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Reminiscing about European vacations


Last May, we left our shores for another European adventure. We headed to England first, where we spent some time in the north, catching up with some family.

Five days in Bordeaux was next on the itinerary, and that was followed by two weeks in Spain, including five days in Barcelona and several days in Bilbao and San Sebastien.

The highlight of our trip, however, was eight days in Mallorca – one of the Spanish Balearic Islands – where we met two other couples and, together, we cycled the island.

Discovering Mallorca
Situated in the Mediterranean, Mallorca is known for beach resorts, sheltered coves, limestone mountains and Roman and Moorish remains. Taking the overnight ferry, which is a bit like a mini cruise, we arrived in the capital Palma early the next morning.

While Palma has several attractions, we headed for the inland village of Pollença, which was to be our home base for the next eight days.

Pollença is a town and municipality situated in the northern part of the island, near Cap de Formentor and Alcúdia. It lies inland, about 6 km west of its port, Port de Pollença.

While most of the buildings in Pollença were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the town is packed with ancient blonde stone architecture, it also has a rich history dating back to medieval times.

Pollença does not feel like many of the other towns in Mallorca that have surrendered to tourism. Pollença’s residents are primarily islanders, making it a popular retreat for those looking to escape the touristy beach resorts in favour of a more cultural Mallorcan experience. It truly is beautiful.

Getting on our bikes
We were there for the cycling, of course, and the island did not disappoint.

Popular with professional cyclists as a training venue, it has a diverse countryside for a small island. There are rolling low hills, a pan-flat plain, and a mountain range of perfect proportions.

As a tourist island, Mallorca’s busiest built-up areas are on the coast. The central part of the island is rural, unspoilt Mallorca; a network of country roads joining old villages and towns (and a city or two) that escaped war-time destruction.

Each town has a church and a square blessed with cafes perfect for coffee or lunch stops, and because of this, they retain the feel they’ve had for centuries.

When we can, we will not hesitate to go back.

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