Monday, June 19, 2006

Mallorca: Part III

Mallorca is not a large island, and in three days we managed to see a great deal of it. On Thursday night, we drove to Cala Figuera, a fishing village, where we walked around the sloshing, stony docks in the cool, damp air, stepping around piles of fishing nets. Small homes jutted from the cliffs around the port, and as darkness fell, small bright windows lit up among the rocks. We had dinner in this sleepy town, sitting outside but still protected from the rain. Afterward, we looked down at the boats and the water, shrouded by fog now, hearing only the spooky knocking of boat on stone.

On Friday, we drove north to Arta, where we had a late lunch in what seemed like a deserted village. Our only company was a small white cat wearing a huge collar, who visited our table several times and even joined us on a chair. On Saturday, we drove to Alcudia, then on to Pollenca, where we ate lunch at a café of a charming square. We peeked into a church, ornate and impressive even in this small, quiet village.

Continuing our journey, we drove up a precariously narrow mountain road to reach Cap Fomentor, the northernmost tip of Mallorca. There are stunning views from the lookout point at the top, but reaching that point involved walking up and down several precarious sets of narrow stone steps, with no railings, guard rails, or other barriers to keep us from toppling to the water and rocks below. The views were beautiful; but the height and lack of imposed safety measures made us both feel slightly sick. We could have driven up to an even higher lookout point, which we couldn’t even see because a cloud had settled over it, but we opted to return to sea level instead.

This woozy, terrified feeling continued throughout our drive, which took us up and down the mountains down the western part of Mallorca. The roads were impossibly narrow, just barely wide enough for two cars. There were often no guard rails, and, from the passenger window, I could see the sheer drop-off just beyond my door. At times I couldn’t even look. We scaled mountains this way through Deia, which looked beautiful but which was overcrowded on this particular day because of a bike race, and on through Valldemossa, where Chopin and George Sand once lived. Here, we stopped, bought Sand’s book, A Winter in Mallorca, and had a café con leche in view of the monastery where they stayed. We finished our drive in Palma, arriving at the airport just in time for our flight home.

1 comment:

Caraf said...

"After seven years in New York City, I sold my furniture, broke my lease in Brooklyn, quit my job, and moved to Barcelona. I don't yet speak Spanish...but I'm completely, totally free."

that was wonderful!!congrats