Posts Tagged With: Island Life

Uep, Com Anam?

This means “Hi, how are you” in Mallorquin. Not only do I now have to learn Spanish – and German – but I also feel compelled to learn some of the traditional language spoken here in Mallorca! Why German, you ask. Because there are practically as many Germans on the island as Spanish! Not to mention the obvious, but I am also married to a German.

We are over a month into our new adventure and I am muy relajado! See what I did there? I am going to learn by doing! G and I are both very relaxed, in fact. It’s hard not to be, when you live on an island in the Mediterranean! Luckily we both grew up as expats in Saudi Arabia and South Africa, because otherwise our heads would have exploded by now. Nothing happens quickly around here.

Stairs leading to our “technical” room under the house.

First of all, our well water is not fit to drink. We have the option of city water, but that isn’t much better. We were supposed to get a filtration system put in weeks ago, but due to a supply issue it was postponed. The guys finally came last week and said it would be finished the next day by noon….but the next day they were here until 5:00 trying to resolve an issue with the filter. “We will come back tomorrow,” the boss said. “What time?” G asked. The boss was wishy washy. G told me later he wouldn’t be here. He was right. It was Friday afternoon before it was finally finished, which was a relief because we had friends coming for the weekend!

We also have a defective washing machine. It is brand new, mind you, but upon first use, the water backed up. When we drained it, we found a pile of rocks in it. Don’t ask me how they got there – the machine is brand new! “Maybe a disgruntled worker put them in,” G hypothesized. It will remain an unsolved mystery. A technician from Miele came last week to take a look and said the drum was defective. He said he would recommend the company replace it, but as it is past the warranty (although new, it was put in the house in 2018/2019), there was no guarantee. We have continued to use the machine, but we can hear the rocks banging around under the drum. Luckily, we found out yesterday that the company is going to send us a new one. Hallelujah!

“Where the hell did those rocks come from?”

The last major headache – if we were prone to headaches – is that there was a punch list of items that needed to be fixed within a month of our signing the contract for the house….which was well over a month ago!Warped doors, peeling paint, the iron gate that almost sliced G’s foot off when he tried to open it and it fell off its rusted hinge, just to name a few of the issues. The contractor’s guys showed up for a couple of days two weeks ago (after G’s prodding) and seemed to work diligently before they disappeared again. G contacted the contractor again last week to remind him that the month had come and gone. He showed up with his guys and they got a few more things done. But now the warped door is gone – of course to the room our friends wanted to stay in – and we have no idea when it will be back.

You have to be a “squeaky wheel” to get attention around here. And it helps to know some Spanish. Like Quizá, quizás (maybe) and Mañana (tomorrow).

Luckily we have a beautiful spot to enjoy while we wait…..

Casa Última
Categories: Mallorca, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Mallorca – The Start of a New Adventure!

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:

1) weather,

2) affordability

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.

The Cathedral in Palma

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!!

Saucy in Paradise

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!

Categories: Think About it | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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