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Mallorca 2009

12 July, 2009 (07:15) | Living in Europe | By: admin

1) Mark’s perfect dive caught with my iPhone 2) C’est moi!… Je rève.

When Mark, Nicole and I made plans last year to meet with our friend L., who lives in Bordeaux, at the villa he had been renting for many years it seemed like a fabulous idea. The three of us had travelled to Bordeaux to celebrate L’s wife’s 50th birthday (see my Bordeaux blog for that story) and hit it off famously with all his friends. We agreed at that time to meet up with him in Mallorca in June at a villa he raved about that he and friends have been going to the last few years.

This was before I had my new puppy, Quixote. The dates coincided with Mark and my anniversary, so we agreed to go. What better way to celebrate than in a big villa on a Spanish island we had yet to visit? Recently, when L. called to confirm our commitment, all 3 of us, Mark, Nicole and me jumped on the opportunity. Quixote is now 4 1/2 months old. I am delighted to find he is light enough to bring virtually anywhere in the world if i choose the right airline.  

L. and his wife and two “Slow Food” friends take the ferry the night before we arrive. They will be there to greet us. We have never met these slow food friends of his, but trust they will be nice, like the friends we have met of his at the 3 day birthday party in Bordeaux last year.

Nicole, Mark and I fly with Quixote as my carry-on, in his little fabric “casita”. Luckily my dog is a natural traveler. He doesn’t even squeak once in his casita under my feet on Spannair. This is his maiden voyage.

Mark, Nicole and I are a pretty good trio. We’ve been friends since we all lived in New Zealand and have found travel as a trio to be relatively seamless. Thus the flight to Palma, the renting and splitting of a cheap car, the driving to and finding of the villa tucked in the cliffs above a beautiful but rocky north west beach go smoothly. Quixote behaves like the well bred gentleman he is.

“Los Tres Ciflados”, or “The Three Stooges”Nicole, Mark and I

The villa itself is gorgeous. Here are a few photos taken on the grounds:


1) Photo of Quixote taken from our bedroom door, 2) past the tree through lush gardens. 3) View from pool, which is a terraced climb from the villa. 4) Terrace of our Deia villa which overlooks the sea.


1) Deia grounds, 2) doggie paradise where dogs get the lounge chairs and humans lay on the ground. 3) doggie paradise with sunglasses and tanning oil 4) “cin cin”.

The location reminds me of a Roman Polanski movie, it wold make the perfect setting for a bizarre drama. Its funny I have this thought, because indeed as this story progresses the plot evolves like that of a humorous Polanski movie. (or is that an oxymoron, Polanski and humor?)

When we arrive we are given a tour of the house and shown the pool on the upper area of the luxurious grounds. Everything is way beyond what we had imagined and is absolutely breathtaking, with unique views and classic architecture that combines nicely with surrounding nature.


1) Gorgeous grounds in full bloom, 2) This photo is taken from outside our bedroom. We had to go up the steps to access the kitchen, the terrace, etc. and from there you go up yet more terraced steps to the swimming pool. 3) Quixôte reading a nerdy book. 4) First encounter with a swimming pool 5) Quixóte is happy in the shade of Nicole, what a cute photo!


My dog is a star!

We are shown to our room and Mark throws our suitcases on the bed. He comes back later and goes to turn on the lights in the room. People yell at him in a combination of French and English. From what we can gather Mark is being accused of killing birds.

“You are killing the birds” is the greeting we receive by by these people we meet now, for the first time. It turns out there is a nest of baby birds in the light fixture outside our room, which Mark turns on while checking out our light switches. A rumor seems to spread through the house very quickly that a whole nest of baby birds has been killed by Mark. (Polaski moment number one – except no birds have been killed). In fact a few hours later we observe the mother bird feeding the very alive baby birds. Mark takes the accusations of killing baby birds in stride. as he is used to quite often being in the wrong place at the wrong time in these types of social get-togethers.

This is the beginning of us being at odds with the Slow Food gang. I suppose it is mostly a cultural difference, but there begins a series of intense verbal exchanges between us over the days to come, in which we are bluntly accused of things we don’t do, plus introduced to the laws of what you can eat with what. For example, Mark was prevented from eating cheese with his strawberries even though they were placed next to each other on the table. From what we can gather, one can only eat certain things with certain things, other combinations are taboo. We are expected to all eat together every night (and day). Our new friends delight in the extravagance of preparing food all day, having nothing else to do except sunbathe a bit and plan elaborate menus, drive to town to pick up fresh ingredients. We like the basic philosophy of the slow food movement, but become increasingly annoyed with its purveyors.

Mark and I agreed on the philosophy of slow food, in which food is only procured from a fresh source within 30 km (not sure of radius)

Mark and I are non drinkers, and although at first it is fun to be so decadent and dwell for hours on every succulent morsel of food one eats, the culinary conversation and the food restrictions became a bit tedious and we begin to dread the next 3 hour meal every day. We tire of talking about food, what we are all going to eat that night, what we will eat the next day and with what wine…endless banter about food and wine and how to prepare it, where to get it, etc.

Over the first few days we enjoy the pool and laying out in the sun during the afternoons. One day Mark is heading back to the house from the pool and the slow food lady curtly remarks, “Mark, You Are Getting Too Much Sun” (she talks like she is capitalizing every word), Mark looks at her thinking “Who died and made you my Mother?” but says “Oh, am I?” and goes back to lay in the sun some more.

But the location is so lush, we throw ourselves into it and try to enjoy the serenity. Never mind that these people are boring and talk about nothing except food and wine. For the first couple of days the meals are fun, indulgent, but soon I begin to dread them. Too many rules. I like cream cheese with my potatoes, Mark likes cheese with his fruit, it is alienating not to be allowed to eat in our natural style, where we mix what we want with whatever our whim, no rules involved. I like parmesan cheese on curry (eccentric I admit, but then I like parmesan cheese on just about everything not sweet.)


1) “Could I add parmesan cheese to this chevre?” 2) My dog appears like a young bull, as he looks down the steps from the pool

This is when Quixote starts behaving strangely. After a couple of days of frolicking, going in the pool, sunbathing, posing for us all because he is such a muse, he becomes dopey, listless. He is standing up but his eyes are closing, like he’s in a daze. I wonder if it it possible he has had too much sun, so I call my vet back in Barcelona, who assures me that if my dog had heat stroke, he would be dead within 3 hours without medical intervention, so don’t worry too much and let him know if he continues to behave strangely the next day.

1) Dopey dog 2) Ship passing by

That evening I encounter the slow food lady, she is descending the steps I ascend.

“May I say something?” she asks in her choppy German accent, and I know that whatever is to follow will be a judgmental statement. I am not surprised when she says, “I believe you have caused this problem with your dog. He is too young to go into the pool, and he has certainly contacted an infection from the pool.” She continues down the steps, tisking to herself.
(Polanski moment #2)

I am appalled by this accusation , and something inside me snaps. I make a conscious effort to completely ignore her from now on. How can she accuse me of such a thing? Even my vet has assured me whatever is wrong with Quixote, it is not anything I have caused. Or have I?

At everyone’s insistence we drive to the nearest vet about 20 km away where we are informed he has ingested something, probably “chocolate” , which is something every one here has. The vet takes Quixôte’s temperature, he’s just fine.

“He has ingested something that has made him high. I have seen this before lately. I will give him this injection of antibiotics to make sure he is okay. These things last a few days. He’ll get over it.” Reassured, we are sent home with a dopey but sweet Quixòte and head to our room.

We soon hear a female voice:

He goes out and replies “yes?”, she says “You Have To Be More Careful Where You Put Your Pool Toys!!”. He looks at her for a second and says “thanks” and goes back into our room. After a while he goes into where she has stored our pool toy and throws it back out into the yard. (Polanski moment?)

More beauty from the villa where we are staying.

We have one fun night with these people though, when Mark and I bring our guitar and melodica up onto the terrace and play to the setting sun. The shutter happy photographer snaps away, the bossy lady smiles and videotapes us, our host refills wine glasses of those who drink and everyone is happy, Nicole joins in the music by shaking my extra egg maraca and singing along to “Gracias a la Vida”. Music provides the one evening in which we are all mellow, less thrown together.


There were other relaxing evenings where we all got along around the time of sunset, enjoying the beauty of Villa Deia:

Our poly-cultural group harmonizes over the evening sunsets

Nonetheless we decide to make a getaway while the going is smooth.

The next morning I tell everyone, “You know Mark and I are considering finding a hotel somewhere, just to see something else of Mallorca. After all it is our anniversary and we haven’t had any time alone. We’re looking for a hotel, maybe near a beach. Some time alone for romance.”

Here are some more parting shot of the heavenly grounds:
1) hidden Hammock 2) olive trees 3) view from table 4) view from table down to the villa
Goodbye Deia!



We find a nice hotel on the beach in Port Soller:


1) Port Sollers 2) Cafè below our Hotel


1) Night view from our front deck overlooking the harbor 2) Quixòte makes an apperance 3) Our Hotel (Eden) has a Frank Sinatra Bar 4) Mark enjoying a drink at the Sinatra Bar. We are happy! What a fun decision to come here!

We relocate to the Hotel Eden and spend the next few days in a romantic hotel room with a huge terrace overlooking Port Soller, which has a quaint harbor with a nice beach and a fifties feel to the town. A little train hugs the coast and is said to exist to connect inland, through a long tunnel through a mountain, which allows local farmers and country people to make it to the beach. Quixote remains slightly dazed, but this could be due to staying in a motel room now, all the changing of locales. He’s not romping around very much but is willing to go out, play, eat, take walks. He’s just a little bit mellower than usual.


1) My slightly dopey dog, 2) The little train that hugs the coast and goes inland 3) A happy Mark has swum to the float 4) Father and son enjoying the beach in front of our hotel.
Romantic Full Moon over the Harbor

Two points of view of the Fort Soller train, one from the beach looking up to our Hotel Eden, the other taken from our sundeck at the Hotel Eden

The world whirls and tweets by for Quixòte:

El Chocolatero de Mallorca