Island of bliss: Mallorca

Island of bliss: Mallorca

Getting there

The Alicante-Elche airport. The only place where Todd is excited to visit Burger King. Not that it’s faster than the other places – it isn’t. Not that it’s cheaper than the other places – it certainly isn’t. It’s just that it’s there. And it seems the thing to do.

It’s always exciting when we don’t have to traipse to the end of the terminal to board our flight. A great start!

In the jetway, we got to visiting with the woman behind us, who had a Yorkie-in-a-Bag. She was making 2 trips to bring her dogs back home from mom’s, then another flight back to Alicante to pick up her car and ride the ferry from Denia to Mallorca. It was too long and too cold for the dogs to have to ride on the deck of the ferry. So: to visit Mom in Alicante, 2 round-trip flights from Mallorca to deliver the dogs, then a flight back to ride the ferry so she could have her car. Then the whole process in reverse when she returns home to Mallorca.

The encounter reinforced our decision to remain dog-free while in Spain.

Hotel

Why wouldn’t we stay at Hotel Feliz in Mallorca? Our honeymoon hotel in Costa Rica was Si Como No.

Hotel Feliz reminded me of a hotel I stayed in once in Key West. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was touted as a hotel for avant garde adults. Maybe it was the purple rugs in the lobby.

It was old, but tastefully, if basically, updated. Easy-care laminate, festive artwork, 7-foot mirror at the foot of the bed. Okay, the 7-foot mirror was more than a bit disconcerting.

But the staff was great, and the common areas were quite fun.

And you have to love a hotel that takes Happy Hour literally: 7-8 nightly.

Our first evening there, as we were getting ready to head out for dinner, the power went out just as Todd opened the patio door. Total darkness in the bathroom, where I had mascara on one eye. Todd brought in his cell phone so I could finish my makeup, then we headed down the stairs for Happy Hour. The power continued to go on and off in the whole neighborhood until we left for dinner, but all was well by the time we returned. The bartender took it in stride, shrugging and pouring drinks with a smile – in the semi-dark!

After touring the Palma Cathedral, we paused for lunch at Bar c’as Caparrut, where we had lunch in the shadow of the cathedral while listening to classical guitar.

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Port de Soller

We missed the train to Port de Soller, so we took the bus, a whopping 4,35 per person. We were 3rd in line, which was good: the last dozen or so didn’t get on. What a ride! 2 lanes with cyclists – we were glad we weren’t driving. We passed enclaves that were not really villages, more like settlements. The whole landscape was terraced to make the land farmable. The white towns of Andalucia have morphed into brown towns: brown buildings with green shutters, except for the occasional rebel who has brown, blue, or red shutters.

 Dining

Dinner our first night was at the suggestion of the bartender: down the block and around the corner toward the marina at Ca’n Manolo. We ordered the salted sea bass. THE salted sea bass – there was only one in the cooler by the front door. It came out mounded in salt. The waiter carved the salt off and expertly filleted the fish. It was enough fish for four people, but we ate all of it, and the perfectly roasted veggies that came with it.

IMG_0651The second night, we followed the hotel chef’s recommendation and took a taxi to the Mercado Gastronomico San Juan, a food court in an old market with a grocery store and movie theater surrounding an outdoor plaza. We made one pass through, then divided to conquer. Shrimp sautéed with lots of butter and garlic, sushi (the best yet in Spain), oysters, assorted tapas, then sushi again. We liked it so much, we went back the next night and repeated the menu.

IMG_1325Our final dinner, again at the recommendation of the hotel chef, was at Rififi Restaurant. The owner took us on a detailed tour of the cooler, then served up oysters, grilled whole peppers, and risotto with lobster.

Mallorca was paradise – and we left much undone – we will return!