In the Serra de Tramuntana, there are mountains that rise from 0 m to 1,436 m in just a few kilometres. Since arriving, we’ve wanted to be up in these mountains, on a hike where we could experience the Balearic Mediterranean forest and enjoy views of the sea & the island. This past Sunday, we had our chance with our new friend Emma.
We drove up to Valldemossa and set out to ascend to Puig del Teix via the Archduke path, a dry stone path built by Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria. The path wound along twisted holm oaks, strawberry trees, buckthorn and mastic. Below was a picturesque valley lined with ancient olive trees growing on beautifully maintained terracing. We climbed steeply out of the valley, enjoying the views of Valldemossa behind us and views of Deia & Soller once we reached the peak.
The rugged & scraggly landscape was stark & rough in contrast to the bright blue sea beneath. Despite the cold, we loved this first hike and look forward to many more when we return in 2015.
We’re back on Mallorca! After getting settled in our sunny apartment in the Santa Catalina neighborhood of Palma, we were lucky to have our first houseguests – my cousin Liz and her husband John. They rearranged their Spanish vacation to visit us, and we were thrilled to show off our new island home.
On Saturday, we took the historic train 33 kilometers from Palma across the island to Sóller and Port de Sóller. This rail line opened in 1912 and passes from the city into the countryside, passing through orange groves, chicken coops and carved-out island tunnels. We made the trip in vintage carriages still outfitted with mahogany panels and brass fittings. Very cozy.
It was a fun touristy thing to do, and gave us a chance to explore the quaint village of Sóller and spend time with family. Thanks for making the trek here, Liz & John!
For us, the secret to discovering Barcelona’s artistic & architectural beauty isn’t about looking up – it’s about looking down. The ornate floor tiles are everywhere: sidewalks, inside simple cafes and of course the magnificently decorated Gaudi buildings.
We’ve been so inspired by these designs, so we decided to take a trek out to Can Tinturé, the first tile museum in Spain, which was in the small village of Esplugues. The museum itself was small and only included pieces from the 14th – 19th century, but certainly piqued our interest.
With a little more digging & with camera in hand, we learned the more modern tiles emerged in the 1850s. These were made from a cement compound that didn’t need oven baking, which was a lot less expensive and allowed for mass production. When installed, the tiles gave the illusion of being carpet and oftentimes did not match the residents’ furniture.
In the heyday of Modernism, Barcelona tiles were in great demand: geometric classical patterns, Celtic-style chains, stylish curves and flora & fauna explosions. Prevalent colors were brown, burgundy, green, black and, particularly pink. Nowadays, it seems new tiles are popping up in fashion boutiques, organic supermarkets and hipster establishments all around town.
All month we’ve been collecting photos across Barcelona and have become incredibly inspired. No doubt all this scouting will serve as reference for our own designs.
Uno de las primeras cosas hicimos cuando aterrizamas de nuevo en Barcelona fue inscribirnos en la escuela español. ¿Porque no mezclar un poquito de español a nuestro formación actual de aleman y ingles?
Thomas fue un principiante, pero durante las cuatro semanas pasadas puede pedir una comida en español ahora y comprar para pescado, verduras y frutas cada día a nuestro mercado favorite, San Antoni. La escuela experiencia ha estado frustrante porque no necesariamente estamos de acuerdo con su estilo de enseñanza (eso está demasiado academico y no suficiente centrado a hablando o mundo real aplicaciones de la idioma) pero a pesar de eso, Thomas ha prosperado.
Estudié español en colegio y tengo un poquito comprensión de la gramática y el vocabulario, pero he ponido nunca en hablando practicar recientemente. Así, decidí a combinar clases diarias con un intercambio. Un intercambio es una person con quien puedo hablar sobre una base regular – alguien que quiere practicar su ingles mientras puedo practicar mi español. Está trabajando muy bien a mí obtener diaria practicar que necesito – y especialmente porque la escuela tiene demasiado foco en grammatica (aburrido y no está practical).
Nuestro proxima viaje está Palma de Mallorca para una mes. Hay tan alemanes como españoles allí, así estamos esperando vamos a estar bien preparados para navegar la vida cotidiana mallorquín con nuestra mezcla de alemán, español e inglés.
Autumn had started on mainland Spain, so we decided to chase summer and hop on over to Mallorca. We stayed in the capital city, Palma, with its charming old town, gigantic castles and Arab architecture.
Each day, we drove out to a different part of the island to check out the diversity of beaches. Sóller and Port de Sóller are beautiful villages in the northern mountains of Mallorca. We enjoyed exploring the Saturday market, watching the historic train pass through town and playing on the beach.
Photos here capture our time at these remarkable beaches dotted along the hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coast: Es Trenç, Cala Llombards, Cala Formentor, Playa de Muro, Port d’Andratx and Portal Vells. We’re still a little in shock at how gorgeous this place is… We might just have to come back…