Palma, day 2. The light is different here. A very light apricot tint to it, like an Instagram filter, softening the slightest detail, making it more beautiful still.
Time to put those trainers on, start walking and exploring. I start with the nearby market, Mercat de l’Olivar, famous for its fish stalls and indeed they are spectacular. The fish is so fresh you often see it breathing still… Some are whole, others were peeled of their skin, head still intact. Quite a site for tourists just after breakfast! I indulged in an ice-cream to recover – raw almonds, orange-strawberry, yogurt-comfit orange peels. Fingers licking good indeed.
The many courtyards remain fascinating. Some reveal a garden, other stunning bougainvillea, vintage shops, art exhibitions, artists workshops or even yoga lessons. There are more surprises along the way – like these windmills right in the heart of Palma, which were used for water extraction. Detour via Ronda Migjorn, to walk under the shade of its palm trees. There are soap bubbles in the air, reflecting the scene to perfection… A few streets further, well, higher really, I reach the Es Baluard museum, famous for its contemporary exhibitions and its Miro and Picasso collections. Its terrace, with a view on the cathedral in the distance is worth the visit alone.
I decide to rent a bike – it’s only 2.5 Euros an hour – and head towards the sea front. The cycle route follows the coast, staying as close to the beach as possible, offering wonderful views. Portixol, Molinor are only 30 minutes away and feature an impressive quantity of cafés and restaurant. Beach > cycle path > road > street lined with pretty houses, one or two floors high, each facade different. And a few streets further, a glimpse of the countryside, fields, wild flowers, mills falling apart.
Going back to the centre, I cycle through the narrow lanes of Old Palma. A sign invites passers-by to visit Santa Eulalia’s tower. A spiral staircase later you get a bird’s view of the city and oh, how lucky are the locals with a roof top garden! I wander r through the neighbourhood, buy a few traditional biscuits from Santa Clara Monastery’s nuns. I won’t see them: you place your money in a turnstile and wait for it to revolve back. They’re perfect with a glass of freshly pressed lemon juice, from Majorca of course. The fruit here is sweeter, definitely more fragrant with a much thicker peel too.
Tomorrow? I will jump on the vintage train to Sóller. Another adventure awaits!