Timeless Charm Page 3
Part 3: Homeowners dress their dwellings with intricately carved front doors that are works of art.
Story & Photos by Kim Kavin
The more I looked, the more I found to enjoy. Valldemossa dates back to the ninth century but still has only about 1,300 residents living along its narrow stone streets and alleyways. As in much of southern Europe, all the buildings are of similar, pale construction, so homeowners dress their dwellings with intricately carved front doors that are works of art. Flowerpots abound and overflow. Cafes do, too. It is delightful to sit, sip, and ponder the romance that Chopin and the female writer George Sand (famous for dressing in men’s clothing, scandalizing the locals) shared here in the winter of 1838 to 1839.
I wonder if it was anything like the scene we witnessed at a nearby restaurant—so small and full of locals that I promised not to reveal its name, for fear of deluging it with tourists. (Gertrud Annevelink, a Camper & Nicholsons International charter broker in Palma, says she will tell all if you call her to book a trip.) She led us to the sparsely lit and heartbreakingly charming eatery to enjoy a true local dining experience, and since we had no place else to cruise to, we lingered there for hours. Across from our table, in the corner, was a couple in their early 20s. They provided the night’s entertainment.
The young man had would-be sideburns and looked uncomfortable in his silk maroon tie; his companion wore a top with invitingly sexy black straps that made us think this was perhaps their second or third date. As we enjoyed our suckling pig, roast lamb, and cod, we watched them nervously toast what remained of their red wine. She leaned toward him a bit, and he crossed his arms in a desperate act of self-control. Then he gave in and delicately slipped his hand onto her knee. She giggled and smiled, and gently touched his cheek. He leaned in to kiss her nose. She didn’t pull away.
How nice, we thought, that they have all the time in the world ahead of them to fall in love with the world around them—even if they are in no great rush to leave this enchanted island.
CD Two takes 12 guests for $99,000 per week, plus expenses, in the Balearic Islands.
This article originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.