Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos
13th-century castle, El Puerto de Santa Maria. That WAS our house to the left and behind the tree!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Friends: Mallorca

Island dreaming

It came through on Facebook: a trip planned by Mati and Angeline to the Spanish island of Mallorca, a family group vacation with some of our favorite people.  

Majestic Mallorca

“Why?”  said Todd.  “We’ve already been there, and it wasn’t that great.”  But I pointed out to him that we would be with Ignacio, our Spanish navy captain jet fighter pilot friend, who knows the island well.  Plus, I told the kids, Narissa, their favorite friend, would be going.  And the Durkovich boys! That was all the convincing needed to book the tickets. 

How could you resist this bunch?

So, just a few days after returning from Santiago, we packed back up and headed for the airport.  The journey was exciting—there was an accident on the toll road that our car managed to circumvent, but the van carrying Ignacio, our ticket to the Spanish Navy lodge on Mallorca, was stuck.  It was unclear for about an hour if they would even make the flight!  But they did, and off we flew.

The Mallorca crew

I had enjoyed Mallorca when we were here last summer, but we’d only sailed its coast.  Ignacio took us to the less-inhabited northwest coast of the big island, to the port of Sóller.  Wow!  It is a beautiful St. Tropez clone minus the glitz.  The quaint little harbor, in-town beaches, and lighthouse delighted us at first glance. 

The Spanish Navy residencia is the big building on the left above the wall.  The lighthouse is on the far left.

We hung out on the Spanish residencia patio until late, enjoying the summer night.   The guys snuck out to dive into the ocean from the Navy lighthouse, but were soon chased back by the guards. 

Soft summer Mallorca evening
Apparently this is prohibido
The next day, before the incoming storm hit, we wandered off to Valldemossa, a lovely village with a monastery and beautiful winding streets.  

Valdemossa group selfie
Coming back, a huge thunderstorm engulfed the island, flooding the Palma airport and providing an impressive lightning show over our harbor.  Some had been kayaking, and they scrambled off the water just in time to avoid being struck.

Watch out, you might get struck by reyes

After a delightful Indian dinner (Mati had no complaints here…), in which we celebrated the selection of Mati and Ignacio’s son Alejandro to the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, we meandered down the harbor path, stopping for a drink along the way, and pretending to own one of the fabulous yachts parked there.

A lazy summer night

Posing in front of our boat with our bike

Saturday was a sunny beach day.  The storm had created some enormous waves, so it took a while to find a calm (although crowded!) little cala, but once there, we nudged people out of the way and claimed our piece of sand.  

Crowded turquoise waters...and fun!
The kids grouped together around the ukulele, and it was a delight to listen to them all sing together (although Bethe petitioned for a break after the 47,000th song of the weekend). 

Kids hanging out with the ukulele
Click here to see the kids sing together, it's awesome.

That afternoon we packed up and passed through the town of Pollença, with its charming plazas and impressive staircase up to the church.  We came through just as a footrace was ending—at the top of the stairs!  What a brutal end to a race, whew!  We cheered them on as they struggled to the top, happy that we could just hang out and enjoy the view.

A loooooong hike

Dinner that evening was at a lovely Italian place, where the kids played cards and the adults split (yet again) between male side and female side of the table (why does this always happen?) I guess the women are just more fun. 

Split into men's side and women's side

Here the boys were simply outnumbered

Sunday was a day to relax.  A group of us headed up to the town of Sóller via a cute (and expensive, what did we expect?) tourist train, and we wandered the streets for a couple hours before lunch.  

Playing for change in Sóller

Todd and others went sailing—“Si,” said Todd at lunch, “Si no hay reyes!”  Mati and Ignacio looked puzzled.  “Rayos, rayos!”  I translated.  Todd’s Spanish continues to amuse us all (reyes = kings, while rayos = lightning).  The rest of the day we spent enjoying the harbor beach in Port Sóller, and practicing some stand-up padel and gymnastics. 

Enjoying the sunset

Tia the gymnast

We celebrated Bethe’s birthday on our last night with take-out Indian food (“Again?” asked Mati.  “Where's the tapas?”), and celebrating too our well-planned, thoroughly enjoyable, and delightfully relaxing group vacation in an incredibly gorgeous setting.  

Kids' night ops
Everyone, from the kids to the grown-ups, had a awesome time.  Thank you, Ignacio and Mati, for sharing it with us!  How lucky are we??

Making memories

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