Exploring the grounds of Lluc

9th of January, 2022

After a great night of sleep (it was extremely quiet in the Monastery!), we wake up around 8.00 from the sounds of the café on the plaza. A very good breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant. We pay the 4 euro parking costs at the reception and put our luggage in the car. It is time to explore the grounds of Lluc.

All around the Sanctuary, sculptures of the prominent Majorcan artist Joan Bennàssar, are visible. The exhibition is called “The road to Lluc, Shelters of Love and Good Will”.

It is the work created by Joan Bennàssar in a year full of uncertainties and with the motivation to bring hope to those who come to Lluc after making such an effort to get here. This exhibition follows the traditional path, that begins in Inca, passes through Selva and Caimari, crosses Escorca and reaches Lluc, meandering through magical corners of the Serra de Tramuntana, as the path is the perfect metaphor of life. The work arises from the conviction that living means live together in harmony and that there is no progress without ethics. It is connected to the work Human Reasons because it reinforces effort, love and individual offering to the collective future.

From the Plaza del Lledoner, a stone path leads up to the spot, where the Holy Image of the Virgin was found.  It is called the Mount Rosario Route, but also the Camí dels Misteris. A short hike of around 30 minutes, but definitely worth the climb.

We pass a small cemetery, though we can’t reach it, as the road is blocked due to fallen stones.

The five stone monuments are impressive. We admire the three bronze reliëfs, representing the mysteries of the Rosary (joy, pain and glory). At the end of the path, the Cross is overlooking the Monastery and the valleys of Lluc and Aubarca. The cold wind is strong here on top of the mountain!

We quickly descend to a warmer atmosphere and visit the interior patio ‘Jardí de les Magnòlies and the central courtyard.

The Botanical Garden is small, but contains around 200 different species, all from the Balearics. Pieces of art and funny constructions  are placed between the plants and along the narrow pathway.

There is no time anymore for a visit to the museum of Lluc. Today we have to drive through the mountains to the capital Palma, where we booked a hotel for our last two nights. The hustle and bustle of the big town will be in strong contrast with the serenity of the Sanctuary!

The Tramuntana Mountains

 

 

 

 

Platja de Muro and a visit to Port de Sollér

January, 2022

Our intention is to explore Parc Natural de s’Albufera de Mallorca together with the dogs, on this glorious New Years day. According to our travel guidebook, the area is an eldorado for birdwatchers, as more than 200 species of rare birds have been spotted in the wetlands. We, and a few others, are pretty disappointed that the parc is closed, as we are fully prepared for a big hike. At least the beach is on walking distance and the dogs are getting very excited; they smell the sea! Platja de Muro is just an extension of the Parc Natural and it feels like we are on a Caribbean island! Soft sand, blue skies and a turquoise sea. In the summer it will be busy here with sunbathing tourists, but today there are just a few other dogs…..

Later we drive through Can Picafort, which was once a picturesque fishing village, but is now destroyed by ugly apartment buildings. At the far end of the boulevard some sculptures, made by the artist Joán Bennàssar, are overlooking the serene bay. These pieces of cement, mainly women, are goddesses and fairies, who dialogue with nature and the sea. They are distributed in 4 groups and are all located on the beach, along the promenade; desire, ritual, treasure and wound

The next day, we are going to discover a part of the northern coast and the dogs are joining us again for the trip. The Serra de Tramuntana, an impressive limestone mountain range of almost 90 km long, is covering this part of the island. Our plan is to drive to Esporles and from there direction Banyalbufar, both very pretty places! Just before Banyalbufar is a small parking place at the side of the very curvy road and it is also the starting point of a fabulous hike to Port de Canonge. Again nothing is going according to our plans, as the parking place is already occupied by a rough 20 cars. No other possibilities to park the car. Why did we go on the weekend, instead of choosing a quiet day during the week? The dogs are getting eager to go out and we too! We turn around and drive up the hill again and find a small spot behind the bus stop. Here, in the middle of nowhere, on top of the hill, a ruin of a former hamlet is visible. It is pretty spooky, but the dogs love it!

From here we follow the road to another pretty town called Valldemossa, a popular town for weekend outings! The road now turns towards the coast and passes scenic places like Deia. We decide to go to Port de Sóller, situated on a secluded bay with plenty of restaurants and lovely terraces overlooking the beach, the harbour and the lighthouse.

We take the dogs for a walk and they seem to like the ambience! Later we feed them, before they go for a nap in the car, while we have ‘a bite’ in town.

Port de Soller is fabulous and very relaxing! Our hike will have to wait for next time and NOT in the weekend!