So to begin, on Tuesday I woke up and had class in the morning. I was surprised to find that on that day I no longer needed a map to walk from my house to school. It’s pretty amazing how well you can get to know a city in just over a week. In class we learned about more marine animals in the Mediterranean. After class, I took my time to get home and wandered through Las Ramblas and Plaza Mayor. Las Ramblas is a street full of flower vendors which I love to walk down to see and smell all of the gorgeous bouquets. When I got home I ate lunch with my host mom and then decided to head to the beach that is closest to my house. It’s called Platja Ca’n Pere Antoni, and is a short 5 minute walk from my street. I spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and enjoying my book. Later that night, my school program took my entire study abroad group out for Tapas Tuesday! Tapas, are small appetizers, usually breads with different toppings, and are very popular all over Spain! The deal is you get a tapa for 1 euro and you get a drink for 1 euro. You then go around to different bars and cafes trying all the different tapas and can generally get a lot of food and drink for very little money. Our professor later explained to us that the tapas originated when people would order wine and in order to keep the flies out of the wine a piece of bread would be placed on top of the jar of wine. Eventually, restaurants would add meat, cheese, and more intricate toppings to the bread, and the tapa was created! It was a fun night with friends and the tapas were amazing!
On Wednesday we had our first field trip! We took a bus to a small beach town called Sant Elm, where we took an even tinier ferry called the Margarita to Dragonera Island. Dragonera is a natural park that is said to have gotten it’s name for two reasons. The first is that from a certain perspective on the main land, the island looks like a sleeping dragon. The second reason is that there are thousands of lizards on the island, which we would discover to be very true! We went on a hike to the Eastern portion of the island which had gorgeous views! Then we spent the rest of the day snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Snorkeling in the Mediterranean is entirely different than snorkeling in the Caribbean. The marine environment is different as it has an abundance of sea grasses rather than corals. The fish and marine life is also very different, but beautiful none the less! As always I spent a long time in the water exploring and even found some sea glass to add to my collection when I get home. We took the Margarita back to the mainland where our professor Guillem treated us all to an ice cream! He is so nice. That night I went to Naomi’s house for dinner. Her host mom teaches cooking at the local university so I was excited to try her food. She made a fresh salad, bread, spinach pie, and we had chocolate and almond ice cream for dessert. I was in heaven. My host mom’s cooking is good, but as you can imagine a meal from a professional was amazing.
Today, we had another field trip to Soller, which is a beautiful town amongst the mountains. The drive to Soller was incredible as we saw countless olive and lemon trees and got right up close to the massive mountain range in Mallorca. We even went through a tunnel through the mountains! Upon arrival in Soller, Guillem bought us all cafes con leche (coffee with milk, which is amazing here!). I have never had such a generous professor before. We went to the Natural Science Museum where Guillem gave us a tour of the museum and showed us the beginning of the sciences on Mallorca. The history of people studying nature and the marine world in Mallorca was amazing. Then we got to dissect fish! I’ve done dissections before and to me it is always fun learning about the anatomy of various species. After our time at the museum we were given the option to stay in Soller, which I took the opportunity to do. Soller has a cute downtown area but an even more adorable tram that takes you to the Port of Soller about 20 minutes away. We rode the historic tram down to the Port, which had gorgeous scenery. The Port of Soller can only be described as picturesque. Numerous boats lined the wharf and houses were built all up the mountainside. It was stunning. Here, we spent the afternoon browsing in the gift shops and swimming in the sea to cool off from the heat. We headed back to Palma and I spent the evening relaxing, going to a cafe where I had the most amazing lemonade ever, and then writing this post.
So why is this post titled true blue? Well over the past few days I’ve realized something about the water here in the Mediterranean, particularly the water I saw in Dragonera. It is not green-ish, it is not turquoise, but rather it is perfectly blue. The water is true blue. To be true blue means to be unwaveringly loyal or faithful. The people of Mallorca are persistently loyal to their culture and this island, and as I spend more time here I begin to feel that same sense of true blueness towards this place. Mallorca has certainly stolen my heart.
Until next time..
The ferry to Dragonera Island!
The view from the ferry over to Dragonera Island
The view from our hike in Dragonera.
Snorkeling in Dragonera.
The seagrasses of the Mediterranean.
The Natural Science Museum in Soller.
The tram to the Port of Soller.
The gorgeous Port of Soller.
Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca: