By Nancy Todd
The hidden coves with aqua and colbalt blue water of the Mediterranean Sea are the main call when visitors land on the island of Mallorca for all inclusive holidays in Spain. However, some days it rains, and sometimes you want to explore the cultural life of Palma de Mallorca, the capitol of the Baleric Islands. This is a large city with lovely plazas, great cafes, and The Scoopettes love getting lost here.
1. Be a King or Queen – This architecturally rare castle is round. Construction began in the 1300′s for Castell de Bellver which not only served royalty, but also functioned as a prison and is now a museum. Secret stairways, tunnels, and gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea await.
2. Shop for cool stuff – for you shoe freaks, this is your city. Chain store shopping with Zara’s, H & M, etc, boring, are on Paseo del Born. For really funky to safistocated, head to San Miguel and Via Sindicato streets. You will also be supporting small business owners.
3. Say your prayers. Visit the Le Seu Cathedral which overlooks the harbor and in it’s gothic glory also at night. Construction for the Cathedral began in 1230 where a mosque originally was built. The rose window, one of the largest in the world with 1,236 pieces of glass will fascinate if you catch it with the sun shining through and dappling all that is inside including you. Antoni Gaudí designed a chandlier with a crown of thorns motif. Not exactly what I would want hanging over my dining room table. Taking 400 years to build, the golden stone and flying buttresses make it a great photo op.
4. Meander and get lost on the shadowed, skinny lanes that dart away from the Cathedral. I love this aimless wandering. Check out the old lighting, massive doors with hand-wrought iron work. Transport yourself back hundreds of years.
5. Contemplate art at the Museum of Juan March. Miró who used to live in Palma, plus other Spanish greats like Dali and Picasso are here. Changing exhibitions.
6. Shake your booty at the clubs on Passeig Maritim. Clubs open late in Spain, usually around 11. But the scene doesn’t start movin’ until about 2 or 3. No problem. You get to sleep at the beach the next day.
7. Chill at Parc de la Mer. Not only is there a lake here, of course the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea can be in your view while you relax under the palm trees. Concerts and cafes add to this chill zone.
8. Studying old documents your thing? The Museum of Bartolome March houses thousands of old books and navigational charts, some dating fromt the 1400′s. In contrast, there are sculptures by Rodin, Henry Moore, Chilleda, etc.