Thursday, 7 November 2013

Majorca 2013 - Bike ride, old Pollenca & Puig Maria, part two

The forecast today was a bit dull, with possible rain showers. Against even the advice of the hire man, we got a couple of bikes (note; raincoat in front basket) and set off to ride to Old Pollensa town, about an hour away by bike (taking your time). We didn’t go the direct route, having been given ‘the nod’ by the guy on our hotel reception that the small road was FAR better, view and traffic wise, than the main road. Although there are cycle tracks at the side of most of the main roads, his advice was top, and we rode along the route in almost solitary conditions.
You can read up on the old town here;

When we got to Pollensa, we locked the bikes up on the outskirts and walked into town along the small streets. There was a little square, with lots of stone sculptures in it. Although having been to the town last year, this was a part we had never seen.
This was the first one that we saw – a stone & metal harp.

A bookcase, full of stone books!

A stone piano – only ONE type of music to play on this.....

ROCK music, of course!

The organ, despite trying, I can’t get ANY information of what this is all about. Are the exhibits permanent, who is the artist, why are they here?? I emailed several local tourist places, to no avail. I even contacted the town hall, that was two weeks ago and still no reply?

Terrific statue of a gladiatorial nature.

A guitar? A lut?? If so, the neck is bent, is that right? 

A nice canon barrel behind.

The street cafes in old Pollenca are many and lovely. It truly is a cafe culture place.

All the side streets emanating from the centre are full of tables and chairs, all vying for your custom.

We were tempted, but managed to resist. Crepes are one of Sue’s FAVOURITE things.

A glance upwards saw this example of frightening wiring! 

Looking back from halfway up the 365 steps. The small building you can see on top of the hill opposite is the monastery on top of Puig de Maria.
We intend to visit that too today. For now though, we continued to explore the old town.

Looking up the 365 steps.

All along the way, lovely flowers decorated the path.

Looking out over Old Pollensa.

After reaching the top, we descended via another route as we wanted to see the Roman bridge.
Here it is. It was Built in 123BC. No water under it just now.

This super piece of wood was just presented in a small square. Was it natural, or art?

We really WERE ‘off plan’ now. Tourists rarely come to this part of the town, usually sticking to the centre, with all the main cafes. We decided to patronise this small cafe, which was full of locals, and their olives, bread and coffee were superb (AND inexpensive – 4 coffees, bread and olives just 8.30 Euros!).

After coffee, we went to the start of the track to the monastery. We locked the bikes up at the side of the road, and set off up the path to the top. It says one hour to walk it.

A lovely pair of rustic gates on the way up. The smooth track wound back and forth up the hill. There were a few houses up here, and we suspected this must be the high end, price wise, because of the incredible views.

The view of Pollensa from the road up to Puig de Maria.

We were WELL above the height of the 365 steps now.
(Click on the picture for a larger version).

Near the top, the houses petered out and the Tarmac track turns into this stony path, quite rough and uncomfortable to walk on.

 We reached the top, and we’d knocked at least fifteen minutes off the stated time!

Looking back over the old town, you can see the 365 steps, but here we are even more above their height.

A bit of a WOW! view for Sue from the top. Still a little cloudy, but nonetheless impressive.

A great place to have our picnic lunch, with the view looking over the bay towards Cap Formentor behind us.

The peeping sun catches the edge of the ridge and lights up a section of one of the peaks, making it look almost snow-capped.

Inside the monastery.
What struck me is they had to carry EVERY stick and brick up here to build this place.

Inside the chapel.

A small nativity.

The kitchen area, with stone sinks that would look at home in any top kitchen today. (Old is the new ‘new’).
You can book to stay here for the peace and solitude.

The simple fireplace, with grills for the food.

These foxed me at first, but I THINK they are the forerunners of gas rings!
A small fire is lit (or maybe transferred from the big fire) and placed in the hole below.....

Then, you put your pot on here, and hey presto!

Sue couldn’t resist tidying up.

Then, it was time to set off back along the quiet side roads. There were lots of sounds of people in the inland villas enjoying themselves with BBQ’s, pool parties etc. It was SO balmy and warm an evening, even if it was a bit cloudy.

Later in the evening, we went to one of our favourite bars (it would BE our very  favourite, if only Mariano Miranda played here) – bar Bony. The cocktails are huge, and the atmosphere buzzing! There are lots of little quirks about the place – note the backward sign behind us?

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