Leaving the coast for a visit to Valldemossa ,Delia, Porto Cristo, Manacor and Els Calderers

The view from the Monastery at Valldemossa
The view from the Monastery at Valldemossa

We hired a car and travelled inland to the lovely old town of Valldemossa. The typically stone buildings with their terracotta tiled roofs might make it sound like more of the same… but it is not. The town is in amongst the mountains and from the famous Cartusian Monastery of Valldemossa where the famous composer Frederic Chopin rented a cell together with the French writer, George Sand (1838) and had a piano sent from Paris to live in solidarity and get some inspiration, quiet times and a fantastic view. Here he composed some of his most famous compositions. We had the privilege to listen to some of the music he composed there in the Palace room, performed by a wonderful pianist on a grand piano. Before Chopin left Mallorca he sold his piano to a family in the valley which can still be seen in the perfectly reconstructed Cell no 4 where he used to stay.

The original piano of Chopin
The original piano of Chopin

The view from the Monastery gardens is looking out onto the valley leading to the sea. It is very peaceful and an excellent choice for a monastery.
Valldemossa was busy getting ready for a festival bust we could not quite figure out when and what is happening. The houses in town have got beautiful decorations of pot plant on the walls or just interesting front doors and made it feel like a very happy place to live in. We had a quick tapas ad a beer at one of the restaurants where we tasted and bought our first “sobrasada” – a pork meat spread stuffed in a thick sausage. It is delicious but the look of it could put some people off. The weirdest thing is that it never goes into a fridge? It lives outside and the flavours just improve with time. We have been eating ours (about the thickness of my wrist and about a hand span long) now for a week and it is not even halfway. It is pretty rich and usually only goes on tapas toast of savoury biscuits.
The other delicatessen that is typical of Mallorca is the Ensaimada cakes – it is coiled sweet bread with fillings of chocolate, custard, jam or fruits and baked with a glaze over it. Gorgeous!
Ensaimada
Ensaimada

We basically drove through Delia (sadly …as it is very pretty from a distance!) We went for lunch to one of the restaurants that was overlooking the sea on huge cliff – very remotely situated on the road between Delia and Sollér. It was good to see what the bays and calas look like from land and if we could recognise it from when we passed it a few days ago! Amazingly different aspects!
The Pearl factory in Manacor
The Pearl factory in Manacor

The other inland towns we had to see were Manacor, where the Mallorca Pearl factories are. It was interesting to see how it is made and that it is all artificially made with mother of pearl coatings. It all comes with a 10 year warranty and is worth purchasing I thought…and so did Johann! (Thanks to my lovely husband I am now also the pride owner of a set of pearl strings! Beautiful and elegant!) Manacor happened to have its Saturday markets on and probably the biggest one I have ever seen! Selling anything from underwear to bags, shoes, clothes, nuts, olives dried fruits etc.! We left Lientjie at the markets and went to the nearby church – smaller than what we have seen before but absolutely beautiful inside.
Entrance to the house at  Els Calderers
Entrance to the house at Els Calderers

We took an further inland tour to a place called “ Els Carderers “ – just outside the little town of San Juan in the mountains. A perfectly restored mansion of an estate house that used to belong to a noble family . Every room exactly furnished as it used to be in the mid 1700! Complete with the dining table very formally set with the best cutlery and crockery and glasses for a 4 course meal, the hunting room, music room, ironing room and drawing room … absolutely wonderful to see. The family had a small chapel (as they had about 38 employees) with a resident priest with his own room. The overseer/ manager had his own room, kitchen to cook for the workers and a Spartan dining area at the rear of the house but still part of the same building. Even the sheep dogs had their own little stone “house”.
The estate : “ Els Carderers “
The estate : “ Els Carderers “
The whole estate is still “farmed” (wheat crops, vineyards, figs, almonds and orange orchards and various animals like goats, cattle, pigs and chickens). Completely self-sustained, making cheese and flower for bread. It is a wonderful living museum and was extremely interesting to see how they have lived many centuries ago! We had lunch there with everything they served was produced on the estate! – A typical workers meal of bread and bread with ham, cheese and olives.

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