My second day in the achingly beautiful village of Valldemossa on the Island of Mallorca, Spain. I made the short trip yesterday from Palma to this lovely town in the Sierra de Transmuntana of Mallorca, perhaps best known for the scathing account written by George Sand to describe the winter that she and the composer Frederic Chopin spent here in 1838-39. Ostensibly to provide Chopin a warm climate to improve his failing health it proved to be a cold, hard winter where, partly because George Sand was a woman wearing men’s clothing and smoking tobacco and partly due to the fear of the natives that they would catch the ailing Chopin’s illness, the couple had difficulty finding lodging and ended up in a cold, stone cell in the Carthusian Monastery. That location is now the site of a lovely museum dedicated to Chopin and the time that he and George Sand spent here but also provides interesting and enlightening photographs, paintings, drawings and other memorabilia concerning Chopin including the Pleyel piano that he had shipped to Valldemossa from Paris and his death mask from 1849. I found it to be an even more moving experience alone this year, compared to my visit last year with a tour guide and thanks to the amazing capabilities of modern communication I was able to enjoy Chopin’s glorious music at the same time that I was in a place where he lived and worked.
I am staying in a fantastic Airbnb apartment at Number 10 Carrer del Pare Francesc in Valldemossa compliments of my wonderful hosts Daniel and Marc, although my amazing penthouse, with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside, is up 57 stairs, it is well worth the climb! Well, 57 steps for you may not seem like a lot but just wait until you are 77 (almost 78) years old and then see what you think! I even carried my back pack and my 35 pound suitcase up those stairs and appear to be no worse the wear for it. The apartment itself is spacious and decorated with lovely old furniture, plants, photographs and original art works. The patio to the penthouse looks out upon the roof tops and spires of the town and the Sierra de Tranmuntana Mountains. A lovlier place would be very difficult to find.