A few (blissful) days in Mallorca

Although last year we anchored overnight in the wild and gorgeous Es Trenc bay, I missed Mallorca; the intense smell of pine trees, the deafening song of thousands of cicadas, the mesmerizing Mediterranean, the unexplainable beauty of the light, the deliciousness of the food, and the quiet night sky.

This year I managed to join my family for a few days in the same cala -small bay- we have been going to since I was a child. It is very comforting to know the area, the folks at the restaurants, and the hotel staff.

The beach is small, but it has silk soft white sand and crystal-clear water. The defining characteristic of this spot is an island in the middle of the tiny bay which hosts a great little restaurant which specializes, obviously, in fish. This island has a rock jutting into the sea where you can jump from. Every day we swim over to the rock and jump, it is possibly the best moment of the year for me. The feeling of absolute freedom for the second that I am in the air.

Otherwise, it is a quiet time. We enjoy an amazing breakfast spread, we hang out at the beach all morning with a quick mid-morning break for a cortado* at the beach bar, we have a jump in the hotel pool before a pool-side lunch, a little siesta, a workout at the gym or a run in the hills, and hanging out at the pool for the rest of the afternoon until we mobilize for a nice dinner at a local restaurant (this year we spotted Chelsea forward Timo Werner and retired German mid-fielder Bastian Schweinsteiger at our favorite Italian joint!). We have travelled the island many times before, so we do not feel an urging need to explore, just to chill and hang out. I cannot wait for next year!

* Cortado, which means “cut” is an espresso with a dollop of milk to “cut” the acidity of the coffee.

Wait for it…

My Chapel Hill

Sushi!

Sushi!

The Carducho (or Carducci)

The Carducho (or Carducci)

The arboretum

The arboretum

The Carolina Inn

The Carolina Inn

(delicious) Taco Truck

(delicious) Taco Truck

Did I mention Gelato?

Did I mention Gelato?

Mandey of Zog's w a broken finger

Mandey of Zog’s w a broken finger

The pool in the theatre!

The pool in the theatre!

Older posts might mention this, so please excuse my old age and incipient dementia. I want to tell you about Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, I tell people, is a village, a thriving, dynamic, diverse village, but a village nonetheless. It has the advantages of a village: everything is walking distance from everywhere, it is easy to make relationships, safety, $4 movies at the main street (Franklin St.) Varsity movie theatre, all this translates to community. On the other hand there is a thriving cultural scene. Just this semester I have seen: Wynton Marsalis with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Andras Schiff playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, L-E-V an Israeli modern dance company, Shakespeare’s Tempest and Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, both with a swimming pool built into the proscenium!, opera (UNC’s The Orpheus Diaries), an early modern Spanish, French and Italian concert, with period instruments! And of course the, for me obligatory Nutcracker ballet. If that was not enough, I have gone to a couple of fascinating conferences by top presenters, for example, one on Baroque Spanish Literature. And then there are always gigs at Zog’s, my favorite bar, that range from reggae to punk to New Orleans Jazz. Given my constant need for stimulation, Chapel Hill delivers. An example of how Chapel Hill fits me like a glove might be Sunday mornings. After my breakfast and coffee I walk to church which is always a rich a rewarding experience with the wise and funny Monsignor Wall. After mass I cross the street to The Carolina Inn, where I enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the cozy living room where I do some reading. Then I walk up the street to the Ackland Art Museum where I sit down in front of a painting to do some more reading. In fact I always sit down in front of the same painting: Madame de Villeneuve-Flayosc, a sweet 18th Century lady with whom I like to converse about the goings on in the Enlightenment. Finally, it is home for lunch, or if it is nice weather for a nice Rocinante ride to search for a nice lunch.

On another level, I have state of the art fitness facilities: gym, swimming pool, basketball courts, etc. There are nice restaurants, cafés and shops (being realistic, and keeping in mind that we are not in New York City). There is a planetarium and an arboretum, there are world class libraries. Best of all, I am so busy reading and working that what little time (and money) I have to spend, I know will be good!