My MallorcaFeelings experience by Rhea Rouw
The morning of October 6th, 2015 was a beautiful one. I awoke to feelings of anticipation to see what the three days ahead would bring, and looking forward to discovering new and unchartered territories of this beautiful island of Mallorca.
The 1st event I attended was the reception at Bellver Castle. A landmark that overlooks the entire city of Palma. On the drive up to the castle, you would never believe that you were virtually in the centre of the largest city on the island. Surrounded by trees and the sound of insects, winding your way up, up and far away from the hustle and bustle, into the most calm and natural environment you could ever imagine. Overlooking both the city and the sea, it gives your imagination room to wander streets full of people, or navigate the waters on your own.
Walking up to the entrance, the Castle was lite as if in anticipation of what lay ahead. Greeted at the gate of the castle with a glass of wine and a warm hello, we were directed on through the courtyard, over the bridge and into the castle itself. Upon entering, the castle was in a circle around us and we could look directly up into the warm night sky. It was like entering an ancient Roman arena, and showcased some of the rich history of architecture that Mallorca has. The beauty was astounding and filled with the chatter of happy excited people and the sound of greetings by old and new friends. All of a sudden, the most amazing voice started to fill the room and the people stopped talking and started looking around to see where the sound was coming from. On the second floor in the center of the columns, stood a greek goddess (Just Jerri, Jerri Rheanne Rouw) with a microphone, singing to the guests below. As she wandered slowly from column to column, the drama was truly enhanced by the strains of her raw and haunting voice. For those few minutes, you were well and truly taken away by the magic and as she reached the bottom of the stairs and wound her way through the crowd to the stage, we all felt like we had been blessed by the gods, even for just a moment.
If that wasn’t enough, we were presented with so many tidbits of amazing Mallorcan fare. So many different things to try, so many amazing flavours and every little bit of it, typical and made right here on the island. There was sobrassada, ensaimada, wine, oil, cheese, even ice cream and all typical Mallorcean. This Island is truly amazing in the ability to have such a variety of traditional food and the freshness of the produce when ripening in the ground or on a bush or tree, truly does give new definition to mana of the gods!
October 7, 2015
Woke up early to another amazing day. The sun again was shinning and the air was warm, but with a crisp feel. A typical autumn day. We were off to reforest the devastated area of the Serra de Tramuntana, a mountain area in Mallorca that was devastated in forest fires a few years back and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After a winding trip through peaceful villages and picturesque towns, we made our way to the base of the trek we were to take. Upon arrival, you could see the affects that the fire had had on the environment, but as we started our hike to the site, you could see that nature was once again, reclaiming it’s own. There were beautiful flowers that had started to grow, the natural grass that grew was once again growing tall and strong and the sound of nature was all around. High in the sky you could see large predator birds circling on the updraft, keeping a close eye on the ground for their next meal. Nature was again, coming full circle. Rounding a bend, you just had to stop and stare, the sea came into view in all it’s vastness and starkness and with the sun shinning off the boats and the waves, was a moment to stop and reflect upon the beauty of life and your sorroundings. Once you caught your breath, you continued on a little further till you reached the site where we were allowed the pleasure of planting an olive tree and claiming a little slice of forever future, with one of natures wonders that would grow and produce olives and oil for centuries to come. As I was one of the first to arrive, I was blessed with the opportunity to sit and reflect in silence what I had been tasked with and the reasons for it. GEOHolder, the company that provided this opportunity, had given me a chance to be remembered long after I have gone and my tree will forever be looking over the beautiful Mediteranean Sea, providing so many things that are needed for the environment and life. We need to remember that we are but a speck on this thing called earth, yet we tend to do the most damaging things to that which provides us with food and air to breath. In planting a tree, especially an Olive Tree, we are giving back in both food and air and maybe, just maybe, becoming more than just a speck with one small gesture.
Than it was off to Es Revellar Art Resort in Campos, the center of the Island. We were told that we were going to have the opportunity to see some breathtaking art as well as tasting some Sobrassada and Salt, again, fitting in with the whole theme of sustainable and quality tourism. As we travelled further into the countryside of the beautiful Island of Mallorca, we started to wonder if we had lost our way. Around a little bend we saw a sign that lead us to our destination. A large gate opened majestically and we drove in to a hidden Oasis that we never imagined seeing in the countryside! We were greeted by the owner of the Art Resort, who had flown in from Madrid in order to better explain his vision to us, and what a pleasure it was! The main building is a treasure trove of art from all walks of life, the rooms are reminiscent of the type of cabanas that you would see in India or Thailand, flowing curtains, beautiful luxurious terraces all surrounded by the sound of fountains that have to be crossed to access your room. The gardens ar
e spectacular, and the sounds of birds, frogs and the occasional gust of wind is all you can hear. Hidden away are magical playgrounds of art, best seen in the freshness of the night air, with the sounds of symphonies and the spectacular lighting that make it seem like a wonderland. You can travel the world in a few hours and see inspiration from artists both already famous and those beginning their journey. The ability to not only touch and feel little pieces of history but to know that you have interacted with some of the greatest inspirations of all time is priceless. We finished the tour in the restaurant where the most amazing sobrassada and salt ,from Flor de Sal, as well as some specially prepared dishes by the chef of the Es Revellar Art Resort were ready and waiting for us. Sadly, our time had to end as we were running a wee bit late for our next adventure. FOOD OF THE GODS!!! (Yes, we ate alot through this time frame, proving just what an abundance of natural goodness this island has on offer!)
Off again through the amazing and diverse countryside to the village of Capdellà and the majestic Castell Son Claret. Snuggled inside is the Restaurant S’Olivera, where the renowned Michelin Star Chef Fernando P. Arellano was to be our host. Upon entering we were ushered to the Terrace where the table was made up and ready and waiting. The moment we sat down, we were asked what we would like to drink and told to enjoy. Then much to our su
rprise, the chef himself came out to greet us and explain the phenonomal menu that we were about to enjoy. What a true pleasure to be introduced to someone that is such a master of their craft and so gracious as to insure that we understood what he was about to serve us.
As we sat there in the the sunshine, chatting and enjoying the sunshine, listening to the sounds of the countryside around us, we had no idea the culinary delights that were about to be bestowed upon us. One dish after the other of the most amazing and delectable treats that were beyond your imagination graced our table top. Just when you thought there could not possibly be anymore you could fit in your stomach, one more would arrive and it looked and smelled so incredibly sinful that you couldn’t help but have “just one more bite”. I now understand the need for the ever famous Spanish Siesta, as after having stuffed oneself with possibly one too many heavenly bites, there was a need to rest the body and stomach. After all, we had the sunset to watch at Cap Vermell Beach Hotel.
After a much needed Siesta……..yes, I gave in, it was time to head to the lovely Cap Vermell Beach Resort in the sea side resort of Canyamel Capdepera. One of Mallorca’s most famous stops to watch the Mallorca sunset. One of the things that I most enjoyed about these two days was the trips throughout the Mallorca countryside, as this was another car journey through the heart of Mallorca and it’s many scattering of villages. Upon arrival we were again escorted to an outside Terrace although this time right over the sea. There was a band playing and a coach full of well dressed guests. Again the food was flowing and the most tasty food native to the Mallorca countryside and waters was served. The sunset was spectacular, the location bar none, and the local wine was a favorite. New friends were made, laughter was the order of the night and the evening ended far too quickly.
Unfortunately for me, this is where my journey ended. I had prior commitments for the following day, but hope and pray that next year, I again will be one of the lucky ones in attendance and will be able to experience even more magical places on this beautiful Island I call home.
Mallorca, definitly much more than sun, sand and beaches!
By Rhea Rouw