Less than two weeks after returning from an amazing vacation in Southeast Asia, we were off to the Spanish island of Mallorca! I honestly felt a little guilty about this, like maybe it was time to settle in and really start working. I soon realized how very American this guilt is. But any excuse to get me away from our Econometrics class was a great enough excuse for me. Our Spanish friend Gabriel invited us to his summer home on the shores of Mallorca to soak up the last bit of Mediterranean summer sun.
Gabi’s actual house in Madrid should be featured on Architectural Digest, so it was no surprise that his home in Mallorca lived up to those same aesthetics. Gabi sa Except this pool faced the sea, kayaks were stored in the shed, and succulents peaked out from all corners. All of our private bedrooms led out to a fantastic view of the water every morning, and although the house is vacant for most of the year, the grass was perfectly groomed and the fridge was stocked from top to bottom with all kinds of sodas, alcohol, snacks… We were in heaven. As soon as we settled in, we changed into our bathing suits and spent the rest of the day swimming, tanning, reading, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Soon we headed back in for lunch. Since Gabi had a car at the house, we were able to travel freely throughout the island and go shopping for groceries. We cooked ourselves almost everyday, in Gabi’s gorgeous industrial kitchen that had every top-of-the-line pot/pan/utensil/setting needed. Can you tell I’m a sucker for nice kitchens…Ironic that I hate cooking.
Just outside the kitchen is a veranda that looks out into the sea. One side is a lounge area (pictured below), and the other side is where the dining area is. Every morning we’d wake up to this gorgeous view while enjoying our breakfast.
After lunch we coaxed away our food comas as we lounged in the sun. Thomy had to study for his GRE…I have no idea how he focused.
When the sun hung low and shadows filled the backyard, we decided to go kayaking. We rode in pairs and raced each other in the port. At one point we anchored our kayaks and climbed up the cliffs to check out some abandoned lookouts/bunkers. You can find them all over the island. Some are built directly into cliffs, while others are made of heavy concrete and line the beaches. They were built during WW2 to protect the island.
The next day was basically the same deal: swim, tan, eat. But we also decided to venture out to a beach. Gabi’s house is located in Porto Petro, and closeby is a beautiful beach called S’Amarador Beach. It’s a large cove with white sand and turquoise waters. Since it’s protected as part of Mondrago National Park, the beach is very well preserved, and is surrounded by emerald green pines.
The next day, we decided to take the car to different towns nestled between the mountains. Every photo I took looks like a scene from a postcard. First we headed to Valldemossa, a quaint town located in west Mallorca surrounded by lush, green hills. Almost every doorway and narrow walkway was lined with pots overflowing with bright flowers and greenery. Small artisan bakeries, gift shops, and cafés were scattered throughout. Right away, we all grabbed some ensaïmadas, a Mallorcan tradition! I used to snack on them all the time at our cafeteria in Madrid, and I was so happy to be able to try some from their location of origin. Ensaïmadas are light, fluffy pastries that are light coiled (think cinnamon roll) and lined on the inside with apricot jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar. SO freaking good!!! We spent most of our time strolling through the narrow walkways and appreciating all the picturesque moments of this charming town.
Next, we headed northwest of the island towards Sóller, known for its tram called the Ferrocarril de Sóller, which was built from the profits of the orange and lemon trade (can we take a moment to appreciate how romantic this is). This was also a very picturesque town, where we stopped for coffee at the Plaça Constitució, across from the Church of Saint Bartholomew. My favorite part of visiting this area was the gorgeous Port de Soller, where we climbed a side cliff up to the lighthouse where we got a stunning view of the island and the sea.
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the lighthouse at the tip of the cliff. That’s where we decided to go next! It was a great end to our last full day in Mallorca. When we returned home that night, the German girls decided to cook up some amazing spätzle, a southern German dish made of egg noodles, cheese, and onions (I love German food btw). We ended the night with lots of great food, conversation, and laughs.
On our very last afternoon in Mallorca, we visited Es Trenc beach, one of the most gorgeous beaches I have seen in Spain! The white sand was incredibly soft, and the crystal clear water was super warm. Since Mallorca is Gabi’s home away from home, he knew where the best section of the 2km beach was. It actually happened to be the nude gay beach (Es Trenc is an official nude beach of Mallorca). It was the most tranquil there since it was furthest away from the main entrance where a lot of tourist had gathered. The water was pretty shallow so we could walk several yards into the sea without a problem, and best of all, the soft sand extended all the way into the sea. It was like walking on a carpet of dreams. Perfection.
We did have one odd occurrence. A few hours into our beach day, Thomy and I decided to climb an abandoned bunker on the shore and look out into the sea and beach from above. We stood there appreciating the view, when suddenly, I noticed a naked man peeking out and staring at us from behind a huge bush just beyond the beach. That’s when we noticed that this huge bush was actually hollow inside and there were several naked men in there doing who knows what. That was fine–they are entitled to their private business, after all–but the man peeking out would not stop staring at us!! We kept looking back at him to see if he was going away, but I guess he enjoyed the attention because he began smiling and swinging his appendage at us. Horrified, we jumped off the bunker and ran over to our friends. At that point he was still swinging and pointing his penis at us with a creepy grin. We decided it was just best to ignore him. A few minutes later, we saw the same man walk onto the sand, with all of his clothes on, sitting alone against the bunker. A few more minutes later, he was back in the bushes with all of his clothes off and was peeking out again! I still have no idea what in the world that was about, but it was one of the most bizarre memories of any of my trips in Europe thus far. Lesson learned: avoid sketchy bushes at nude beaches.
By then it was time to go. We slept a few hours and caught the earliest flight back to Madrid. The trip was a great way to treat ourselves before the crazy stress of the school year unfolded. Thanks to a generous invitation from our friend Gabi, we experienced one of the most luxurious and relaxing getaways to date!