Islas Baleares:
Mallorca

When Mallorca or its sister islands of Menorca and Ibiza are mentioned, people invariably think of lobster red tourists on white sunny stretches of sand. And, to be sure Mallorca has no end of these, along with pricey high rise resorts on its eastern coast. Geographically, however, it is much akin to Sri Lanka, with beaches on the coasts giving way to a central mountainous region. The third week of my stay in Mallorca, I rented a car with friends to sample a bit of the island's charms. These photos provide at least of taste of the island's geographical diversity.
 
 

The villa courtyard at AlfabiaGarden walkways at AlfabiaWe began our trip by heading due north into the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains. Our first stop was at the start of the ascent, at the Gardens of Alfabia, an old Muslim style villa and farm. On the left Steven Cotton of Kuwait and Matthew Cooper of Japan give you some idea of the size of the villa. To the left is one of the many walkways located throughout the extensive gardens on the property.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A view of the Serra de TramuntanaFrom Alfabia we drove further into the mountains, and stopped at Teix, a small village that bottles much of the water consumed on the island, a popular trekking spot. We spent several hours hiking to the top of the mountain and were rewarded this lovely view of the Mallorcan interior.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The town center of SollerTraveling toward the west coast of Mallorca over the mountains, we arrived at the very popular destination of Soller. This is a view of the Esglesia Parroquial de San Bartolome and the Placa de la Constitucio in the center of Soller.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The beach cove at Cala de DeiaThe beach at Cala de Deia From Soller we began the long descent down the mountains toward the rocky west coast, and the town of Deia. On the way, we stopped at very popular beach, the Cala de Deia, a rather steep descent into an idyllic little cove. After a refreshing swim, we headed for the city proper.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Chapel at Deia Our final stop of the afternoon was in the coastal town of Deia for an afternoon drink. After all Steven and Matthew renounced their siesta in favor of scaling the top of the mountain earlier. [For my part, I practiced cultural sensitivity and napped as they trekked to the summit] The picture to the right shows the extreme tip of Deia. The chapel in the photo contains a small cemetery where the English poet Roberts Graves is buried.
 
 











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