Monday, 31 August 2015

Mallorca Island Tour

During my holiday in Mallorca, I went out for the day and I did an island tour with my grandparents to get to know a little more about the fascinating surroundings. I can honestly say that it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and although it was expensive, it was worth every second.

We started off the day by getting picked up at our hotel by a coach. We had a tour guide, who's name was Brigitte (I believe) and the idea was that she was going to be taking us to various tourist locations throughout the day and talking us through the whole experience.

After picking us up from Cala Bona, the coach started picking up other t9ourists from various other hotels in places such as Porto Cristo and Cala Millor. This took quite a while, but after the stop-off's, we had all our families on board and we were ready to start our super exciting adventure!

We drove through Cala Ratjada, Manacor, and Sineu and other places along the way, admiring the sights whilst we drove around. There was plenty of agriculture, natural goods, such as olive trees and cereals and plenty of space for people to grow their own crops. Brigitte told us that workers start very early in the morning and they carry on for many hours of the day. That shows how much dedication the Spaniards put into their jobs.

After that, we stopped off in Inca at a leather store to look at all the handmade items. There were so many different bags, wallets, purses, shoes, and clothes. It was honestly wonderful and you could really smell the leather, as soon as you walked through the door. It was quite a large store, and there was such a variety of things that you could have chosen from, but we didn't have enough time to look properly.

The Sa Calobra road was created by Antonio Paretti, but trust me when I say it isn't for the faint hearted! At times, it feels like you are literally going to fall right off the edge, but the views are absolutely incredible. Imagine how long it must have taken to build.. It's absolutely insane, right?
Then we went up through the mountains where there was a lot more agriculture (it's a massive thing in Mallorca!), greenery and terraced housing. It was all so lovely, and it made such a refreshing change from somewhere so manufactured such as England. The terraces are known as dry terraces, especially due to the vast amounts of olive trees that are in the area. Olive oil and olives are known to be the gold of Mallorca.

There are a lot of private properties with fences , because there may be sheep and goats in the area, and if there are a lot of hiking trails that take place there, this could have a negative effect on the local animals, hence why the hikers have a special wooden ladder to go up.
There are also cyclists who go up the mountains for the variety of landscapes.
In the centre of the island, there are plenty of houses and properties, and in Inca, there is a lot of nature, and a variety of different landscapes, as I just mentioned. It's all very much organic, so you get a lot of greenery, rather than manmade buildings that can give off pollution that harm the atmosphere. There is also a forest through the mountains, which is considered to be holy, but I didn't quite hear all the details of that, and I don't want to say the wrong things, so I'll leave you to research that one if you wish to find out more!

We also passed the Lluc monastery in the Tramuntana mountains, and although I couldn't see too much, as I was on the other side of the coach, the views that I could see looked honestly spectacular.
This particular monastery that we passed is Mallorca's holiest shrine and it has been around since 1229. How incredible is that?!

The next area that we passed was Sa Calobra, after admiring the Torrent de Pareis narrow canyon, which was also an incredibly breath-taking experience! It's typically a boating port, with a row of little restaurants and cafe's alongside it. 
We were then allocated an hour or so for a lunch break and a chance to look around Port de Soller, which I couldn't wait for! We were truly exploring the sights - I felt like such a little tourist! I got an ice cream, which was proper, rich chocolate with little chocolate flavoured flakes in it and I ate it on the wall, overlooking the port. I also had a look in a little souvenir shop below a restaurant and I bought some little souvenirs; an intricate fan with a map and little images of Mallorca, a postcard of Soller, and an ornamental butterfly. Who visits a new place without buying any souvenirs?!

After that, we walked down what seemed like 1 million and 1 steps to get to the boat. The views of the sea and the mountains on the way up were absolutely incredible, so I guess that kind of made up for it! Once we had boarded the boat and everyone had settled, then off we went!
It was honestly beautiful, although you could only see cliffs and pure sea, but it was ever so rough and bumpy, which I must say I wasn't a fan of at all! At least we made it safely to the shore though!

Once we had got off the boat, we realised we had arrived at Soller. My grandparents had been there before, and after the stories they had told me, and the images I saw, I was so desperate to take a look for myself! I can honestly say I was not disappointed in the slightest. I had a drink in a café whilst looking around and waiting for our tour guide to meet us and it was honestly like nothing I've ever seen before. I was quite literally blown away by the whole experience, if I'm honest.

Then, after a 30 minute delay, our old-fashioned tram arrived! I was so excited and intrigued, as I had never even seen one before, let alone been on a real-life one. It was very packed and crowded, and everyone was very hot and flustered, and I couldn't see much as I was crammed up against the tiny slither of window, but it was a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity none-the-less. We went through the town and past the breath-taking beach, and we also came very close to the little market stalls selling handmade, unique goods and fresh, handmade cupcakes! It was so lovely!
Soller really is such a beautiful, little antique village and I would have loved to have spent longer there.

Once we had gotten off the tram, we went straight onto the train. Just like the tram, it went at quite a slow, steady pace, so people could really relax, sit back, take photographs and enjoy the ride. I couldn't see too much, or get many nice pictures, as I was on the wrong side of the train (there weren't as many pretty sights, or decent photo opportunities that I could capture on my side!), and I wasn't quick enough anyway, but it was such a lovey experience. It went through 13 tunnels altogether, and we saw many mountains, hills and fields along the way. I really did enjoy it, although I didn't see as much as I would have liked too! I would definitely do something like this again though!


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