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1. Palma 2. Porto Cristo 3. Porto Colom 4. Felanitx
Palma, the City Center of Mallorca – Jun 25 Thu
I woke up in the morning with body ache all over me. All those driving on a manual gearbox, all those clutching-and-gassing must have taken a toll on my body. Our original plan was to visit Palma tomorrow, before we headed to our plane flying back to Barcelona in the afternoon. However, looking at how huge this island is, it would be a shame if we were to miss out much of what Palma offers. So we changed our plan and visited Palma today instead.
The road system in Palma was quite confusing. We got lost a few times trying to reach the Cathedral – or as the Mallorcans call it Sa Seu; it took us even longer to find a parking space.
According to legend, back in 1229, Jaime I of Aragón was caught in a storm on his way to conquer Mallorca. He vowed to God that he would build a great church if God led him to safety. Apparently God did. And hence this great Cathedral.
Like many Cathedrals in Spain, Palma Cathedral is breathtaking. Unique to this Cathedral, there was a strange looking Chapel reformed by Miquel Barceló as well as an altar reformed by the great architect Antoni Gaudí.
Royal Palace of La Almudaina
And like many palaces in Spain, this one in Mallorca is certainly worth visiting. Due to its strategic location, this Palace has always been the seat of political power – from the settlements, to the Roman, and the Muslim and Christian. Of course, it is not fair to compare this palace with the one in Madrid. Royal Palace of La Almudaina does have this antique feel. And no, please don’t bother with the Audio Guide for this palace. It’s not worth it.
We have spent much time walking on the street. Versus driving on the road like yesterday. Looking back, I am still unsure if we should have done a road trip on this day in Mallorca instead. As I really love the photo album of yesterday. Then again, we felt that we had enough of road trip and wanted something different. Speaking as such. Check out the bronze strange looking collectors (for commercial organic items) in this particular photo. Something we have not seen elsewhere in Spain as yet.
Cuevas del Drach (Cavern of the Dragon)
It came highly recommended that we should check out one of the caves in Mallorca. So we did. We took a drive all the way to the eastern side of the island and chose the largest cave located at Porto Cristo.
By then, we were running very low in cash. So, the entrance fee of 10,5 € seemed expensive to us. Knowing that we were not allowed to take any photography inside the cave, our feeling towards this tourist spot was mixed.
When we reached the entrance, a crowd was forming waiting for our time slot to enter the cave. We met a family from Finland and had a hearty chat. There must had been hundreds of people outside the cave by the time the gate was opened. It was a 15 minutes descend and we followed the faint light along the path. The view inside the cave, I must admit, was breathtaking. Strategically placed light sources light up the cave showcasing the unique pattern of the stalactites on the ceiling. At the bottom of the cave was the Martel lake, one of the largest underground lakes in the world.
After 15 minutes of walking, we arrived at the ‘auditorium’. We had to wait for another 15 minutes for everyone to be seated in an area that has a capacity of 1,000 (yes, I had that much free time to count). And then came the announcement in 6 different languages. It felt like an eternity to wait for the concert to begin.
The concert – I have to admit even though I may not like the entire setup – was one of a kind experience. A string quartet playing some familiar classical music on a boat that circled the lake. At times it disappeared from the audience’s sight while the music didn’t. It echoed through the cave.
10 minutes was how long the concert lasted, interrupted by screaming babies. 15 minutes was the time we had waited for a short boat ride that Cynthia seemed to be so fascinated with. 5 minutes was the walk to the exit. Would I want to visit the Cavern of the Dragon again? Probably not. But nevertheless an interesting experience. Especially if you are a cave lover.
Porto Colom & San Salvador at Felanitx
Since we were near to the seaside, we paid a visit Porto Colom. It was a decent port, but in no comparison to the port we have visited yesterday – Port de Pollença. We were wishing for the same kind of decent dining area like we had yesterday, but there were none. So we pressed on and by serendipity (we were lost), we had come across a little sanctuary called San Salvador at Felanitx.
The road to San Salvador was steep. And there were warning signs along the way on how steep the road ahead could be. The road was narrow and I prayed hard that we wouldn’t encounter too many incoming traffic. Thank God we didn’t, on the way up. The scene from up on top of the establishment was fantastic. I reckon we could see the entire Mallorca island. Greenery everywhere. We saw shadow of the hill cast onto the vast land below. That reminded me of our trip to Mount Kinabalu just some years ago.
A Little Chapter Closed
So, what happened after our visit to San Salvador? We drove all the way back to our hotel and had our dinner at the same restaurant we visited when we first landed in Mallorca. The next day was a long day of travel back to our home in Singapore. And you may have already read how our trip ended in an Amazing Race style.
Thank you for reading this set of journal. It is something I wish I had done for our Honeymoon to Italy back in 2000. But it is never too late to start doing something, I reckon.
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PS. Feel free to drop a comment or two. You may wish to view our photo collection for day 12 too.