22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 40


-The --White Beaches of Mallorca [We publish on this page articles -and notes which may help our readers in their plans for travel at home and abroad. They are written by correspondents who have visited the places described. We shall be glad to answer questions arising out of the Travel articles published in our columns. Inquiries should be addressed to the Travel Manager, The SPECTATOR, 99 Gower Street, W.C. 1.] EVERYONE who visits Mallorca will carry away an abiding memory of its white beaches. It is an island of lovely bays, where the pine trees come down nearly to the edge of the crystal water and the sands are like powdered silver between the rocks. I remember first coming upon such a bay near Pollensa. We had walked for some miles along the cliffs, and now the path wound down through woods fragrant with the breath of rose-coloured cistus, and we emerged through the pine trees upon a -mile-long stretch of white sand, with the ripples breaking as if in sleep along the shore, and the deep water beyond gleaming green and blue with the colouring of a peacock's tail. An ideal place to wade and rest and eat the luncheon we had brought ; but after that we were filled with a desire for coffee, and looked round for some means of gratifying it. The only sign of habitation was a fisherman's cottage down by a little landing-stage where a boat lay moored. (The bay can only be reached by boat, or by the five or six miles of rocky hill-path by which we had come.) Several peacocks, of all unexpected birds, were sunning themselves at the doorway, and at the small window appeared the face of a young man engaged in washing up crockery. Summoning up her courage, my companion ventured to ask in her best Spanish if he could let us have some coffee. He looked slightly astonished ; but, with the unfailing and beautiful courtesy of the Mallorcan,- replied that if we would return shortly the coffee would be awaiting us.

It was with some trepidation that we entered the cottage, wondering what we might find. What we did find was a long delightful room, something like a ship's cabin, exquisitely clean and neat. From the low ceiling hung two beautiful old lainps of wrought metal like dull silver, with wicks floating in bowls of oil. On the whitewashed walls were some curious maps and a shelf of books • while in corners leant two tall amphorae, of a lovely shape, though encrusted with barnacles, which we were told had been dredged up from the bottom of the sea near Alcudia, the ancient Roman capital.

Our host served us . with deliciods coffee in brown earthenware bowls, and talked most interestingly of the neighbourhood and its history. Our scanty Spanish often failing us, he produced an English dictionary, explaining that he liked to teach himself English in the winter evenings. We learnt later that this young man was the owner of a big saw-mill inland : but preferred to live alone.ia that isolated bay, like some minor Robinson Crusoe ; nor could we wonder at his choice.

Another lovely bay that lives in my memory is Cala Gaya. From the hotel at Cala Rajada about a mile's walk through the fir-woods brought us out upon it. And how beautiful those woods are ! Clusters of young pine trees, and wide stretches of open ground carpeted with flowers ; mounds of dwarf cistus, with its starry blossoms like white briar-roses ; tangles of bright pink convolvulus ; masses of tiny orange mar golds, and a host of other unfamiliar flowers of every colour. Cushions of giant thyme, bushes of lavender and rosemary, and the resin of the pines fill the air with fragrance ; while nightingales sing all the time among the trees. Through all this to wander down to that expanse of dazzling sand, where. the" waves come-rolling in, breaking in creamy foam ! At the further end of the bay a rocky point runs out into the water, and here are clumps of mighty pines, among whose trunks we felt as if in some vast, shadowy cathedral. The only other human being in sight would be an occasional coastguard, passing his time in fishing from a rock. There seemed no one upon whom to exercise his vigilance save the two English ladies ; and no way in which we could have broken the law if we wished.

On this beach the retreating waves left a deposit of pink dust like a ribbon along the frayed edge of the surf, whether of powdered coral or rose-coloured shell we did not know ; and here one day I noticed an odd sight. Up under the roots of the pines was a large ants'-nest ; and from it the ants had made a track, like the track of a carriage-wheel, across the broad stretch of the sands to the very margin of the sea, where their road ended in the fringe of the surf, and along it innumerable ants were hurrying ceaselessly to and fro, going down empty handed, and returning each bearing a grain of pink. Whether this spoil was' to Serve - as food or for the decoration of the nest remained a mystery.

On another day, while scrambling along the rocks at the point, we noticed the water in a deep inlet was brilliantly blue, with the azure of a bed of wild hyacinths. Going nearer, we found this effect was produced by floating masses of tiny oval-shaped jellyfish, not unlike large glycerine- lozenges dyed with " the blue-bag." The natives call these Girovenes (" weather-cocks " ?) and say they are poisonous. After a storm the beach would be blue with the myriads of -them washed ashore. - - Another little bay near Cala Rajada we christened " Tamarisk Cove," from two great tamarisk trees that grew at either side of the entrance, their blossom-laden boughs nearly sweeping the water. Those fringes of coral-pink flowers swaying against the deep sapphire of the sea were a sight never to be forgotten. But, indeed, all round the coast are numberless exquisite bays to be discovered, each differing from another in enchantment.

" Here hand in hand The nymphs might dance : or Ariailne keep Her vigil on this whits forsaken strand,"- , E. D.

[Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the prinCipal island of the Balearic Isles, is approximately the same distance from Barcelona, Valencia, and Alicante—about -159,-mi,les. There are steamers from each of these ports, but the ?usual route is from Barcelona. For information as to the Mile and cost of boat services, visitors should apply to Compailia Trasmediter. ranea,-Layetana, 2, Barcelona, or Palacio, 25, Palma, Mallorca. Through tickets from London are obtainable via Tiover-.Calais, the cost being as follows :-- 2nd class with 2nd class - - - 1st class 1st class Mallorca , with let class in ' throughout. steamer. Spain. - Single. Return. Single. - Single. Return. £8 3 5 £14 9 1 £8 9 11 £15 4 11 - £10 13 1 £17 19 11 Sleeping-car supplement extra. 1st class £2 10 10 2nd - - - - - class £1 8 10 - - –

Palma possesses any number of up-to-date hotels at reasonable prices. We would recommend particularly the Hotel Ingles, the Grand Hotel, and at the neighbouring fashionable suburb of El Terreno, the Hotel Mediterraneo. Inclusive arrangements may be made covering return travel tickets 2nd class with 1st class' in Spain, six days hotel accommodation en pension, gratuities to hotel servants and-taxes.

Pollensa, which is the subject of the preceding article, lies at the extreme north east of the island, the delicious little port being eight kilometres from the inland town ofthe same name. Visitors cannot do better than stay at the Mar i Cel Hotel, which is simple, reasonable, and homely, and managed unusually well. There is accommodation for from twenty to thirty persons, not more. At Formentor, in the adjoining bay, which is literally the extremity of the island, there is a new hotel, the Grand Hotel Formentor, in a beautiful situation. It is of the de luxe type (with lawn-tennis court and a golf course at present under construction) which contrasts strangely with the delightful unsophisticated atmosphere of the island. Any further, information may be obtained from the Spanish Travel Bureau, 87 Regent Street, London, W.1.1