Thursday, 19 December 2013

Majorca - sunrise & old Alcudia, final part.


Our last day ;-(

The weather had been perfect for almost all of the holiday, and this was a very settled period we were leaving behind. I knew the morning would be clear, so resolved to get up early (on HOLIDAY????) to see the sunrise. For those that had a lie-in, this is what they missed.....


Skies and colours like this excite me, make me feel alive, leave me in awe, and I LOVE it!
Sue is exactly the same as me, and of course she had risen with me to see the spectacle.

Don't forget - you can click on any of the pictures for a larger version and slideshow, just click 'back' to return to the blog.

As things progressed, we were treated to a spectacular array of colours and shades.




The first edge of the sun arrives over the headland.



Slowly, Phoebus emerges to light another day.

Full of awe, but with empty tummies, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast.
Our intention today was to ride to old Alcudia. New Alcudia is, to me, horrible! It's like Skegness on acid, and I would steer a wide course of it, however, the OLD town is superb. 
It's like York, only with lots of sunshine :-)

We hired the bikes and saddled up. It was really pleasant, just idling along at a steady pace with the sea to our left. On a bike, you get to travel further and see more than walking but I still like to walk if distance isn't an issue.
Before too long we reached the old walls of Alcudia. We locked the bikes up and entered via this impressive gateway.


No traffic here, just smoothly-paved walkways through the old town, edged with beautiful shrubs and cafe furniture. What a jewel!

The old church had this fabulous window in the end.
Craftsmanship par excellence!


We ambled the streets, in absolutely no rush, and taking in the wonderful ambience of the place. SO relaxing and charming.

Of course, we just had to stop for a coffee. In a place like this, you just expect prices to be hiked, but we were surprised - they were VERY reasonable! (And the coffee was good)

We wandered around, in no particular direction, just exploring as and where we wanted to. I stopped to take a picture of this portcullis, and while I was doing so a random old guy came up to Sue and started chatting in very broken English. At first, I was a bit suspicious (that's healthy), but it soon became apparent he was just one of lifes eccentrics. We had a few laughs with him........


....and Sue even had her picture taken with him.


It was about ten minutes later she found her purse gone - - ONLY JOKING!!!!

The shops were just divine inside.
Places REEKED with class!

This small cafe/chocolatier had a Lambretta scooter just parked inside!

All around us, the cafes tried to lure you in with mouth-watering descriptions on the menus.

Some even put a cooked dish out so you could see what you were getting.
This would have done it for me, IF I hadn't had such a great breakfast at the hotel. Anyone who knows me will know I'm a big fan of paella, and this looked absolutely scrumptious!

Of course, there was plenty of good architecture around. 
These statues were in the window of a building above a cafe.

All around us, the quiet hub-bub of people going about their business, and so much choice of where to eat and drink. This was low season, so lots of space but I would imagine it can get pretty crowded in the high season.

Lonely tables.

They would try all sorts to get you to come in!
I really liked this attempt.

The local council building, with 1523 dated stonework.
That's SOME history!

It has to be done - we climbed the steps to walk around the town walls.

Impressive views of the Tramuntana from here.



Looking over the rooftops to the church.

Summer skies.


Yes, yes - I KNOW - LOUD shirt!!!
(It's my holiday one)

I would think those walls could take a cannon shot or two.

Sue enjoys a bit of basking.

As I explore the rest of the walls.


A passing guy offered to take our picture.

SMILE!

After our visit, we had another lovely ride back to the hotel. 
As it was our last night, we decided to forego dinner in the hotel, and instead travel to Old Pollensa town to have a meal there. We caught the bus from the harbourside, and enjoyed the warmth of the balmy evening. We sounded out a few places before we chose Cafe Lille, simply because their 'six tapas and a bottle of wine for 25 euros' sounded too good to pass up.
The setting was beautiful too, with lamps lit and ultra-clean tables and floors.

This was the tapas selection, plenty to fill us, and very, very tasty.

Sweet wasn't included, but hey! It would be RUDE not to.
Not sure what this was called, but it was chocolicious!


Video of cafe HERE

A taxi back and a final walk along the pine walk saw a fitting end to our holiday.
Majorca has really 'done it' for us, and we're even thinking of going back a third time, we enjoyed it that much.
I hope you've enjoyed these pictures, and if you ever get to go too, I hope you glean some ideas from them.


Goodbye Majorca, at least for this year :-(



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Majorca - Cala Figuera, part eight

Today was our last day with the car, so we went along the Cap Formentor peninsula. We didn’t go right to the lighthouse, as it was late morning, and we knew the traffic would be heavy, or at least, heavier than we’d like. It was busy enough at our first stop, the viewpoint.
This is looking down to Cala Figuera, we planned to come back here for the most part of the day later.
The view back over the bay, with the always-wonderful backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains. 
We stopped off in the small car park at the viewpoint, called Mirador del Mal Pas, also named Mirador d'es Colomer, because you can see the rock of the same name quite clearly from it.

The Talala d’ Albercutx tower (try saying THAT after a jug of sangria!). This tower is a favourite of ours, and of course, today we HAD to visit it.
But for now, a walk along the length of the viewpoint, with the ‘hordes’.

This place is incredible. A true feat of genius to build it here, and what an attraction for visitors. Perched on the very top of the ridge, it gives commanding views all around and, better still, straight down to the sea, a long way below.
Can’t say I’d be keen on pointing the cement up on that wall!

Looking back to the car park, now filling up with coaches. The Cap Formentor road is a bit of a trial in a car, so we were AMAZED that coaches came here, and not just one or two, LOADS of them.
It must be 'fun' in the high season.

Yes, that’s me, taking a photo straight down to the sea.

Colomer rock, which gives its name to this viewpoint. The sea is like a millpond today.
This is the rock our boat went on the inside of on our trip to Cala sa Vicente.


The end of the viewpoint.
See the big hunk of lovelocks on the rail? These are becoming a feature at a lot of beauty spots, much like the rock balancing thing.
Some have started to appear on the bridge in our home town of Bakewell.
You can read about Cap Formentor and environs here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_de_Formentor




We thought it was time for some relaxing, so we parked up, and started the descent to Cala Figuera.
It’s quite a steep path, but we feel well worth the effort.

Perfect sky, perfect sea.........PERFECT!

Time to take a look at the fish. 

There were plenty to go at, as usual. My trick of feeding them always resulted in a terrific show.
I wish I had an underwater camera to capture them. I really am not exaggerating when I say there were HUNDREDS. 

I came out, and we lay in the sun reading for a while, and had our picnic.
Then the most bizarre thing happened – a bride and groom arrived in FULL dress, and began posing for a photographer!

She was swishing her veil, he was picking her up, all manner of poses.
It HAD to be a magazine shoot – didn’t it?

Even the picnic clear-up brigade was fascinated!

I asked, and was told it was a traditional Majorcan wedding – this really was a photo shoot just for their album!
It all seemed a lot of trouble to go to for pictures to me, the walk down and back up must have been very hard in those clothes (and shoes).

After a good session, we decided to call it a day and trekked back up the hill.
One last look back to our beloved Figuera in the evening sun.

We drove to the tower and walked up to it. I climbed up the rusty metal rungs to get onto the top. (No health and safety here).
This is the view over Formentor bay.
The large and exclusive Formentor hotel is the white building at the far end of the bay.

Colomer rock and the jutting cliffs.

The twisting road up to the tower, and Sue on the rocks below me.
  
Looking down on the viewpoint we were at earlier.

You can see the imposing shadow of the tower on this picture, as the sun begins to set.

Another good sunset followed, then we were treated to a great moonrise.
Here is the whole thing over the umbrellas on the beach at night.


Our second bike ride was planned for tomorrow.
We’d not decided what to do or where to go yet, but that was fodder for discussion over a cocktail tonight.
The weather forecast was great.