Almonds, almonds and more almonds. Olives, ensaimadas, sobrasadas, mountains, cliffs, the Mediterranean Sea, Rafael Nadal and, believe it or not, Michael Douglas. Yes, Mallorca is all of that and even more. A place with a history that goes back to way before the Roman occupation in 123 BC. Back then, the Balearic Islands – of which Mallorca is the capital – were a very wanted treasure and very important for other empires due to its key place on the Mediterranean. From the Vandals, to the Byzantine Empire, to the Muslims, everyone wanted the island to be part of their dominions. It was later conquered by the Catalans, that left strong traces in the Mallorca culture by leaving a form of Catalan called Mallorqui.
I never thought how beautiful Mallorca was. All over the island there are fields of almond and olives plantations, which give the visitor an amazing view. When I first saw them – in our way to Valldemosa, a very picturesque little town – I thought that I was looking at a natural “impressionism” painting, like the ones of Camille Pizarro or Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Not only that, even in winter it feels so warm and nice with the sun touching your skin the way it touches the sea that surround this place. It was my first time in the Mediterranean Sea, and I must say it is so nice and delicate; no wonder why the English and Germans settled in the island for good.
Another thing that called my attention was that all (or nearly all) of the windows’ blinds are green, which besides the almonds and ensaimadas, are also part of the regional identity. Even the fanciest of the places has green blinds. But, the is only in Mallorca, because in Menorca – another island in the Balearic – the windows’ blinds are blue. I wanted to know what that colour meant, but I guess it will be a mystery. At least for me.
Lot of rich and famous live in Mallorca. Rafael Nadal (former world No. 1 tennis player and now No. 2) is, of course, one of the most famous icons of the island, together with fellow tennis player Carlos Moya. I wanted to see and greet Nadal when I was visiting t, but it wasn’t possible. I also wanted to meet Michael Douglas, who lives in Mallorca and has his face all over the place. He is the one who narrates the beauty of Mallorca in the travel video guides, or something like that. Frederic Chopin, one of my favorites composer and pianist lived in the town of Valldemosa, which is a lovely little place – not for Chopin, though!
Mallorca is also a very religious place (something that difficulted Chopin’s arrival and settle because he and his partner, Amantine AKA George Sand, were not married ) with the biggest cathedrals in the world. Really! They are so super-mega-big that Notre Dame Cathedral (which is already massive) if dismantled it can be build inside of a Mallorcan cathedral. So Mallorcans used to have a fixation with gigantic buildings… Cathedrals, in this case.
The four days I spent there were phenomenal. I hope – sometime soon – to admire its dramatic landscape again, and to discover other curiosities about Mallorca while drinking Palo in the rocks, eating all kinds of tapas with ensaimada and sobrasada, and swimming in the Mediterranean.