It's a Big World - Where to Go?
We last left you in Teddington, greater London, England but by a wave of the magic Visa credit card, voilà, here we arrived in Mallorca (or Majorca) Spain. As nomads in a great big world, how does one choose where to go next? When you are nomads on a budget, as we are, it is very price dependent. We use https://www.google.com/flights a lot to look at options. When flexibility in travel dates and destinations rule the schedule, it is easy to put in possible dates and whole nations show up with airline fares. Filters can be added for price range and then the map looks like I've been playing pin the tail on the map with a blindfold over my eyes and the range of possibilities of flights, all within our budget, amazingly populate the computer screen. Flying from London is incredibly inexpensive much of the time as you can see what your options would be.
Europe has a host of low cost air carriers that are vying for the consumers' attention. Between WOW, Ryan Air, EasyJet, Flybe, Jet2 and many others that are specific to different locations, those who are cost conscious and not tied to points with a certain airline can have a field day - literally and figuratively.
In a great National Geographic article which explores the concept of the "restless genes" I found a quote that I love which helps to explain why we came to Mallorca - why we go anywhere really.
"Yes, we explore to find a better place to live or acquire a larger territory or make a fortune. But we also explore simply to discover what’s there."
We're not looking to acquire a larger territory to own it, and while it would be nice to be making a fortune while traveling, we haven't figured out how to do that. I think, like many endeavors in life, you make a small fortune by starting with a large fortune. Like many American (semi)retirees however, we do think about options for places to live where health insurance and medical costs won't bankrupt us, so I suppose we're always on the lookout for a "better place to live", but the last sentence really explains it best - simply "to discover what's there."
We searched around and found great fares to the island of Mallorca off the east coast of Spain. Majorca is a stunningly beautiful island and it has so many amazing qualities. We have met people who moved here from other countries, specifically Germany and England, because it was a better option for them, at least for this stage of their lives.
The tourist season is winding down here and I imagine that the locals are beginning to breathe a sigh of relief as the peak season almost overwhelms the island. We prefer to travel where there aren't a lot of crowds, so this was the perfect time to come. We have had a bit cooler and wetter weather than optimal, but the trade off has been worth it.
We celebrated Ky's birthday here. For a whopping 27 days after my birthday in September, he is my boy toy and I am a cougar, then we go back to being the same age. For his celebration we did something called the Mallorca Challenge. We kayaked, snorkeled, swam in a cave lake, did a cliff jump, found a treasure and had a picnic. We're trying to prove to our bodies that we're not old yet. Our bodies are not convinced :-) It really was a fun day with people from all over the world working together and competing in a friendly way.
And as usual, the best part has been meeting new people and making new friends, both the two legged and four legged versions. We love staying at Airbnb's where there are pets. For our first 3 nights we stayed on the south side of the island in a place right by the beach in a small town called Sa Rapita at an Airbnb with a German Wolf. He was the 2 legged type and his name was actually Wolf! There we met two very nice couples - one from Holland and another couple from Germany. Rather unfortunately there were no Spaniards around. We really wanted to practice our Spanish this week.
For the second half of the week we stayed on the north side of the island in Alcudia. We booked an Airbnb on a finca (akin to a gentleman's ranch) just a few miles drive from the beaches and the 16th century walled town with quaint narrow streets lined with plants and many choices of restaurants and cafes offering fresh seafood.
The hosts at our Airbnb were two Brits who have lived on Mallorca for just a couple of years. They have two puppies, an 18 month old golden lab who was funny, fun and full of energy and the other a was a two month old bijon - the cutest little ball of sweet cuddles. We had a great time playing fetch with the lab who was tireless and cuddling pets is always a favorite pasttime.
Just a few miles further takes you to the Cap de Formentor - a peninsula with dramatic views and beautiful sandy beaches. We, of course, had to scramble down to what is known as Mallorca's most inaccessible beach. It was well worth the cardio adventure to swim there. We didn't take our cameras down with us so you'll just have to trust me when I say that the dark brown billy goat hanging out amongst the beach goers was one of the cutest ever.
On our last evening we had the best time sitting around the patio kitchen table with the hosts and two guests having an impromptu pot luck dinner that was an amazing meal, and watching a storm roll in. One of our fellow guests had been in the Royal British Navy for 20 years, 15 of which he worked in communications on the Royal Yacht Brittanica - the Queen of England's modest sailing vessel. The same yacht on which Charles and Diana celebrated their honeymoon. The wife of the former navy man was a delightful Lithuanian woman, and the Brit had moved to Lithuania about 12 years ago. We had great conversations about Brexit and being ex-patriates and languages and many other fascinating subjects. We happily stayed up well past our bedtime, and when you're getting as old as Ky is, that's saying a lot ;-) .
It rained hard much of the night and the storm wasn't finished by morning. We left early for the airport in pouring rain. After a recent deadly storm only about 30 km from where we stayed, there were a few tense moments driving through deep and running water. Clearly we made it through just fine and got to the airport with extra time to spare.
Overall it was a great week in Mallorca. A couple of our personal observations are that If you are looking for an international experience, you will certainly find it here. If you are seeking out beautiful architecture and beaches, you will likewise be successful. If however you are looking for a Spanish immersion experience, you will likely find it more easily in the larger city of Palma, a place where we believe more Spaniards live. English, German and French were spoken fluently by most people in the tourists areas making it a very easy place to visit. Everyone we met was very friendly and there is much more to be seen than we had the time to see. It will be tempting to return some day.
Hugs from Alcudia, Mallorca, Spain