I'm holding a tray of what's called coca. Some describe it as Mallorcan pizza. It's essentially onions, tomatoes and peppers, chopped up on dough, which is sprinkled with olive oil and then cooked in the oven.
I think the dough is the key. An English-language cookbook I have says to use butter for the dough. A Catalan-language one calls for saim, or lard. I'd go with the lard.
Standing next to me is my brother Miguel @mallorcanative. I may have grown taller in the end but I'll always look up to him! We had a great time that day at a cookout put on for us by very dear friends just outside Palma.
If you've been to Barcelona you probably visited La Rambla, or Las Ramblas, the famous, tourist-filled, tree-lined pedestrian walkway and shopping area. Palma in Mallorca has its own Rambla. It too is tree-lined and it too has a road on either side of it.
The word 'rambla' refers to a dry riverbed. Indeed there used to be a little river, a 'riera', that ran through here as late as the 17th century.
If you go, I recommend the Bodega La Rambla for some traditional Mallorcan food. We went a couple of times when we were there last year but the place was closed when we were there earlier this year. They were taking August off! I love Spain.
Can Forteza-Rey in Palma de Mallorca, near the Plaza Mayor, completed in 1909, is one of several structures in Palma and around the island that were influenced by Gaudi, the famed architect of Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia.
A view of the inside of the Castell de Bellver, which sits on a hill to the west of Palma. It's one of a few circular castles in Europe.
It was built when Mallorca was a kingdom in the 14th century; the kings of Mallorca lived there. From the 18th to the early 20th century it served as a military prison.
It's now a really cool history museum and is easy to get to on the hop-on hop-off bus.
A view of the port of Palma de Mallorca with the Catedral de Santa Maria in the background.
When Jaume I reconquered Mallorca from the Moors in 1229 he immediately ordered the construction of the cathedral on the site where a mosque had stood. It was finally completed in 1601. The cathedral dominates the Palma skyline.
I took the photo from the Bellver Castle (Castell de Bellver), which overlooks the harbour. I'll post some pics of it in the coming days.
These statues stand at a roundabout on the highway between Palma and Manacor, Mallorca's first and third largest cities. The spot is just outside a restaurant near Manacor called Es Cruce. Famous for its snail dishes. Here my daughter is doing her best impression of the roundabout art.
Photo is by my brother Miguel, @mallorcanative. Check out his page... he takes beautiful photographs! #Llull
These distinctive clay figurines are called siurells. They double as really loud whistles. If you want to bring something authentically Mallorcan home with you -- and can't get an ensaimada onto the airplane -- you can't go wrong picking up one of these.
Their origin is unknown but it's generally agreed they pre-date Roman times.
The ones in this photo are from a shop in Manacor called Bar Ceramica. At one point, many years ago, it was owned by my family.
The Church of the Mare de Déu del Carme sits atop the Carrer de Cristòfol Colom overlooking Porto Cristo's marina. The first stage of its construction was completed in 1890. It was expanded and completed in its current form in 1949. It's worth a visit if you're in Porto Cristo as it's but a short walk from the marina, restaurants and shops and main bus stop.
That's not a typo. Majorica is the name of the company that makes the famous Mallorcan pearls. Which aren't actually pearls at all. They're made by human hands, not by a mollusk's response to an irritant inside its shell (which is why a pearl develops inside an oyster). The Majorica pearls nevertheless are famous because they're made with the highest level of craftsmanship and really are beautiful.
Here my kids are having fun in front of the Majorica store in Porto Cristo, which overlooks the town's charming port.
A view of beautiful Cala Murta (bay of myrtle) from just outside the entrance to the Cuevas del Drach (caves of the dragon) in Porto Cristo, Mallorca.
Myrtle is a common plant throughout the Mediterranean and is one of the many herbs that Mallorcans have used for centuries in everything from seasonings to medicines to liquors.
The Cuevas del Drach, or caves of the dragon, are one of Mallorca's oldest attractions. And they're stunning. There are actually four caves -- the black cave, the white cave, the cave of Luis Salvador, and the cave of the French. It's worth the trip to Porto Cristo to see them. The tour is just long enough and ends with a mini classical concert by four musicians in boats on the underground lake called Lake Martel. The concert has been performed unchanged since 1935!
There were once over 900 windmills dotting the landscape of Mallorca. But over the years this number dwindled to 700 or so. And even then, the ones that remained were in such disrepair that in 1998 the World Monument Fund placed Mallorca's windmills on "watch" in an effort to bring attention to the need to restore and preserve them. Great strides have been made since then.
The beach at S'Illot ("the islet") on Mallorca's east cost lies at the mouth of the Ca n'Amer river (you can see the river in the bottom of the photo). We used the village as a base during our stay in Mallorca.
S'illot takes its name from the little rock island at the left of the photo.
My second son on lookout at the Castell de sa Punta de n'Amer as the sun sets.
Getting there was a fun trip for us -- a 30-minute hike from the nearest tourist trap in Sa Coma on Mallorca's east coast. The kids have fonder memories of the hike than they do of the beach.
My son trying to fire a cannon on an unsuspecting Cala Millor ('the better bay') on Mallorca's east coast. (He failed in the end.) The Castell de sa Punta de n'Amer is basically a watchtower and was built in the 17th century to help protect the surrounding villages from pirates.
I spent the last two weeks exploring Mallorca, the island my father comes from. Going there is always an intense experience: meeting family and discovering the sites, learning the history, attempting to speak the language, and trying as much of the cuisine as possible.
The tattered flag of Mallorca in this photo sits atop a 17th century watchtower (Castell de sa Punta de n'Amer) along the island's east coast.
Approaching the main entrance of the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the city's central train station. It's the second busiest train station in Germany (after the Hamberg Hauptbahnhof) and among the top five busiest in Europe.