Valdemossa, Mallorca & Training on the Dirt

Mallorca, Spain

Today was the last day of training here in Mallorca, at least for this week & I think I worked hard, at least I’m tired…not even sore, just tired. The kids who train here though seem to have boundless energy, and they train three hours a day on court, do fitness for I suppose an hour or so and then have tournaments on the weekends. It was pretty quiet when I finished today. Normally the courts are packed, but Saturday afternoons and Sundays the facility is closed.

After I practiced today, and had lunch, I watched the third set of the crazy match between Sasha Zverev and Basilashvili who were playing a clay court tournament in Hamburg, Germany. It was a crazy set…Zverev goes down 3-0, (then up 5-3, 40-15, and at 40-30 on Basilashvili’s serve makes a bad decision to hit a drop shot, loses the game, and eventually the match in a tierbreak…Zverev hit 9 winners (other than serves), Basilashvili made almost 80 errors.

So after finishing that match, I decided to drive to Valdemossa, another small town on the west side of the island. It was an easy drive, past almond orchards (which looked better than the ones on the road to Orient), which had trees planted much farther apart than is the case in California. In the background, mountains loomed with ominous looking clouds. From the road the town of Valdemossa is pretty and quaint, with stone buildings layered up the mountainside. There were no turnouts on the narrow road, so I’m showing a photo of the city (see the credit below the photo).

There was some sort of festival going on…lots of red blankets and banners showing in windows, along with Spanish flags, and a band was marching through the town. There’s a Carthusian Monestary (closed already when I arrived), lots of quaint narrow streets lined with stone houses, whose front “gardens” were comprised of potted plants attached to the walls. Valdemossa is located in a small valley near the Tramuntana mountains. It’s famous for Chopin and George Sands (the female author) wintering there (and for Sands’ book, “Winter in Mallorca”).

Valdemossa is also famous for a pastry, Coca de Patata, which is a cross between Hawaiian sweet bread and a beignet I think. It’s clearly made with potatoes, and normally has pork fat and sugar. It’s normally topped with powdered sugar.