Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Going to Palma

Today we caught a bus and went to Palma de Mallorca. Time to leave the seaside resort of Magaluf for a few hours and visit the metropolis such as it is. So we set off in the sunshine and arrived eventually at the bus station in Palma, part of a quite impressive multi-transport centre: trains, buses and metro, all shiny and modern.

We walked our way down to the old town near the p
ort and took a look at the cathedral but didn’t get inside because, as the sun was shining so nicely when we set off, I had neglected to pack anything to cover my strappy top and bare arms and shoulders are not allowed in the cathedral. Bother these dress codes.

Still we saw some rather fine doorways and fortifications and I discovered that Galicia is not the
only place to make us of galerías as insulation to keep flats warm in winter and cool in summer. Many of the building in old Palma had them too and some looked as though they were not a recent addition.

As lunchtime approached so did the clouds and eventua
lly the rain (another reason to regret not having taken another layer of clothing with me) so we started to look for somewhere to eat.

Now, I have gone on a little recently about the lack of good places to eat in Magaluf. I take it back. Sorry Magaluf, you are clearly better than we thought. Unless we somehow managed to bypass all possible restaurants in Palma there is a definite shortage, not say a dearth. There were cafes and cake shops galore, fast food outlets and snack bars in plenty. Macdonalds, KFC and Subway were all available but could we find any places where people sat civilised at tables and ate proper food? No we could not. They must exist. People must eat out in Palma but WHERE?

Eventually we stopped someone and asked for a recommendation. He send us round the next corner to Digui which he assured us was a very nice tapas place. Well, yes and …. no. It called itself a taller de tapas, a tapas workshop. It had a small range of very elegant, very nicely presented, prizewinning tapas. It wasn’t very pricey but it was rather pretentious and left us feeling that we might like something a little more substantial, please.

However, the nice waitress did help us locate the place on the map, which was useful as we were a bit lost after our wanderings in search of the perfect eaterie. And so, elegantly fed and helpfully directed, we found our way back to the bus station and returned to Magaluf.

Now, this is clearly a day for revising opinions about the place and retracting recent rants. I have rambled on, here and on Facebook, about generously proportioned tourists. It may be that I have been unfair. Some of them could be local people. In yesterday’s paper there was an article informing us that “entre 20 000 y 30 000 personas de Baleares son obesos mórbidos”. Obesity is evidently an international problem.

While we were in Palma we popped into the tourist information office to check up on our travel for next week when we move on to Colonia Sant Pere or Colonia de San Pedro to give it its Castellano name. At first the young man thought we might be confused and really wanted to go to Colonia Sant Jordi which is near here. We put him wise, helped him find Colonia Sant Pere on the map, near (but not too near) to Alcudia. In the event he couldn’t actually tell us any more than we had already discovered on the internet but at least he now knows where it is.

We discovered Colonia Sant Pere some years ago, almost by accident, having hired a car to escape from Palma only to discover that Alcudia was also a bit too loud and kiss-me-quick for our liking. So we went exploring a little further and found a small place with its own small harbour and quite a nice paseo marítimo. So when the chess tournament is over we are going back to see if it has changed.

Quite coincidentally I also read an article about Colonia Sant Pere in yesterday’s paper. The article was really about one of those corruption cases that pops up from time to time but also featured Colonia, complete with photos of what it looked like half a century ago. The story told of a certain María Antonia Munar, former president of the Parlamento Balear, whose secretary has a brother whose bank balance recently increased by around three and half million euros. That’s quite a lot of money, I am sure you will agree.

Now, María Antonia Munar is in some kind of relationship with a jefe fiscal, Bartomeu Barceló and the money is believed to have come from that source … possibly. Although María Antonia Munar is accused of dodgy dealings of her own by all accounts. Mr Barceló claims to have no idea who the secretary’s brother is but according to the journalist it would seem that everyone in Colonia Sant Pere, where Mr Barceló has a boat as well as family connections, knows that the two gentlemen are well acquainted. That’s interesting!!!

The journalist took a trip to Colonia Sant Pere to investigate and was rather surprised to find that the little place where he spent some of his holidays in the 1960s, when it had around 40 to 50 houses, had grown somewhat.

I hope we are not in for any nasty surprises!


  1. In the olden days there used to be kept a cardigan at the back of the church as you entered which could be borrowed so you could view the church etc. I guess if one was left today it would be nicked!

  2. Forgot to mention that in your second photo the two ladies passing by won't get into the cathedral either!

  3. In Pisa, Mike, they offer paper overalls, very fetching as you can imagine. No-one wants to pinch them.