I intended to share a recipe from our travels, but I’m still working on it. So, more pictures it is! And a couple of silly drawings.
Mallorca/Majorca (pronounced Ma-your-car in New Zealand english) is an exceedingly popular destination for two populations in particular: German tourists! British tourists! They fly there in droves! Crawl all over the place like insects! They buy houses and boats and wear Nike sneakers! Whole families of them in Nike sneakers, tumbling casually into and out of buses!
This short exchange between sunburnt Brits, who were probably contemplating why they haven’t left England yet to go permanently on holiday, stuck in mind somehow. It was a strange delight to eavesdrop idly on English conversations, while spending most of the time immersed in the German language (new-to-me idioms and euphemisms galore, and the very enthusiastic Insel Radio), though technically we were on Spanish soil.
The island is large and well-equipped. Winding roads for adventurous cyclists. Pretty villages for the romantics. Food for the hungry. Cats for the cat people. I even hear it has at least two wineries, but we didn’t make it that far.
The following pictures are from wandering the cobbled streets of the old town, in Palma de Mallorca. My eyes were drawn to balconies overgrown with plants, shuttered windows, street lamps and signs. We tried to wander down the emptiest roads when possible, which was not always possible, but it was wonderful for people-watching.
We followed our noses and lost our bearings. In general, we were happily unaware of where we were and where we were going, untill it dawned on us that we were beyond hungry. A terrible mistake. We stopped for tapas in a sneaky little bar below ground. which turned out to be quite large and rather empty. Inside, the walls were filled with decades of photographs and paintings and prints and posters, with wide arches between rooms. There is a warped tree trunk almost blocking the doors to the street. You almost can’t miss it! I very nearly didn’t. We ordered unfamiliar dishes, and were genuinely surprised. I cannot remember the name of the place, let alone where it is. Unfortunately, googling ‘the bar with the tree in Mallorca‘ isn’t yielding results. I want to know the story about the tree. Why, tree?
And here are two of the cats we met, in a landscape of overripe oranges. A communal garden gone to seed.
OKAY, Enough. Stop throwing cats, everybody! Out of the city. To the beach. The sea. Let’s dip our toes. Yes. It is an island after all; this is what we’re here for. But nobody is swimming.
Two English girls on the beach are occupying themselves otherwise, and they let me take photographs of their work.
They tell us that the jellyfish do sting but not badly. It’s better to catch them now, they say, so they sting us less often in summer. I’m impressed by their foresight and the focus with which they dedicate themselves to the brutal task. Armed with short pieces of driftwood, the girls compete head to head for the most jellyfish. It’s tricky work, but they are getting the hang of it. We ask who’s winning, and the taller of the two points to her square with pride, the one closest to the water – I am.
I wrote that these are Stranded jellyfish. Coincidentally, Strand means beach in German, making these Gestrandete Quallen. Beached jellyfish. Doesn’t Quallen sound so much more sinister than jellyfish?