TONY'S DIARY

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RHUARIDH's BIRTHDAY

 
 

Mallorca Holiday 20-27 October 2012 credits and copyright to Tineke, Milltown et al

After weeks of careful planning together, we: Michelle, Tony, Steven, John and Tineke, set off on Saturday 20th October for Mallorca.  We had an easy and relaxed journey, flying from Edinburgh to Palma with Ryanair.  We met our transfer taxi driver as planned and arrived 45 minutes later at our holiday house: Las Rosas in Porto de Pollenca.  Just as well that John and Tineke had brought torches as it was pitch dark by then and there were no street lights but plenty of stars; a balmy evening with lots of crickets chirping away.  The house looked lovely and welcoming; we dropped our bags in our rooms and then set off to the town to have our supper as we were all very hungry.  We soon found a nice Italian restaurant, Bella Roma at our side of town and all had pizzas.  We also quickly got breakfast things from the grocers for the next morning.  After all of that we were all happy to get to bed!  It had been a long but okay day.

Sunday we had an easy day, sleeping in, bacon and eggs brunch, doing some shopping and trying out the swimming pool.  The weather was lovely and warm and we had brunch and supper outside.  What a change from Scotland.

On Monday we took the local bus to the old town of Pollenca a few miles inland from the coast.  Most major towns on Mallorca were built several miles inland from the coast to protect them from being raided by pirates!  But as they needed the sea for fishing and for transport, the towns had a port by the sea, usually with the same name; hence Pollenca and Porto de Pollenca.  We had lunch in the lovely square shaded by many plane trees.  After lunch we walked up the 365 steps from the centre of the town to a chapel on a hill, representing the ascent to Calvary.  The steps are flanked by cypresses, interesting houses with lots of flowering shrubs.  Adjacent to the chapel at the top was a friendly cafe serving fresh orange juice.  The place was full of cats who loved to be petted by all the visitors and amongst them was 'Fat Boy' whom Michelle remembered from her previous visit to Mallorca!  Steven enjoyed his bus ride very much.  On the way back we went via the shop to buy things for a BBQ at home by the pool.  As on the Sunday, the shopping got divided between everybody's rucksacks, which made carrying things back home ever so easy, apart from the big 5 litre bottles of drinking water which John carried; we were told that the tap water was safe but not very nice to drink.

On Tuesday after a lazy morning by the pool, we had a very nice lunch on the pine walk in Porto de Pollenca.  Fortunately we were seated under a canopy as there was a heavy shower.  After lunch it was dry again and we walked to the end of the pine avenue.  We also arranged  a boat trip for Wednesday and a bus trip for Friday.

Wednesday we had an early start as we had to be by the boat at 9.40.  We sailed around the bay but unfortunately it started to rain in the morning and didn't stop until after lunch.  In spite of the rain, the sea looked blue and green!  We were not brave enough to swim off the boat but Tony, Steven and John did a spot of fishing.  After a nice lunch on the boat we had the opportunity to walk along the sea by Formentor, one of Mallorca's beautiful beaches, fortunately the showers had stopped by then.  The crew on the boat were very pleasant and interactive which made the trip more interesting.

On Thursday we prepared a picnic after breakfast and walked to Cala Boquer, a stony bay by the sea.  For the last mile the path was rocky and challenging to walk.  We all pretended to be mountain goats which helped to reach the bay.  The sea looked crystal clear, Tony and Tineke braved the stony beach and did some paddling.  Steven and Tineke made sculptures by piling stones on top of each other.  It was very hot and sunny and we were glad for the drinks that John had bought in the shop on the way.  A brown goat was interested in our picnic but didn't get any!  On the way back we picked Rosemary which was growing wild between the rocks.  We had a welcome swim in the pool when home again after the 5.5 mile walk and in the evening we went out for supper in Porto de Pollenca.  We chose a nice restaurant on the square and enjoyed a warm evening on the terrace.  There were lots of children playing in the square; we had a very enjoyable time.

Friday, another early start, this time to catch the bus for our trip to Lluc and Soller.  At 9.30 it was quite hot.  The bus took us into the mountains to the oldest monastery on Mallorca called Lluc, pronounced as Juc.  Our guide Juan, told us many interesting things along the way, about the history of places and about the natural world.  We looked around the big church in Lluc and around the museum.  Our guide emphasised the tradition of the monks at Lluc to be open and welcoming to people of different faiths and that Lluc had been a sacred place long before the arrival of Christianity.  A beautiful and peaceful place in the mountains.  From Lluc we travelled along very windy mountain roads to Port of Soller where we had our lunch by the harbour.  We were glad to be under a parasol as it was very hot indeed.  After a stroll around the harbour - full of expensive yachts and we all chose a favourite one - we rejoined our group and went on a 20 minutes tram ride to the town of Soller.  The tram was very old and beautiful, the journey was fascinating.  Soller is well known for its citrus groves and we saw many lemon, orange, tangerine and even pomegranate trees laden with fruit.  The tram goes right through the centre of Soller, a pretty town with lots of cafes and terraces; we found a shady terrace right next to the tramline for drinks and ice cream.  We were in luck as the tram came rattling past us, what a sight!  We were all rather tired and it was nice to come back to the peace and quiet of the holiday house.  Most of us had a dip in the pool to cool down.

On Saturday we packed up, tidied the house and then went for a last visit to Porto de Pollenca,  We met some people who had just arrived and told us that it had been snowing in Britain.  We also had a phone conversation with Stewart and heard that Mel had a baby son.  We said our goodbyes to Porto de Pollenca and to the holiday house and travelled back without a hitch, apart from Michelle trying to smuggle Irn Bru through security.  Edinburgh felt cold and rainy, but we were all very happy to go home to our own beds again.  We had a warm and sunny holiday, we enjoyed each others company and we all have many beautiful experiences to remember.