The Island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands. It is beautiful with its limestone mountains overlooking the majestic blue water. And, I got the pleasure of exploring it’s capital Palma de Mallorca with its quaint historical streets, delicious cuisine, and Gothic castles.
When exploring Palma de Mallorca, you will definitely notice that the city is literally divided rich and poor. The rich area is where the noblemen and doctors live and work. And, the poor area is where the craftsmen and fishermen stay. The locals are very frank about this division too. I found that very odd, but maybe it’s due to the high unemployment rate of 20% there at this time.
But on a more positive note, the weather was very nice in September when I was there. It was 85 degrees with 85% humidity, and it felt like Florida to me which made for great exploring.
We strolled by the Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, which was absolutely beautiful.
After the Basilica, we continued venturing into a few shops for souvenirs and sampling. That’s where I got to try some of their amazing native fig bread made with almond flour. And of course, we had to make a stop for Sangria sampling. And, of all the Sangria that I tried while in Spain, I have to say Lennox Cafe there in Palma de Mallora has the best Sangria in Spain!
Oh, and in case you want to know, the Euro is their current currency used.
Now, something that is always associated with Spain in my mind is Bull Fighting. Although I am very against this sport and think it is cruel, I did find the information about the event interesting. It appears that bull fighting came from the Madrid Region of Spain. And like me, not many of the current Spaniards like the sport any longer.
We visited Plaza de Toros, an old Coliseum where fight takes place. It is massive and the architectural detail to the structure is amazing. The circular building is built of limestone, including the seats which look like steps going down to the center of the bull ring. Inside the Coliseum, there is nice black and white tile work done along the corridors giving a sense of prestige. Making it feel as if this place was the place to be. It probably was a very happening place centuries ago when bull fights were held every Sunday at 6:30 pm for entertainment.
Today, fights are only held once a month in the summer months, and special bulls are used and bread just for fighting. These bulls weigh approximately 400-500 kl, and they are not eaten. Instead, they are “honored for their performance.”
As for the Matador, many young Spaniards use to, and some still do, inspire to become Matadors, because of the elaborate uniforms worn. A Matador’s uniform can cost upwards of 6,000 Euros due to the real gold embroidery in it. I don’t think even a golden suit would be enough to encourage me to go out and risk my life!
A BIT OF HISTORY
As for history, Mallorca only had three (3) Kings: James I, James II, and James III. And, there are many beautiful castles around Mallorca. But when Peter the Great came from Russia and conquered in 1841, he emptied all of the palaces.
One of the prettiest castles to see and is still used by locals for picnics and spending the day, is the Bevel Castle. It is 120 meters above the city. It has a circular courtyard, Arab inspired arches, and is surrounded by a pine forest. The castle originally served as the residence of the Mallorca Kings, then became a fortress. In 1931, it was given to the city of Palma and became a museum thereafter.
The island was finally opened for tourism in the first decades of the 20th century.
So, to the final question. Would I go back to visit this place again? Yes. It was clean, inexpensive, and I felt safe there. And, I have to go back for the Best Sangria in Spain as well as exploring the rest of the Island of Mallorca.
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