Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Port de Soller, Mallorca, Spain - Eve's last day

Hard to believe but we actually saw sun for 2 days in a row although the Sunday had a fair amount of cloud around too. No rain though!
After a leisurely breakfast we headed off around the bay
The one on the right is a Mallard but I couldn't find the one on the left in any of the duck or goose id websites. I did discover, here's some trivia for you, that Muskovy Ducks (there are some here) and Mallards can cross breed. The result is a Moullard and pictures on the net look a lot like this one.
Eve sporting her Jackie O look.
We walked up past the lighthouse and had a coffee at the refugi. As it was a nice day there were lots of walkers and people picnicking. Even a BBQ going.
There were a fair number of dogs and also 2 ferrets being allowed to explore while on leashes.
Rather cute. Eve inquired of their owners and found out that they were crated overnight but had run of the house during the day. Litter trained like a cat.
We walked back down the road
awed by the views that the houses,
that are on it, get.
But the winter winds off the Med. would be brutal.
Passed Zorro lying in the middle of the road enjoying the sun and the warm tarmac.
We had lunch outside ( next to a propane heater) at a restaurant that hadn't existed last year (Brisas del Mar)
and admired the pop of colour that an orange in a glass gives as a table centre.
It was billed as a "Mediterranean" restaurant; Eve had paella and I had moussaka.
Eve's taxi (not Pierre this time) picked her up at 4 and she stayed in Palma, close to the airport, before heading back to Canada the next day.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Port de Soller, Mallorca, Spain - finally, a sunny day!

Although still not up to seasonal temperatures (it should be about 16 degrees) it was a least sunny on Saturday so Eve and I went into Soller to go to the market.

On our way to the tram we saw these 3 pigeons taking a bath in the puddle left in a boat cover.
Who wouldn't want to buy their underclothes right out in public?
We bought 2 bags worth of fruit and vegetables at this stall, stocked me up for the week. We picked up what we wanted to buy and then tried to get the attention of one of the 2 staff, to pay. From observation we discovered that the locals technique is to nab one of them and send him around the stall getting what they wanted.
No mistaking it, this is goats milk cheese
and this is sheep milk cheese.

The Saturday market spills out of the market building into the streets around it, up the street the tram follows to the main square
then up another street and into the plaza by the train station.
You can buy hot sauce or the peppers to make your own.
Because Eve was with me we stopped at more clothing and jewelry stalls than usual. I did buy 2 different kinds of olives.
Sunny after so many days of rain and a market day meant that all the restaurants in the main square were packed.
We were lucky to find a sunny table. Eve's chicken and pineapple curry past and my hot tapas (almonds wrapped in serrano ham, shrimp and pea pods, beets and walnuts). Plus wine, bread and alioli.
There aren't the dogs guarding the market stalls like we saw in Ceret, France, but this retriever was guarding a store front. Of course I use the term "guarding" loosely, he'd probably just love you to death.
When we got back our produce stall was nearly packed up
and all the bras and undies were in a van.
We had ordered a roast chicken when we first arrived and picked it up, fresh off the skewer, before getting back on the tram.
Back in Port de Soller and Eve found a very nice travel bag in this store
which also had a classic "guard" dog.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Port de Soller, Mallorca, Spain - so many rainy days, Es Port and El Pirata

After our taxi tour we had three days of rain. Sometimes torrential, sometimes showers, always cool. We would pop out for the required cafe con leche or to go to the grocery store but the rest of the time was devoted to books, tablets, computers, snuggling under a furry throw ("wolf blanket"),wine, beer and Scrabble games. I was disappointed for Christine and Chris (Wales), Nicky and Dave and Eve as they only had a week and were not able to see everything that Mallorca can offer in its, usual, nice weather.
We cooked up a big pot of spaghetti sauce one day and all 6 of us ate and drank and talked and laughed.  It was very nice to have an apartment that could accommodate all of us at the table and seated comfortably in the living room too. One night Nicola and Dave treated us to dinner at Es Port Hotel which had an excellent buffet.
From the living room window we could watch the clouds getting trapped in the valleys or totally obscuring the mountains around us.
All that rain was snow at higher elevations.
On one of my brief walks I watched the fishermen cut off the worn rope ends
and splice the rope to reattach the hardware. They thought it quite amusing that I would consider this activity photo worthy.
We had cabin fever so decided to go to Es Port for coffee, taking the recycling on the way. The apartment has a plastic bag for each of paper products, glass, metal and plastic and they have to be taken to their respective dumpsters.
Es Port Hotel sits a block back from the sea front in a renovated olive mill.
It has beautiful gardens and
outside seating areas and I can see myself coming up for a coffee (or wine) on a nice day, to sketch.
Inside there are lots of comfy places
We saw people reading, knitting, playing cards or just enjoying a drink beside a roaring fire.
We wandered around, through passages ways
into the different rooms
and examined the olive press equipment before
settling near the bar, with this view of the olive press
to play euchre and drink coffees and liquors. Then we phoned Christine and Chris who were holed up in their hotel room, to come and join us.
It was Nicola and Dave's last day in Mallorca so we "bar hopped" down to El Pirata, which had just reopened, for another drink and lunch.
Eve and I had had an excellent dinner here last year and this time we ordered a selection of tapas. Shown; grilled vegetables and goat cheese, spring rolls, melon and serrano ham.
Nicola and Dave left for their flight to Barcelona were they stayed for 2 days before flying home. Luckily their weather was better there.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Mallorca, Spain - taxi tour (part 2)

From the Lluc Monastery we continued along the mountain range that runs along the north west coast of the island.
I had listed the Fermentor Lighthouse as one of the things that we would like to see but Pierre knew there was more than just the lighthouse and pulled over into a parking area saying that there was a nice view here. We walked to the end (top of this picture)
to look up at one of the many watch towers scattered along the coast. They were placed so lookouts could signal warnings when invaders were seen and due to its location this island was frequently invaded.
Looking south(ish)
and back, the way we had come, to the bay of Pollenca.
They weren't kidding, the lookout was at the top of steep cliffs.
More twisty, turny driving (SO glad I wasn't doing it! I had read about this road and decided, last year, that however much I wanted to to go, I wasn't doing it) and we saw the lighthouse. Buses are actually not permitted on the last 10km or so.
This goat was begging in the parking lot and ate a banana peel offered by a cyclist. No need for garbage cans here.
We walked around, taking pictures and used the facilities (there is a restaurant up there)

The lighthouse was started in 1857. It was very difficult to build and get materials to, so special dispensation was given  by the Bishop of Mallorca to allow work to continue on Sundays, as long as the workman heard mass at a makeshift altar first. (trivia you get from reading information boards)
Picture in the restaurant. The goats are obviously a fixture.
You can hike out to the lighthouse. We saw a lot of this zigzag, rubble strewn pathway as we drove out.
Eve and Nicky like this one best (photo by Nicola)
I hate having my picture taken and if I have to choose, prefer the one of us being a bit silly. (photo by Nicola)
There was a herd of goats around the car park.
The little kid was hopping around too fast so I had to settle for pictures of this billy.
I love the furriness, colouring and curved horns.
We were getting quite hungry as it was about 2pm and we were all a little concerned as Pierre scrolled through the contacts on his phone while driving. Luckily he had blue tooth when he called a friend to ask for the name of a good restaurant in Pollenca.
It turned out to be the same restaurant that Eve and I had eaten in last year, in the harbour. We had a lovely leisurely meal and then set off for Alcudia.
Pierre again phoned a friend to find the location of the Roman ruins in Alcudia but when we got there they were closed. We were able to peer over the fence at them but not go in.
While Nicola, Dave and I walked around, Eve and Pierre both took an after dinner nap in the car.
The bull ring was just outside the walls of the town
but we decided that it didn't look like much and we didn't want to pay to go in.
We walked on the top of part of the walls looking down on the moat on one side
and the houses and narrow streets on the other.
Back to the car and both were refreshed from their power naps. Pierre had called the caves on the other side of the island and found that they would be closed by the time we could get to them. We decided just to head home. Pierre asked if we would like to go to a winery, "Yes". Then we had some fun driving down different roads, and inquiring of the locals, as he tried to find a particular winery whose wine he liked.
He was very relieved when he found it, worried that we would think he was losing his mind.
We tasted a couple of reds and a couple of whites
and bought a bottle of red and one of white.
When we got home Pierre gifted us with 2 more bottles. No shortage of wine in this house!
After harvest, sheep are grazed in the vineyards to keep down the grass and provide fertilizer.
We were home by about 6:30. Tired but having had a lovely day. The weather, although pretty cool, especially at the lookout spots, had given us both sun and cloud but no rain. The next days all had rain in the forecast.