Sole-blistering sightseeing in Palma, Mallorca

Palma harbour Affectionately known to locals as "The City ", Ciutat , and Palma to its jet setting tourists. Autumnal Mallorca has it all, apart from the crowds. And Palma is the lynch-pin. Over half of the islanders choose to live here. 

Early morning and the city is beginning to stir. Joggers swerve and weave and whoosh past. Healthy, cheerful people. "Hola ". Beautiful and bronzed.Faces kissed golden by the Balearic Sun. Appearances clearly matter in this cosmopolitan city. Sock and sandal clad tourists pound the streets too. Not so  elegant!

The sky is thinly washed with blue. Wispy plane trails overhead. And the sea looks milky. Luxurious super yachts mingle with cheaper flotilla and bob in hypnotic rhythm.

A day of lazy enjoyment beckons, fortunately at a pace set by ourselves. Walking around Palma Old Town is fascinating. So much to see. And so wonderful is the architecture of the city.

The Sun rises higher and our mood , already good, lifts even more.The heat is just bearable.A sip of bottled water quenches our thirst.

Le Seu Cathedral, Palma In brilliant sunlight Le Seu Cathedral shimmers! Golden sandstone buttresses and spires pricking the cloudless sky. Reaching ever closer to God. My ice cream melts quickly and dribbles onto the pavement. Another quick sip of water. Behind the cathedral The Old Arab Quarter is gorgeous. A maze of streets, mostly cobbled and narrow. Specialist shops, many filled with touristy "knick knacks ". Mallorcan crafts and food too!

We peer behind the facades, through locked wrought iron gates and Moorish arches. Great chunky wood doors, battered by history and the elements, stand guard. Courtyards abound. Exquisite places to retreat to, from the hustle of this sophisticated city. Walls coloured to aid contemplation. Easy on the eye. Scrambled egg yellow, ochre, butterscotch, creams and terracotta. Dribbling fountains, oversized pots.

Time to rest our feet. Which bar to choose? Chairs arranged neatly outside, facing outward. The World eager to be watched.

Street in Palma old town We entered through a paint blistered door. The bar dimly lit and hot. The first table is occupied by a granite-jawed Mallorcan. Unkempt and entertaining himself with his own conversation.

The olive-skinned barman has his tortuous life etched on his face. A bit scary but the greeting is warm. And the coffee? So good. Small and black, delicious, invigorating and steaming!

We squinted as we emerged back into the light and continued through the latticework of passages. The sun continued to shine through the palm tree fronds.

Sole-blistering sightseeing. Yes but oh such fun!

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Dave Harcombe

Travelling pharmacist

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