Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

 

Who doesn’t get wanderlust over Santorini?  I was lucky enough to go there last fall.  I don’t know that it’s my favorite place on Earth, but it was certainly a special trip nonetheless.  The winding streets, the steep cliffs, the amazing blue sea, the white stone buildings, the volcanic beaches, and the crowds during the day with the cruise ships passing through.

wanderlust

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Wanderlust

Photo Challenge: Earth

Of course I could have chosen a beautiful sunset or a charming landscape, but because tomorrow is Earth Day, here is a photo of the harm we do to the most beautiful Earth. 


This photo is from Belize just outside a luxurious resort and shows what life looks like on the other side of the fence where  sand isn’t being raked three times a day as if it were a much-loved Zen garden. 

I wish we combed and cared for every grain of sand like the Zen gardens.  They feel so false when this lay just outside. 
Earth

BUSY BARCELONA 

I wrapped up my Portugal/Spain trip in Barcelona.   I spent one day wandering the city on my own and one day on a food and wine tour in the neighboring mountains before heading off to the airport.

I arrived in the evening and immediately regretted leaving all of the tranquility of Mallorca.

I sat outside at a bodega across from my hotel for a quick dinner and was immediately warned of the terrible pickpocket problem by a waiter who clipped my bag to a chair.

The next day I went exploring.  I went to Sagrada Familia (where after 133 years construction is still underway), then Park Guell, a short cruise and a stroll along Placa de Catalunya.  It was an enjoyable day, but I could not find what I was looking for.  I’m not sure if I was tired of traveling, or if the contrast between the peace of Deia and the bustle of Barcelona was just too much for me.  I was beginning to miss home.

On the last day before my flight home, I had an amazing day-long food and wine tour booked.  The food and wine was unbelievable.  The tour guide was the worst I’ve ever experienced.  We stopped and asked for directions four times, and circled the mountains lost numerous times throughout the afternoon.  I missed seeing olive oil being made (disappointing), but I did get to see Montserrat for half an hour (a very rushed amount of time).  Eating lunch outside overlooking olive trees was beautiful, but there was always a tiny dread of getting back in the van and driving in circles which put a slight damper on the outing.

I hope if you go, you find more enjoyment than I did, and perhaps go to Barcelona before visiting Mallorca!

DREAMY DEIA

The Palma airport was a bit crammed with every vacationing European all in one tiny airport.  I had a booked rental car – and apparently so did every other person in the airport.  Unfortunately, they had all booked with the same cheap company I had booked with.  After 45 minutes waiting in line and only moving from side to side so luggage carts pushing by might avoid my ankles – I decided to make a bold move.  I decided with 24 hours on the island I wasn’t going to spend a minute more in the terminal, so I went up to one of the three rental counters without a line heading all the way back to Seville and booked a second car.

With two rental cars paid for, and finally finding one in the garage, I plugged in my Garmin and was on my way… and then I realized the Garmin only had American maps loaded.  So with the knowledge that I should drive north toward Sollér and then west toward Deià, and praying not to get lost on the hairpin turns of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range I was off.

Amazingly, I made it to Soller and then to my hotel without a single wrong turn.  I felt like I had a navigating talent.  The hotel, Hotel Costa D’or had a view of the Mediterranean, the mountains, a pool and I couldn’t wait to run down to the sea.

I did not go directly to the sea, instead I walked miles to the Deià beach and to the restaurants. I zigzagged up and down the coast, through the pine forest and met only a handful of other people along the route. After lunch I made my way down to a peaceful private cove to relax. Afterward relaxing I seemed to lose my bearings and zagged when I should have zigged.  I lost my way. There is no place I would rather get lost, however… after rock climbing, jumping a fence, scraping my shins and having pine needles in my hair I started to worry it would get dark. I found a house with a man watering some plants and yelled to him. He was a German man kind enough to let me cross through his yard to the road which led straight back to my hotel.

Although I was tired after my five or six hours wandering at the edge of the sea, I decided I wanted a meal and so after showering I had a three course meal watching the sun sink into the sea and it was the happiest meal I’ve had in ages. 

Pack your bags for Mallorca as soon as you can. I know I can’t wait to plan my return!!

**Rentalcars.com returned the cost of the prepaid but unused rental car and I  recommend the ease of the customer service experience.