An idyllic mountain village sprawled in the mountain range of the Serra de Tramuntana is precisely what you can expect when you visit Fornalutx. The spectacular views from the village are what dreams are made of. Continue reading The Most Beautiful Village In Spain – Fornalutx, Mallorca
There is nothing like a Mallorcan adventure. More so, just a nice afternoon excursion out of Palma. It’s always good to get out of the city when you can, there is just way too many things to experience on this wondrous island. The winter weather has been so incredibly awesome, it just asking to be basked in.
Santa Maria was the destination on the dice. A beauty of a little town on the interior of the island. No massive plans really, just take a nice walk around, find a beauty of a spot to enjoy some lunch, and sip on some fine wine.
Previously I have been to Santa Maria, but only by car. This time around, we were taking the train. You would be amazed at the awesome little metro system here on the island. I sure the heck was. I had been planning on taking the metro for years here on the island – just for something different, but always ended up driving everywhere. Knowing we had the intention of indulging in some vino, driving was not the mode of transport for us classy ladies.
The trains actually come much more frequent than expected.
We grabbed our tickets, and it was GO time!
Aaaalll aboard. Next stop, Santa Maria.
Ok, not the classiest looking train stop.
The rest is damn classy though. You just hang tight…..
It’s such a nice and quaint little town – epic little place to enjoy a stroll.
This little gas station was too cute not to photograph.
Let’s not forget that it was also during the hours of siesta. So it was extra quiet in the streets. There is no messing around when it comes to siesta time in these necks of the worldwide woods.
Suddenly along our path, we came across an establishment called ‘Livingdreams‘.
With a name like that, I was intrigued and drawn right in. It has such a crisp modern chic and naturally minimal appeal to it.
So we grabbed a table in the front and preceded to get on the vino and olive wagon. The service was given with all smiles, and super welcoming personalities. I was diggin it -that’s for darn sure.
A little while into the day dreaming, nature was calling. That vino was going right through me. So I had to search out the ladies room. I didn’t expected to be astonished. Little did I know, I was absolutely about to be living a dream. A kick ass one that you are happy to not wake up from for as long as you possibly can.
I was pleasantly surprised just walking through the lux establishment, absolutely thinking, ‘well hello, this is enchanting now isn’t it?!’
Very appealing on the eyes.
However, upon entering the courtyard to which I was directed in order to find the ladies room, my eyes widened with sheer delight.
Hiding in the back was a classy courtyard ambiance. The next big thing in my head was, ‘We are moving! right freaken now!’
Wait though on second thought, it’s best I visit the ladies room….. Gotta stick the with program.
After that business was taken care of, it was straight back to Kassandra to say my thoughts outloud ‘We are moving, right freaken now! You will see why.Let’s go’
It was incredible. Right up our freaken alley. We ran around loving the secret garden, taking photos like mad.
I had no problem imagining all the people I want to shared the little gem with(obviously this means you lucky duck).
Before that could happen, we needed to get back to business, sipping our vino and grab a little lunch.
It was all ridiculously good.The wine, the food, the ambiance. I can’t wait to go back for round two.
Yes you could definitely say,
I found my secret garden, with the fountain of Vino!!
The best part about having no plans or expectations, is that it always turns out better then you could have expected, as you didn’t have any – and more often then not, you always end up getting completely blown away by pure epicness.
Sunday funday! One of my favorite days of the week. Its the day I just do whatever I darn well please. Hence why its called Sunday funday. So how does one go about enjoying a Sunday in Mallorca? Well a good start would be to find yourself a quaint little cafe and get your engines going. Coffee, and Europe just go together. I cant imagine one without the other.
I indulged my ears in the acoustic sounds of Rodrigo y Gabriela. A brother sister duo whom are absolutely incredible at making music. This day was the perfect day for them. Music adds to any experience. It plays a massive roll in my life. The first thing I do in the morning is turn on my tunes to get the day going. I have various music for various moments. If I am writing and need my creative juices to flow(and possibly raise my IQ), its all about the Classical.
I cranked my tunes, grabbed my sweet ass Canadian made bicycle and hit the open road of bike riding adventure.
Bringing my bike with me from Canada, was the best idea ever! I must thank my friends(and mom) for influencing that decision. It’s so freaken awesome having a piece of home with me, and trust me, my bike is loving the Mallorcan experience as much as I am. Leaving its little Canadian tire tracks all over the show.
So as Sunday funday was in full force, I embarked on a little 30km cycle from Palma onwards towards an area called Arenal. With the wind blowing in my hair, music tantalizing my ears, and scenery to write home about(or write to my blog about), I was winning! You can not help but love life when you are here and enjoying this rock star bike riding.
It may be December, but the sun is still shining as brightly as ever. The weather is oddly nice….. So you mine as well make the most of it. Am I right?!
On the way back I found a prime spot on the beach for me and my bike, where I was enjoying some epic ‘me time’, that I love so much – did some grounding, topped up on my vitamin D, and just took in my amazing surroundings.
Well all that exercise does tend to build an appetite! For nothing less then awesome company and awesome food! Being a day of Mallorcan adventures, it was best to keep things local. So a Spanish restaurant and Spanish Tapa’s it was! We picked a very typical place, called La Plaza – and ordered a small array of tapa’s. No big deal, just a few of my fave’s.
Everything was spot on! Yes it is possible to have mediocre tapa’s, but this was not the case here.
Let’s not forget the Spanish Vino. They weren’t shy on the classy pour either. Pretty much heaving handing it every time. Just when you think its not possible to fit half a bottle of wine in a glass – they prove you otherwise. Talk about getting your money’s worth.
It doesn’t stop there. On any given Sunday evening in Mallorca, one of the best places to end up is at one of my fave watering holes. Agua Bar. Sunday and Friday they hold an open mic night, where loads of very talented musicians come out and jam. I love music!! I love Agua bar, jam sessions and I love the awesome people there.
You clearly can’t enjoy good music if you have to pee! I myself would rather be shaken my booty to good tunes, not squirming to hold my bladder together.yoi wouldn’t think it’s safe to leave your drink unattended, and yes in any other place I would not recommend it. Agua bar however is a different story. It’s local, and awesome, an no one ever tampers with your drink. They totally respect the sign. Possibly the best invention ever, in one of the best bars ever.
So there you have it. Mallorca on a Sunday. As does every darn day of the week here – Sunday kicks ass!
So what’s your plans this Sunday?? Because I suggest some Mallorcan adventures for the books if you ask me.
History, Coffee, Ice Cream, and your typical Spanish pastries. Sounds pretty darn delightful doesn’t it? Well, it was – and you probably should have been there.
Being Saturday afternoon after a busy week of being awesome. My energy was lagging a tad(even though it comes naturally, it still can take it out of a person) and it was time for an awesome caffeine fix and a historical Palma experience. Combining a new experience with a coffee, which just so happens to be two of my absolute favorite things – was sure to be a winner.
Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo, the oldest Ice Cream parlor/cafe in Palma. Founded in 1700, located in the old town(obviously, where else would it be – clearly not the new town), and it has managed to maintain its charm, flavor, and clientele ever since.
The popularity of this fine establishment is not to be under rated.
There was a continual line up at the door, and the turn over is so fast that we had to grab the only dirty table that was open. The gentleman serving us was quick to clean it up though. The place is buzzing, very local, and full of energy.
I must say, they really have maintained the place over the last 3000 years. That is lineage and dedication if you ask me.
The menu is small, and contains very typical Spanish delights. Really, its not big at all, very easy to hold, maneuver, and has 4 sections, covering 4 different languages. I am pretty sure they even had Gibberish in there.
Being known for their home made ice cream, you have a nice array of flavors in which to treat your palette and your waistline. From almond, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, down to cava, and onward. Served in little glasses, its sure to please you. They also offer take out containers of the creamy cold stuff too, for nothing less then your take away pleasure.
Besides the ice cream, they have a wonderful selection of Spanish pastry’s. Not a place to visit if your on a diet. Cakes, pastry’s, croissant’s, freshly made carb heaven. They also offer full cakes for take away. Perhaps you want to be the most popular guest at a party?? Well here’s your chance. Go on then! Get in there.
Top that off with a coffee, and your loving life. Are you drooling yet?
Not to mention the prices are ridiculous. Absolutely. Ridiculously good! Seriously, there is not much on the menu that goes over 2 euros. So I would say, you get a real historical bargain.
Would you look at that empty little cake plate. I would take that as a clear indication that it was so darn delish – it got gobbled right up.
Throw some fabulous company into the mix…….
Meaning mine of course.
Kidding! I was actually the lucky one to be in the presence of these fine ladies. Although as you can see behind us, they also had some very exquisite nude art on display. Nothing like appreciating a good nude art piece over coffee and cake. Not sure when it dates back to though.
With all of the above, its safe to say, you got yourself just another pretty exceptional must try Palma experience.
The magic just never ends in Mallorca.
As per usual Petrena style, I made the spontaneous decision to return to Spain for a bit. My other home. Palma de Mallorca, Spain. It seems I just can’t stay away for that long, it drags me back. Well, in all honesty it doesn’t take much dragging. Hello Palma!!
Holy man, first of all, the mid summer heat nearly did me in. My Arctic blood always has an interesting go at acclimatizing to the heat. Trust me, I am not in my most attractive state when I am sweating my ass off…. It’s a great way to detox your body. At least that is what I keep telling myself in order to power through. It’s a small price to pay though to be back in the one of the most epic places on this planet. Although summer is ridiculously busy on the island, and there are loads and loads of tourists – so I still prefer the winter here, however, I love it any and all times of year. It’s just undeniably amazing.
I also decided to bring my sweet ass Canadian made Lochside bicycle on the journey with me. I have traveled with quite an array of interesting things, from a massage table, to hoola hoops, and onward. This was my first time with a bicycle though. So packing it was also an interesting little feat.
Yet with some bubble wrap, tape, and some help from my awesome friends after a few glasses of vino, she was pulled together quite well. I even used a piece of rope to make a handle(which ironically was very handy). She made it though! Intact(well just a couple bumps and scrapes) and equally as excited for the Mallorca experience.
We were greeted by one of my best friends, and a fab wine and cheese spread. Let me just say, I am beyond happy I brought my bike, we just rock these bike paths together. She really is just such a smooth ride. It helps that the island is built for cycling, and there are loads of bike paths all over the place. I knew I wouldn’t regret bringing her along. My piece of home that I get to share with my other home.
Coming home Palma always also means one thing(among many). Catching up with my awesome friends. With time away, the excitement to catch up is always building.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence also creates in-between adventures, which in turn creates loads to talk about. Never a dull freaken moment. Between catch ups, cycling, and visiting my favorite restaurants, with Vintage(pictured below) in the trendy area of Santa Catalina being one of my all time favorites, I have been kept very busy.
And while I was there, a visit Santiago De Compostela.
A place full of mucho history, it’s a beautiful area.
There is a well known pilgrimage called the Comino de Santiago, which takes about a month to complete. I have wanted to do it for years, more so for the fact that I want to say I have completed a month tour by foot. Santiago De Compostela is where the pilgrimage ends. So you see loads of happy people with their backpacks, exuding satisfaction at what they have just completed. Being there and seeing that reinforced inside me that I want to do the walk. And I will indeed.
I also checked out the little town of Poio. It is a small place with nothing too major to see. However it is still rich in history, and I fell in love with it’s little old town. It came out of nowhere. We went from a quiet lunch and streets of not much.
To jam packed little old town streets. In the matter of a turn of a corner.
I loved the atmosphere it had. Until it started raining. And then I was soaked. I love playing in the rain, I will dance in it, put on my swimsuit and love life in it. I just wasn’t equipped with the proper footing for it at that moment. However it was a memorable area.
Oh Spain. I absolutely adore you. Your just so darn fantastic. Not a bad place to wake up to – if I do say so myself.
It was one of those days where I had a craving for some fresh food and Spanish market ambiance. After gathering the troops and getting a meeting point sorted, I was off to Mercat de l’Olivar, to indulge in some fresh seafood, and in addition to that of course, some very tasty Vino.
I love the fact that it is winter and the market is remarkably empty, in such a way that you can actually walk around it and even better than that, ‘find seats’!!
In the summer it just gets chaotic, and because of that, it can kind of lose the charm it has in the quieter winter months, where you can actually move and not get claustrophobic;)
We ended up at a little place called, Bar del Peix, well I didn’t actually pick it, it was my friends choice, yet cu-do’s to her, as it was a fabulous choice. Funny enough I made a pit stop to the ladies room, and upon my arrival there was a weigh scale welcoming my entrance. I suppose that is one way to make sure you keep your portions in control, as the food is pretty ridiculously awesome;) Only in Spain….. I love Spain, and its randomness. Well hello there Mr. Weight scale, it’s not everyday a public bathroom comes equipped with one of those bad boys.
After jumping on the scale(isn’t that what it’s there for?!) to make sure I had some room to spare for some tasty splurges, I set route back to the market stall we chose to dine at. At which point we ordered up, and preceded to feast on mussels, calamari, a little seafood mixture in a tomato based sauce, sardines(one of my personal favorite’s of all time at any Spanish market ), and last but not least fresh bread with olives. Mmmmmm, did I happen to mention how much I love a good ol’ mussel?! not just on my men, but also on my plate;)
Everything was spot on. You could taste the freshness of it, nothing was chewy or stringy, just tender and melt in your mouth delicious. They offer 1/2 orders or full orders of most dishes, but most things are so good that you start with a 1/2 order just to be classy and then end up ordering another half anyway. Oops!!! – Yes, and maybe I am referring to the mussels…..
I have to say the service we received was also fantastic and friendly, and at this establishment they leave the bottles of wine right in front of you for you to help yourself, no need to order a whole bottle, just order a glass and get in there! And that we did. Yes Sir, that is exactly what I was after to wash my tasty cuisine down with. Thank you very much. My kind of establishment!
I would say if you wake up and find yourself in Mallorca, then take yourself on a date or amuse a group of friends – head to the Mercat de l’Olivar, and treat yourself to a culinary and cultural experience. Happiness is guaranteed to ensue. That just so happens to be an above average day if you ask me!
Once in a blue moon in Mallorca you get those rare moments where the mountains get a nice little blanket of snow. It’s a big excitement here, even causing roads to be shut this past weekend as there was far too many people trying to get to it. For some this is their first real glimpse of snow, for others, such as myself, it is just a tease, compared to my Canadian winter wonderland. However, as I do miss snow and this is as close as I am gonna get at this moment, I was all over it! It called for a day of ‘Me time’ adventures. I could see the snow covered peaks where yonder breaks, and they were all too enticing, so I had no choice but to rent a car and go frolic in it all.
I cranked my tunes and headed straight North on Mallorca island, towards a town called Pollensa. I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning day to do some cruisen, the sun was shining and the weather was warm, a dreamy little winter day. The minute I got to the mountains and there was snow on either side of the road, I couldn’t help but have a massive grin on my face.
I needed to make a pit stop at the gas station along the way to get some juice for the car, I love this gas station, its location, its little gas station ambiance. Look at it, you have to admit its quite a good backdrop around that station. Any time I am on a road trip I always hold out to gas up there. Yup, life’s simple pleasures;)
While I was there I decided to park my little adventure wagon and take a hike. Literally. Seeing as how I was seriously missing some snow action in my life, what would a visit to the snow be without making a little snowman?! Rolling a snowball never felt soooo darn good!
Just past Pollensa I arrived in the breath taking Tramuntana mountain range, all the tops of the mountains had snow, you were surrounded by them, it was so massively awesome. Right before heading up the mountains, I paid a little visit to the Lluc Sanctuary, it just so happened to be staring me right in the face. Oh how I also love an unexpected and spontaneous activity. As long as it’s interesting and/or fun, I am always game!It was the first Christian sanctuary on Mallorca Island, dating back to the 13th century; But I learned its more than a sanctuary, it’s also a secular national symbol. It has also been turned into a hotel of sorts, and you can rent rooms at the sanctuary, there are bontanical gardens(which sadly were closed due to it being winter), a museum, and of course incredible surroundings. If you are not into staying in the sanctuary, there is also a campsite. Always great to have options; Do you want to wake up to the sound of birds or the sounds of a choir? It’s an ideal area for cycling trips, incredible cycling might I add, cycling is one of my fave hobbies. After I gallivanted around the premises a bit, and expanded my mind with some new knowledge, I headed up behind the sanctuary to the top of the mountain to check out the view. The hike itself was rockin my world. Super serene.
After my eyes had their fill I ventured back to the car to continue on my escapades. You can see that the locals were loving the snow pile in the parking lot! It’s awesome that it is such a novelty. It was even one for me!
I ended up taking the ‘Extra’ scenic route back towards Palma through the town of Sollier, on the very windy(wine-dee) roads through the mountains,with nothing less then sheer beauty to set your gaze on. Watch where your going though! Beautiful yes. However, also very narrow, heaps of cyclist’s and cars all over the show. But if you happen to be the wing man, then keep looking out your window and take in as much of the view as you can!Ahhhhh yes…. An incredible Mallorcan day. This Island just continually gets better and better. Happy snow filled days!!
I decided to take myself on a little trip to Barcelona. And it definitely did not disappoint, in fact, it was nothing less than super impressive. From appreciating the work of Gaudi and his masterpieces that are now world heritage sights, to enjoying history a plenty at different museums, fabulous restaurants and nightlife, cafes, markets, and plenty of monuments. There is a certain unmistakeable energy to the city, and something for everyone. A few of the highlights for me on this particular ‘take yourself on a date day’, would absolutely begin with relishing in the work of Gaudi.
His work was influenced by what were his passions in life, Architecture, Nature, and Religion. I am absolutely drawn to his style and flare, and all the beautiful colours he incorporated into his magnificent creations. Park Guell, constructed between 1900-1914, and was originally built as a commercial housing site, yet was unsuccessful, and is now a municipal garden. It is astounding in its architecture and artistic beauty. A perfect place to get some creative inspiration while appreciating Gaudi’s work.
Another very interesting Gaudi piece is the Sagrada Familia, this was his final project, and what his last years were devoted too. It is his personal rendition of Gothic Architecture. He was never able to see the project through, and it is still not finished, with the completion date expected to be 2026. It just so happens to be the most visited sight in Barcelona.
Of course after all this sightseeing, and historical time trip, I worked up an appetite! So off I went to the famous Barcelona market, ‘La Bouqeria’, and all its splendor. Its colourful, packed with people, has endless wonderful, awe-inspiring things to tantalize your taste buds, and your eyes with. Everything laid out so proud and perfectly, it’s a postcard in itself.
There are plenty of little restaurants all over, where they prepare market fresh food right before your eyes. Decisions, decisions. I finally picked one, and it’s really because they had in impeccable selection of fresh mushrooms that caught my eye. I love mushrooms! Especially when they are sautéed in fine olive oil, and well especially when I am in Barcelona;) Not a bad backdrop to add to the culinary experience. I ended up getting fresh sardines, mushrooms, and some bubbly to wine and dine myself with. It’s always best to treat yourself just as good, if not better, as if you were treating someone else. Yup that’s right, some of the best dates I have been on, are the ones I have taken myself on.
All in all, Barcelona is one of my favorite cities, and this was only ‘one’ of the magical days I was so fortunate to enjoy. Happy sightseeing days! And that it was;)
So before heading to Basque Country, I didn’t truly know what a treat I was in for. I had been hearing many incredible things about the area from people whom had been there before, but once I was able to feast on it with my own eyes, I fell in love with yet another place on this planet…. My plan was a weekend in San Sebastian(Spanish Side), then a week in Biarritz(French Side) for a Detox/Retreat. I arrived in San Seb, dropped off my bags, and decided to take myself for dinner. It was super lively everywhere, the streets filled with people, drinking, eating Pintxo’s(Tapas) and being merry. After a long day, walking into a super packed bar/restaurant alone(normally I have no problem with this) was just a wee bit daunting. But I was enjoying the stroll, and just taking in the energy of it all. Then long behold I spotted a Vegan Restaurant, called ‘Green Break’, and just as fast as the women in front went to hand me a flier, I went breezing right past her and said ” it’s ok, I am in!!:)” Happy dayz, is exactly what I was thinking. I took a seat, grabbed an organic beer, and was ready to tuck into an epic and healthy meal(and epic it was, as I ate there every day that I was in San Seb). But not before I asked a table of lovely ladies to take my photo. Upon which they asked if I wanted to join them.
I love traveling alone for this very reason, you always end up making new friends. I ended up having some amazing nightlife tour guides that evening, with one of my new found buddies showing me the sights around San Seb the next day too. I felt so freaken lucky. Not to mention, she is an incredible young women, one of those people you feel lucky to have met in general.
The scenery was breathtaking.
And it was super interesting to learn about the Basque culture, and the fact that they have their own language, and consider themselves to be independent from Spain and France. Some facts I never would have learned had I have not visited this area. It was all new to me!! Ahhh, good ol’ traveling. Never a dull moment. Well unless you have been stuck with layovers in multiple airports, and are feeling jet legged as all heck, then, ok, maybe a bit dull:) We hiked up to where the Jesus monument was, it made me remenisce about when I travelled Brazil in fact, almost as though I was in a mini Rio.
Stopped on the way to have a Carajillo(espresso shot with rum), one of my fav Spanish treats! Although they didn’t have the correct rum I was after, the skill he put into making it was very impressive!
After a day of sightseeing, there was no better way to finish it off before preparing for the Saturday night festivities then grabbing some Rose, and a couple pieces of fruit, and chilling on the beach watching all the people surfing. Right before grabbing some pintxo’s, to make sure we had some sustenance.
My intention was to do some surfing while in San Seb, but there was just too much sightseeing to be done, and I had to hop on the train on Sunday and head over to the French side, to beautiful Biarritz… Which only means one thing… Guess I gotta go back there!? Oh darn!! Twist my rubber arm.