Magical Majorca

Linda Elliott-George

Copyright 2002 by Linda Elliott-George

Photo from a high point in Majorca.

Majorca is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean off the south-western shores of Spain. Alex and I recently spent seven spectacular days in one of Europe's favourite holiday destinations. It was Honeymoon # one because we had only three days away when we were married in Gretna Green Scotland with one day spent driving up the M11.

We arrived in Palma the capital of Majorca, on the south shore and drove to Port d'Alcudia approximately 60 km across to the North shore. During our explorations in our Fiat rental car, we discovered an island of numerous contrasts from the wild Serra de Tramuntana mountain range with its winding roads and sleepy villages to the fragrant orange groves of fertile Soller Valley.

We were hypnotized by the vista as we bravely motored around hairpin bends off the beaten track along the coast of deep coves, with rock cliffs 400 meters high and tantalizing turquoise water. This is a few of the yet (almost) untouched and tranquil parts of the island with a photo opportunity at every turn. We were clicking the shutter continuously and have oodles of post-card perfect photos! It was first view of pine-shaded beaches, while along the southern & northern shores we gazed at public beaches shaded with palm trees and typical thatched roof huts under which scantily clad sun worshippers were crowded.

The Romans founded Palma the capital city. The most striking image we photographed is the Gothic cathedral standing proud on the waterfront. Behind the cathedral is the old Arab quarter with its maze of constricted streets. Also in Palma is the medieval palace of Majorcan Kings dating back to the Moorish occupation of the island. It is a fascinating mix of Muslim and Gothic architecture. The Moors built some of these massive walls along the seafront 800 years ago

On our third day we drove south again to Magaluf once a quiet fishing village and now a thriving resort where summer months are one long holiday. I was delighted to have travelled before the official season began.
 

On the north shore are small but exquisite beaches such as Formentor, know by the locals as Millionaires' paradise. Several of the rich and famous have homes here. Alcudia is another place we travelled to nearly every day. It is only a fifteen-minute drive from our apartment. Once a Roman capital, Claudia is a fascinating blend of the old and the new. On the other side of Alcudia is Alcanada! That's right Alcanada. It is also one of the tranquil areas not yet discovered by the 'tourist' type.
Photo of a lighthouse on a peak in Majorca.There is a small Island off the shore with a lighthouse. The beach is not sandy; so few people bother to stop. Alex found the one well-hidden entrance big enough to drive our Fiat through. We parked under a twisted old cedar tree and spread our blanket on the shore. I braved the stony bottom to swim topless in the salty water of the Mediterranean. Alex made a valiant effort but the slippery sharp rocks proved to treacherous for his tender tootsies.

He did however; endure the clamber up the mountain to Formentor's cliffs that overlook coves and sea. Cap de Formentor is a peninsula of bizarre rock formations jutting out the coast with steep cliffs on one side and gentle whitewashed, sandy beaches on the other.
 
Valldermossa is a tranquil mountaintop village whose silent awe-inspiring scenery influenced the composer Chopin. The main attraction here is the monastery with its impressive gardens. One can still see evidence of the mark each invader has left on the island's culture. The Romans introduced vineyards and olives; the Arabs brought oranges, almonds, windmills and irrigation techniques; and the first Christian king, jaume 1, took Majorca into the Aragon kingdom paving the way for it to become part of modern Spain.Photo of a rock cliff and the sea in Majorca.

Port d' Alcudia Apartments where we slept and ate two meals a day are new, clean, comfortable and NOISY. The floors were marble and ceramic tile with long empty halls echoing the clattering sounds of running feet and excited shrill children. Because we took advantage of a late date deal, our accommodation was not revealed to us until we arrived at the airport. There were many families with their young-undisciplined brood enjoying this place with us. It was an exercise in flexibility, and tolerance as we shared the dining room with them. At bedtime it was creative adaptability as Alex fashioned earplugs out of my cotton face wash pads. We made it an amusement and after a few days Alex was encouraging me to stomp my heels as we went from our apartment to the elevator. (He had soft soles so couldn't compete)

We were at the pool first each morning while the usually sporadically splashing children, were still at the juice machine butting one another like Billy goats. I would enjoy a half hour of swimming while Alex relaxed in a chair under a palm tree. Friday was the first day the clouds hid the sun and a cooler wind whipped around the aromatic flowering shrubs.

I gaze from our Balcony overlooking the pool.

"Alex, there is not one person at the pool."

"And no bloody wonder, he remarks, It's most likely freezing!"

"Well I'm going to take advantage and have some solitude."

"I'll come down with you and sit out of the wind."

I swim and play in water no cooler than yesterday. After thirty minutes a few others most likely new arrivals come to sit on the chaise lounges and huddle with towels covering their shoulders. Alex surprises me and valiantly descends the ladder to the water.

"It's freezing" he whimpers as he hugs his shivering shoulders above the water.

"Well, you need to get moving" I instruct.

"I'll help you exercise, he encourages. Give me your feet."

I float on my back moving my arms to stay afloat as Alex grabs my ankles and locks my legs under his arms.

"Ok, now do your sit-ups."

"In the water? I gasp unbelieving. I've never done sit-ups in the water!"

"You've never been to Spain either. Are you making excuses? Are you not strong enough?"

That did it. He knows I can't resist his challenges. I clasp hands behind my neck and I tighten my tummy muscles for a crunch up! It is not without some groaning sound effects, but I do it. Alex is using his muscles as well to hold my weight as I reach my elbows to his shoulders.

"Again!" He barks like a boot camp instructor. He grunts with every uplifting of my head and shoulders.

Crunch after crunch I strain to lift to his shoulders. After five I end up with water up my nose and splutter, cough and complain.

"That's enough for now." And I swim round the pool again.

"That wasn't much of a workout," Alex says as he reaches for my feet. "C'mon gal what are you made of?"

Again I manage a few more crunches as I notice a few spectators on the other side of the pool. There are others gazing from their balconies too.

Here I must confess to being a bit of a performer and with an audience I manage to muster more strength. I groan through a few more upward crunches and get another nose full of water.

"OK" Alex says well done! Would you like to dance with me?"

"In the water?"

"Listen."

As I listen Julio Aglasis sings in Spanish. The intoxicating voice and dreamy music filter from the pool area speakers. Alex reaches for my hands.

"Just look into my eyes," he says.

I gaze into his eyes brimming with love and passion. I follow his lead as he sensuously twirls me under his large arm and moves us through the water in slow synchronized romantic rhythm. All the while our eyes are locked. We don't speak yet we communicate volumes with our actions. This is Romantic Love with a capital 'R'. We danced the Tango in the pool while other vacationers stood looking on from their balconies. No on dared to break the spell!

"Lay your head on my shoulder". He asks. "Thanks for dancing with me he whispers" as the music changes.

Alex and I leave a romantic aura lingering wherever we go. This week in Majorca was a holiday of pampered indulgence, where I was wined and dined, mentally stimulated as I was saturated with the Spanish culture of this exquisite place and loved so much that I daily felt 'the ache' of thankfulness.
 
 

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