Spain. Sailing in the Balearic Islands
Our journey began from the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, since flights to Palma de Mallorca are mostly with transfers, we decided to start our journey from there.
We spent five days in Barcelona, which turned out to be quite enough time to see all the main sights of the city and even spend time shopping. We got to the time of sales, discounts on seasonal goods reached 50-70%.
1 day. Palma de Mallorca
On the day of departure to Palma in Barcelona, it was raining heavily, but the plane took off on time. The flight to the palm tree took only 40 minutes, we did not have time to gain altitude as we immediately went to land. The distance between Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona is 206 km. Beautiful heapy clouds floated through the porthole. We flew over the entire island of Palma de Mallorca from north to south. All planes arrive at the huge Son San Joan Airport in Palma.
“Now I’m in Palma among palms, cedars, aloes, orange and lemon trees, figs and pomegranates. The sky is blue and the sea is emerald. Air? Well, the air is as blue as the sky, and the sun shines all day, and people they wear summer clothes because it’s hot… In a word, life here is amazing,” wrote about his stay on the island of Majorca. Frederic Chopin.
Quite a lot of time has passed since then, but, in my opinion, little has changed. First of all, we went to see the gothic cathedral La seu – the “cathedral of light” – with very beautiful mosaic windows and the largest stained glass window (in the form of a circle) in the world, whose diameter is 12.55 meters. We were lucky because at that moment there was a german group and we were able to listen to everything from the very beginning about the cathedral and learn a lot of interesting things. The guide said that if you come to the cathedral around 6.55. in the morning, then on a sunny day this stained-glass window will be reflected on the other end of the cathedral wall. Gypsies are circling around the cathedral, who are trying to pull off their “dirty deed”.
Palma has a chic promenade and a huge port (Puerto de Palma), where ships from different countries and yachts moor, some of which cost a couple of million. Opposite the Cathedral – rises the Almudaina Palace, the ancient palace of the kings of Mallorca, which was even earlier an Arab fortress. Currently, the Command of the Military Region of the Balearic Islands is located here, and the Almudaina Palace hosts the official receptions given by the Spanish royal family during their summer stay on the island of Mallorca. In Palma, there is a very famous culinary Forn des Teatre, jaume alemany 9, where they sell the most delicious Ensaimadas (ensaimada) – pies (buns) of different sizes in the form of a snail, which are cooked in lard, and then sprinkled with sweet powder. Oh, very delicious!!! The pedestrian zone with narrow streets attracts tourists with its cafes and shops. All roads and streets in Mallorca are very narrow, so the owners of large cars have a rather difficult time. I still marvel at the dexterity of bus drivers.
Further, our path went uphill, where, above the Bay of Palma, proudly rises on a hill overgrown with green pines, Bellver Castle (El Castell de Bellver) is the only round fortress in Spain, built at the beginning of the 14th century by order of Jaime II and is a symbol of that era, when Mallorca was an independent kingdom and trading power in the western Mediterranean. This castle is one of a kind example of civil Gothic military architecture. It currently houses the City Historical Museum.
In addition, there is a special hall where you can get married. We got there just at the moment when the young people arrived with guests to connect “their bonds”, even if not for eternal life. At the end of the ceremony, when leaving the castle, the newlyweds were already waiting for handfuls of rice and rose petals. The bride quickly smoked her cigarette and … Handfuls of rice and rose petals fell on the newlyweds. The poor bride kept covering her eyes, I hope that everything worked out, otherwise the husband would have got an already blind-sighted wife. Belvedere Castle offers a magnificent view of Palma and its surroundings. You can stand there for hours and enjoy the silence of the bustling city.
For dinner, we gathered with our friendly company at the local restaurant BLOCK HAUS, having decided that we would get bored with seafood during the trip, we decided to order meat steaks with local red wine.
Day 2 Palma de Mallorca – Port of Andratx (Puerto de Andratx)
In the morning, during the acceptance of the yacht, a man on a scooter drove up to us and gave us a flyer of a local supermarket with a cheerful name (bip bip supermarket) at Maritimo 37. The shop is open from 9:30 to 21:30. This was very helpful as we needed to purchase provisions for a week’s trip. Delivery of groceries from the supermarket was free. By 12:00 noon, everything was ready for departure and we went to sea. At first there was a calm, then an east wind of 10-15 knots rose.