Mallorca: Touring Palma

The Oleander hotel was about three miles from the heart of Palma. It was very convenient to take the city bus. We caught it about a block from the hotel.

Sunrise from the balcony. Looks like a rainy day on the horizon.
By the time we reached Palma it was raining hard.
We were trying to find our way to the Cathedral.
Beautiful landscaping and gardens on the outside of the old town
Navigating the walled old town proved to be a bit challenging.
Finally we found the Cathedral. Now we have to find the entrance.

The 13th century Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is massive. It is a Gothic landmark that overlooks the Bay of Palma. It was built on the site of a pre-existing Arab mosque. An admission is charged and they encourage visitors to purchase tickets in advance. We paid at the door and there was no waiting.

One of the features of this cathedral is the Gaudi canopy over the altar.

The building was started in 1229 and finished in 1601. Fifty years after a restoration of the cathedral had started in 1901 Antoni Gaudí was invited to take over the restoration project. Some of his ideas were adopted. He moved the choir stalls from the middle nave to be closer to the altar. He also made a large canopy. Gaudí abandoned his work in 1914 after an argument with the contractor. The planned changes were cosmetic rather than structural.* The project was cancelled soon after … and it looks like it. There is so much to look at it can be overwhelming to the senses and hard to focus on the design elements. *

This is a massive silver candelabra. It’s at least five feet high.
This is the relic of San Sebastián.

Relics are suppose to be an object or article of religious significance from the past. Many of these lavish holders contain bones from the Saints and its a way to honor the individual. I think I’d prefer a nice photo instead.

The cathedral had very ornate light fixtures.
The Bay of Palma is across from the Cathedral.
Beautiful beaches nearby.
The harbor is packed with vessels.

About those pearls … Mallorca has been producing man-made pearls since the end of the 19th century, and is still doing so today. Natural pearls are formed within the soft tissue of an oyster or mollusk, are very rare and can take anywhere between 5 and 20 years to form.

Would love to have gone to the pearl center of Mallorca but we didn’t have time. We did found a great spot for pearl shopping.

It was with this in mind that Eduard Heusch, a German innovator invented a process for creating man-made pearls. He obtained the first patent to create pearls and founded the company Societe des Perles de Indes E. Heusch & Co. Which is today known as Majorica and is located in Manacor. The patent belonging to Majorica lapsed in 1948 and since then a number of pearl manufacturing companies have popped up all with similar processing techniques.

The perfect pearl ring!

We rambled down the narrow streets of the old town part of Palma. We were lost and continued to ramble looking for a place for lunch.

It’s easy to get lost here. It was a maze enclosed within the old town walls.
We found a hidden treasure ‘hole-in-the wall’ for lunch.
Best tomatoes ever topped with a locally made cheese and covered in olive oil, seasonings and herbs. Fabulous flavors.
This little deli had the best seafood salad.
After lunch, we managed to find our way out of the Old Town walls and back into the streets of Palma.
Travelers fatigue was setting in so we headed back to our beach area. Here we see more of the German flavor with Pizza Berlin and you can also get Turkish Donar Kebap. Note: Turkish food is very popular in Germany because of all the Turkish guest workers hosted there.
We bought a small bottle of Tunel hierbas to sample. Mallorca is the only place we saw this liqueur.

Túnel de Mallorca is a herb liqueur made from rosemary, chamomile, mint, fennel and marjoram. Crafted to display the aroma of the Mediterranean. It is popular and traditional across all of the Balearic Islands. Often served over ice, this is a perfect after-dinner drink.

Hierbas is also popular throughout Spain. Many families have a ‘family recipe’ for their hierbas that has been handed down through the generations.

We didn’t have a ‘chupito’ so we used our recently purchased candle holders from the Cathedral of Leon as shot glasses. It’s definitely better over ice.
A rainbow at the end of a rainy day.

We have one whole day left and a lot of Mallorca left to see. Our best option was to sign up for a tour. Tomorrow we do the mountains.

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Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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