Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Scenic Drive around the Island June 6

We are tied to a mooring ball at Porto Colom, a large bay completely sheltered like a lagoon. The port authority managed the mooring balls which are intended for visiting yachts, but unfortunately they seem to be mostly used by local boats. We were able to find a vacant ball, but the lead-line is missing so we struggled to lift the heavy ball to tie our line through the chain underneath. The town is a fishing village on one side and a growing economy tourist resort on the other end. It’s a relatively quiet place, not much for scenery, but it’s a perfect place to leave the boat and go inland to do some sightseeing.

We rented a car and crisscrossed the scenic interior of Mallorca. Most of the island is semi-arid, dry with limited vegetation, but some parts are lush and covered with tall pines. We first went to Puig de Randa, on a tall hill overlooking the bay of Palma, there’s a sanctuary, Santuari de Cura. There are few tourists here. The musical sound of monks chanting drifts out of a small souvenir shop. Antique wrought iron farming tools scatter around in the courtyard as ornamental pieces, baking under the hot sun. A large garden anchored by tall palm trees swaying in the mountain breeze, semi-overgrown with exotic flowering plants. This is a wonderful place for meditation.
Santuari de Cura

Quaint towns in the plains of Mallorca

The very pretty, tiny village of Biniagual 

For our lunch stop we visited the small village of Biniagual. Half expecting another touristic place, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was a beautiful small village nestled among vineyards, with completely no shops. Other than a small busload of German tourists, who quickly left, the village was completely deserted; not a soul was visible. Feeling like we had the whole village to ourselves, we walked through the quiet cobble stone streets lined with old, stylish houses, some with beautiful courtyards and gardens well-hidden by stone walls and tall hedges. A fountain quietly gurgles somewhere in a corner under the shade. Ah, someday, we should have a home like one of those, and properly retire…

  Monasterio de Lluc

Cap de Formentor

We visited the Monasterio de Lluc, an institution regarded by many to be the spiritual heart of Mallorca. Built in the 17th and 18th century, the monastery has an imposing Baroque church which contains the stone image of La Morenta, the Black Virgin of Lluc, supposedly found by a Shepard boy on a nearby hilltop in the 13th century. We kept driving to the northern tip of the island, to Cap de Formentor, where the land narrows to a  strip of barren shear cliffs rising above the clear blue water of the open sea. It’s a beautiful spot, but too popular with tourists and the trails were crowded. So we turned around and headed back to our quiet anchorage, our smart phone/GPS guiding us through a labyrinth of deserted back-roads and through beautiful towns that were quiet in the late-afternoon heat.

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