From Italy, my family and I headed to Spain during our Christmas holidays. We would visit two places there, and one of them was Palma de Mallorca (also simply known as “Palma”), which is the capital of the island of Majorca. Located just off the coast of metropolitan Spain, it’s especially known for being a tourist destination, with a many as 11 million (or more) visitors from English and Germany coming for their beach getaway.
We only had a half day to see the place, so from there, we took a guided tour of the city. Our coach picked us up from the port and took us to the Bellver Castle, which was located on a hill. From there, we got sweeping views of the coastline, along with the port that we’d just been at half an hour before. Admittedly, it’d been overcast when we arrived that morning, but thankfully it cleared up a bit to blue skies for that perfect photo opportunity.
From there, we made a 40-minute drive to Valldemossa, a village located in the hills of Palma. We spent part of our afternoon there exploring what was considered the “old Spain.” Upon arriving, we entered a small cafe for some complementary Spanish hot chocolate, which I’ve had before and absolutely love– it was great getting it again (and for free!). It was also our break time before we got the second wind to continue exploring for the day.
Our tour guide took us around the narrow, residential streets of Valldemossa before bringing us to the 13th-century monastery where Polish-French composer Frédéric Chopin had stayed a brief winter in efforts to recover from tuberculosis (which unfortunately, he didn’t). It was assumed that Spanish weather would be better than the French or Polish in the winter but, as Valldemossa is situated at higher elevations, it can get quite chilly in the cold season, too.
Weather-wise, it turned dreary and rainy while visiting Valldemossa. After exploring the cloister’s gardens of the monastery, we returned to the coach to take it back to Palma. Along the way, we stopped at a vantage point for unspoiled, natural views of the Mediterranean against the coastal cliffs, where we took some photos– in the distance, we could also see American actor Michael Douglas’ vacation home, which is actually on the market for $60 million(!). No way that I can afford it…
We reached Palma once more, where we stopped for a very quick photo of its iconic cathedral before taking the coach around the historic center of the city. We saw a few Gaudi-inspired buildings, along with its version of “Las Rambas,” a long, pedestrian street reminiscent of that in Barcelona. Soon enough, we got back to the ship around 17:00, and from there called it a day.
Overall, our tour of Palma was rather rushed, but I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to squeeze in the village of Valldemossa, which I found more charming than Palma. The weather wasn’t on our side during the second half of the visit, which I suppose effectively brought our luck of good weather to a close.
Final post of my Christmas travels coming tomorrow! Stay tuned.
— The Finicky Cynic
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