< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Majorca, Our First Port of Call

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Majorca, Our First Port of Call



Majorca (Mallorca in Spanish) is the most popular of Spain's Mediterranean islands. Although it is heavily crowded in July and August crowds considerably drop off in September when we’ll be there on our cruise. And the weather will still be great!

People flock to the island’s beautiful coast filled with upscale resorts, but you can also find secluded beaches and picturesque coves.


And the beaches are only a small part of Majorca’s draw. Head toward the mountains and hike to the hilltop monasteries. You’ll find kite-surfers, windsurfers and be able to look down on sailors in the turquoise waters. Rent a bike and explore the honey-stone villages. Majorca is a mecca for European cyclists. Or wander through almond and olive groves

Excursions and tours that you can book include visiting Majorca's Drach Caves, home to the largest underground lake in the world. Situated on the outskirts of the ancient fishing village of Porto Cristo, these natural wonders will leave you mesmerized. With exceptional lighting and a perfect mix of shadows, you can see the caves' authentic beauty with Lake Martel below.

You may also visit the ancient La Cartuja monastery. Once a royal hunting lodge, the monastery was later inhabited by Carthusian monks. In 1838 it became the chosen sanctuary of composer Frederick Chopin and writer Georges Sand.

Or explore Majorca's north coast and the spectacular Valldemossa, Michael Douglas' home for twenty years. A ship excursion will take you to this charming town, set against a large wall of lime rock, long protecting it from coastal winds and invaders. At Costa Nord Foundation, you will watch a documentary in which Michael Douglas explores the legacy of artists and thinkers enchanted with this region. And you’ll finish your day tasting four Mallorcan wines paired with delicious breads and olive oil at San Bosch.

Maybe you’d like to play golf, snorkel or take a glass bottom boat ride. It’s all available.

But this is one port of call that you don’t have to take an excursion. The ship will dock at Palma de Mallorca, the largest city on Majorca. It’s a big, bustling place with a wonderful old town around the landmark cathedral that dominates the oceanfront.

The architecture of this ancient Mediterranean port blends Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance styles. Palma's winding streets make way to grand churches, yacht harbors, beaches, fountains and old castles. Because there is so much history so close together, it's a perfect port to explore on foot.

This sun-kissed port is also an outdoors city in-season, with much pedestrian traffic and the opportunity to eat or relax outside in myriad settings -- some free (parks and boulevards), and some in conjunction with visits to museums and historical sites (always be on the lookout for interior courtyards, extra features of older buildings, and the high door knockers that used to save horseback callers the trouble of dismounting to announce their arrival in years gone by).

A local bus which travels from the ship to the center city is about 2 Euros each way, so you can save your money for souvenirs, like: Majorica pearls, leather goods (particularly shoes), hand-blown glass and any locally made handicraft from the wood of the olive tree -- unusual and unique to the area.

And that’s just one of our stops! Are you tempted? I hope so because if you’re reading this you’re invited to join us!
Let me know if you need the original flyer with prices and full itinerary. John and I spent a week in Majorca when we were living in Germany and I promise you – it’s a treat!

Nancy Geiger
 
 

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