S W A N L I F E @royal palace de l’almudaina||palma de mallorca
S W A N L I F E @royal palace de l’almudaina||palma de mallorca
Let me tell you. I am pretty damn proud of myself. No, I didn’t find a cure for cancer (i wish) and no, I didn’t figure out the answer for ridding the world of racism and terror (i really wish) BUT I did drive an amazingly kick-ass car down from Germany to Mallorca all by myself. Yep. Just lil ole me.
That car would be an Aston Martin and it costs a bit more than my old Ford Probe did (God, I loved that car – even had a sunroof). I won’t bore you too much with the drive because it can get a bit tiresome driving 8ish hours for two days straight. But I can also comment on two hotels, the ferry and some good tunes. Let’s hit the road!
First, I gotta fly to Germany. That’s Port d’Alcúdia you can see down there.
Headed out on a rainy Saturday around 10 a.m. and took a sweet road which took me through twists and turns of a deep and dark German forest. Gosh, the forest can get dark so quick. I kept an eye out for deer that might jump in front of the car but only saw two of those majestic creatures in one of the farmland pastures: along with many cows, horses and some birds. I had to get on my phone navigation once before I hit the A44, then to the A7, then A5, then A63, then A6 and THEN A31. And then I would be getting into Dijon, France.
I made a few roadtrip CDs, a mash-up of songs that are new and old. One of my favorite new bands is Portugal. The Man. Have you heard of them? They seriously rock. Check out “Feel It Still”.
“Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now I been feeling it since 1966, now Might be over now, but I feel it still.” I rocked out man. The. Man.
The drive to Dijon was a lot of highway. And France has a lot of tolls. But you roll with it. When choosing a hotel I looked for a place that wasn’t too far off the highway and of course a good price. I wasn’t sure what time I would arrive and I definitely wasn’t going to be doing any sight seeing on this road trip. My hotel was in Arc-Sur-Tille, which is only 20 minutes from Dijon. And my hotel was L’Hotel D’Arc (naturally). It was super cute, good price of 95 euro for the night and the hotel dude was friendly and spoke English (thank you). The room with a view!
No restaurant at the hotel so they recommended a restaurant down the street next to the supermarket – La Table d’Arc. It was okay. There were lots of French people there eating and drinking and having a good time so it must be the place to hang out. I did find a piece of plastic wrapping in my chicken caesar salad which I did not like, they didn’t speak any English (which is okay, I AM in their country) and I had to flag down the waiter for everything after ordering my food – some water, a glass of wine, the bill. So, yeah, only okay.
Alright, it’s Sunday morning I must get myself and the car to Girona. We will be taking the A6, then the A7, then A9 and then AP-7. There was MUCHO MUCHO traffico on the roads! I had a lot of traffic jams around Lyon. And I had to drive through it, but it looked like a cool city to check out someday. Interesting architecture and the Rhone river runs through it. Also on the drive were loads of vineyards, next time defo stopping at one for some wine tasting. Starting in Narbonne and on the way down to Perpignan (I love saying all the French towns with a hard French accent). Try it – Perpignan, Montpellier, Lyon, Bordeaux. Fun, no?
I didn’t stay in the heart of Girona, remember I wanted to stay right off the highway. I stayed at Hotel Costabella. This place was a bit difficult to find (for me) and the room was really crappy, the sink wouldn’t drain and the room smelled cigarette smoke – even though they said no smoking and you would be fined if you did. I asked for a different room but they were completely booked for the night. The good things – very friendly staff, the dinner was excellent (i had gazpacho and then salmon for my entree) and I enjoyed the sauna. I always enjoy a sauna. Also, a big parking area which another thing I looked for in my hotel choices with such an expensive sports car.
Alright, finally Monday and the day to get home. Yipppeeee! I miss Felix and my kitties. I drove to the port in Barcelona in about an hour and a half from Girona. Got my Trasmediterranea boarding ticket for me and for the car (I reserved online about two weeks before), headed to the car area and we had to wait about 30 minutes before they let the cars on the ferry. Parked it here:
Then headed upstairs for the eight hour journey from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca. I didn’t have a seat or cabin reserved so it was a bit difficult to find a spot at first. But after about 20 minutes after boarding they opened the “restaurant” area and I dashed in for a seat next to the window with a table and set up camp. Got bored with that after an hour or so but enjoyed watching us pull out from the port and head into the open sea.
I read my book, cleaned up my desktop on my computer, read a little more and then ventured outside. They had this tiki bar area set up at the top so that was kinda fun but again you can only sit for so long before getting bored of that too. It overlooked other car parking and then finally we started to see Mallorca show up on the left hand side.
And finally I was home.
This place is heaven. Cassai Beach House in Colònia St. Jordi.
We recently discovered this restaurant that is only 15 minutes from our house. Finally someone close knows what they are doing in the kitchen!
The view is breathtaking. The food is scrumptious. And the waitstaff is friendly. Choose from sitting in the interior room where the breeze passes through the restaurant or on the sunny terrace that overlooks the sea.
With a nautical look and feel, you can enjoy lunch or dinner here with a tempting menu. Mediterranean and Mallorcan dishes full of flavor from oysters to burgers topped with foie gras to salmon tartare to paella to salads to steak with a truffle sauce to delicious desserts. SO. GOOD.
This place is the bomb. Fo shizzle my nizzle. And you need to go.
It’s always pretty busy so a reservation would be a good idea.
Cassi Beach House. Carrer Major, 21, Colònia de Sant Jordi. +34 971 070 939
Check it out y’all. The NEW Starck Sailing Yacht A is in the Balearics.
And it’s AH-MAH-ZING.
Last year I spied the Starck Motor Yacht A off the coast of Es Trenc. Which cost him a cool $313 million. Look at this baby. My pic, taken from Sa Rapita port.
And now his new one, Sailing Yacht A was spotted off the coast of Formentera. The largest and most controversial of all of Starck’s designs, Sailing Yacht A was the Frenchman’s second creation for Andrey Melnichenko. She underwent sea trials in the Mediterranean last year, and the 142.81 metre Nobiskrug yacht was handed over to her owner Andrey Melnichenko in February.
This mammoth of a yacht which set Melnichenko back $450 million, set sail from the German Navy Yard in Kiel a few months ago. It has eight decks with a helicopter pad and an underwater observation deck hidden in the bow. The three 300ft masts are taller than Big Ben.
Quite an impressive sight to behold.
I hope to be seeing it soon! And I will definitely be posting that here if I do.
Do you think I can be invited on for a tour? Maybe fly the helicopter? Serve drinks to the famous peeps?
M A L L O R C A the beautiful.
So many people ask me about things I would recommend doing/seeing in Palma de Mallorca when they are visiting the island. So, why not give a blog post to that topic. Just for y’all, my favorite peeps.
It was a difficult list. Palma has so much to offer – art galleries, museums, shopping, great bars, hidden back alleys where you stumble upon something new every single time. I could spend a whole week just exploring those narrow side streets.
In no particular order because they all rock.
First up, the Pilar y Joan Miró Foundation. If you are an art lover, you can’t miss this. You actually walk through the studios Joan Miró worked in through 1956 until his death in 1983. The collection of works by Joan Miró includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. You can see how and where he worked at the two studios (Son Boter and Sert Studio), both of these have been included in the Bienes de Interés Cultural architectural heritage list.
One of my favorite Miro sculptures in Palma ~ FEMME
Next, the Cathedral – La Seu. This majestic, architectural masterpiece took from 1230 – 1601 to build. It has a gorgeous, gothic, rose glass window which is one of the largest in the world. And if you are into Gaudí, he later designed the columns and the controversial Crown of Thorns that hangs over the altar. It is situated next to the Parc de la Mar which is also a lovely place to hang out, look at the sea and have a glass of wine.
A visit begins through the museum entrance and there is a small entrance fee.
Enough architecture and art for you? Alright, how about some shopping. Did some of your ears pop up? Palma has great stores – from Louis Vuitton to Caroline Herrera to Hugo Boss. And they are all in one of my favorite spots in Palma, Passeig des Born. Come here to this tree-lined promenade with boutiques, cafes, shops and beautiful fountains at each end. You can always find a street performer or two to keep you entertained, if you are needing that.
Walk up to Jaime III and if you turn left you will find Es Corte Ingles (Palma’s big department store), Mango and other shops. Turn right and you can head to Placa Major, where pretty much in every direction are more and more shops. If you have been dying for a Starbucks, one has been recently established at the Placa Cort.
Time for a break after all that sight seeing and shopping. Stop at one of the oldest chocolatiers in Europe, founded in 1700. So much deliciousness under one roof. It’s almost a sin. Pastries, cakes, ice-cream, cava and the popular Mallorcan ensaimada. My favorite is the one with apricots. They have two locations but the Calle Can Sanc has the mosaic from the original building. Bon Profit!
Did someone say bike riding and tapas? I’m in. This is a super fun bike tour to see the top sights of Palma ~ La Seu Cathedral, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, ride down the Rambla of Palma and discover the nightlife center of La Lonja. Finish your excursion with tapas at the Illenc restaurant.
I hope you enjoyed the list. I would love to hear about your favorite must-sees in Palma. Thanks for stopping by this beautiful city!
I have found my summer wine.
It is crisp, elegant and so very tasty. And it is a Spanish rosé. Perfect for the summer months that will soon be here! I had it just last week at a new restaurant in Ses Salines and I really wished someone would have ordered another bottle but alas, it didn’t happen.
Naranjas Azules (Blue Oranges), from the bodega Soto y Manrique, is the name of my new favorite.
I love the name.
Made from the Grenache grape found in northeast Spain. It has a fresh aroma, with notes of strawberry, cherry, jasmine, mint and fennel.
It pairs excellently with fish, white meat, pasta and cheese. My cheese plate was exquisite with my Naranjas Azules to accompany it.
Tell me your mouth is watering and you are dying for a glass of this rosé.
If you live in Spain, I found Naranjas Azules in the gourmet section of Es Corte Ingles.
Check it out and post a pic!Would love to see your pretty face and that beautiful rosé. Cheers!
March First – Balearic Day. WHOOOP! The Balearic islands are so gorgeous -Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Have you been to all of them?
Here is one of my favorite beaches in Mallorca. I call it the Secret Beach because it can be a bit tricky to find if you don’t know about it. But it’s true name is Caló des Moro.
Man, am I ready for summer. See you at the Secret Beach!