Friday, June 8, 2007

Colónia de Sant Jordí

Friday 8 June 2007
I plan to go to the island of Cabrera today. My alarm went off at 0600. I got up promptly and was on my way to the bus staton at 0615. The station was not open, but I found that I could pay the fare on the bus. It took me a while to find the right place to wait for the bus, but I boarded it shortly after it pulled into the station, and was on my way to Colónia de Sant Jordí at 0700 for an hour long ride across Ses Plau, the flat plain of Mallorca.

There are lots of olive, fig, and almond orchards, and dilapidated wooden windmills on one to two story high stone foundations are a common sight. Some of the windmills have been restored. Many if not all of the restored windmills are made of steel, painted in white, and either blue or red. The government is paying people to restore their windmills. There are also grain fields, alfalfa, round hay bales stand in some fields, and there are a few carob orchards and an occasional vineyard or vegetable garden. The plain is not entirely flat. There is an occasional hill and a few pine forests.

I was unable to get on the boat to Cabrera, because it was full of school children. I spent a couple of hours in a German restaurant. The owners moved from Germany and purchased the restaurant only 3 months ago. They have renamed the restaurant Cafe Strandkorb and almost all of their customers are German. They are located directly across the street from an interpretive center that is under construction. They have a son who is a doctor in Norway.

I ordered a cortado and ensaimada from the owner of the restaurant. He was struggling with Spanish almost as much as I, so he sent his wife out to speak English with me. She spoke perfect English as she grew up in Germany near an English speaking community. After a bit I ordered Spanish ham, a kind of German cheese that turned out to be sour cream with garlic and chives. The breakfast came with two kinds of fresh warm bread, one like the biscuits we make in California, and the other a whole wheat quick bread with flax and sunflower seeds. It would have been very good with coffee, but I had already had enough coffee, so I drank fresh squeezed orange juice from Mallorcan oranges.

I finished my breakfast at 1200, found the bus stop and began hiking east on the beach. The beaches here are of fine, white sand. The beaches closest to town are densely populated. Many of the people sunning themselves are lying on lounge chairs under umbrellas. The farther I got from town the more thinly populated the beaches. Rocky headlands separate the beaches, and stone boat houses are built on some of these rocky headlands. I walked about 3 kilometers before going for a swim. I swam to an island about a kilometer offshore, and could see the bottom the entire way. The water was quite comfortable, probably 20 to 22 degrees C. I walked back to Café Strandkorp for a caña, a small draft beer before catching he bus back to Palma at 1520.

I arrived back at Angel´s condo at 1630, showered, shaved, went to the store, and cooked some ribs Angel wants to take to a party at Ana and David´s in a couple of days. I added to this blog while the ribs simmered on the stove, and went to bed at 2330.

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