Taking a break out from sailing for a couple of days we went in pursuit of a comfy bed, culture and the holy grail…Air Conditioning! Our search brought us to Soller which is a small yet very popular town further north in Mallorca.
On arrival in Soller after a sweaty and bumpy bus journey the market in the main square was in full swing but the place still seemed calm and collected…not too busy or hectic. We dumped our stuff at our hotel and went on the hunt for some food to satisfy the grumble of our bellies. Off from the central main square are little winding side streets, meandering out towards the mountains which skirt the town. Boutiques, pharmacies and bakeries pull down their shutters as the owners head home for a siesta…all of them but one. We found the one little shop still open for business and bought Mallorquin specialties for lunch- thin pastry slices topped with thinly sliced roasted peppers, onions and artichokes. Delicious.
After filling our tummies we decided to have a better look at the place and see what Soller had to offer. Right in the main square stands the beautiful old church- the most distinctive thing about Soller. Beautiful arches and intricate details are seen as a silhouette against the sunny sky.
We didn’t go inside but even still it was a sight for sore eyes on the outside! Scooting straight past the church and then wiggling through the streets behind is the Soller tram. With a toot toot and the shout of a conductor the crowds of people in the main square must part to let the rickety thing speed past.
As the sun started to feel prickly on our skin and opportunities for sitting in the shade started dwindling we headed back to the hotel for a siesta of our own and a chance to appreciate the air conditioning. It may sound like an irrational and slightly bizarre love of AC and perhaps it is but trust me, once you’ve spent a few nights in a boat-cum-oven you too will start to see the wonders of cool air.
We stayed in a beautiful hotel called S’Ardeviu which was just off the main square. From the outside you would hardly be able to tell it was a hotel if it wasn’t for the little sign. The hotel is an old town house with high ceilings, paintings and antique furniture scattered around the place. A tiled staircase leads you upstairs to the rooms which were simple and traditional with a touch of luxury.
Whilst this was all the lovely, the real star of the show, the top of the pops, the crème de la crème was the courtyard garden. Tucked away behind the house was this little luscious paradise. Loungers on the lawn provided the perfect spot for relaxing whilst listening to the trickling fountain and birdsong. It was here that breakfast was served in the morning. We were always last to breakfast so had the courtyard garden to ourselves. On sitting down at your table you would hear the splutter and a hum of a machine, a machine which turned out to be making us the freshest orange juice going! It really was the best I have ever tasted. Breakfast was traditional with local breads, Mallorquin specialties, fresh watermelon, figs, dates, cheeses and other little treats.
As is always the case in Spain, a town only really comes to life at night when it awakens with the sound of street music, cocktail-drinkers and the clack of mussel shells from the busy restaurants.
On one night there was a big show of music and dance which was celebrating different cultures. Everyone was in traditional dress, my favourite being the fluffy Serbian hats and the Mexican sombreros. Stamping, tap dancing, singing, guitar and cheering filled the air as hundreds of people gathered to watch. I got this shot of one of the performers as she was limbering up with the other dancers.
As with any good evening it ended on an ice-cream before heading to bed.