Wrapping up our month of October 2016, despite having done A Week in Eastern Italy, and moving across town, we took advantage of a long holiday weekend to cross another Bundesland off our list. Well, not a real one. But still, a super-cool one.
We’d spent time in most of them already.
- Bavaria (duh)
- North Rhine-Westphalia
- Lower Saxony
Still open, despite living here for 12,5 years:1
Our really-bad-timing vacation destination was Mallorca: the “seventeeth Bundesland” popular with high-BAC spring break college students and trashy, sun-starved pasty people alike.
That was my prejudice, anyways. But there’s so much more to Mallorca, especially if you go in the off-season or explore inland areas. More on that later.
Direct-marketing scored a hit with me. Inside of a day or two I saw an ad for
- convenient reasonably-priced flights from Munich via kayak.com, and
- some attractive offers from booking.com.
A quick check for a rental car offer in the area came back with an astounding price from a cheapo local car rental agency: €25 for a five-day rental. Not per day. €5 per day. It was a 4-door VW Polo. Our FeWo was about 20 minutes from the airport, close to a major highway (but not too close) and in walking distance of restaurants and small shops. It was nicely equipped with
- two bedrooms
- one full bath
- a decent kitchen2
- beautiful patio, table, chairs, and awning
- a nice pool, grill, ping pong, and billiards table
We snapped it up right away and then offered to split it with some pals, who would fly in from another airport. They jumped on it too, and we were off to the races. All of this booking and planning happened long before we decided we’d have to move out of the old apartment on the island.
Points of Interest
Fellow traveller and kindred spirit (and also our Shetlands Co-Explorer) Jen stayed in this little town a while back and recommended it to us. So glad she did! We drove in a scenic route up the mountains, parked and explored on foot. Don’t miss QuitaPenas for a simple, local lunch. It’s a hole the wall off the main drag you should definitely not skip.
Port de Sóller
This was mostly just a leg-stretching stop on our way up the northwest coast of the island. Nice boats to look at. Probably crowded, in a classy way, in the high season.
Car-sick prone? Be advised, the roads are winding and narrow. Maybe you want to bike or jog it there. The views at your destination make it worthwhile, however you arrive.
Walk the perimeter of the town (pretty much) up on its intact city wall. There were plenty of cafés and restaurants at our disposal, but we were on an itinerary mapped out by Sarah, and so we pressed on, further up the coast to Puerto Pollensa.
Check your spelling on this one. It might also be written Port de Pollença.
Have lunch at Zarzales. Our travel buds loved their paella. Our food was great, too. The waiter was very pleasant and patient with our crappy Spanish, too.
Maybe this ought be a Point of Disinterest! Sarah and I set out on our own for this one, seeking out a particular restaurant. It was already closed for the season, like 95% of the rest of this town. But walking up and down the promenade and among its neighborhood streets, we could tell this is the kind of place I thought represented all of Mallorca. We’ll skip it next time!
Colònia de Sant Jordi
We picked the “salt farm” in the southeast for a visit near the end of our stay. We arrived in the region a little earlier than we planned, so we strolled the shore of the beach at Colònia de Sant Jordi to kill some time.
Salinas d’Es Trenc
They harvest sea salt here, in various quality grades. There was not a lot happening during our off-season visit, but they were still offering tours. The gift shop has a nice selection of actually-not-junky souvenirs.
Before or after your tour at the salt farm, have a meal at Cassai gran Café & Restaurant. It felt a lot classier than it looked on the bill at the end — especially the lunch specials.
While travelling through Mallorca with friends, friends of the friends also happened to be there. They reserved a table at Wine Industry and we enjoyed platter after platter of the tapas and (everyone but Yours Truly, the DD) a surprising number of bottles of local wine. It was a lovely atmosphere — an askew window kept the evening breeze flowing, and the waiter kept the consumables flowing.
Mallorca surprised us (well, ME, more specifically). An off-season visit in a vacation apartment with a cheap rental car sure worked out great for us. We’d do that again, for sure — maybe seeking out agriturismo places next time. ¡Hasta la próxima vez, Mallorca!