When I first learned that we were going to Mallorca to celebrate my husband's mother's birthday, I was excited. But not in the same way I'm excited when it's just the two of us taking off to Paris, London or Barcelona. After all, it is a family vacation - island or no island.
I didn't know much about Mallorca except that it is perhaps the most famous vacation destination for Germans. I quickly learned that it's jokingly referred to as the 17th Federal State of Germany and I'd be willing to bet that just as many people speak German there as they do Catalan or Spanish.
So when we lifted off actual German soil, I was looking forward to the trip - but more in a "this will be a relaxing week" and less in a "omg I can't believe I'm about to visit this new exciting place." In hindsight, this might be the reason I was so impressed with the island. I'm guilty of having too-high-expectations a lot of the time (something I'm working on) and maybe the fact that I had next to none for this trip served me well.
And wow. From the moment we touched down in Palma I was impressed. A car service took us to the southeastern part of the island, to a remote village called Cas Concos where we stayed in a gorgeous villa complete with everything we could possibly need.
Admittedly much of our time was spent lounging around, eating delicious foods (prepared by a professional chef!) and drinking too much champagne. But we also explored different parts of the island including Palma and the very touristy "Ballerman" - both located on the southwestern side of the island.
We also visited lesser known areas like the city of Santanyí where we discovered private beaches and a market selling fresh foods. The villa came with a very old-fashioned car, a Citroeën 2CV, which we rode around - adding an extra fun element to our excursions.
Daniel and I took a day for ourselves and went on a 30+ km bike tour. We rode to Portocolom, a coastal town with breathtaking cliff views of the Mediterranean, and to Mondragó Natural Park. Along the way we found even more remote beaches tucked away in different coves, beaches so beautiful they put the Caribbean to shame.
I could go on forever about the gorgeous views and wonderful time that we had. Perhaps most important, however, is my main takeaway from the trip which is that you can never judge something before you know about it. Obvious, maybe, but something that I needed reminding of. I went into the trip expecting a cheesy German tourist destination and instead got a remarkable 7-days in paradise.
Maybe we sould take a hint from the other Germans and make Mallorca an annual holiday trip.