So the Golf Captaincy has come to an end and all that’s left now is hosting the thank you dinner for 14 next Friday. Not quite sure why we’re doing the thanking, but hey, what do I know?
Anyway, to celebrate the handover we’d discussed all sorts of potential long haul adventures but unfortunately, by the time we got to proper planning, it turned out I could only take a week off work so we ended up with five days in Mallorca! Ah well, the sun shone occasionally, and it was definitely warmer.
The Jardines de Alfabia are situated between Palma (where we were staying) and Soller on the slope of the Sierra de Tramuntana.
There is a beautiful old train which has been running between the two towns since 1912. Apparently it will make a request stop at the gardens, but we wanted to go to Soller anyway so we took the train there and got a bus back.
Clearly it was late in the season to experience a great deal in the way of flowers, but the garden, originally owned by the 12th Arab Viceroy, has a Moorish character and the associated design features were easy to admire without blooms.
The entrance to the garden was up this striking flight of steps
From here there is an extraordinary pergola
which, in the further half, has twenty four inbuilt hydrants which erupt, after a 20 second delay, when a button is pressed. There was a comedy moment when I was about to press the button, not understanding where the hydrants actually spouted, and a Spanish couple coming in the opposite direction made it very clear using sign language that I really shouldn’t!
Here there were two amazing trees, easily 25 metres tall – Silk floss tree or Chorisia speciosa. Sorry not great photos, but the blooms were so high up and I only had my phone.
And this was the extraordinary bark
Exiting via the house (which apparently has Arabic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Roman, Rococco and even English in its decoration!) we spotted this fabulous palm, acting as eyelashes to the Ox Eye (ojos de buey) window. There were (understandably) a pair of these windows and each had its own little staircase, I assume for mounting your house (or carriage).
And to finish, ooh look – flowers!