A Mountain Drive to Alaro, Bunyola & Valdemossa and Folklore at La Granja
When I came out of the building, I arrived in the courtyard which has some nice easy chairs for relaxing in the shade. Traditional skills like blacksmithing, turning (using a lathe powered by a foot pedal), candle-making and pottery demonstrate the old traditional ways of life. The tourists were also streaming into the Tasting Room which features local Mallorcan treats like sausages, cheeses and olives. A free tasting is included in the admission fee which also included my favourite: a local variation of freshly fried mini-doughnuts that is accompanied by local jams. A local woman dressed in traditional costume fished them out of a large pan of searing hot oil and the visitors were just wolfing them down. They were delicious.
Delicious Mallorcan mini-doughnuts
Twice a week, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, La Granja offers demonstrations of these handicrafts which are followed by a traditional Mallorcan dance called “Ball de Bot” which features three dancers and four musicians. Mallorcan traditional dresses are floor length, with aprons and a white lace head cover for the women while men wear below-knee length pantaloons. The dance lasted about 45 minutes. A visit to La Granja definitely gives you an authentic idea of life in the 18th century, and for the estate owners that life must have been pretty good, as evidenced by the lavish furniture and the casino-style game tables in the estates parlour.
Traditional folk dancing at La Granja
Around 5 pm I continued my journey and drove back out to the northern coastline of the island. I drove through the picturesque village of Banyalbufar which I had visited on the very first day of this trip, now nine days ago. I continued west past Estellencs to the Torre de Verger, an observation tower built in 1597 that was to alert the locals of any pirate attacks. The view from here towards the east and west is simply breathtaking; steep pine-clad mountains plunge into the jewel-blue Mediterranean coastline. The northern coastline of Mallorca certainly ranks among the most beautiful places I have ever travelled to.
A phenomenal view over Mallorca’s north coast from the Torre de Verger
I continued my coastal drive at a speed of about 30 km/h and let all the approaching vehicles pass me so I would be able to enjoy this leisurely drive, all the while taking in the majestic scenery along Mallorca’s north coast. Some time later the coastal road turned inland and I started to head back towards Palma de Mallorca. I exited the highway at Las Illetes and drove along some of the coastal roads through the resort areas west of Palma’s downtown.
Another look at Palma’s impressive cathedral, La Seu
Around 7:30 pm, as the sun moved lower and lower on the horizon, I finally parked the car in the port area of Palma de Mallorca and set off on foot to explore the waterfront promenade of Palma. It features a walking path as well as a bicycling path, and hundreds of people were out, strolling, walking their dogs, rollerblading or biking. One blooming bush on the waterfront attracted dozens of colourful butterflies, adding to the evening’s serenity.
Butterfly on Palma’s waterfront promenade
People were sitting and chatting on many of the benches and enjoying the late-day sun. Several cafes with outdoor patios were packed full of people. The view back at Mallorca’s imposing Gothic cathedral, La Seu, was amazing. Palma certainly has an incredibly attractive waterfront that is actively used and enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. It was entertaining to watch the hustle and bustle from my park bench.
One of the windmill’s along Palma’s waterfront
Finally, as the sun was starting to set I started to head back east on the highway to Port d’Alcudia. I reflected back on my absolutely packed day, and let some of the beautiful images I had seen today pass back in my memory, and realized I had just spent one of the most enjoyable travel days of my life today here in Mallorca.
Palma’s sailboat harbour