I didn’t have much time to do research on this little island in the Mediterranean, so I didn’t know really what to expect. I think I’m glad it happened that way. Then I had no expectations and was pleasantly surprised at this sleepy little island.
Majorca doesn’t really have any industry here. They do export olive oil that is supposed to be some of the best in the world. So far every port has had “the best olive oil in the world”, so who knows. The island is covered in almond, olive, orange and lemon trees – well once you’re outside the major city of Palma.
Our excursion today was a train ride to two little villages in the mountains, Soller (pronounced so-yer) and Valldemossa (pronounced vah-yey-de-mo-sah). The train was an old fashion electric train whose seats were not made for fat American’s. It was a beautiful train ride through the countryside. Groves of trees everywhere you looked. I can only imagine what this looked like when these trees were blooming.
The train ride did take us through a couple of tunnels through the mountain. The tour guide warned us saying there were about 10 tunnels. There were 13 and she failed to mention the on that took us almost 8 minutes to get through. Me no likey tunnels.
Once on the other side though, we were greeted with a spectacular view of the town of Soller in the valley below.
The train stopped in Soller and we were given about 20 minutes to wander the streets, maybe shop, maybe buy some coffee, maybe pee, whatever we wanted. So mom and I found a little coffee shop and we had a cappuccino. I didn’t, sadly, get to finish my cappuccino. I waited too long to use the restroom and the line for the women’s was too long (funny how they have the same issue we do). The men’s room, however, was vacant, so I figured why not. My first problem was the toilet had not seat. So in order to hover without falling on my face, I grabbed onto the sink that was right in front of me. As I was doing my business I was plunged into pitch black. The light went out.
“Oh god,” was all I could think. Luckily I knew where the toilet paper was, but still I waved my hands thinking it was a motion detector. But alas, it wasn’t just a light switch that after a certain amount of time it turns off. I guess that’ll teach me to use the men’s bathroom.
By the time I made it out, it was time to meet the tour guide. She then walked us through the very narrow, very quaint, very charming streets of Soller to catch the coach at the top of a hill.
From Soller we drove on a TEENY TINY, two lane, small car only type mountain road. Cliff on one side, and no room on the other. We met, on a regular basis, other tour buses coming down the mountain. How these drivers do it is beyond me. At one point, I swear to god there was maybe 3 inches between the tour bus coming down the hill and our bus. The twisty, turny, road might have had some beautiful scenery but I was too busy watching us narrowly miss other cars and busses.
Arriving in Valldemossa the tour guide offered us two options. We could either go with her to the monastery, or we could shop. I opted to go to the monastery – I mean, I could shop any time. We started up this very small, and I mean very small hill, and mom opted to stay behind and shop and have lunch. She just didn’t want to do a big hill again. At the time she made that decision we didn’t know it was a small hill that turned to the left and then leveled out. Our past experience had been one small hill turns into a big hill. Instead mom stayed in town, did some shopping and had lunch. I asked her to bring me a ham and cheese sammy and Fanta for the ride home.
On to the monastery. I didn’t get the full story on the history as I was too busy taking photos. Go figure. The big thing I did get was that Chopin spent time here and wrote much of his music. His original player piano is here as are many of his original scores. The gardens he worked in were just beautiful, apparently tended to by the monks.
Once done with the monastery we had about 30 minutes to roam around. I stepped right outside the monastery and as if God himself was pointing the way there was a gelato store. So off I went for a scoop of coffee gelato.
We met back up at the bus and mom had kept her word and got me a ham and cheese sandwich that was oooohhh soooo good. And a Fanta. I swear when I get home I’m going to want a Fanta and I’ll be disappointed because it won’t taste nearly as good as they do here.
Tomorrow is a sea day. Yay! It sounds funny to say that, but when we signed up for this cruise I was excited that we only had one sea day. Now I find I was wishing for more. Six ports in six days is a lot without a break in between. They are all starting to feel like one big port. As mom said today (even thought I don’t agree), the cathedrals are all starting to look the same.