Mallorca – Part 2: Soller, Deia, Palma

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

We took the bus into Palma and walked over to the 100-year-old wooden train.

I like trains. A lot. If ever there is an opportunity to take a train instead of another mode of transportation, I am all over it.

So much so that James knows to actually ask if its cheaper to bus/fly/walk because he knows what I am up to.

Even though it was €20 more expensive than taking a bus, I was more than happy to lend some money to the walletless James so we could take the Ferrocarril de Soller.

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This train was adorable, noisy, rustic and weaved through the mountains and teased you with incredible views that quickly disappeared as your eyes adjusted to the complete darkness inside tunnels that seemed to last for miles.

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I loved the train.

If you are in Mallorca, do the touristy thing on this one, and take the train to Soller.

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After an hour we saw a sprawling town folded into the lush hillside. To both of our welcome surprise, the train stopped and apparently this was Soller.

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We have decided we don’t really have the time to research EVERYTHING anymore. There just isn’t enough time to be present on the trip and read every travel book and review only to potentially save ourselves a few minutes.

Instead, we have gotten really good and looking at postcards, seeing what looks the best, and saying, ‘yeah, let’s go there.’ So that’s what we’ve been doing, and it’s working.

We really had no idea what Soller had to offer, or that it would be adorable and we’d never want to leave.

As tempting as the central bustling plaza was, we decided to drop our 16 kilo packs off before exploring. Well, thanks to Google maps, we somehow played tourist in Venice and got completely lost in the winding alleys while trying to find the hostel.

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After maybe an hour we finally checked into Hostal Nadal. If you can find it, it’s an incredible hostel that I would easily stay in again.

Since it was Sunday, mostly everything was closed and it seemed quite quiet. We headed towards the main square, Placa de la Constitucio and admired the 16th century Eglesia Parroquial de San Bartolome.

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There were dozens of bars and restaurants filled with a lively bunch of people, so we found one with the cheapest wine and sat outside in the comfortable weather while it quietly rained lightly over Soller. I liked this place, a ton, and am so happy we ended up randomly choosing to spend two nights there.

Monday, October 7th, 2013

James needed to catchup on work so I decided I would go explore the streets of Soller and snap some pictures so we could head to the beach as soon as he was done.

Well, as soon as I spilled into the plaza I was nearly run over by the stampede of people all outfitted in tan zip-off pants, collared long sleeve shirts, safari hats, hiking boots, and walking sticks.

Whoa, what the heck are all of these people doing? What do they know that we don’t?

Well, obviously everything because we didn’t research a damn thing about this place besides pick up a postcard. So I parked myself outside the information desk. The information desk man wasn’t pleased to see me when he arrived 5 minutes to 9 a.m. to unlock his office door.

‘Hey! Where are all of these safari-people going?’

‘Hiking’ he responded, unimpressed that I didn’t know about his beloved village.

‘Oh, do you have a hiking trail map?’

‘No. I don’t. I have a leaflet.’

‘Oh, may I have a leaflet please?’

With one disapproving eyebrow raised, he tore me off a ‘hiking leaflet’ and I trotted out the door to study my new leaflet in privacy.

I found a bench in the middle of the square and amused myself by watching the herds of people with their walking sticks and decided to adjust our plans for a previously uneventful Monday. Now, I decided, we would be joining these wide-eyed ambitious folks for a daylong hike.

I was beyond excited to see that you could actually follow a trail starting from my little park bench all the way to the Port de Soller. It would take three hours and was rated as a medium-easy hike, according to my new leaflet. Sweet.

I continued to run around taking pictures for another hour before heading back to pitch the brilliant hiking idea to James.

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James was lounging in bed working on his computer when I came bursting through the door.

My smile gave it away and he immediately asked ‘Tarynnnnnnne. What are we doing?’

I somehow convinced James we were going for a short hike. I managed to suggest we could jump in the ocean at the end and feel all accomplished and that it would be so refreshing. That we would stay at the beach for a few hours and come back before sunset and shower up and head out in Soller for tapas and drinks!

Well, it was the heat of the day and the hike really did take a good three hours. We bounced around on a couple of trails so that we could see all the important views. The trails were well-marked and easy to follow. You pass by beautiful Catalan houses and enjoy magnificent views the majority of the way. We found the lighthouse and found the perfect edge to sit and take in all of the views of the port below.

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We then switched to flip-flops (since our tennis shoes have holes in them since they’ve been through the ringer on this trip) and cruised along the promenade. Although its called a port, for the most part this place feels like San Diego.

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We walked along the length of the port all the way to the marina end and then returned to the beach we liked most and made ourselves at home.

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Hours and hours were filled with playing catch, gymnastics, and swimming.

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Before we were ready, the sun set and left us to look for the bus stop in the dark. We missed the bus and the next one wasn’t until 9 p.m. so we grabbed a snack to tide us over and happily headed back to the beach to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and enjoy our time watching the waves smooth over the sand and the happy vacationers around us aimlessly  walk by.

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We ended up back in Soller around 9:30 p.m. and after a quick shower went out to enjoy traditional Mallorcan grub.

We ordered up some tapas which I couldn’t eat and James apparently loved, and some veggie paella for me and chicken paella for James.

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Since paella is delivered like fajitias, therefore sizzling hot, I took the opportunity to do a photoshoot on our table. Yeah I get annoyed by tourists that stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures of garbage cans, so I felt a bit ridiculous taking pictures of my dinner, but honestly I was not in anyones way or rerouting anyones path, so I carried on as I pleased.  The drunk Germans next to me decided I needed to know that my food was getting cold and to stop taking pictures and just eat.

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So we enjoyed our paella and stayed out until we were more than ready for bed. It was a perfect day of hiking, sunshine, sea, and grub and we were seriously impressed at how well everything had worked out for us today.

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

We were up and out of the hostel by 11 a.m. after storing our bags in the downstairs bar where they would hopefully live for the day. We decided we would spend the day hiking to Deia. Again, it was a good three hour hike, this one red, meaning more difficult.

We hiked and hiked and arrived at Deia pretty pooped. The hike was much more beautiful and we found ourselves hiding amongst olive trees most of the way before we snuck up on the crossroads indicating the beach was an additional 10 minute steep walk down.

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We made our way to Deia, a beautiful rocky, sandless beach. We made a little nest between some rocks and jumped in the ocean before laying back and watching people tip toe cautiously over rocks and parents scream at their monkey children scaling the steep rocks.

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We had to make the 30 minute walk back up to Deia town. The town of Deia is beautiful, but again really quiet since our visit was during siesta time.

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We sardine packed the local bus and took it back to Soller where we grabbed our bags and headed back to the bus station to catch the bus to Palma.

It seemed like a quick bus ride and we both were exhausted by the time the bus dropped us in central Palma. It was about 6 p.m. when we rung the bell of our AirBnb host.

We made ourselves at home and then James had to work, and since the place didn’t have internet, like it was supposed to, we had to go find a bar with wifi. We ended up staying out until just around midnight before we decided the hiking and sunshine and swimming caught up to us and we called it quits rather than partying the night away with the sizzling city of Palma.

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

We were up at 9 a.m. and not making breakfast and not taking showers because our Airbnb hosts loved to enjoy every amenity in the house at exactly the same time.

James setup his office in a cafe before I abandoned him to go explore Palma.

I ended up in the market. Shocking, I know. The market was pristine, clean, organized, non-chaotic, and James would have actually remained sane.

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I could’ve easily dragged him here.

I returned to find James in the cafe around 2 p.m. and we decided we would head back to our Airbnb home and shower and cook lunch before heading out for the late afternoon. Well, they were cooking and showering (seriously how do you do that at the same time?) so we decided to just give up on the place and walk into Palma.

We walked through the main streets and explored the exterior of the massive and impressive cathedral before walking along the waterfront to watch the sun fall behind the hills.

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We ended up sitting on steps in the marina all night and enjoying ourselves.

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Thursday, October 10th, 2013

We got up at a reasonable hour and headed to the cafe again since the internet was still not working at the apartment we were staying in. Plus they were showering and making breakfast (yep, at the same time) so there wasn’t exactly another option.

We then decided to stop playing adult and go to the beach. We jumped on a bus and headed to Illetas. We missed the stop and ended up at another beach, decided it didn’t make a bit of a difference to us, and loved it.

We had an amazingly fun afternoon.

Again, we didn’t want to leave, but also didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see little miss Rhea in bar action. We were pretty excited to see mom again! So back at home we barged our way into the shower and headed out to Escape Bar. We spent a few hours there before heading to Soho Bar and by 1 a.m. we were pooped and headed back to the apartment.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

We woke up at 8 a.m., packed our bags and  headed to the cafe again so James could download work to do on the seven hour ferry ride.

We boarded the Balearia ferry and holy crap, the place was incredible. I would’ve been upset to have paid for a cabin because there was more than enough room for everyone to have their own tables, chairs and couches in the ‘cafeteria’ seating.It was the most luxurious ride ever and I loved it. I almost didn’t want to get off! If you are going from Mallorca to Barcelona and you have the time, take the ferry. You get incredible views of the entire west and south sides of Mallorca. Plus I even saw two dolphins jumping alongside the ferry.

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We arrived in Barcelona around 8 p.m., a city new to both of us, and headed to Hostal Kabul to dump our crap and start exploring this crazy-fun place!

About Tarynne Mingione

Registered Dietitian (RD, CD), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200)
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