Today the former monastery is a favorite shore excursion for cruise ship visitors to the island. The ride from the harbor to the mountain village passes through olive and almond trees as the elevation increases from the coast. The village is quite charming, and the ancient monastery is well kept. In addition to the cells occupied by Chopin and Sand, the church and pharmacy are both interesting. Some of the drugs and potions in the pharmacy look much like they did a hundred or more years ago. Following a tour of the monastery, we all enjoyed a Chopin piano concerto. It seemed like a perfect setting!
The August day we visited Valldemossa was one of heavy showers, and the unexpected cool temperatures and dampness was probably much like it was in the winter of 1838. Because of the extremely inclement weather, we opted to not explore the village, instead using our free time on the shore excursion to sit in a small cafe in the monastery. Our guide told us that even though Sand called the Mallorcans thieves and savages, the villagers of Valldemossa happily sell her book in most of the shops.
After visiting the monastery and unfortunately having to pass up on the opportunity to explore the village of Valldemossa, our tour bus drove onward to the northwestern coast of Mallorca. The drive along the coast was magnificent, despite the heavy rains. We could barely see for the rain, but occasionally we would get a glimpse of a villa or the sea below the cliffs. We felt like "real" tourists as we gaped at the beautiful Majorcan home of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones when we drove by. Our tour had a wonderful lunch at a restaurant along the way in Deià, the Ca'n Quet. After lunch, the weather had cleared somewhat, so our bus headed for Sóller, where we would catch the famous vintage train back to Palma.
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