Sunday, 24 October 2021

Half term - week one - PALMA!

Worked Sunday, half a shift on Monday then no work on Tuesday....

...a 2:00am alarm instead and a flight to Palma x

We arrived on time, caught the public bus to Palma and then walked to our accommodation. What a find!! The Samaritana Suites, in the center of Palma were fabulous. We got upgraded too, which never happens and although there was no outside space linked directly to the room......

.....there was a fabulous roof terrace, with views across the city.
We did spend an hour or two up there late afternoon, our early start catching up with us and we had walked 20,000 steps exploring the city. 

Had a lovely meal out it the evening. 
The weather warm enough to eat outside, just had to wear an extra layer.

We got up reasonable on Wednesday, first stop the bakery, then headed to the.....

....bus station, where Jeff got to speak the Spanish he's been learning. 

We decided to make the most of the glorious sunshine and head to the coast. Although our first stop was the town of Andraxt. It was market day, so we sat in the square people watching with a coffee for an hour, bought something for lunch, then got back on the bus and headed to....

....Port de Andraxt. 
We walked another 20,000+ steps today around the full bay. Jeff went in for a dip, me a paddle and we just soaked up the bonus warm sunshine.

We did spot our first ever octopus, just swimming right in by bay. Amazing!
So after a full day, we got the bus back to Palma......

...before going out again in the evening to eat....

....and a walk around the Cathedral area, to see it all lit up at night.

Thursday our final day and breakfast in St Cristo bakery. 

When we holidayed in Soller back in 2019, Alfonso was the baker in their shop in Soller and his wife Rene worked here in Palma. If we said hello we'd get a discount! They make the best pastries and make the best coffee, so we definitely had to come back this time and enjoy the Ensaimada pastries.

We then found a seat up by the Cathedral and sat for an agonising half an hour, trying to get Coldplay tickets. They went on general sale at 10am UK time, so 11am in Palma. And amazingly with all 4 of us trying, I managed to secure four tickets for the concert at Wembley Stadium next year.

With that done, we could then relax into the day and continued to wander around the Cathedral...

....and the lovely gardens to the side.

We then walked about 3km I guess, along the coast road to Portixol.

The walk is fabulous. You cross over a 6 lane carriage way, with the Cathedral and Palma city on one side and the sea on the other. There's a designated, palm tree lined cycle lane and wide pathway for pedestrians.

And the walk back is even better with views of the Cathedral.
We had lunch in the harbour area, then paddled our way back, with Jeff inevitably taking a dip. 
To be fair the weather was just fantastic and it'll be his last chance this year!

We then had a lovely meal in this wonderful square. My one rule on holiday is that I don't cook, so we do treat ourselves to eating out every evening. We can make do in the day with bought bakery bits, just the odd coffee stop or ice-cream but in the evenings, we always have a proper meal, soak up the atmosphere, try out the local cuisine, sample the local beer and people watch!!

So sadly Friday morning came around far too quickly, with a 6am alarm and a walk through the sleepy streets of Palma to the bus stop. We caught the bus back to the airport, all super easy and efficient. Got delayed due to a queue of planes all wishing to depart at the same time but really easy flight home.

We had the best time. Although short, three days was long enough to feel we've been away, had a little break, enjoyed some bonus autumnal sunshine and recharged the batteries before heading into winter.

I know we're lucky and I don't take one single trip for granted. 
Back in 2019 Jeff and I went to Girona, just the two of us, the first time since the children. It was affordable, really cheap flights, accommodation booked separately, cheap travel on local buses. I can spend hours/days/weeks researching our trips, finding affordable accommodation, we only need a bed, shower, fridge, as long as it's clean! We had big plans to start travelling without the kids (suddenly affordable) but then Covid happened and stopped everything. We're so glad we decided to go to Greece this summer and now our few days in Palma have just reignited that enthusiasm for adventure and travel. We already have trips planned for next year and a looooong list of where we'd like to go. "You off again?" " You do like to get about!" My simple reply is "Yes!" We don't drink, don't smoke, don't buy designer clothes, we have cheap old cars and we work hard and chose to spend our money on travel and when on a budget, you get to travel more!!

We'd rather get to travel to more places cheaply, than one expensive holiday a year. So trips to Naples, Florence with my sister, Kefalonia and Dubrovnik are already booked and a possible trip with Sophie, once she starts working is on the cards. If we wait until we retire, we might not have our health and time to do all we want, life is for living and travel is high on our agenda, so we will be "off again" in the year ahead.

So Saturday and with nothing planned I headed over to my favourite woods, on a Fly Agaric hunt. There is something quite special about seeing these classic fairytale mushrooms when just out walking, although there seem to be far fewer than last year so far......

.... you have to really look hard to spot them.

But there are plenty of others to spot too. 

Then last night we went out! out! to see Scouting for Girls. I saw them play at Bath Festival in the summer but this was Jeff's first live music, since Covid closed the doors on it all at the start of 2020. They were as brilliant as ever and The Cheese and Grain in Frome, is such a fab venue.

So a good week! A busy week. 
Next week is still busy, I have a rare day off today (Sunday)  but I'm working my normal Monday, Tuesday, then we're Cardiff bound on Wednesday to see Sam. Sophie then comes home the following week for a few days as she has a Reading Week, plus it's her birthday. So still a lot to look forward to.

You can see more photos from Palma, if you're interested, over on my Instagram page 

Have a good week.

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