Mallorca – Palma, Pastries & Pigeons (2/5)

We woke up to see the mist lifting from the trees, the sun rounding the corner, and the German hotel guests making themselves comfy on the soon-to-be sun-soaked loungers around the pool.

The lift doors opened on almost every floor on the way down to breakfast, and people crammed themselves in, squashing up against each other. By the time we reached floor 6 I had to say, ‘Please don’t!’ with some desperation, as a giant man considered levering his way in. (Later the lift was out-of-order. Is it normal to be able to see the rough concrete and broken brickwork in the gap as the lift doors open?)

Jane told the man on reception that our air-con didn’t work. He said, ‘Yes, I know. It’s a big machine and we can only have heat or cold, not both because it takes a lot of petrol!’ We left it at that and went into the dining room.

The first bowl I was given was dirty, there was plastic wrapping rubbish in the cereal, the milk was like evaporated milk, and the sausages made Jane giggle.

We went back to our room. I got locked in the bathroom, but eventually freed myself in time to watch a lady in a neon bikini berate her boyfriend for the not-so-satisfactory iphone pics she’d requested of her pretending to nonchalantly sunbathe by the pool.

Armed with our Burger King map we decided to brave the €1.50 bus journey into Palma. We stood for 30 minutes, swaying slightly, squashed warmly against the windows by old ladies.

The Old Town of Palma is really quite lovely. We wandered through narrow streets and busy squares, passed book stalls and into icecream shops and bakeries.

I bought Ensaimadas in Panaderia S’Estacio whilst Jane pressed herself against the wall – she’d not noticed the floor until she was halfway across it!

We got our fix of religious glory at the Parroquia De Sant Jaume and meandered through the streets peering in shop windows and piecing together outfit ideas.

And of course, desirable means of transport.

Squinting in the sun and climbing the steps up through the botanic gardens and passed the Moorish Palace, we arrived at the Cathedral of Santa Maria, overlooking the sea.

A small walled walkway opened up to reveal a beautiful and serene swan pool. Whilst one swan sat peacefully on the nest, the other swam around the perimeter, collecting tips and posing for photos.

Eventually we wound our way back to the bus stop. On the way I fed the pigeons. A little girl came and tried to scare them away, they grabbed their pastry scraps and ran.

I like that they were all wearing the same colour shoes.

The Ensaimadas were sweet, and so soft, but also, slightly porky. Like a porky brioche. I wouldn’t recommend them.