Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Magnificent Mallorca

We spent the past few days basking in sunshine, dining on tapas, and being mesmerized by a cerulean sea. Mallorca is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and it was very difficult to climb aboard our homebound plane yesterday.

As you know, the weather here is unpredictably pleasant at its best and atrociously gloomy at its worst. Days can pass without feeling the sun's rays and an umbrella and light jacket are always on hand. I knew Mallorca would be a great place for us to escape. It was difficult to decide on a region because there are so many choices. You can stay in Palma and fully experience the vibrant beat and bright lights of the city. A less raucous atmosphere awaits in resorts perched atop majestic mountains. If solitude and nature are what you seek, why not stay on a finca (farm)? The possibilities are endless and I spent several thoughtful days scanning reviews and recommendations before deciding on the tiny resort of Cala Fornells.

Our Ryanair tickets were unbelievably priced at 89 Euros for both of us, round trip. Flight crew and fellow passengers were in celebratory moods as we lifted up and away from Eindhoven. A cheerful stewardess announced, "The crew on this flight are very happy to serve you as we make our way to Mallorca. We will be selling alcohol for one and a half hours, so get ready!" Shouts of joy echoed through the plane as passengers dusted off long-forgotten bottles of tanning lotion and slipped on flip flops.

We landed on time and were greeted in the arrivals lobby by our pre-arranged driver, a gregarious and easygoing man who provided wonderful commentary as we made our way to the hotel. As we buckled up he said, "There are two ways to go to your hotel. One is on the highway and one is by the water. I take you by the water because it is much beautiful!" Originally from Uruguay, he moved to Mallorca with his family several years ago and never looked back. As we rode, he talked about everything from the history of Mallorca to the best place to get "the most beautiful" ice cream. As we passed some yachts docked in Palma, he jovially exclaimed, "There is my boat over there!" We looked out of the window and said, "Wow, really?!"
"No," he replied, as he laughed easily. "But I wish it was so!"

We told him we're Americans living in Germany and he remarked, "Oh, well there are a lot of Germans here. In fact, Cala Fornells is one of their major hubs." During my research, it was evident that Mallorca is a favored vacation spot for Germans. Lots of online reviewers made comments like, "The resort was nice but everything was in German. They served schitzel!" My favorite one was something like, "Lovely place to stay but you must get outside very early if you want to reserve a good lounger. Lots of Germans at this resort." I felt I was well-prepared for the brotchen and bratwurst.

We drove through the charming village of Paguera and as we rounded a corner, our driver pointed out our destination. The Hotel Petit Cala Fornells was perched on a cliff, overlooking a glorious cove on one side and the endless sea on the other. A collective gasp was shared between us and I knew I would never want to leave this place. 

We (somewhat sadly) bid adieu to the driver and eagerly made our way to the front desk.
"Guten tag," said the manager.
"Hello..." we haltingly replied.
"Ah, English? Okay, good day. Do you have a reservation?"

Being greeted in German was very strange. I think it was the first time we have truly been mistaken for German. After we checked in, our luggage was brought to us by a young man who said, "Danke," as he accepted our tip. 

Our room was impressive. All rooms at this hotel are suites and since there are only 26 altogether, each one has an ocean view with a balcony or terrace, and plenty of space for relaxing. 

We enjoyed a quick lunch and some cava on the hotel's rooftop terrace and then quickly made our way down to the magnificent saltwater swimming pools. 

We spent the next few hours swimming, going to the cove, and walking to Paguera. It was one of the best afternoons of my life. 

I have much more to say about Mallorca but I think I'll wait until manana. In Spain, everything can wait until manana. Ahhh, how I miss it!

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