Mi amor and I celebrated our two year anniversary by spending the 19-28th in Spain this past month. We started with a day in Barcelona (pronounced bar-thu-lo-na in Castillian Spanish), walking around the city to see Park Gueill, La Sagrada Familla (Commonly known as the “Gaudi Church”) and La Rambla (Barcelona’s tree-lined promenade that leads from the center of town south to the Olympic Center on Barcelona’s harbor).
After that, we hopped on a plane and landed in Palma, Mallorca’s capital. Mallorca is one of the three Balearic Islands situated in the Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain, where the most renowned one is Ibiza (a-beeth-a)…famous for drunken foam parties, Spring Break enthusiasts and general debauchery. Thankfully, Mallorca is quite the opposite. From Palma, we took a bus to Deia, a little town nested in a recess in the mountains, hugging a beach and a famous church on the hill.
Our friend and client lent us her two story house for the week to relax and detox from the bustle of the city, work and looming decisions (her grad school selection, my impending move to Hoboken). The house has three verandas, all of which overlook the town and provide unbeatable sunsets. It is situated among groves of lemon and orange trees and is complete with a path to the beach, palm trees, a wood shed and a flowing mountain stream. The whole experience was like a hollywood movie set that seemed a little too perfect. The townspeople clung to their Mallorcan roots and language (quite different from Castillian Spanish) and we only ran into three Americans (two from Long Island) the entire time we were there.
All in all, the vacation was enough to bring about the slight depression upon returning that solidifies that the experience was wonderful.
Items of note:
1. “Spanish Time” is the same as our time, give or take an hour or two.
ie. “I’ll see you at two” Translation: “I’ll see you between one and three”
2. The Spanish siesta is based on “Spanish Time”, but mostly occurs when tourists are most hungry.
3. The Spanish Tortilla is an omelette-quiche concoction, not to be missed.
4. You can still be considered manly if you scream like a little girl.
ie. When a lizard jumps on your hand in a pitch black wood shed in the middle of the night.
5. Contrary to their other Iberian neighbor, Spanish people shave a lot
6. German tourists, who can travel to Mallorca for $29, provide an equally indecipherable Spanish accent to non-spanish speaking Americans.
7. Tapas in Spain is quite better than Tapas in NYC, but stay away from anything named “Chicken Croquettes” and inquire if a salad actually contains lettuce.
8. When it comes to personal-space in Mallorca, all bets are off. If you are alone on a rock, among a sea of large, equally comfortable and scenic rocks, you may soon find people sitting right next to you. Don’t be surprised if they start taking pictures of you, either.
9. Finally: Mediterranean Islands can have 93% humidity. When starting fires, you need to use styrofoam-looking, brimstone-smelling “pills.” If it takes you an hour to get one lit, don’t worry. You’re still a man. Unless, of course, you scream like a school girl (see #4 above).