunch, if you are a foodie, or just really like food, there is a restaurant in the mountains of Alaro called Es Verger. They have amazing food (I recommend the lamb shoulder), and I’m not really a big food lover. The road up is very bad, and it goes slowly in zigzag, but trust me. It’s worth it.

The weekly market in Sineu is a definite must! It’s on every wednesday, and busloads of tourists and natives comes to buy or sell. You can find almost everything you want, and didn’t know you needed at that market.

Now, as previously mentioned, they do sell animals there. If you’re a big animal lover you’re probably not going to like the conditions of how the animals are kept. It’s a lot of cages and standing in the sun, but my parents tell me it gets better every year with the animals.

Lastly, Palma. I don’t have to tell you to go to Palma, because it’s the capital of Mallorca, and of course you’re gonna go there.

History wise, they have the Cathedral and the castle as main attractions. The Cathedral is smack, right in the middle of Palma, surrounded by shops. The castle is located on a hill, but very much worth the trip. Built in 1300s, it had been both a vacation home for the royal family and a prison.

Shopping wise, you have a lot to choose from. There is big chain stores (H&M, New Yorker) but also small little domestic stores. They have really good fashion in Palma so you can always find something you love. The tourist shops are great, though filled with basic tourist crap. I suggest buying your crap in the Sineu market instead.

If you’re not looking for a city life vacation, I recommend renting a cabin on the countryside, to really relax. You get a free view of the stars at night, though it’s often very far from the beaches. It’s almost impossibly quiet in the countryside and you can just sit back with a drink and really relax.

These are just my experiences and tips to Mallorca. And even if you go on a party trip to Alicante, you can still do all the touristy stuff. Though I don’t recommend Alicante. It’s very touristy and expensive. Can Picafort is much cosier, though also kind of touristy.

In my opinion, for a real touristy trip and not partytrip, seven days is to short a time. I think ten days or more is the best way to really enjoy the island. Then you can have days when you just sit on your ass doing absolutely nothing at the beach or the cabin you rented on in the country, and days where you’re out and about, seeing everything and as much as you possibly can.

Hope you enjoyed this little story/tip entry. Hopefully it makes you want to read all the others as well.

Schnex out!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s