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Posts tagged ‘walking’

Mallorquín Spring Lamb, enjoyed two ways

It may be premature to announce that Spring has arrived on the island of Mallorca, but having been blessed by almost continuous blue skies pretty much since the summer, it’s sometimes hard to say what season we are in. The only thing I know is that since the new year dawned, and we returned from the chilly climes of Vienna, it has surely felt like Spring is here. And with the arrival of Spring comes a cast of the usual protagonists – blossoming trees, warmer wafts of perfumed air, and the innocent bleating of fluffy little lambs.

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We came face to face with those beautiful little animals on a recent walk through Mallorca’s Tramontana mountains. Heading along one of the island’s worst-surfaced zig-zagging rollercoaster of a roads up one of Mallorca’s highest mountains to the vast valley nestling in the mighty shadow of the ruined Alaró Castle, we had a lunch date at the iconic Es Verger restaurant.

Recently made famous, to UK audiences at least, by its short starring role in one of chef Rick Stein’s televised adventures through the Mediterranean, Es Verger is an unbelievably quaint traipse back through time to the truly bucolic routes of peasant Mallorca, where everything on the limited menu borrows from the immediate rugged environment, and is cooked by a charming old lady using recipes passed down throughout the centuries. The star dish is Mallorquín lamb, the very same animal which only metres from the secluded restaurant you could see bleeding innocently in the rays of a newly sprung-sunshine (see attached photos above for heart-warming snapshots).

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But any guilt which we could quite easily have felt for seeing these sweet animals and then eating the same was quickly dispelled by the sheer exquisite deliciousness of this incredible dish. Cooked in beer and infused by the juices of a variety of vegetables roasted over long hours in a smokey log fire, the meat both melted over the tongue, and was deliciously caramelised at the edges. Never have I enjoyed meat so much, nor indeed a meal. Pure, simple, and finished off by a cremadillo – a flaming mix of local hierbas liquor, rum, coffee and all sorts of other liquid indulgences.

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Needing to walk off the alcohol and indulge a little more in the staggering scenery which surrounded us, we headed after lunch to the ruined castle of Alaró, an incredible historical site sat atop the mountain which, while looking deceptively close, required a good hour’s uphill climb along one of Mallorca’s craggier paths. But with views from the top spreading across the bay of Palma on one side and across to Puig Mayor, the island’s highest mountain on the other, we were awfully glad for the scenery, that amazing lunch and the Spring in our step it had given us.

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2016 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

A weekend in Fornalutx (Part 3): The Embalse de Cúber

If there is one thing that living these past 5 months on the stunning Mediterranean island of Mallorca has taught me, it is that mother nature is truly the best creator of beauty. With pristine white beaches flanked by momentous mountains, sweeping orange and lemon groves and vast surreal rock forms of every shape and size, Mallorca is truly nature at her best. However, as the final experience of my recent weekend in the mountain village of Fornalutx demonstrated, man too can do his level best at creating beauty within the confines already set by nature, and this has been no better evidenced than through the creation of the Embalse de Cúber located on the other side of Mallorca’s highest mountain. DSC02243 DSC02138 DSC02213 DSC02244 DSC02042 The embalse, or reservoir, looks to anyone passing by like a perfectly appointed mountain lake. Set within the shallow basin formed when some of the island’s most magnificent mountains come together, this lake fits perfectly into these momentous surroundings. And yet this reservoir, constructed to supply water to the bustling capital city of Palma de Mallorca, was made by man. And what a job he did. Gasps escaped our mouths when we first saw the sight of this stunning lake. Expansive, perfectly still and forming a wonderful reflection of the mountains surrounding it, the lake is a visual delight in this most incredible of landscapes. With paths lining the full length of the lake, we were able to appreciate the lake from up close, and there appreciate a multifaceted landscape which changed from one stretch of the lake to another. DSC02062 DSC02071 DSC02197 DSC02186 DSC02240 DSC02231 DSC02223 DSC02194 DSC02033 DSC02168 In one section, small prickly donught shaped plants interspersed with large craggy rocks looked like a landscape from out of space. A little further along, pine trees stood so perfectly erect and symmetrical that they appeared to be almost plastic in their lego-land perfection. And round on the other side of the lake, imposing cliffs of huge rocky forms rounded off a series of landscapes which thrilled along every inch of this incredible waterside walk. And just in case we became bored of the landscape, nature’s habitats were there to thrill us as well, including many number of colourful little birds, a snake, and even a big hairy bull… DSC02093 DSC02105 DSC02228 DSC02137 Now that was one encounter we were not expecting as we rounded off an incredible weekend in the mountain scenery of Fornalutx. All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.