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Published: October 23rd 2019
Constitution Square Soller
The tram from Port Soller passing through
Reminder: the panoramic photos at the start of the blog change every 7/8 seconds and give a larger and clearer image than when viewed with the other photos. Also, there are more photos below the text if you want to skip the diary details; and if you double click on any of the photos you will get an enlarged, clearer image. You can return to the text anytime.
Sunday 20th October: off to Soller halfway down the north western side of the island to look at a museum which has works by Miro (a favourite) and drawings by Toulouse-Lautrec: Picasso, Gauguin, Klimt and Cezanne. Unfortunately the museum was closed so we went to have a look at a church in the main square which was rebuilt by a pupil of the architect Gaudi; who designed the strange and wonderful Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. Then we went to the railway station which is also very famous: having two permanent exhibitions in its former waiting rooms: prints by Joan Miro, whose grandfather came from Soller, and ceramics by Pablo Picasso. It must have the most valuable art collection of any railway station in the world; and certainly not the sort of
place where one would expect to find works of art by two of the giants of 20th Century art. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very good so we didn't do any more exploring and headed back to Port de Pollenca, initially via the old road out of Soller and over the Coll de Soller, instead of through the modern road tunnel. The old road was most impressive, climbing 420 meters in just 7.5 kms, then descending 265 meters in 5 kms on the south side. I didn't count the number of hairpin bends on the way up but there were 25 on the way down. Because virtually all vehicle traffic now uses the tunnel the old road is a magnet for cyclists who want to challenge themselves on this climb, and despite the poor weather there were quite of number of cyclists on the route.
Monday 21st October: we returned to Soller to have a look at the museum that we'd missed out on the day before. The weather was still poor, overcast with occasional rain, and there weren't as many tourists in the town as the previous day. The museum was open but it turned out to be a
Soller Station cafe
Very stylish and certainly in keeping with the prestigious art collection it houses
bit of a disappointment and didn't match up to the exhibitions in the railway station. So with time to spare we took the ancient tram from the railway station down to Port Soller 3kms away to see if it was a pretty as reported in our guide book. Certainly it's a beautiful location, a large horseshoe shaped bay with a narrow channel connecting to the open sea, and a clean sandy beach extending round most of the bay. We had lunch in one of the many restaurants overlooking the bay then took a stroll round the harbour area to look at the yachts moored there. Rather than wait for the tram to take us back up to Soller we took a taxi and were pleasantly surprised to discover that it cost us €5 less than the tram fare - happy days.
Tuesday 22nd October: still no let up in the miserable weather but despite this we headed east to the market town of Arta and an archaeological site called Ses Paisses. It's the oldest and largest prehistoric site on the island and quite interesting, featuring some familiar construction methods as well as some we hadn't seen before. As it
was quite a small site it didn't take us long to see all of it, so afterwards we went into Arta and up to the castle which dominates the town. Just as we were walking up to entrance to the castle there was a burst of really heavy rain and we got soaked despite having raincoats on. The bad weather also didn't allow for any good photos which was a pity as the views from the castle would surely be wonderful in clear weather. We made our soggy way back to the car and returned to Port de Pollenca for a late lunch. Afterwards Jane made use of the hotel's spa facility to get a massage while I headed for the gym.
Back to Cardiff tomorrow afternoon so the recent poor weather here has at least got us acclimatised for what we can expect back home
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