Shortly after my wedding my dad rented a home in Mallorca, Spain for a month in the summertime and invited my husband and I to come spend some time there with him. We jumped at the opportunity but decided to stay for a somewhat short trip, only about 4 days, because we couldn’t afford to take more time as we had just gotten back from our honeymoon. Even though that was a long way to fly for a short trip we knew it would be worth it, and it absolutely was.
"These types of experiences stay with you for a lifetime and they pull your heart to see more, to experience more of the unknown and to grow and change in ways that you never knew you needed to."
As our plane neared it’s landing in Mallorca, I remember looking out in awe over the limestone covered mountains, the gorgeous turquoise water and white beaches. Built into the mountain side was a picturesque little European town with the stunning and history rich architecture I have come to love about all the places I have visited in Europe. The architecture in Europe wows me every time, it is noticeably well lived in with stunning elements, such as ivy covered stone walls, intricately designed wrought iron balconies and century old cobblestone streets.
The theme of history in European architecture is what I love most about each European city I have visited, but each city also holds it’s own unique style and charm. To me, Mallorca is the most beautiful European city I have visited thus far. Mainly because of how it’s situated both in the mountains and on the sea and one thing in particular I remember noticing right away was this gorgeous pink/purple type of flower that was everywhere. The color was so vibrant and rich, I took so many pictures of that flower I actually have one framed and hanging today in my living room! And there was also a signature green shutter on many of the homes.
We made our way to the house my dad had rented which could only be accessed by foot once we got to the edge of town because the streets were so narrow that most cars could not fit down. My dad parked and we walked our way through the cobblestone streets, our suitcases rolling behind us as we took in this magical little town. We passed a beautiful old church in the center of town that was being restored. It reminded me of the sand castles my mom used to make with us on the beach, she called them “Drizzle Castles”. It literally looked like someone had sculpted this entire building into a piece of art with their own two hands.
We passed ice cream shops, small tapas bars, pastry shops and the local butcher. We turned the corner into a small cobblestone alley and there was a large wooden door that led us into the house we were staying in. I immediately fell in love with the interior design of this house, It was a mix of old world charm with modern accents. The windows in our bedroom felt like something out of a fairytale. They were large old windows that opened out over the narrow alley below, and off in the distance we could see the mountains.
We spent the first night just settling in and the next morning we headed down to the local butcher for some breakfast foods to cook. I was most excited to cook with local ingredients in this little kitchen that looked like it was straight out of an IKEA catalog. We walked into the butcher and I quickly realized my lack of Spanish speaking skills might be a bit of a challenge. But I tried my best to point out what I was looking for and left with half a dozen fresh eggs, fresh local bacon and a baguette. The bacon was more of a thin looking sliced ham but it the freshest meat I had ever tasted. Each morning I would visit this little shop and cook my breakfast. This was my first experience cooking with truly local ingredients and it is a memory I will always cherish, I had never tasted ingredients this fresh. That night my dad cooked a whole chicken for us for dinner that was butchered earlier that day, it was the best chicken I had ever tasted!
For lunch we went down to the port for tapas and sangrias filled with fresh fruit, overlooking the gorgeous water front and at night time we headed to the center of town for an ice cream treat after dinner.
On our third day there we took a train ride from Soller (where we were staying) to a neighboring town, Palma, by way of a vintage wooden paneled train. This vintage train crosses the Sierra de Alfabia mountain range with a series of tunnels, bridges and bends. It was a beautiful ride and such a cool experience on this old train.
In Palma we walked for hours just taking in the spirit of this beautiful resort city. The Santa Maria Cathedral was the highlight for me. Intricate, ornate, and charming, this massive cathedral was breathtaking up close and equally as stunning from a distance. There were bustling squares everywhere, beautiful old trees, art galleries, fresh markets, and restaurants on every corner. It was a city full of great energy. We headed back to Soller via the train to spend one last day soaking in all that this peaceful and gorgeous town had to offer before catching a plane home.
This trip, although a brief stay, is a memory I will always hold close to my heart. Not just for its beautiful sights and delicious fresh foods, but also for quality time spent with my dad and husband in a place so far from the world we always knew. Again, this is the element of travel I value the most, the ability to experience a culture and environment completely new and to take home with you elements of this culture that you can incorporate into your own way of living. These type of experiences stay with you for a lifetime and they pull your heart to see more, to experience more of the unknown and to grow and change in ways that you never knew you needed to.
Mostly I am thankful to my dad for offering us this incredible opportunity, and for instilling in me a love and appreciation for travel!
Below are some photos from our trip: