Like fire and water or night and day, the island of Mallorca boasts two contrasting landscapes: arduous mountains and stunning beaches that are easily accessible by bus from Palma.
Our first weekend began early Saturday morning when we took a bus up the winding roads of an alluring mountain to reach the town of Valldemossa. With cobblestoned streets, and ancient buildings and houses laden with green shutters (a standout feature that makes Mallorca unique), Valdemossa takes pride in a not-so-obvious delicacy: Coca de patata, its famous potato-based pastries. Students were able to savor the sugar-topped buns, and as unusual as it sounds, the potato taste you would expect is nonexistent. They are sweet, soft, and almost melt in your mouth like a mini-dessert to start your morning off right.
From Valldemossa, we meandered further up the mountain, reached the precipice, and then made a slow descent on curving roads to the other side of the island where we’d finally get our chance to take a dip in Port de Sóller. As if living a dream, Sóller did not disappoint with its clear waters, kitschy tram carrying passengers along the coast, and unmistakable European architecture resting at the base of the towering mountains behind. This backdrop looked like something from a movie, and the students were the stars of this show.
After several hours of sun and fun, we packed up to head back to our home in Palma. Needless to say, no experience to this Mediterranean paradise would be complete without a trip to both the mountains and the beach, and over the weekend, we were able to cross off both from our Mallorcan bucket lists.