Travel Stories

Mallorca – Palma, Pastries & Pigeons (2/5)

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We woke up to see the mist lifting from the trees, the sun rounding the corner, and the German hotel guests making themselves comfy on the soon-to-be sun-soaked loungers around the pool.

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The lift doors opened on almost every floor on the way down to breakfast, and people crammed themselves in, squashing up against each other. By the time we reached floor 6 I had to say, ‘Please don’t!’ with some desperation, as a giant man considered levering his way in. (Later the lift was out-of-order. Is it normal to be able to see the rough concrete and broken brickwork in the gap as the lift doors open?)

Jane told the man on reception that our air-con didn’t work. He said, ‘Yes, I know. It’s a big machine and we can only have heat or cold, not both because it takes a lot of petrol!’ We left it at that and went into the dining room.

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The first bowl I was given was dirty, there was plastic wrapping rubbish in the cereal, the milk was like evaporated milk, and the sausages made Jane giggle.

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We went back to our room. I got locked in the bathroom, but eventually freed myself in time to watch a lady in a neon bikini berate her boyfriend for the not-so-satisfactory iphone pics she’d requested of her pretending to nonchalantly sunbathe by the pool.

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Armed with our Burger King map we decided to brave the €1.50 bus journey into Palma. We stood for 30 minutes, swaying slightly, squashed warmly against the windows by old ladies.

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The Old Town of Palma is really quite lovely. We wandered through narrow streets and busy squares, passed book stalls and into icecream shops and bakeries.

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I bought Ensaimadas in Panaderia S’Estacio whilst Jane pressed herself against the wall – she’d not noticed the floor until she was halfway across it!

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We got our fix of religious glory at the Parroquia De Sant Jaume and meandered through the streets peering in shop windows and piecing together outfit ideas.

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And of course, desirable means of transport.

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Squinting in the sun and climbing the steps up through the botanic gardens and passed the Moorish Palace, we arrived at the Cathedral of Santa Maria, overlooking the sea.

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A small walled walkway opened up to reveal a beautiful and serene swan pool. Whilst one swan sat peacefully on the nest, the other swam around the perimeter, collecting tips and posing for photos.

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Eventually we wound our way back to the bus stop. On the way I fed the pigeons. A little girl came and tried to scare them away, they grabbed their pastry scraps and ran.

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I like that they were all wearing the same colour shoes.

The Ensaimadas were sweet, and so soft, but also, slightly porky. Like a porky brioche. I wouldn’t recommend them.