Category Archives: Mallorca

Home Away from Home

I’m currently sitting in the Singapore airport waiting for the last leg of our flight. Folks, Singapore airport is as good as you’ve heard! There is loads of shops, a butterfly garden, a movie theatre and free massage chairs. Also, I am watching someone garden the many many orchids as we speak.

But, that’s not what this post is about…I figured I’d give a few shout outs to Mallorca before they drift away in the chaos to come.

I was really, I mean REALLY looking forward to Spain this summer. Particularly the Paella! We did hit up some of our old favorites, but we tried some new things too. I am about to embark on a post about food and drink, but yes, TCNJ didn’t disappoint either. We had great classes, classmates and professors. Now we are just one course away from being Master and Master Hansen.

Our biggest hit of the summer was vermouth. Have you ever had vermouth on its own before? We hadn’t. We often have cocktails with vermouth, but apparently Spain is really into vermouth. You can get it on tap! And it costs less that 3 euro!

This is our favorite vermuteria. They give you chips with hot sauce…odd…and look at the food goods in the back round.

We also tried a new wine bar. Knowing my readers, this is an activity that would really take off. They give you a card and you can choose from any of the 48 wines they had. You can choose from a sample, half glass or full glass. At the end of the night, you settle your card. It is a fun way to learn how different grapes might taste.

Here are a couple of others snaps:

I was thrilled to see this house. In past summers it was run down and boarded up. Looks like the city of Palma decided to fix it up!

I took this rather crooked shot in Cala Figurea. We have been there each year for a walk around the fishing village and a sea side lunch. But come on…look at this boat garage. Literally everything is beautiful!

Binnisalam, Wine Tour

We participated in the college wine trip again this year, and it was equally as wonderful! Here are some moments snapped by the increasingly talented, Matt!

Alcudia and a Brewery!

Since last year, Mallorca is getting more of a craft brew scene! Matt contacted one of the breweries to arrange a visit to their establishment! Their company is two brothers, once home brewers, now brewing five beers. They are two years old. First, we got a tour of their two room brewery. It is in the stables of their grandparents old house. How old you ask…500 YEARS! After sampling all of their beers, while chatting with one of the brothers, he brought out a beer from a friend brewer in Barcelona. This was a pine flavored beer. Now, although most Spaniards are not fans of hoppy or out of the ordinary beer, Canadians and Americans are right on board. This pine beer was the epitome of a West Coast beer!

After an afternoon chatting with the brewer, he mentioned that their friends, also brewers, are opening a brew pub in Palma, within walking distance of our house. So, we attended the grand opening and met up with the brothers again. You might say we are locals now!

Castell de Bellver

This tourist attraction is just up the hill….and MANY stairs…from our house! Here are some gems from the excursion!

Cala Figuera and Cala Mondrago

This was our second annual trip to Cala Figuera and Cala Mondrago, this time with a real camera! We strolled around an adorable fishing village, where we dreamed about future homes. Then headed to the beach! Seriously beautiful!

Island Life

Hello readers! As I think most of you are from Canada (or teachers), I hope you are enjoying your favorite outdoor summer activities. We certainly are! I was hoping to surprise you with a guest blogger today, but our house guest, my mom, didn’t seem as excited. So, instead, she sends this testimonial of Mallorca:
“Good food, good view, good tapas, good wine, good God this is great!” – Brittney’s Mom

I have been a serious slacker in the photography department, but not to worry because we bought a nice camera that is waiting for us in Canada. Perhaps as soon as our next blog you will have a high quality picture to view.

In the meantime, some highlights of our island life:
Food. Obviously first. We have had some fantastic tapas and paellas here in Mallorca. Matt’s favorite tapa is patatas bravas. This is a popular tapas of roasted potatoes and a spicy paprika sauce. We have tried both rice and noodle paella. As you may have guessed, “traditional” Mallorquin cuisine is quite different from the mainland. Although most restaurants serve popular Spanish mainland dishes, real Mallorquin dishes are a bit more “poor” and “preserved.” For example, canned tuna and stews are popular in dishes on the island. On another note, we get a lot of pork.

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The view from Bellver Castle. (Just up the hill from our house)

Quaint Towns. In between Matt’s classes, and sometimes leaving him behind, we have found some time to leave the city. My mom and I returned to Valldemossa after Matt and I had been once. It is definitely the cutest town and best shopping. There is a restaurant there that has about three tables and serves only tapas with ingredients from the town. Delicious! It was here where we first tried sobrassada, which is sort of a spreadable chorizo. Sobrassada has been purchased a few more times already in our stay. We also took an old train to Soller, including a long tunnel through the mountains. The Inca market and a beach in Cala Figuera have been other outings.

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Check out those stairs!

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A fantastic little restaurant in Valldemossa.

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A token “couple” photo

Caving. Like most of my vacations, I try to find some high-adrenalin or adventure activity to enjoy. My Mom has been subject to this hobby when we went sea kayaking together near Vancouver Island. On this trip she really wanted to see a cave, and what better was to see a cave than to swim into it? I sign the three of us up for sea caving. What a fantastic day! Along with two of Matt’s classmates we endured a very sweaty hike before swimming out into the Mediterranean and into the mouth of a cave donning wet suits, helmets, life jackets and  waterproof backpacks. It was unbelievable. We had to time the waves and swim into a low room where we walked and swam through the cave. The pools in the cave were even deep enough to cannon ball! On the way out the waves were getting quite rough so we got tossed around a bit. It felt very authentic. A truly great, and exhausting day. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera to the cave, but if you want to get an idea of our trek check out Cova de Colums, Mallorca.

Happy Summer!

Dream Destination

Hello loyal readers, it’s Brittney coming to you from Mallorca, Spain! Our home for the next month! Matt is taking some classes at a college on the island, so we are soaking up the sun (and learning!) before we touch down in Canada.

After my slightly negative post about the inconveniences of Brazzaville, I’m happy to report that Mallorca has everything we need. Sun, sea, AMAZING fresh produce, restaurants, shopping, daylight until 9:30pm….shall I go on….iberian ham, figs, no bugs….still more? Fresh seafood, friendly locals, a recycle system! You get the point. Although we are very excited to see friends and family in Canada, our little European home has eased our homesickness for now.

I don’t want to drag on about the trip itself. We’ve done plenty of exploring around town. It’s great to not live in a tourist area (we are renting an apartment) as the culture and food is of a much lower quality. We have hit up a few tourist gems such as a beautiful cathedral and a small village called Valldemossa. During our time here we will also get out on the water, try a few beaches and seek out a winery or two. We are also really enjoying cooking at home. Not only does it save money, but there are so many things we can get that we can’t in Brazzaville.

Here’s a few pictures of some highlights so far.