Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beach Day


Wednesday, 21 June, 2017:

We had a good night's rest and were fired up for a day in the sun.

First we needed breakfast

The Bar Bolero is located about 100 meters from our digs at the Montenova Hotel. They serve an excellent café con leche and tostada de tomate for a mere 1.90 Euros each.

I suspect that we'll return here every morning for sustenance.

Same beach, different day

While Laurie got us a palapa
and two lounge chairs, I checked
out the Tourist Information Center

 A Magnum sounds GREAT
on a warm summer day!

 Most of my day was spent
viewing this . . .

. . . or occasionally this

Of course we both also made several trips into the Mediterranean Sea's cool, refreshing waters.

What a good way to wind down.

 Dinner at the Restaurante Tabú
facing the beach was a good idea

The food, drinks and company
were all outstanding!

Tomorrow we are going to take the bus into the Balearic Island's capital city, Palma also known as Palma de Mallorca.

After two days lazing about at the beach, we agreed that we need to do some good old fashioned tourist sightseeing.

The Flight to Mallorca, Spain


Tuesday, 20 June, 2017:

So today we embarked on the final stage of our EuroBall IX Adventure, the traditional end of the season one week vacation.

In our early EuroBall years we used this week to seek out major European cities with tons of major tourist attractions like castles, churches and museums.

Lately we have opted instead to find a sun lit strip of sand somewhere in Spain with really nothing to see.

We just like to slowly broil on one of the Mediterranean Sea's many beaches.

This year's choice, thanks to the help of Aiki Parts and Johan Hammarqvist, was the small village of Palmanova on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

We had never been to this island so there was an element of discovery but the sun and sea are really what we wanted.

First obstacle, how to get from our house to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport in time for our 7:25 a.m. Tui Airlines flight without a car.

As Janne would say, "No problem!"

We would take the 5:05 a.m.
bus from our nearby Ryttargatan
bus stop

All was good until we saw that rain was predicted during the time of our five minute walk to the bus stop.

On a good note, we had the worst lightning and thunder storm of my two seasons living in Uplands-Väsby from about 2:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m.

I say good, because that turned out to mean that it did not rain on us on our trek to the bus stop.

Aiki and Janne both got up to have coffee and toast with us before we left to make sure everything was good and to say our final good-byes. They will be visiting Aiki's family in Estonia when we return from Mallorca for two days before flying home to Los Angeles.

Hugs and kisses given, we left the house in the darkness of the night at 4:40 a.m. as I wanted to be early and not miss the bus should it arrive ahead of schedule.

The view from the Ryttagartan
bus stop at 4:45 a.m.

In Sweden, at this time of the year, "darkness of night" is a relative term.

The bus arrived exactly at 5:05 a.m. as scheduled and dropped us off at Arlanda Airport's Terminal 5 right on time.

Time to get in line

Speaking of time, Arlanda had a copy of Janne's next wristwatch suspended from the ceiling as you can see in this picture.

The lines to both check in and go through security were long but they moved fairly quickly. School just got out, so many families were off to start their summer vacations just like we were doing.

We were at our boarding gate in
plenty of time

On a side, packing note, Tui allows travelers to check in one bag each weighing a maximum of 15 kilos or a couple traveling together like us is allowed one bag total weighing a maximum of 32 kilos.

Additionally, each traveler is allowed one carry-on item weighing no more than 5 kilos.

After our weigh-in mania experiences on Norwegian Air coming from Los Angeles to Stockholm earlier this spring, we had some thinking to do.

We opted for the one bag option and two carry-on backpacks.

When we got to Arlanda we used the self check-in kiosk to get our boarding passes and our needed bag tag.

When we got to ticket counter, I placed the now tagged bag on the conveyer belt and it was whisked away instantly without a second to check its weight. 

Neither of our backpacks was weighed either. 
  
 It was a smooth 3 hour and
45 minute flight to the
Palma de Mallorca Airport

There were a lot of screaming babies on board but I was so sleep deprived that I did not notice.

We touched down on Spanish soil at 11:10 a.m.

It was kind of my old Spanish club,
the Murcia Cobras, to send a
representative to greet us at the airport!

We had some trouble finding our one checked-in bag but finally tracked it down and we were on our way to our hotel in the beach village of Palmanova via a transfer bus provided by Tui Airlines.

Our hotel is quaint and has an
apartment feel with a kitchen and
washing machine in it

My Mother's favorite candy

We did not pack much so we were able to unpack quickly as we still had most of the afternoon to find the sand.

TURN RIGHT!

If you go left you can contract deadly Anthrax!

Did I translate this sign correctly?

The signs are in the Catalonian language but everyone speaks Spanish as well many other languages as is needed on a tourist friendly island.

There are lots of Germans and Brits joining us for the week.

Palmanova's main street to the beach

This is it!

The sand was white . . . 
. . . the sea was blue

 This is our spot for the week

The warm water felt ever so good.

Afterwards, a Clara and a
Tinto de Verano at a curbside
café were in order

 A Camino de Santiago memory

This brand of chocolate was a staple each morning with Julie from Canada that was part of our Camino Family.

Purple Bougainvillea is in
full bloom everywhere

Our hotel's pool

I took advantage of a late afternoon dip in it too.

GREAT pizza for dinner

With little sleep last night, the airline travel, a day in the sun and full stomachs, we slept well.

Our time in Mallorca was off to a flying start!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Millesgården, Dinner and Packing


Monday, 19 June, 2017:

It was almost our last full day in Sweden as we leave for our usual end of the season vacation bright and early on Tuesday morning for the Spanish island of . . .

Yes, Mallorca smack dab in the
middle of the Mediterranean Sea

We decided to head to one of Stockholm's main tourist sights today, the Millesgården Sculpture Garden.

 Stockholm's old Post Office
looked good today

From Stockholm Central train station, it took a metro ride, a short bus ride and a ten minute walk to get to our goal sight in Stockholm's posh Lidingö district.

 Getting closer

 Beautiful trees but I'm told
the yellow petals are poisonous

Nice house

 The Europa and the Bull Fountain

Millesgården was the home of two prolific artists, sculptor Carl Milles and his wife painter Olga Granner.

The Sculpture Garden full of Carl Milles' works is amazing!

There is Europa and the Bull
up close and personal

 It's a big fountain!

 Man and Pegasus

Laurie and Bay

Poseiden

 Men Hunting Boar

The Hand of God

 What are you looking at?

 Yes, YOU!

Oh my

Angel

 Many Angels

 Folke Filbyter

According to Google, "Filbyter" is a nickname meaning "foal biter" and refers to a man who castrates colts with his teeth.

YIKES!

They liked fountains
at Millesgården

Laurie liked these flowers

 The Sun Singer

Hard to sing without a head. 

 St. Francis of Assisi

 Aganippe

It's all Greek to me.

Finally, we sighted the home
where the Milles family lived

 The Archer

 Susanna
another fountain

Immigrants Riding a Fish

You know, the Arkansas Razorbacks
were a dominant football program
back in the 1960s

 The view of Stockholm from
the Sculpture Garden

No name but we liked it

The Milles Home's Music Room

 More sculptures in the home

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Millesgården on this bright, sunny day.

Next up, another sight from our guidebook, 111 Places in Stockholm That You Must Not Miss . . .

Sight #89
The Storken Pharmacy
Sweden's most beautiful dispensary

Located at Storgatan 28
in the Östermalm district

 The serpent is the sign of healing
but it is usually wrapped around
the Aesculapian staff not in a
stork's beak

100 year old medicinal jars
were on display

Great ceiling art too at the
Storken Pharmacy

Once back home, we were in for a special treat as Lotta and Jesper Douhan were joining Janne, Aiki and us for dinner. 

It would be our last dinner with Janne and Aiki as they leave for a vacation in Aiki's home country of Estonia next Sunday and we don't come back to Sweden until the following Tuesday.

Aiki made her incredible . . .

. . . Smörgåstårta

It ALL tasted as good as it looked!

 The Gang of Four
Laurie, Aiki, George and Janne

GREAT PEOPLE!

They have been incredible hosts always going above and beyond to make us feel welcomed in their home.

We will get together with Lotta and Jesper again next week before we fly home to Los Angeles from Stockholm.

In the meantime . . .

8 Days, 7 Nights in Palmanova
HERE WE COME!

Lots of packing after dinner to be sure.

Our accommodations are in the seaside town of Palmanova which is located in the lower left corner of this map.

It should be fun!