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To See Mallorca From The Sea

There is no question that Mallorca is a very beautiful island. Mallorca seems spoilt for its richly varied landscape – mountains, hills, plains, bays, coves, beaches and caves. But believe me when I say that you have not seen half of Mallorca’s beauty, if you have not yet viewed the island from the outside, from the sea.

For instance, if you come here by car, you take the ferry-boat, let’s say from Barcelona or Valencia. One can not imagine a nicer view than when you wake up from a night’s sleep spent on a calm sea, and at 06h00, with an hour to go before docking in Palma’s harbour, you dress and climb up to the top deck, and there it is, the beautiful coastline of this mysterious landmass, that is your chosen residence, for the time being anyway. The dawn makes for hazy air, and Mallorca’s silhouette is vague, half asleep and calm. La Isla de la Calma. Unrushed, the ferry-boat slowly approaches Sa Dragonera, eventually, ever so slowly, passing the sixth largest of the islands of the Balearic archipelago. Then the island proper, the largest of the six, Mallorca. Sant Elm first, then Port d’Andratx, to be folllowed by Cap Andritxol, Peguera, Santa Ponça, Cap de Cala Figuera. It takes the Acciona ferry perhaps an hour to crawl along the Mallorcan coast line all the way to Ciutat, past Magaluf, Palma Nova, Portals Nous and Illetes. Cala Major eventually, and finally Sant Agustí. How beautiful it all looks, partly because it does, and partly because it is such an early hour. The sun is not up yet, the day is just considering beginning, and so are the Mallorcans and so is life on the island. The traffic has already started. Builders, plumbers, dustmen, the police force – they are all up, on their way to their jobs, their offices, their duties. Finally you can see Palma’s La Seu (the Cathedral) in the distance, you can just about make out the Dique del Este, and with a bit of luck, King Juan Carlos’ Mallorcan abode, the Palau Marivent.

At about 07h00, you arrive at Palma’s ferry terminal, but still, another 30 minutes or so pass, before the boat is tied to the Moll (mooring), and the car decks open their doors. Now, car passengers are allowed to disembark. By now, Palma is fully awake, ready to welcome you, to invite you ashore, to accept your visit. The contrast is immediate: the view from off-shore makes Mallorca magic; but the onshore impression is harsher: business and commerce. Some eight or ten years ago, the Trasmediterránea ferry-boat company organised one or two annual Mallorca round-trips with large, 1.200 passenger capacity ferry boats circumnavigating the island from Palma to Palma, in a westerly direction, by way of Sa Dragonera, Deià, Soller, Sa Calobra, Cap de Formentor, and so on, all the way back to Palma, 13 hours later, approaching the port from the East, by way of Cabrera and Cap de Ses Salines. These tours were magic, magnificent, wonderful. It is a great pity that the ferry company has discontinued this particular offer, but if enough of us put in a request, who knows Acciona as it is called now might put the offer back on again, any day soon. To enjoy that sensation to view and experience this island from its best side, the off-shore side, you will now have to hire a boat, or convince a friend who owns a boat to invite you on a boat trip. Perhaps you have Mallorcan friends who enjoy some weekend fishing and proudly own a Llaüt (Mallorcan fishing boat). They might ask you along one day, on a fishing expedition. Accept the invitation. Grab the opportunity and discover the beauty that I am talking about.

The photo was taken in Portocolom, Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 16th, 2011. The time was 13:30:03.

1 reply »

  1. Lovely description – I wish I was on that boat this morning! In April 2005, we got the fast catamaran from Barcelona to Palma, arriving about 7pm as the sun was setting – the view of the bay was stunning, all the buildings bathed in golden light. Thanks for this treat. It’s grey in the UK this morning 😦

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