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Published: October 12th 2013
How time flies - having waited months on end to start my gap year, my time in Palma is slowly coming to an end and what a shame too! Palma has been everything we expected and more. This Island in the heart of the Med offers stunning architecture, culture and history and you are almost always guaranteed some sun...we have certainly been blessed with that over the past 3 days.
Having arrived in Palma an hour later than scheduled due to the French air traffic control strikes, rest and relaxation (a few beers) has been the order of the day. We caught the bus from the airport (EMT 1) and walked from Plaza Espanya to Plaza Major where our apartment was. We couldn't have chosen a more central hub to spend our time here! I would definitely recommend anyone to stay in the vicinity of the Old Town rather than in the international hotels along the promenade. Old Town Palma is the focal point of the city where we have wandered the narrow streets which are teeming with shops, cafes and restaurants.
Palma was largely ignored during the wars so it has kept and preserved it's old city walls
which surround the Old Town - thus providing phenomenal views from further afield. Furthermore, due to the Arabian influences a few hundred years ago, Palma's buildings are steeped in history dating back as far as the 14th century. The Mallorcan sandstone which is present in the majority of buildings in Palma is comparable with architecture from North Africa or the Arabian Peninsula - perhaps it's no wonder given how close this island is to these places. It certainly add's to the feel and character of Palma.
Over the past 3 days we have seen much of the city from Bellver Castle which overlooks the city from the hillside; the harbour/port which is supposedly one of the biggest in Europe; and the Cathedral and Palace which are some of the major tourist attractions. Whilst these were undoubtedly very good - the highlight of this trip has been wandering down the many narrow pedestrian streets soaking up the atmosphere. Never far from a cafe or restaurant, we've also had some nice food and the odd beer or three. Being a world lager connoisseur I can now say I've added Estrella and Cruzcampo to my list and they weren't bad either. Overall,
Palma has been a great introduction to what I hope will be a great trip.
Next stop: Istanbul!
- Head to La Llotja in the evenings - this place is full of bars/restaurants and is the place to be rather than the Old Town.
- Restaurante Pizzeria Vecchio Givoanni (near Plaza Llotja) - decent pizzeria at affordable prices. Charming little place with a nice atmosphere.
- Bellver castle is a must see - the tourist bus is the only form of public transport up to the castle.
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