It had been a slow morning due to a couple of commiserative caipirinhas the previous evening; Brazil's humiliating World Cup defeat was to blame. My brother & I met mum and dad in the centre of Soller where they were having a late morning glass of Cava, and we planned to walk straight to lunch in Fornalutx about 45 minutes away up in the hills above Soller.
Mum and dad lead the way with purpose through 'Placa de Constitucio', dodging hundreds of day trippers in the main square. We headed along 'Carrer de sa Lluna' and then took a left, following the signs for Café Scholl and GR221.
"Do you know where you're going?" we asked. "Of course!" Mum and Dad replied...
It wasn't long before we were lost. Nobody recognised the car park we had stumbled across and so we turned on our heels. The key is to keep straight when you pass Café Scholl and follow Carrer de la Victoria 11 Maig as it curves round to the right. Don't cross the bridge to the car park! This road then becomes Av. Asturies and after 5 minutes, passing the Spar on your left, you cross the dry river and turn immediately right at the signs for Fornalutx and GR221. The running (walking) joke was that we would keep getting lost. "The only people to be lost on a 45 minute and well signposted stroll," we laughed.
The sun was searing hot at midday. As a family we always seem to be the most active during this time, whilst the locals enjoy their cooling siesta it's common to see us out and about battling the Mediterranean sun...We left the main road and the busy square behind us as we started to climb up towards Binibassi.
We rose above Soller soon enough, with the town behind us and the stunning Tramuntana mountains in front. You follow the single lane for 10 minutes until you peel off sharply to the left at the sign for Binnibassi. From here the path becomes more rugged but more beautiful. On display are the varieties of citrus fruits, almonds and olives that grow on the Island. The fruit colours are brilliant and fill the foreground, with the mint green olive trees fading in the distance into the rocky greys and browns of the mountains. The perfect snapshot of rural Mallorca.
We ambled through ancient Binibassi along a cobbled pathway. My brother and I were gasping to drink from the ancient irrigation system that teasingly flows through the old mansions. The hidden hamlet has a Moorish history and allows a 360 degree view of the bowl shaped valley below with Biniaraix and Soller in clear view.
Having only eaten a banana each so far, my brother & I were beginning to tire as we wound up and along through olive groves and almond tree orchards. The thought of pizza dangled in front of us by our parents, who were smugly tackling the stony route sporting their climate controlled hats and air conditioned merino wool t-shirts. Even dad's bag had a technical anti-sweat system, whilst my brother and I were sweating out the caipirinhas in our thick t-shirts and shorts..
There is only one path up from Binibassi to the cemetery at Fornalutux so at least we couldn't get lost. The beautifully kept graveyard signalled the outskirts of Fornalutux. We had made it! Not lost but found!
Fornalutx itself is picturesque, it's peaceful and quaint and not very busy. Bypassing the main square, we headed to Pizzeria Calzone, just beside the main car park on the road out to Llucmayor and Pollensa. All of us were seriously peckish so we ordered a selection of delicious tapas before the grand arrival of the pizzas.
The pizza bases are lovely and thin and the ingredients were fresh and varied. I'd recommended the Mallorcan sausage pizza and also the Siciliana with it's seafood "tornado sauce". Tasty. Once refreshed we retraced our steps all the way back to busy Soller. The return trip is easier as it is mainly downhill.
Café Scholl in Soller was a welcome stop to bookend the day trip. It has good selection of teas, coffees and cakes and is tucked away from the main square. Inside the décor is magnificently Austrian, and outside you can sit in a well-shaded courtyard.
Follow our tracks if you want to escape the crowds. The setting is stunning, the walk is gentle and the pizza is delicious!
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