Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Visiting Majorca on Carnival Breeze

cruise ships in Majorca, Spain

Carnival Breeze docked in Palma de Mallorca

The Carnival Breeze docked in Palma de Mallorca  (Majorca) fairly early one morning near the start of our transatlantic cruise from Barcelona.  Not having scheduled any shore excursions, we got ready at our leisure and set out to explore.  After a trip through the duty free shop we got shuttle tickets for 5 euros each.

cathedral in Palma de Mallorca

La Seu Cathedral

Le Seu Cathedral

Cathedral Spires

The shuttle took us past the modern architecture in the area of Europe’s vacation homes and into the old town district across the street from La Seu, a massive ancient cathedral.

From just about any angle La Seu has something interesting to photograph.  With giant doorways full of intricate figures and designs, to tall crumbling spires, there’s always a new view.

horse carraiges at the cathedral

Who wants a ride?

Horse carriages waited near the cathedral, hoping for tourists wanting to go for a ride.

Construction on this cathedral began in the 1200’s on the site of a former mosque.  It took until the 1600’s to finish it.  Beggars dressed in a variety of colorful and creative costumes tried to catch the attention of passers-by in hopes of earning a few coins in exchange for the photographs they know people will take of them.

Majorca, Spain

tourist shops in Palma de Mallorca

Many of the ancient streets still have brick paving.  Some even had overhead decorations running the length of the street.  Besides looking nice, tourists find these decorations helpful in recognizing where you came from when the time comes to find the way back.

swans at LeSeu cathedral

2 swans a-swimming at the cathedral

Walking down narrow streets past quaint shops, we found the banks of the region quite paranoid.  This is very unhelpful for the tourists in this touristy area.  Most banks had double doors that locked prospective customers first out and then in.  A single teller sat in a glass cage, and when confronted with a $100 dollar bill found themselves unable to exchange it for euros.  On the fourth try we found a French bank that seemed much friendlier than all the Spanish ones.  Not only did they have just one front door that opened easily, but the teller also sat out in the open behind his desk, no glass cage.  This bank exchanged the money with no hassle.  If you should happen to find yourself in Palma de Mallorca with a need to exchange dollars for euros, bring $20 bills for better luck.

capuccino coffee shop

coffee shop with free wi-fi

Down the road a bit we noticed an interesting looking building containing a coffee shop called merely Cappuccino.  Along with a cup of tea we got free wi-fi, necessary because we found the ship’s internet much too slow for photos.  We got a bit of work done and then moved on.

creative beggars of Spain

beggar in the square, sitting on air

beggars of Spain

put some money in my head please

A little farther on we found an outdoor plaza surrounded by hi-rise buildings.  Here we saw the most creative beggar of all, a girl dressed in gold colored clothes who appeared to sit in mid-air supported only by a stick in her hand.

Other nearby beggars wore headless suits and one even had a head at his feet for the collecting tin.

shops in Palma de Mallorca

the outskirts of the tourist shops

John wanted to find some wine, so we wandered about until we came across a nice little wine and cheese shop on what appeared as the outskirts of the touristy shops.  They had quite a selection of local wines.  He found a couple inexpensive bottles, and after returning to the ship and tasting one he proclaimed it one of the best wines he’d ever tasted.  Spanish wines are free of the sulphites found in many American wines.

HISTORY IN A NUTSHELL

Humans have occupied Palma since before the time of the Roman Empire.  The Romans built a city on the ruins of a previous civilization there.  After a sacking by the Vandals during the fall of the Roman Empire, the city later was reconquered by the Byzantines and colonized by the Moors.  The city spent time under rule by Muslims, Christians, and Vikings through different time periods in history.  Majorca spent some time as its own kingdom, but became split by infighting of rival gangs within the city.  Spain took control in the 1700’s.

intricately decorated door

door at La Seu cathedral

Starting in the 1950’s tourism changed the island forever, adding to the population and causing major construction.

The average temperature of the island varies seasonally from 40°F to 87°F and rarely drops below 31°F or climbs above 93°F.   Rainy days happen more often throughout the colder fall and winter season than in the warmer summertime.

THINGS TO DO IN PALMA DE MALLORCA

Palma de Mallorca is the biggest and the capitol city of the island of Majorca.  Almost half of the island’s population lives in Palma.  It is a major tourist attraction as well.  Other Europeans keep vacation homes there.  Even the Spanish royals spend summer vacations there.  Cruise ship passengers have just a brief time to sample what this area has to offer.  The ships offer some tours including sight seeing, wine tasting, train rides, or a visit to a cave.  Some excursions include food.

old cathedral in Palma de Mallorca

inside one of Palma’s many old churches

Things to find exploring on your own include lots of old churches, cathedrals and other historic buildings, many touristy shops and some local markets.  Palma also has a castle and Arab baths that are open to the public and numerous places to eat.

tour bus Palma de Mallorca

hop-on hop-off double decker bus

Like many other places that have a lot of tourists, Palma also has a hop-on, hop off double decker bus.  In most places that provides a pretty good means of getting around to see the major sites of the area.

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About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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10 Responses to Palma de Mallorca, Spain

  1. megtraveling says:

    Great pictures – that’s a place I’d really like to visit!

  2. sharechair says:

    I think the transatlantic cruise is a wonderful option. Someday!

    • If you pick a repositioning cruise you can find a pretty good deal. We met people on the ship that do transatlantic cruises one way in the spring and the other in the fall so they can buy a round trip airline ticket to get there or back both times and save there too since round trips are a better deal than one-way.

  3. Chris says:

    What is an Arab bath? Also why did it take 400 years to build the cathedral? That seems a bit slow for the construction of one building even if it is a big one.

    • Chris says:

      I’m just full of questions about this one. How was the girl with the stick supporting herself? Is there a wire from the light pole she is next to?

      • I’m planning a future blog about the beggars of Spain. We did figure out what actually held the girl in gold up and I will mention it in that blog. Sorry, but you will have to wait for the explanation until then.

    • The Arab baths are from an ancient bathhouse dating back to the time of the Moors. I added a link to a site that has some photos of it. A lot of the historic places we’ve visited seem to have taken centuries to build. I suppose it took a long time when everything was done by hand, and likely that includes additions done over the years as well.

  4. Summer says:

    Hallo,
    This is for you, for being kind to others and me, http://www.bigcards.nl/card/pickup/bc-c7cf3c10/

    Sweet Valentine greetings, Summer

  5. stephglaser says:

    Great post with interesting information and good photos! Thanks for sharing and thank you for stopping by Travel Oops and commenting! Cheers, Steph

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