• Tag Archives Soller
  • Tennis & Hiking, Fornalutx & Biniaraix, Mallorca

    Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2019

    This post was lost in the Ethernet the last month.

    My last day in Mallorca was a busy one! I hit tennis balls or 90 minutes, all was good, so I decided to visit Fornalutx, another mountain village near Soller.

    I did some research and read that the hike to Fornalutx was a pretty easy one, about 45 minutes. I parked about 15 minutes outside of downtown, adding to the walk, but it was an easy place to park and not a bad walk into town.

    I apparently missed the route that wasn’t on the main road. The walk, though pretty, wasn’t particularly relaxing because the roads are so narrow, there’s no shoulder at all and no sidewalks. So I stayed quite alert and avoided being hit by a car or more likely, by a motorcyclist, they ride fast and loudly here.

    The scenery was pretty, orchards, almonds, olives, lemons, oranges, and even a few pomegranate trees were nestled up against the dramatic mountain background.

    When I got to Fornalutx (it was well over and hour, since I stopped and took photos and was meandering), I found the main plaza, got some water, and found the route for the next part of the walk. It was an uphill route for a long ways, up uneven and rough stone steps. But the views were beautiful. At the top I was on a main road for a short while, then found the path down, which wound through olive orchards mostly, and was quiet and free of cars.

    On the way back, I detoured through the tiny village of Biniaraix, which still hard a small plaza by the church. There weren’t many cars on that detour either, and once I was past Biniaraix, I was only 20 minutes from Soller.

    Soller was really hopping at 8pm, the plaza was packed with people having drinks (a bit early yet for food, though some were eating). I walked through the main shopping street and back to my car.

    I leave Mallorca tomorrow for Lisbon. It’s been nice getting to know a different part of this diverse island.


  • Deia, Mallorca & Driving the West Coast

    Mallorca, Spain

    After six days and nine practice sessions, I had a much needed break from tennis. I decided to try and book a massage and ended up booking one…at the Palma Sport Tennis Club. I didn’t even know it existed, even though it was not far from the hotel I’d previously stayed in when visiting Mallorca. It is 100,000 square foot parcel in the middle of high rises, with five clay courts, a center court (where the men’s Legend’s Cup tournament is held), a gym, spa, restaurant, pool and small grassy area. It was a nice place to spend part of a Sunday afternoon. The club seems to cater to a lot of international guests and I heard English, Spanish and German spoken.

    After lunch, I decided to drive to Deia, which overlooks the sea. I haven’t seen much of the sea this week and missed it. The drive took me past Valdemossa again (I still didn’t see a safe spot to pull over and take a photo..) and along the coast, which is spectacular…and the road was narrow with no shoulders. The views I could see (the road was narrow and curvy, one had to be cautious driving) rivaled that of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur (imagine driving that road, but with no turnouts at all and being much narrower and windier and you have the feel). On the east were lots of trees, both cultivated (mostly olives) and wild (mostly pines). One the coast were impressive drop offs to a deep blue sea. There were signs at regular intervals to be wary of falling rocks from the cliffs above.

    As I approached Deia, there was actually parking along the side of the road. I parked and walked up towards the town, which is pretty small. However, judging by the prices I saw outside a real estate business, the prices are high. Some of the houses have views of the sea and the mountains, both of which are spectacular.

    One of the draws too, is the house where Robert Graves lived, which is on the outside of town. It’s a pretty place, from the outside (it was closed on a Sunday).

    There were a lot of olive orchards, old ones (not very productive ones either judging by the paucity of olives on the trees, but they were quite interesting looking, being old, gnarly, and windswept.

    The drive back took me again along the coast, which again was spectacular, then inland past Soller. I was able to take a couple of photos from a turnout by a bus stop…and this doesn’t do the coast justice.

    I’ve been to Mallorca many times but mostly to the east side and Palma. The East side is mostly beach resorts and pretty flat. The southwest and west coasts are amazing and I have a lot yet to see in future trips.


  • Tren de Soller; Soller and the Port de Soller

    Bunyola, Mallorca, Spain

    Since my tennis was scheduled for the evening yesterday, I decided to take the antique train (Ferrocarril de Sóller) to the little town of Sóller, north of here, and then the antique tram to the Port de Sóller . The decision was made easy by the fact that I’m staying about 30 seconds from the train station.

    The train goes from Palma to Bunyola to Sóller and back about half a dozen times a day. It’s an old wooden train with wooden seats. We went past a lot of desiccated-looking olive, almond and citrus orchards. I saw goats in a couple of olive orchards, munching away (I kid you not.). The young ones ran from the train while the older ones paid it no mind. We went through several tunnels and past some nice scenery of valleys and mountains.

    Sóller is a small town with a pretty church, a nice shopping street and hoards of tourists. I heard French, British English, German, only a bit of Spanish, Italian and some other languages being spoken, with German and English being most prevalent. There were ice cream shops everywhere, I think that’s one of the main attractions in Sóller. I had mint which was refreshing on such a hot day (mid-high 90’s).

    I took the tram down to the Port of Sóller, which features a nearly circular port full of boats and lined with a small, packed beach (it was hot). I climbed up a bit to see the Port better and also saw the Mediterranean on the other side of the Port. It was a cloudless day with the blue sky and blue water looking so beautiful.

    You can take a boat ride from the Port but after taking some photos and walking around a bit, I took the tram back to Sóller and walked around there for an hour, seeing the church, shopping street and watching the groups of tourists.

    I took the 2pm train back to my lodging and then trained at 7:30 pm and again today at 9:30am. It’s interesting watching the kids training, they have some different drills. Mainly of course, they are always moving and are hitting with each other, not with the pros. They were doing 2 on 1 drills today for a while and even in warm up, when one of the kids on the side with 2 hit a ball, the other shadowed the stroke. They were using only one ball per court so any misses meant the kid who missed into the net had to run to pick it up. The next drill involved cross courts and one of the kids on the side with two then running from one end to the other after so many hits. Then I left, it was 95 by noon.

    Hola Mallorca…Hace Caliente!

    Tennis on the Spanish Clay & Seafood is Popular in Mallorca