Spoiler alert: there’s no such thing as a mall for orcas. The internet killed all their biggest shopping centers, duh.
Of course, Mallorca (known in English as “Majorca” because Americans hate it when Spanish people pronounce double L’s) is an island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea (or as Christopher Columbus called it, “The Pacific Ocean”).
Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearic Islands, which are part of Spain but are autonomous. As far as I can tell, I think means about the same thing as when a 10-year-old boy shouts, “you can’t tell me what to do!” at his parents.
It’s a beautiful, sun-drenched island that looked plenty prosperous to us, despite the hit to tourism Covid delivered. The capital of Palma is modern and thriving; its airport is one of the busiest in Spain.
As mentioned in the previous entry, Carolyn had an unfortunate accident while in Mallorca, as you can see in the picture with the spinning killer whale. They never should have allowed an untrained spectator to stand next to an orca (or as I like to call them, “the pandas of the seas.”)
Actually, no matter how she injured her calf muscle, it meant that we had to spend the last half of our visit lounging around the pool sipping margaritas. Sometimes good things come from tragedies. We did get to see some of Mallorca before the incident as well as on our drive back to the ferry, so it was all good.
(I might have tried to sell you on the idea that she exacerbated her injury with this video of a sea lion’s playfulness, but as everyone knows, that’s the wrong breed of sea lion for Mallorca. Although it serves that girl right for wearing a dress that looks like a fish.)
Now for the pictures:
Shortly after driving off the ferry after our overnight journey, Palma greeted us with this sunrise over the harbor. A welcome to a city doesn’t get much more picturesque than this!
These photos give you an idea as to the architecture around the island. Their old-world style doesn’t have quite the same charm as the old-world style we’ve come to love in Portugal, but it is charming in its own way… just like the old-world guy in the yellow shirt.
We stopped in several of the many towns that border the Mediterranean. I’m pretty certain during normal times we would’ve been fighting the crowds here and there. As it was, they were all just sleepy little seaside towns. The red flags with the cross were hung in front of all sorts of homes and other buildings; we meant to ask what it meant but we forgot. If someone tells me I’ll update the blog and it’ll look like we really know what we’re doing.
As with almost every place in Europe we’ve been, castles are never more than a short drive away, and that’s certainly true of Mallorca, which had a turbulent history of conquest over the centuries. This one was unfortunately closed to the public, but we were still able to marvel at it, the views, and their ancient engineering. The castle sits right on top of that crazy rock.
We tried everything we could to break in so we could find the famous “Mallorcan Treasure Hidden in a Castle” everyone’s heard so much about, but to no avail.
So we had to settle for getting creative with our picture taking, peering through “windows” like Peeping Thomasinas. Although we’re getting to the age whereby if the opening were any lower, we might need to buzz our “Help! We’ve fallen and we can’t get up!” emergency beacon.
We also risked our lives just driving to the place. This photo doesn’t do it any justice, but the road was narrow and zigzagged up the mountain often with little to no barriers between the car and certain death. We did a Google Translate on the sign in the foreground, and it came up with, “Holy shit!”
Speaking of signs, one of the many things we learned while here is that in Mallorca (and Barcelona for that matter), the main language is Catalan. I figured that Catalan might be easy to learn because obviously this sign is telling you that it’s prohibited to a-park-a-da-car. I parked there anyway because we always have the excuse that we’re stupid Americans who don’t understand foreign signs, and that red thing was covering up the picture so we couldn’t make out what that was all about either, unless it was telling you not to tailgate tow trucks.
On another day we risked our lives yet again by driving up yet another winding road with yet more limited barriers to a monastery that had yet more views to rival the castle’s, and then yet some. Yet.
While the monastery itself wasn’t overly interesting (I’m doing the sign of the cross as I write that, just so I don’t get smited), it didn’t really need to be all that interesting because it had those spectacular views. They did convert part of it to a small hotel as well as a restaurant just to spice up the monastery some. Carolyn got a kick out of being on the roof and tossing little pebbles into the perplexed diners’ tables. Those two guys were determined to figure out what was going on, to no avail, because they were French.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but Marco the VW Polo is trembling in his parking spot, because just over that barrier is a steep drop that would surely smush him to bits should he accidentally drive over it. I made double sure he was fully in reverse when we left. Marco enjoys being with us on some of our trips, but he’s a little bit of a crybaby sometimes.
The area around these picnic tables can make for an exciting time, like if you’re playing catch and you miss the ball, and it ends up at the bottom of the mountain a couple of miles away. Roly-poly babies probably should be looked after as well in order to avoid the same fate. I think that’s why Spanish babies are so skinny, so they don’t roll.
After that we drove to another little seaside area with a beautiful beach and impressive-looking houses across the bay. I had to take a picture of the octopus sculpture because it’s one of my grandson’s favorite animals. After watching , I have to admit it’s one of mine as well. My Octopus Teacher
When our relaxing albeit calf-damaged stay came to an end, I loaded our hobbled Carolyn into the car and drove back to the ferry for our trip to Barcelona. Along the way, we took a picture of the Palma Cathedral. As we passed by, we shouted in unison, “We shall return!” We want to see more of Mallorca, and next time we’ll keep Carolyn off the dance floor.
You can get an idea as to how large that ferry is just by looking at that eighteen-wheeler driving into its bowels. Speaking of which, there I am waiting for the restroom. Actually, that’s not true. I’m holding up the wall because I wasn’t sure about the quality of construction. We actually had a compartment complete with four beds and a bathroom, which even had a shower. Not a bad way to travel, especially since Covid is still running around making a nuisance of itself.
After all that exploring, we certainly deserved a beer!
(This is the camera footage I took of the way Carolyn actually hurt her calf.)