Alcudia was a bit of a running joke between the family over our week in Mallorca. Though I’ve never spent any time on the main strip of Alcudia, driving along it to get to…well…better places clearly relayed its booze and fast food-fuelled lifestyle.
It’s just not the kind of place I want to spend my downtime.
Alcudia Old Town, however, is a different story. The Old Town is as authentic as Alcudia gets – even coming with its own set of 14th century city walls. Though there were not many people around when we arrived, we quickly scouted an unassuming set of stairs which led us to the top of the wall. At that point, I think we were all rather consumed with Game of Thrones feelings and stomped around the entirety of the village below like the Kings and Queens of TouristTown.
When we returned to reality, we were starving and tried our very best to navigate the cobbled streets into some sort of foodie fate. Alas, we ended up letting The Manfriend pick a pizza place (with a waiter from Essex and Disney characters littering the ‘English’ part of the menu). Eek.
Not that Alcudia was a write-off. Definitely not. As we punctuated our mediocre noms with great, cheap wine and even better people-watching games, we noticed a Spanish family close their pharmacy (next to the restaurant), drag a few of the restaurant’s tables over to the pharmacy, and begin to set up something of a street party.
Less than half an hour later, the full family party arrived, started to sing through the streets, and eventually pulled The Manfriend and I over to join their raucous conga line (which he ended up weaving through the backbar’s of neighbouring restaurants and streets).
Alcudia Old Town gets 5/5 from this woman.
The first of two trips to Pollensa Town (or ‘Old Town Pollensa’) was for a leisurely grocery run at the Pollensa Town Market. Though the Sunday market is said to be in its peak in the late morning hours, we found that the square was bustling throughout the afternoon. In addition to the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and flowers concentrated in the square, the outskirts were dotted with everything from three euro bras to ‘Rooibos Cannabis’ tea (which none of us dared to sample). Culturally, it was a lovely experience. There was definitely a large number of locals milling around, playing music and doing their weekly shop, which was lovely to see in such an attractive destination.
On our return – a few evenings later – we decided to tackle the 365 Calvari steps. I would call them a step and a half, each. The long steps lead to the Chapel of Calvari (Eglesia del Calvari) and offer the most beautiful views of the city below. In fact, I found the process of turning back towards the city to take photos and admiring the quaint homes that lined the steps more enjoyable than the view from the top.
Pollensa. Mission: accomplished.
While in Mallorca, the gang and I were all so excited to explore the island that we got into the habit of waking up at highly unreasonable hours. I mean, seafood and sunbathing at the crack of dawn? Aint nobody got time for that.
Instead, we filled our mornings with activities. One of our first was a hike into the clouds of Formentor.
Formentor – especially the ‘Cap de Formentor’ in peninsula’s Eastern end – is postcard perfect. Starting with 13.5km of winding roads that defy all safety and logic, the peninsula’s lookout points are the real attraction. Though many tourists take the curves and bends straight to the beach or lighthouse, the Mirador del Mal Pas is the all-encompassing ‘destination’.
From Mirador del Mal Pas’ dizzying heights and even more dizzying drops down (this virtual view can’t possibly encompass the fear you feel when a gust of wind blows through the rocks), you actually start to feel very ready for a trip back down to the beach.
The drive to the Caves of Drach (or Cuevas del Drach) was filled with anticipation. While the five of us had agreed to assign one ‘group activity’ each over the week, we were all pretty negligent to take credit for the idea. In fact, I think everyone suggested the Caves of Drach in the first few days…
…but when something is heavily featured in basic travel guides, it screams tourist trap.
The Caves of Drach were an exquisite exception. Based near Porto Cristo in Manacar, the Dragon Caves (should we be talking literal translations) do welcome a mindblowing number of tourists, but you feel completely unaffected as soon as you enter the caves.
The four – the Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador and Cave of the French – are joined together and reach depths of up to 25 metres. As you can see, they are also mesmerising – a complete envelopment of stalactites, stalagmites, and a wealth of natural history.
At the conclusion of the cave paths you are welcomed into a stone theatre to enjoy a brief classical music concert (loved by some, slept through by others) before taking a subterranean boat trip across Lake Martel.
Tourist ‘trap’ or not, I would have paid twice as much to even glimpse inside the Caves of Drach.
A single glance at my beloved SLR will reveal all: I love photography. I knacker every photo-taking device I can get my hands on out, then spend hours oogling over every uneaten food snap and hasty image of a beautiful stranger.
But I hate photo frames.
While I think the idea of surrounding yourself with photos of memories you’ve made and people you love is fantastic, the reality often turns into a haphazard arrangement of bargain frames, awkward print sizes, and ‘gifts’ that you have to place around your home when the gift-giver is scheduled to come over.
I love uniformity, therefore, I love Inkifi. As a business model, they have been set up to help you print Instagram photos, but actually go much further than that. From typical square prints, to vintage prints, to photo books and acrylic prisms – they have a variety of tools to turn your Instagrams into something you actually want to decorate your home with.
I went for magnets as our ‘wood and gray’ kitchen is the fugly bane of my rental existence. Eighteen 2×2 inch snapshots of love and laughter in The Manfriend and I’s life so far. It is a source of constant happiness and gratitude.
(Please go support their business so I will be able to order more organised magnets in future. Thank you.)