Saturday, December 05, 2015

The Puerto Pollensa Diaries: Day 6 - Monday 21st September 2015

During our holiday we've been very impressed with the local bus service (check this out if you're planning a Mallorcan trip -

With a bit of forward planning, we decided to pay a return visit to the city where we spent our summer holiday 2 years ago - Palma de Mallorca.  Thankfully this time round I don't have a horrible viral infection which marred that last holiday!  The local bus takes just under 1 hour 30 minutes from PP to Palma and takes us into the underground bus station next to the train station on Placa Espanya - I love all of this interconnected transport! - and the first stop on our journey is the iconic Spanish department store El Corte Ingles, just a few minutes' walk away.   CD shopping has always been a highlight of our holidays over the years but is now a very endangered delight due to all this digital music so it is nice to indulge in a favourite old hobby.  I buy 3 CDs (which I hope to eventually review on here, although you know the way things are going with this blog so don't hold your breath!).

One of these is a relatively new CD by Pablo Lopez (above), whom I knew nothing about apart from the fact he is doing well in the Spanish album chart but it was a bit of a risk as I didn't know what he sounded like; as it turned out it was a risk worth taking and I'm glad I bought the album. That's what I love about Spanish-language music: you almost always know what you're getting and it makes few concessions to what's globally "popular".  Long may it continue.

The weather in Palma today is much, much hotter than in PP and occasionally the heat just becomes a bit unpleasant for me but doesn't spoil the day.  

Despite discovering big chunks of the city in 2013 we come across undiscovered areas of Palma and briefly get lost before ending up on Placa Mayor, before making our way down through the city centre to the street with the row of restaurants where we regularly used to have lunch on our last holiday in Palma.  I'm not very good with street names in the Mallorcan capital so had to look it up on Google Maps - the street is called Av d'Antoni Maura.

OK so this area may be a bit of a tourist trap but it's a welcome oasis after walking around for a while.  Palma is, as ever, packed and faithful travelling companion comments that it's even more noticeable today when you contrast it with the laid-back PP.  Palma is always a big destination for cruise ship passengers and when I get home I check out which ships were in Palma today: it turned out that there were ships numbering approximately 6000 passengers so imagine if they all got off the ships - then you'll understand just how busy Palma can be.

As if we haven't had enough of them on this holiday, it's tapas time again!

We then explore the area around the Royal Palace.

Of course I can't go to Palma without a visit to legendary ice cream shop Giovanni L for my favourite lemon ice cream.  Which I have to eat very quickly as it's melting at record speed in this heat.

What I love about Palma is some of it's weird, funky, wonderful shops. Here are a couple which I came across.

I'm also fascinated by Desigual too.  And someday I'm going to pluck up the courage to buy something from there, although I'll probably have to take out a bank loan to pay for it!!  Anyway here's a picture of a Desigual bag, all £64 of it, from their website.  I'll get one if I ever win the lottery.  (Just need to start doing the lottery).

We make our way back up to Placa Espanya via familiar and unfamiliar streets.   A quick stop-off for a drink at one of our old haunts on Placa Espanya from two years ago, before crossing the road to get the bus back to PP.  Palma is a fantastic city and is often overlooked when people think of Mallorca as a holiday island.  I would highly recommend it for a city break.  Although it is big, busy and buzzing, it's also walkable too - try to get a hotel near the city centre.  Or if you are in one of Mallorca's resorts, you must take a day trip there. I'm really impressed with the bus services on the island and they make it so easy to get around.

It's a quick turnaround and we're back out for dinner, at one of PP's steakhouses.  This is the evening when I would discover the wonders of Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce, and life has never been the same since. Chicken and chips....

OK so don't even ask where we end up for a late-night drink (clue: a certain bar on the square).  Make mine a sangria!

Tomorrow: our last full day in PP.

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