France, Spain, and Portugal 2017

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November 25th 2017
Published: November 27th 2017
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November 21, 22, 23 Mallorca
A 25 Euro taxi ride got us to the small Granada airport for our flight to Palma de Mallorca. Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic islands. It's a 50 minute flight (or seven hour ferry ride) from Barcelona. We had rented an apartment in the heart of the old town and looked forward to doing laundry (it had been two weeks since our last apartment rental in Madrid). I was instructed to call Maria who would give our driver directions about where to drop us off as the building couldn't be reached by vehicle. It was a short, up hill and up steps walk to #8 Cofrerria de San Miguel. Maria welcomed us with a bottle of Spanish wine, olive oil and candy and showed us the large apartment, all refurbished and new in a great old building.
After fortifying ourselves with wine, we set off exploring the neighborhood, San Miguel. It was perfect...bustling, quaint, Spanish. Barry and I steeled ourselves for more shopping but the prospect of scotch and other sustenance got us through safely. Happily, Lynda and Dawn found all the well-known shopping streets, lovely squares and hidden side streets with unique shops. The sunshine and atmosphere were among the many reasons we love Europe.
On Wednesday we walked all the way to the amazing waterfront. We drank Guinness and Irish coffee while enjoying the view of the impressive Mallorca Cathedral up above. The weather has been perfect for skies and highs about 21degrees. Not missing the early cold snap back home, sorry. We walked back after enjoying the expansive promenade on the edge of a sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Our apartment balcony and windows overlooked a descending square with several restaurants and cafes, one we frequented, and every evening we were entertained by musicians and people enjoying life.
Thursday at 10:30 we hopped aboard the vintage narrow-gauged train to Soller. The Ferrocarril de Soller has been running for over a hundred years along the 17 miles north through the mountains to the little town. You then ride a tram the rest of the way to the port on a sheltered cove. All in all the ride takes about an hour and a half. The beautiful bay with a sandy beach surrounded by hills was definitely worth the trip. Being off season made it especially quiet and we found a nice place to have lunch. Dawn and I shared a pizza and our carnivore companions had a prawn-filled paella. We only had an hour before we had to head back so Dawn and I doffed our sandals and walked along the beach near the harbour filled with boats, getting our feet wet in the Mediterranean as we have happily done so many times. Then off we went clicking and clattering down the mountain in the old train back to Palma. Tomorrow we fly to Barcelona, our third visit there and our last port of call.

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