Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Palma Diaries: Day 4 - Sunday 22nd September 2013

A bright, hot, Sunday morning in the city of Palma, and no excuse required to publish a picture of mugs with bulls on them :)))  Being in continental Europe though, it's not like at home where Sunday opening is the norm, and most of the stores remain closed, although I'm equally surprised that more are open than we expected.  There are not as many souvenir shops in the city as you would expect, but they sell a very comprehensive range of everything from the usual tourist tack to the classiest of souvenirs.  And when in Spain, well....more about that at the end of this post.

We head out with a suitably more relaxed vibe and after a cappuccino in a small square in the shade of the Santa Eulalia church, it's time for a trip to the Arab Baths, which was one of our must-see sights in this city....

..but firstly there is the small matter of the 'unique tree' which has a plaque to say so, and which I researched on my return home.  It's a 600 year old olive tree which is a symbol of Palma.  Here it is.

Winding our way into the depths of the Old Town to the Arab Baths - Banys Arabs as it is known here.  This is a definite must-see on a trip to Palma, as in an instant it transports you all the way back to the 10th century, when Palma was an Arab city.  This is the only building remaining from that era. 

There's also a delightful shaded courtyard area filled with lots of exotic flowers and foliage.  The Arab Baths are small in size but packed with atmosphere and a unique sense of this city's history, and are absolutely worth a visit. 

From the cathedral area, you'll get some cracking views of Palma's seafront.  Which looks like this...

Lunchtime!  I decide to try out a local version of pizza, known as a coque.  This is basically a pizza with the thinnest base imaginable, so lovers of deep pan, look away now. 


I love holidays. Probably the only time you can eat four cheeses-anything and not feel guilty about it :))

You never expect much from a Sunday in a European city, but today has been a pleasant surprise.  Palma remains lively but there's also a nice relaxed vibe.   We eat ice cream in the park next to the Almudaina Palace.  Life is good.  Although it would be even better if this viral infection disappeared.

Back at the hotel, I check out some more Spanish telly.  They seem to be obsessed with the Spanish royal family.

Flicking through the channels I come across "La Voz" which is the Spanish version of the tedious spinny-chairs talent show, "The Voice".  David Bisbal (above) is one of the coaches on it - quite ironic as he came to fame via another talent show, "Operacion Triunfo" which I was obsessed with back in the day.  Unfortunately, "La Voz" was just as rubbish as its British counterpart, with all the coaches competing to see who could be the most annoying. 

As it's our last full day and night in Palma, there's packing to be done, always the saddest part of a holiday.  It's another lovely warm night and we have dinner outdoors tonight. Once again it's tapas time!!

Although, being the La Tasca veterans which we are, it has to be said that those patatas bravas have the wrong type of sauce, but they were still very nice regardless.  After our last evening stroll in Palma, it's time for my final sangria :(

We've had a very enjoyable time in Palma, a city which exceeded all my expectations.  Writing these blog posts, all these weeks later, brings back happy memories of a city which I'd really love to visit again. 

If you are the type of person for whom a Spanish holiday resort holds no appeal whatsoever, I'd recommend Palma for a more 'real' Spanish experience whilst remaining a tourist-friendly destination.  Thankfully it's free of the Magaluf brigade!  Although we were about to be brought back down to earth with a bump at Palma airport on Monday morning.  For our flight home felt like it had been chartered by the Magaluf weekenders, a different world away from our Palma experience. 

I mentioned Spanish souvenirs earlier.  So I'll finish off by introducing you to my new Spanish friend.  His name is Gazpacho (!) and he joined us for lunch on our arrival at Prestwick airport.  I think he likes Irn-Bru :))

Thoughts now inevitably turn to our next holiday adventures.  All things being well, next spring will bring a new (or old?) destination and another holiday diary to write.  But where to?  Never mind Christmas, the holiday chat's started already! 

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