It has been two and a half weeks since G and I touched down on the island of Mallorca, and despite a few hiccups, we are so happy to be here! Our new house is amazing, with all kinds of fruit trees and flowers and a beautiful view over a small vineyard all the way down to the Mediterranean Sea. It is truly our Shangri La.”
Moving to Europe has been an idea simmering for many years now. Before Covid, we had narrowed down our choices to Spain, Portugal or the Italian part of Switzerland. Our main criteria were:
3) quality of life
Last year, when travel restrictions eased up a bit, we decided to spend a longer period of time in Spain, exploring the island of Mallorca. Covid and the political climate in the US had begun to light a fire under our feet. The attraction of the small island off the coast was clear to us: the Mediterranean climate, its accessibility to the continent, the varied landscape with its multitude of outdoor activities, and the outstanding quality of the food and wine. What we weren’t sure of was whether we wanted to live in the capital city (Palma) or in the country (in a finca, which is a rural house with land). We were leaning towards the latter – ok, I was leaning towards the latter, because I’m a country girl at heart. But G had been wanting to try out city life for a while – having everything at your doorstep without having to drive does have its appeal – so I was open to the idea. After all, we did want a change.
We started our journey in Palma, the biggest city on the island. With just under one million people, it is home to half the island’s population. There is a charming old town (Casco Antiguo) and first class shopping and dining. The imposing cathedral (La Seu) greets visitors entering the city. It is truly magnificent. And around every corner there is something special to be found.
After a couple of days exploring the city, we drove up to Sóller, a typical old Mediterranean village that sits in a lush valley of orange groves between the mountains and the sea. We stayed in the beautiful Hotel Finca Ca N’ai, a renovated country house with spectacular views of the majestic Tramuntana mountains. From that base, we explored other nearby mountain villages.
Some friends joined us for a week, and we moved into a house in the center of the island to be better situated for sightseeing. From there, we took day trips all over the island. We explored little villages, coastal towns, and more of the mountains.
After our friends left, we went to stay with an old friend of G’s, who lives in the southeastern part of the island on a lovely property surrounded by all kinds of animals: donkeys, parrots, chickadees, chickens, turkeys, cats and dogs. We got a real taste of rural life! What started out as a few days turned into a two-week sojourn. While we were there, we happened upon a house that had been sitting on the market for a couple of years. The moment we saw it, we knew it was the one. As we still had several weeks left to explore, we returned to Palma for a while, then back out to a rural finca hotel, just to be sure.
Fast forward 6 months….and here we are!
In the days since we arrived, we’ve had to deal with no hot water, a washing machine full of rocks, a dead battery on our rental car, a faulty well pump, and one of us testing positive for Covid (which led to us self-quarantining for a week). But the bright side is, we’ve been able to get the house set up and catch up on much needed rest after the crazy last two months … selling and packing up our big house in Savannah and relocating to a condo in Charlotte, followed by our journey to Spain. But in spite of everything, there is no looking back, only forward. We can’t wait to see what the future brings!!
So, as you can imagine, my posts from now on are going to be all about this new adventure. I hope you will come along!