Impressions of Palma

ramblaDSCF9877.JPGThe shady, tree-lined boulevard La Rambla will stay etched in my mind as the epitome of the graceful city of Palma.  Flower sellers line the center walkway between the traffic lanes and the frequently placed cafes hint at a city with a slow, civilized pace.  Less visited, the more everyday neighborhoods that radiate from the core echo these traits but with a more utilitarian look and feel.

Palma is a port city of about 400,000 people — about half the population of the island of Mallorca, Spain.  The island’s location in the center of the western Mediterranean gave rise to its history as a maritime hub from the time of the Phoenicians.  The Romans, the Byzantine empire, Christian Spain, the Moors, Christian Spain again … they all are important to the history here.  Overlay the presence of various pirates and you have a complex and interesting mix.

DSCF9723.JPGIf I were a “beach” person, the waterfront is probably all I would need to have a great time here.  The Bay of Palma with its enticing miles of beach front and palm-lined promenade with views of the cathedral and city is gorgeous. shipIMG_1580.JPGWith it’s large marina, Palma is the starting point for boat trips and yacht charters.  In fact, one of the other lodger’s where I was staying was a trained ship’s mate looking to find a job with one of the many yachts and cruise ships that pass through.  I saw dozens of cruise ships that had chugged in during the week I was there.

But Palma is an intriguing place even with no interest in the beach or sea.  It is a festive place of lively sidewalk cafes, bustling markets, and buzzing street life.  It is also an exceedingly picturesque place of interesting architecture and a maze of winding pedestrian streets & alleys.  The food and drink can be excellent and inexpensive.  Read about Spanish food in my post “Spanish Bites” and about the Palma Beer Festival in my post “C(be)erveza“.

Following are images of Palma.  Captions (when provided) appear before the photo(s) that they apply to …

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Palma’s majestic cathedral La Seu, is a vast structure that was originally built on the site where there was once a mosque.  This structure seems to me to be in a class with any other European cathedral that I have visited.

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Some windmills still exist in the area … these are in a working class neighborhood.

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The Old City (in the southeast area of Palma behind the cathedral) is a maze of streets and alleys …

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The Plaza Major is one of the important market and meeting places in the city.  There is an assortment of buskers who work the plaza …

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Palma has a great cafe life — inviting cafes are everywhere …

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How’s that for a big wine bottle?

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There is quite alot of public art … both modern and historic …

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I saw these tiny vehicles in use for delivery here in Palma as well as elsewhere in Spain …

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Some quirky sights along the way …

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Hannibal Lector?

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