Happy Dia de la Hispanidad! Yeah. I don’t know the significance either but it gave me the day off of school (not that I usually go to school on Mondays anyway…) but a chance for my other friends who do actually attend school to also have the day off! Knowing that I wanted to take advantage of our good luck, I looked up cheap flight tickets to anywhere that had an airport! After throwing around some options, me and my friend Anna decided to head to Palma de Mallorca which is on the island of Mallorca of the Islas Baleares.
Nobody really seems to know what those are from the states, but basically, two groups of islands are part of Spain- las Islas Canarias and las Islas Baleares. Most people recognize the name of the island Ibiza which is also one of the Islas Baleares. Mallorca is the capital of the Islas and Palma is the capital of that! Ok moving on from the quick geography lesson…
We arrived on Friday night about two minutes before our hostel closed down the reception desk which was extremely lucky seeing as we had already paid for the room that night. Our hostel ended up not being too shabby, although I think it is safe to say we got pretty spoiled in Lisbon, which may not have been the best first hostel experience seeing as every other place probably won’t be as nice. Either way, we had a nice room with two twin beds, our own bathroom, and a balcony with a view of the ocean!
When we asked for a good place to eat dinner around the area, the owner looked a little incredulous and pointed to a place across the street called “Snack Cristian’s Bar” that looked a little sketchy. So we left the hostel, and instead hit up the Chinese restaurant next door. After some Beef and Brocolli and Sweet and Sour Chicken, we were quite satisfied and headed back to the hostel to go to sleep.
We woke up early on Saturday and ate the breakfast that they provided which was not bad at all! Since the weather was a little cloudy, we decided to get the sightseeing out of the way and headed to the city center of Palma (we stayed in a town outside of Palma called S’Arenal) on a bus that only took about 25 minutes. Once there, we did a two hour walking tour that I had copied down from the hostel. It took us all through the city and past the main sights. The gem of the city is definitely the Cathedral that we opted to go inside of and explore. It was absolutely gorgeous from the inside and out. And even though it strictly said no pictures, that did not stop most people.
Next, we got tickets for an old train to the town of Soller that is North of Palma. It is known for it’s orange, lemon, and olive trains, and was such a nice place. From the city we took another old tram up to the Port of Soller which was breathtaking. We enjoyed a very tasty lunch overlooking the beautiful port. We both decided that we could take our honeymoon there, but after reading the Ryanair magazine on the way over, I decided I am honeymooning in Greece, but I would say Soller would be a nice second option.
We then took the tram then train back to Palma. Then the bus back to S’Arenal to relax and rest since we had a busy day. We decided to order pizza, buy a cheap bottle of wine, and sit on the beach for the evening and it was splendid! We went to bed that night with crossed fingers that the weather would be nice enough to spend the day on the beach.
And it was! Around 10 we took the five second walk to the beach and enjoyed a very nice day of reading and relaxing on the beach, with a quick break at a restaurant on the boardwalk for lunch of pizza (for Anna) and Weiner schnitzel for me! Now let me explain…
One funny part of S’Arenal is that it caters to German tourists. Literally every place has a sign in Spanish and English or sometimes just one (and it is usually German). It was so funny to get a taste of the German culture and see just how big of an influence they had over this town. However, I did meet one Irish man and he let me know to one side of Palma is where all the Germans stay and the other side is where all the Irish and British tourists stay (hence the reason he opted for our side!)
Before I left, I went to my favorite book shop and traded in the book I bought last time for “A Million Little Pieces” which is just one of those books that everyone always read that I just never got a hold of. However, I did not realize just how depressing this book is. For those who don’t know, it is a memoir of a recovering drug and alcohol addict. Although it is very good and interesting, it is not the kind of book you want to read while relaxing on the beach. So instead, Anna and me perused our hostel bookshelf and pulled out two British romantic fiction books that we both started and finished during our day. While Anna enjoyed hers, mine was not as good, but hey, it just added to our International experience.
That night, we headed back into Palma for dinner, but not before watching the sunset from our beach.
It was absolutely gorgeous. Once we got to Palma we walked around for a good amount of time, hoping to find some Mallorcan cuisine that was not going to bust our bank. That turned out to be pretty difficult, and we ended up eating at an Indian restaurant that was SO good and the inside of the restaurant was actually very ornate. I feel like we stumbled upon a little gem in Palma.
Chinese? Pizza? Indian? Not your typical Spanish food but we decided that in the end, we really needed a break. You can only eat paella and tortilla so much. One thing that we did do was try what Mallorca is really known for which is a pastry called an ensaimada. It is a sweet doughy croissant type pastry with powdered sugar on top. Although I failed in getting a picture of ours, here is one I found online!
Everyone was bringing these home from the airport today and it was funny watching people try to stuff their big round box of ensaimada into their one bag allowed on the plane.
And now we are back in Madrid and back to the school grind tomorrow! If you can call it a grind.