‘Es Molí’, Deià, Mallorca

Five precious days away.  Given what we wanted was a beautiful place with comfort, rest and relaxation, I relied on a recommendation of somebody who had stayed at ‘Es Molí’ last year.  Never keen on the laborious task of filling in those internet forms, I remembered that many years ago, before you had to do all of that yourself, we went to Madeira with a company called ‘Classic Collection’.  And there they were, now on the Internet, but still willing to do all the work for you.  And they did just that.  Nothing could have been easier!

Once again here we are at Terminal 5, clutching a blue folder which will  hopefully be our key to paradise.

A mystery parcel – that’s an image of our holiday …

Transport was included and when we arrived at Palma airport a venerable gentleman escorted us to his car. As we followed him, another man came up and said we had chosen the best taxi driver on the island.

Deià is on the north west coast

A good start as we meandered along twisting roads, higher into the mountains, edged with olive groves running down to the sea and orange groves stretching up the mountains to an azure blue sky.

Favourite colours – I relax just looking at this photo…

Forty minutes later we turned into a steep driveway.  A warm welcome awaited.  Lovely, sunny room, spacious bathroom and the joy of a large balcony.  Perfect!

Entrance to ‘Es Molí’

Deià, Mallorca

Deià – sea view from our balcony …

It was mid afternoon and we decided to take a look at the village  –  just a ten minute walk away.  John always looks for the highest point  –  so we made for the church.

Half way there  –  a welcome respite  –  I must confiscate that phone!

Drinking fountain …

The church is exquisite and cool.  Beautiful music fills the space and the candles glow.  Outside, there is a small, rickety stall where marmalade made from the orange trees is on sale.

The church, Deià

The graveyard is small and intimate  –  it looks out over two views on opposite sides.  One towards our hotel, the other to the house of Robert Graves, who is buried here.  I’m always fascinated that in many graveyards in Europe, photographs are often part of the tombstones.  But even photographs –  memories  –  fade away in time.  This is a special place and I’m glad to have been here.

Fading memories …

Complementary colours …

Chrome Yellow …

Deià – postbox?

Besides being drawn to the pretty lace curtain here, I wondered if the yellow box was a general postbox  –  or just for the house.  Many years ago in Italy I put six postcards  for England in a box in the middle of the countryside. They all arrived – but six months later!  Maybe some kind person realised they might stay there for ever, covered in cobwebs, and rescued them!

An ancient olive tree

Above the door to a small art gallery … This was once at the bottom of the sea – see shell/sea shell…

We made our way back down endless flights of steps and finally arrived on the main street again, attracted to a restaurant called ‘Nama’.  Our waitress was English, living out here for the past year.  The restaurant had windows which were wide open, looking out towards Es Molí.  If you come to Deià, come here for a special treat.

‘Nama’ restaurant, Deià

Time to read a little on our balcony and watch the night flooding in …

The church at night – view from our balcony …

Breakfasts offer fabulous choices  –  taken inside or out on the terrace.  Afterwards we explore the gardens, having already been up early to swim in the spring fed, heated pool.

Very early morning swim before breakfast – Es Molí

The gardens surrounding ‘Es Molí’ are terraced with many secret nooks.

Gardens at ‘Es Molí’ – irises and lavender

Terraces at ‘Es Molí’

Oranges – ‘Es Molí’

John finds something to tax his brain … !

‘Es Molí’ – under the trees …

We spent some of the morning reading in deckchairs.  After lunch we decided to walk to Robert Graves’ house, which took a leisurely half an hour.  It’s on the outskirts of Deià, on the road to Sollér.

The house is kept as though the inhabitants would be returning in the evening. We were encouraged to watch the film, which described Robert Graves’s life and why he came to live out here from Britain.  It’s been well put together, seamlessly co-ordinating old footage.  I always find visuals stimulate my brain to remember history, especially if personal stories are involved.

Robert Graves had many visitors here – writers, actors, politicians … and lovers, some of whom he married.  Laura Riding was one, who lived for some time with him, his wife and family. Today, he’s best known for his work ‘I, Claudius’, along with ‘The Greek Myths’ and his autobiography of the war years, ‘Goodbye To All That’.

The house and garden are intimately and beautifully laid out  – without it feeling like a museum.

Artichoke splendour

Opium? poppies

In the greenhouse

Araucaria araucana or monkey puzzle tree

This tree became very fashionable with the Victorians.  It is a native of central and southern Chile and western Argentina.   These trees live for 1,000 years.

An orange heart at the entrance to Robert Graves’s home

And then we went inside.

Robert Graves’s desk

Printing press

There’s a room which has been made into a small museum, showing some of Graves’s work.

A copy of his most famous book …

I liked this painted chest…

and I caught John in this painting …

Painting in Robert Graves’s house invaded by John …

A rather enchanting lemur given as a gift to Laura Riding …

The simple kitchen ..

Well used sunhats and shopping bags …

Robert Graves’s home – front door

On the way back to Deià …

A glorious afternoon.   Return to ‘Es Molí’ to read and swim.

Reading by the pool …

Cool …

… blue heaven

Lounging on our balcony in the sun … bliss

There’s a private cove for sea swimming which is about twenty minutes away on the (free) ‘Es Molí’ bus. I love doing things on impulse at the last minute.  So much of daily life strait jackets you into a day already planned far ahead.  As the bus was about to leave, we jumped on.

A lot of time and effort has been put into making this steep cove accessible and inviting.  It’s beautiful but the sea is so cold  –  we’d forgotten that the spring fed pool is heated!  There’s a small jetty which will be perfect to dive from – but in the height of summer!

The café is open and we each have an enormous ‘salade niçoise’ and a refreshing Spanish beer.

‘Es Molí’ -private cove

‘Es Molí’- private cove – spot the yacht!

A friend had recommended the town of Sollér, which you can get to by the local bus.  What most motivated me to go rather than lounge by the pool were the permanent exhibitions inside the railway station of paintings and ceramics by both Picasso and Miró. Also, the old wooden train taken by Michael Portillo to the orange groves in his television series.

Sollér is much bigger than Deia and quite touristy.  We made for the station but on the way stopped at a small door in the wall of a narrow street which offered a museum.  Many steep and narrow staircases led to all sorts of treasures.

Costumes and transport …

What might you find in a pot like this?

Old plates, restored …  the birds are charming

Who is Silvia, what is she ……?

These mysterious Madonna type features reminded me of Shakespeare’s poem – see first line above – from ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’.

Rescued from the sea bed …Roman amphora

The door here led out to a small sculpture garden at the back of the building.  I was nonplussed by the somewhat sinister face at the back of this photo …

A voyeur in the shrubbery?

And another?

Arriving back at the entrance, I noticed a small cellar, painted white.This is a favourite photo … I can smell the whitewashed wall …  lovely!

Reflections in green and white …

And an amusing scenario with the monks.  One looking seriously at his open book, the other with his book closed, his eye straying …

Exit …..

We finally arrived at the station and, as promised, Picasso and Miró made their appearance.

A face – maybe not to be trusted – but  colourfully alluring all the same …

Picasso’s birds …

Compare these with the ones on the old plates in the museum  …

Four rogues ?

Whiter than white …

Miró’s take on life 1

… and 2

Not everyone’s take on life has a touch of genius  but as we passed through the town on the wooden train that wends its way through back gardens to the Port of Sóller,  I took a rather blurry photo of some locals in the third phase of life.

Too blurry … but

they reminded me of a similar group of men playing backgammon in a café in Fethiye, Turkey who invited me to join them and bought me tea. Special unscripted moments …

The train bowled along with breezy, open windows towards the port. We took the next train back as the touristy ‘feel’ here wasn’t for us.  Looks good for a swim though.

Sollér – the wooden train

Port Sollér

Back to Deià and a late lunch of paella in the village.

Entrance to restaurant …

Bottle brush plant

Its name is ‘Callistemon citrinus splendens’.  It loves sun and is drought tolerant – and very splendid!

On the way back we passed a pond full of frogs … John counted 7.

Rustic gate

The frog pond

Some way back there’s a photo with John’s panama hat upended on a table  –  you can see that something has landed on the brim.  Here it is.

It’s a bad pine weevil which bores holes in trees …

A pine tree trunk full of holes …

It looked menacing although it shone gloriously gold and green in the sun.   We should have ‘done it in’ but we didn’t realise what a pest it was.

Our last day.  Sunny and warm.  Deia has a public beach which is 25 minutes walk down a path from the hotel.  A scene from ‘The Night Manager’, a series on television adapted from the book by John Le Carré, was apparently filmed there.   So off we went after breakfast, curious to see if we could recognise it.

On our way …

The path was quite rough in places, as it made its way crookedly up and down through woodland.  But a good day for exploring.

Deia – mountains above the village …

Local flowers – vivid colours

Deia – spiny cactus

Wild flowers

Hurrah! We finally made it …

Freshly squeezed orange juice quenched our thirst as we looked down on the water.  I think in the film everything was made to look more upmarket  –   although it’s a pebble beach, people were out swimming in the small inlet.

View of Deià public beach

Now we had to walk all the way back!  The heat was beginning to rise and the beach becoming more crowded – the Es Molí poolside beckoned.

I’ve so enjoyed this time away.  As the day came to its close, I was on our balcony and happened to look up.  And who was there, staring at me from the crest of the mountain?!

Another special moment …

Last early morning swim, breakfast on the terrace.

And a big thank you to all the staff at ‘Es Molí’ who made us feel so welcome and made our stay so relaxing and comfortable. We will certainly return.

Adiós – hasta la vista



















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