Exploring Palma, a cattle market in Sineu and car gate in Santa Ponsa

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April 10th 2019
Published: April 11th 2019
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We're starting to feel a lot more comfortable in our new roles at work now we've been here a week or so and are more familiar with the lay of the land. I've also helped out a few customers so feeling more integrated and actually involved rather than just standing back and watching and letting others do the hard work. The summer season hasn't quite kicked in yet so it will be interesting to see how different it will be then!

On our day off this week we decided to head to Palma Nova and then walk to Portal Nous as Greg had read about it somewhere online. But unfortunately you can't walk along the coast as there are lots of very nice, big houses and hotels in the way, but the pathway is still very pleasant and it takes us an hour or so at a casual pace to get to Portal Nous. We head to the marina and it is really pleasant, but also very man made and definitely a place to be seen in one of the many posh-looking restaurants in front of the expensive looking yachts in the harbour. Not us of course, and we stop and sit on a wall in the shade and eat our homemade sandwiches. After we've scoffed our sandwiches we take a walk along the front and Greg sees this big concrete statue thing which he proclaims is really cool. I am not sure what it is and ask Greg if it is an old anchor which makes him laugh as I realise it is made of concrete and also about 20 feet tall. We walk round to the end of the promenade at the marina and then realise there is a huge cliff face staring back at us and it's the end of line. To get into Portal Nous town we need to head up the hill behind us which takes us another 15 – 20 minutes. We think we've earned a coffee by then and feel we are just about flush enough to afford at least that in a nearby cafe (although Greg shakes his head at me as I eat my own chocolate biscuit at the table). We while away a half hour or so and then decide to head back, which again takes us about another hour or thereabouts. It's been a lovely afternoon and the sun stayed out for us even though the weather forecast wasn't so great.

Once we get back to the apartment, we've only been in about 5 minutes when the upstairs neighbour rings our bell. She proceeds to tell us, quite curtly, that we have parked in her parking space and therefore need to move our car immediately. Now, when we moved in our landlords told us our space was number 7, which is the space we have parked in. She also told us we need to share the space with our downstairs neighbour, however this is clearly our upstairs neighbour not our downstairs one so we are a bit confused. Greg apologises politely and offers to move the car whilst I send a message to our landlord to check in case I have made a mistake. She quickly messages me back to say that number 7 is indeed our space, and forwards me on the message sent by the president of the apartment block confirming what we already thought. Greg decides to then show this message to our upstairs neighbour, which only serves to infuriate her more as she proclaims quite angrily that number 7 has always been her space and we are clearly misinformed (even though Greg has the message saying otherwise). It puts our back up, not because of the stupid parking space but the fact she is talking to us like idiots even though we have been nothing but nice to her. We are secretly thinking great, we have another Roy on our hands (our mentally unstable ex-neighbour for those who are unaware) as Greg says she has that same crazy glint in her eye. She is about 18 stone and 6 foot tall so I have no plans of messing with her! We wait until we can speak to the president directly, and in the meantime, quite coincidentally, we meet our downstairs neighbour whom we are sharing the car park space with. She tells us that we are indeed sharing a space, and it is number 9 so now i'm even more confused. We eventually speak to the president and she confirms quite matter of factly that we are sharing number 9 as if that is what she had said all along! It's not worth the argument so we thank her and come up with a rota for the space with the correct neighbour, and nasty number 7 will be happy she can park in her rightful spot again.

That evening we head out to dinner and a nearby steak house as we are in the mood for some meat tonight and we haven't treated ourselves for a little while. I opt for a steak with baked potato and Greg has a New York cheeseburger cooked medium. They are both really delicious but are both a little miffed when the bill comes and they have charged us 1.20 euros for the burger bun! Why not just add it onto the price in the first place? It's not like its really an optional extra…

The next day, after we have recovered from car gate and the cost of the additional burger bun, we decide to head to Sineu market in the centre of Mallorca, as a colleague has recommended it to us. It's meant to be quite a traditional market selling lots of homemade products (which will make a nice change from the usual fake sunglasses and handbag stalls). It also has a livestock market too which should be interesting. It only takes about 35 minutes for us to drive there but then we spend about 15 minutes looking for a parking space as it is the smallest town ever and there are so many cars parked everywhere.

The market itself is a treat and a lot bigger than I expected. And there is indeed a section selling animals such as pigs, sheep, lambs, calves and hens (at 25 euros i am really tempted to buy a chicken, but then I just visualise Nacho chasing this poor hen around the house and it doesn't seem such a good idea). There's loads of different stalls selling a wide range of products, especially locally sourced goods such as honey, olive oil and Mallorcan salt. There's also a smattering of second hand stalls selling antique jewellery amongst a few other things. Greg spots an old Rangers badge at one stall which must be about 30 years old at least, so he has to buy it, especially as it's not exactly the type of thing you'd expect to find in a market in the middle of an old Spanish town! We wonder where it came from and who it belonged to... One stall also has a beehive set up on the table. There's singers and musicians entertaining the crowd along the way and they are really good (not just someone sitting playing an accordian although there is nothing wrong with that!). In the centre of the market there is a guy playing the drums and his mate is playing the diggerie doo along to some techno music and they are fantastic. We wander around for a few hours and then stop for a coffee and some tapas. I'm always dubious about eating in the middle of a market (well actually that's a lie, GREG is dubious lol) as the prices are usually inflated, but the prices are actually really reasonable and the tapas is tasty as well as good sized portions. We have some dates wrapped in bacon which we love (ever since we had them as part of our wedding meal), along with some roasted padron peppers (a Spanish must) and a plate of chips coated in a tasty barbecue seasoning (well everyone needs a bit of stodge too). We also try some bunuelos which are traditional snacks sold here at the market. They are like doughnuts but are made with potato as well as flour and are really tasty. We are absolutely knackered by the time we get back so just spend the rest of our day off relaxing and chilling with the dog.

Its back to work again on Thursday, although for me its a two day week as i'm off to Scotland at the weekend for my sisters birthday party. Poor Greg is knackered after having to get up at 6.45am most mornings which is quite often when we used to go to bed! The one good thing about it is that on our days off we are now wide awake at 9am, so at least we get up and actually make the most of our time off. Definitely feeling more settled at work and are being given some more responsibility in our role so that's a good thing.and we're learning where things are at the airport, including the thousands of German tour operators lol.

This week on our days off we get a few more bits and pieces out of the way including picking up our padron (to say we are now residents of Mallorca), changing over our address for the car and joining the gym. Greg also gets a haircut as to be honest, it is starting to resemble a birds nest somewhat because it is so thick and wiry. Its funny when the guy is cutting Greg's hair as he has to change clippers as he proclaims the ones he is using aren't making a dent in his hair so he needs stronger ones lol.

In the afternoon we take the bus into Palma centre as we haven't had a chance to go yet and we are heading there tonight anywhere for a charity pub quiz to raise money for abandoned dogs (would you have guessed anything less). The bus is half an hour late and absolutely crammed full of people so no idea what it will be like in the summer, but at least we got on. It takes 40 minutes to get there and then we head straight to the cathedral which is absolutely beautiful. We wander around and take some pictures, admiring the setting, and then head into the winding back streets of Palma dotted with loads of cool little shops and restaurants. We realise we are super hungry at this point so stop off at a pizza place called crustys which also does gluten free options too (the advantage being that it isn't already pre-made with toppings so I can choose whatever I like on top, unlike most places where the option is usually ham and cheese or plain old margarhita). They have a fab choice and all the pizzas are named after local towns in Mallorca. I choose the Santanyi which is goats cheese and fig jam topped with walnuts and dates. It is absolutely amazing!! So we'll definitely be back. Feeling extremely satisified but realising we are running very short of time as the quiz starts at 7pm and it is now 6.35pm (and google maps has just informed me it will take 26 minutes to walk to the venue) we get a swift power walk on. We managed to make it there for 6.59pm phew! We meet a few friends and spend the next couple of hours being very rubbish at the quiz and end up finishing certainly not in the top three! But it is all for charity and we have a good night anyway. The venue it is being hosted in is very swanky, right on the marina and certainly not the type of place we would usually hang out. A plate of chips is 8.95 so i'm quite scared at what the bill will be for 2 rounds of 4 beers and a bottle of wine. Turns out they forget to charge us for the last round of beers and so even though it is still expensive at 38 euros, it is a bit more manageable between 4 of us. We hastily leave before they realise!!


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