Wednesday 20 March 2024

Back in Palma

Our last morning in Andratx, and a nice early morning run along the seafront. It was very quiet, and I have just discovered that the mansions on the hillsides are full of celebrities, but there was no sign of Claudia Schieffer or Brad Pitt out running today.

I like this photo as it's the only one that Darren has taken of me where I manage to look both cheerful and speedyish.

Then we caught the bus back to normality in Palma and a long overdue visit to the Cathedral. Not for confession although there was lots of the little booths in the cathedral, but to be wowed by the interior.

It is a beautiful with the sun shining through the stained glass, and I was interested to see lots of flagstones with skull and crossbones on them.

Of course I thought that they must belong to a pirate's grave, but no, it is the ancient symbol to show the entrance to a cemetery.

Another very interesting feature was an enormous modern art installation. We could see the top of a wave, and then possibly fish and unknown squiggles.

I looked this up on Google too and it is by the artist Miquel Barcelo. It shows the miracle of Jesus multiplying the five loaves and two fishes.

Following on with the modern theme, we then went to the plaza outside the Museum of Modern Art. We didn't go in, which was probably wise, and instead looked at the art outside. 

This one caught my eye - not in a good way - by Richard Long, made in 2004 and called Five Paths.

It needs to be viewed from a distance and is just five rows of stones.

Just around the corner was an upside down church, it had no label so I don't know anything about it, but I think that I like it.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Cala d'Egos beach

Another lovely hike on a sunny day - is it always like this in Mallorca?

This time we set off from our 'quirky' hotel in Andratx, over the harbour bridge and up the mountain on the other side.

It was a long way up, and one of those climbs when you think that you are nearly at the top but then you get there and see a bit more to climb, then you think again that you are nearly there, but you see a bit more to climb. Do that about seven or eight times and then we really were at the top.

Then it was a stroll a good walk along the top and then down towards the beach at Cala d'Egos.

The water was very clear and a beautiful colour, and I just had to test the temperature. Actually quite refreshing, but I wasn't up for a swim.

Then, of course, it was back uphill again, which I actually found much easier than climbing down.

Towards the end Darren warned me that the path was particularly slippery and about two seconds later I agreed with him as I landed with a thump on my bottom.

Brilliant outing overall though with fantastic scenery and the equivalent of over 160 flights of stairs climbed.

Monday 18 March 2024


Another change of hotel today, this time to the very south west of the island and the port of Andratx. We didn't realise it in advance, but it is very upmarket and fancy.

Our hotel is expensive for us, but in comparison to our previous hotels, this one is very basic and olde worlde, although very clean and authentic, and with the most amazing garden.

Our room is hidden somewhere behind these fantastic plants.

After settling in we decided to explore, and venture over the hills behind the hotel.

This area was even more surprising and was full of multi million euro mansions, mostly hidden behind very high walls. But due to the extreme hillside locations, we got glimpses of fantastic gardens and modern architecture.

The sea views were pretty good too, and there were goats that appeared to live on the steep cliffs by the side of the road.

Eventually we made it down into the very quiet town of Camp de mer and found a bar for a quick drink.

Then it was just a case of walking back over hills to finish off the outing.

Sunday 17 March 2024

Running weekend

Yesterday we couldn't do a parkrun as they don't have them in Spain, so we did our own on the promenade at Alcudia.

All of our legs felt heavy, but we made it in reasonable times, and just one little detour over a bridge and along a little side road.

Disappointingly we took different routes around it, so ended up at very different finishing points and couldn't find each other.

After we were reunited we checked out of the hotel and moved to just outside Arenal, which is back near to Palma. 

We had a good breakfast this morning in preparation for a busy day, and included a tasty bucks fizz just because it was there.

We had decided that today was our March half marathon day, and we walked one block to the seafront. The place was packed with hundreds of walkers, runners, cyclists and a few roller bladers.

It was a nice run and fortunately quite cloudy, although I was pretty shattered by the final turn back at about 17 kilometres.

I tried to get back into the groove, and then we realised that we were being cheered on by a group of hens dressed in sparkly bunny ears that were on a petite train.

They kept level with us for a while and then overtook us. We then got them back at the train stop, and pulled ahead. They overtook us again, etc and this got me through the next three ks.

In the end we got dropped, but not long after we got our 21.1 k and were done.

Friday 15 March 2024

Cycling on the flat

There are literally thousands of cyclists on Mallorca at the moment, almost all are colourfully dressed in lycra with clip cloppy shoes. They glide around in either small groups or huge pelotons, and the ones at our hotel eat huge stacks of food at every meal.

Of course we aren't like that, but we did hire bikes today.

Mallorca is full of hills and mountains, and most of the cyclists head straight for them, so to buck the trend we headed straight for the flat.

Our first stop was along the coast at Porta Pollenca, and then we cycled inland to Pollenca for a nice coffee stop.

Then we took a lovely quiet route along quiet lanes and cycle tracks, but accidentally missing the two towns that we had planned to see.

We did find the very untouristy town of Sa Pobla and stopped in the beautiful and very quiet town square for a beer and nibbles.

Onwards then and back to the coast to Can Picafort. This was a strange place with no tourists and everywhere shut for siesta. We eventually found a supermarket that was open and Darren went in to buy two Magnums. Unfortunately they didn't sell them single, but only in packs of three.

I looked around the car park in a very halfhearted manner for anyone that I thought might appreciate a free Magnum.

After finding no one who fitted the criteria, we decided to eat an extra half each rather than see it melt in the bin.

So, a very successful day, lots of easy cycling and the full house of cycling treats.

Thursday 14 March 2024

Alcudia and a walk almost to a beach.

We set off on a hike to a secluded beach that was on the peninsula next to Alcudia. It started along quiet lanes, and then we entered what I think was a national park.

It was a beautiful forestry area, and nothing likes we see in England. The land was very dry and it was full of cacti and succulents, and lots of tall spiky glasses with white flowers.

We gradually climbed from sea level to 250 metres above it with gorgeous views of Alcudia and the surrounding area.

Then we dropped down into the forest again and walked along a dry riverbed, with warnings to avoid torrents of water that could sweep us away - although no chance of that today.

Eventually we got nearer to our secluded beach and started the walk down to it.

It looked amazing and there was only about four people on the beach, but it was a long way down the hill with the knowledge that we would eventually have to retrace our steps.

And then we had to scramble over rocks and it was still a long way, so we decided to enjoy it from distance with a sandwich and a sit down.

On the way back we were excited to see a couple of wild goats that live on the cliffs, and thought that we were very lucky.

Half an hour later when we had seen at least 40 more we stopped taking photos and decided that they were absolutely everywhere. 

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Palma to Alcudia

Another run along the seafront this morning, and another lovely sunny day.

We are staying near the top of a steep hill so we had to descend lots of steps to get down to the promenade.

We ran further than last time, and while I chugged slowly along Darren kept stopping to take photos.

Our turnaround point was at a giant teepee like structure with a weather vane on the top and mosaics in the style of Gaudi around the base.

I have tried to find out more about it, but despite there being hundreds of photos and reviews online, not one of them says anything about what it is and why it's there. It does have a name though - Sa Gavina Blava.

Later we checked out of our hotel, walked to the bus station and caught a very busy bus to Alcudia on the north of the island.

It has a beautiful sweeping beach, a nice harbour and lots of cyclists on very expensive bikes. Some are cycling, but most of them seem to be sitting outside the coffee and cake shops, and maybe we will join them in the next day or two.

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Castell de Bellver

Out and about today and the first stop is Bellver Castle.

It is on the top of a high hill, and after climbing many steps we arrived at a beautiful building. It is a very rare completely round castle, but it has all of the important castly details -

Ramparts and really thick walls

Arrow slits

Moat, although this one is dry

Giant door

Lots of steps

Etc, etc

It was built in the 1300's for King James ll of Mallorca, so it is very grand inside, but imposing from the outside.

The castle is surrounded by a pine forest, and we followed a path through it towards the coast.

Strangely, the paths in the woods didn't match my map, so to get on to a road we had to climb over a stone wall which surprised a few people, and then we were on our way again.

Next stop was the Joan Miro Foundation. Joan Miro was a famous Spanish sculptor and artist who lived on Mallorca. He died at the age of 90 in 1983, and his work can be described as Surrealism, with a bit of Fauvism, Cubism and Expressionism thrown in to the mix.

In a spectacular example of bad timing, the museum is closed from the exact day that we arrived in Mallorca and reopens the day after we leave because they are changing the art that is on display.

However, the café was still open and the walls were decorated with one of his giant eyes. Outside there is another piece of art above a pool.

There was also still some of his sculptures around, and some pieces are very entertaining.

Just a short walk away is a lovely garden with more sculptures, although personally I preferred the plants.

I picked up a brochure that attempted to explain the art, but I accidentally left it behind so I can't quote from it. This sculpture is something to do with birds, but for some reason has a large comb in it.

Finally, a quick visit to Cala Mayor beach. 


Monday 11 March 2024

Palma, Mallorca

After a lovely evening with M and D, we stayed with them overnight and then caught the early flight to Palma.

Of course it was raining when we left, but we arrived to bright blue skies and a pleasant temperature.

We stopped for a leisurely brunch and then a leisurely afternoon sitting around at the hotel.

All this relaxing was nice, but we are supposed to be here for a bit of spring training, so slightly reluctantly we pulled on our trainers and set off on a run along the promenade.

The conditions were perfect and we did a round trip to the cathedral and back.

All ready now for a busier day tomorrow.