I’m gradually settling in on Majorca, my new home base. Admittedly I was prejudiced by the reports of mainly hard-drinking low-budget tourists frequenting the Mediterranean island. The reality is that like its geography the region is marked by stark contrasts.
The coastal areas around the capital Palma draw most of the tourists with countless high-rise hotels lining the beaches. The airport is one of Europe’s busiest, especially during the summer months. But travelling away from the madding crowds into the interior you find an entirely different Majorca.
Hidden in the rugged Tramuntuna mountain, described lovingly by the Mallorquina as the heart of their island can also be found the spiritual heart in the Monastery of Lluc, dating back to the 13th century.
And, today I visited the Santuari de Cura, a monastery on the centrally located holy mountain of Randa, where the famous philosopher and Franciscan monk Ramon Llull (1232-1316) lived as a hermit, wrote some 265 books and worked as a pioneer of computation theory.
The mountain offers spectacular view of the plains below and the distant Tramuntuna mountains. As the winter clouds give way to sunlight, the distant mountain tops are spotlighted by sunshine. Double rainbows can be seen on the horizon. On days like these it becomes apparent why so many artists, painters, writers, seekers and wanderers were drawn to the island over the centuries.
Majorca is almost revealing of the two sides of humanity. The preoccupation with materialism, physical pleasures and all the distractions of the moment on the one side while the heart searches for the roots, meaning and sense of purpose in the solitude of nature and spiritual mysticism from the times of yore.
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