"Palma Sightseeing" Tour Bus
The brightly painted and decorated double-decker buses seen in the accompanying picture caught my eye here in Palma just near the Almudaina Palace and Le Seu Cathedral. I saw their counterparts in Barcelona too and I just really liked them. These eye-catching buses known here as the "Palma Citysightseeing" tour buses travel around the city stopping at about 15 of the most popular sights in the city of Palma such as La Rambla, Bellver Castle, Placa de Espanya, etc., and each stop corresponds with a regular bus stop so there is a little walking involved probably.
The entire route takes about 80 minutes, but as the services runs roughly 12 hrs. a day beginning at 9:30 am during the summer months, you will have time to stop at each & every place you wish to explore, getting on and off as many times as you wish.
If we had arrived knowing more of what there was to see in Palma, the sightseeing bus would have been the most practical way to see most of it and save a lot of wear and tear on the feet. I like the feature of the second "deck" of the bus being open (at least for good weather) because of the unobstructed views.
The Palma Citysightseeing bus begins its route at the Antonio Maura-Plaza Reina where a bus arrives about every 20-25 minutes. I believe it is possible, however, to get on at any of the marked stops and pay for tickets. Tickets may also be purchased online in advance and are good for up to 3 months. Once the ticket has been used, it is good Commentary about sights is pre-recorded in Spanish, Catalan, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Swedish.
These sightseeing tour buses run year round. The last departure is 8:00pm during the Summer. October through April hours are 9:30am to the last departure at 7:00pm.
2007 prices: 15 Euros for adults; 7.5 Euros for children 5-15 yrs.
UPDATE: 2011 - Prices remain the same virtually: 15 Euros adults; 7,5 Euros for children 8-16 This is better!! 7,5 Euros for adults 65 & over. Buses are wheelchair accessible!
Blessed Ramon Llull~ Majorcan Writer & Philosopher
We discovered the statue you see in the accompanying pictures while strolling along near the Passeig Segrera under those beautiful & lofty palm trees. The statue, placed somewhat toward the Bahia de Palma, is that of Ramon Llull who was born in Palma in 1232. Llull inherited a substantial estate which had been given to his father by King James I of Aragon after his defeat of the Moors on Mallorca.
Llull, an educated man, married young and led a life of little account until he experienced several visions of Christ crucified. This caused him to have a complete religious conversion and he dedicated his life to 3 most important goals: 1) founding schools to promote the teaching of foreign languages in seminaries & to missionaries; 2) writing a book to prove Christian doctrine; and 3) to propagate the faith among infidels. To that end he wrote prolifically, and sought support for his endeavors from religious and royal rulers. Years after learning Arabic he traveled to North Africa to spread the word of Christianity, and was imprisoned for many months and later released. Even though he was very advanced in age, nearing 80 years old, he traveled again to North Africa to carry on his crusade for Christianity, and in 1314 was stoned by Muslims outside of the citywalls of Bougie or perhaps what is now Tunis. It is said that a Genoese merchant brought him back to Palma where he died of his wounds in 1315. He is buried in the Convent of St. Francis. Some literature states that he is now "Blessed Ramon Llull" which would be the first step and a prelude to sainthood.
Llull is known also for, "Blanquerna," the first major work in the Catalan language. This courageous writer, philosopher and religious man is memorialized today by the statue, said to proclaim him in 4 languages.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Sa Llotja or La Lonja (Catalan/Spanish) is another beautiful building in the "Catalan Civil Gothic" style of architecture which was built between 1426 - 1448. I think the striking architecture belied its original purpose which was as a headquarters for the School or College for Merchants, rather than a Moorish castle or palace which came to my mind. The College of Merchants required such a space for their activities and tasks. Some information suggests that the building was an Exchange fish market at some point.
The Mallorcan sculptor, Guillem Sagrera, was the architect who was given the task of imagining and constructing Sa Llotja which resulted in one of the most well-known buildings in Palma. The many corner octagonal towers and windows with tracery are two of its beautiful and my favorite features. There is said to be a sculpture by Claus Sluter's named the Merchant's Guardian Angel in the main facade. I did not get close enough to see this detail.
Today the building is used only for exhibitions. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays on a limited basis. Sa Llotja is also the name given to this particular area of town, and is noted for its nightlife of cafes, restaurants and bars.
Son Espanyol, stuck on medieval times
The Pueblo Espanyol is a completly walledprecint wich encloses palaces, churches, houses, squares and streets...a complete town that is an exact reproduction of the ones wich exist in tthe cities and towns of Spain. Each reproduction has been performed with the same permanent materials the original was built with; famous arabor mozarab monumentsand walls. Medieval, renaissance and barroque are mixed together with peasant's homes in a combination of architecthura lharmony..Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Castles and Palaces
Joan Alcover Fountain & Gardens Memorial
After leaving the Placa de Cort and stopping by the Jardins March, we descended some wide stone steps to the Plaza Reina where we ended at the Joan Alcover memorial. It was just a small triangle of land but beautifully landscaped with a memorial fountain, palm trees, potted ferns, giagantic marigolds, urns, deep green trailing vines and ornamental lamplights. Winding walkways were dotted with benches providing shady seclusion.
But who was Sr. Joan Alcover?? Neither the name nor pronunciation was familiar to me so some research was needed to learn about the man. It turns out that Joan (Juan) Alcover was a famous son of Palma who became an eminent poet, essayist and politician during his life which spanned 1854 - 1926. His poem, "La Balanguera," was set to music by Amadeu Vives and 40 years after his death it was declared the official hymn of Mallorca in 1966.
Mr. Alcover believed in a literary theory where poetry was based on sincerity of feelings in a clear poetic form. He wrote poetry in both Castilian Spanish and Catalan, but apparently his poetry in Castilian had more impact. It is said that the tragic deaths of his wife and 4 children greatly influenced his poetry. Other works he is known for are "La Serra" and "Desolacio."
The beautiful fountain and lovely gardens which overlook another large, circular fountain on the Placa/Plaza de Reina speak volumes about the regard in which Sr. Alcover is held by the people of Mallorca.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Ancient Olive Tree Graces Placa de Cort
This beautiful, but gnarled olive tree grows in the Placa de Cort, in front of the Ajuntament or Town Hall building. Protected and surrounded by flowers, it makes a beautiful focal point on the Placa, and gives glorious shade to sunbeaten tourists.
Information about this tree is scarce or non-existent. The little information I've found dates it as at least several centuries old, and yet it remains beautiful to this day as do the buildings surrounding it --- some of which are as old or older than the tree itself. The tree is often a point from which tours begin to different parts of the old city. It also plays witness to celebrations and festivities which take place in Placa de Cort.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Port de Soller Bay
Porta de Soller is a good spot to spend a day on the beach, with some little restaurants and shops nearby. The warm, sheltered bay is good for swimming. We spent all day there in Oct/Nov and the climate was perfect for it.
The center beach has alot of boats there, but if you wind your way further out, it becomes more and more emptied out. The views of the bay, the town and surrounding mountains are lovely when just floating.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
In your way to Soller visit Valldemossa
U can go to Soller by 2 different ways. Using the shorter way trough the 3km new tunnel or using the long path, close to the sea and passing trough beatifull places... which one U'll choose?
Well, if U choose the 2nd one, U'll pass trough the beatifull twon of Valldemossa. Stop there and walk for an hour or two, it has some beatifull spots worth of seeying.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
The beach of Palma Nova
The twin resorts of Palma Nova and Magaluf are situated on the islands south west coast.Palma Nova and Magaluf are everything you associate with Majorca. You will have the holiday of your life or a holiday from hell,depends on what you like.Both resorts have fine sandy beaches.The beaches are kept very tidy.The beach at Palma Nova is also quieter than the one in Magaluf.
Turtle on my back
At the begining of Paseo Born U´ll see a beatifull monument with tortles carrying a monolite in their backs. This square is also call Turtles Square. The real neam is Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I. At the end of this boulevard begins the Paseo Maritimo and is also located the Lonja, a place with plenty of bars and cafesRelated to:
The Legend of Le Seu
There is a famous legend about Le Seu (also known as El Seo). The legend relates that when King Jaime I was returning to Mallorca to recapture the island, a terrible and fierce gale threatened to sink his fleet. Jaime vowed to build a church in honor of the Virgin Mary if she protected them and they survived to defeat the Moors which they did. On the former spot of an Arab mosque, Jaime laid the foundation stone of Le Seu in 1229. As is most often the case with such magnificent cathedrals, construction on the grand church lasted for hundreds of years and of course Jaime I was never to see the completion of the cathedral, but his promise was kept by those who followed him.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Placa de la Reina
At the top of the Avinguda d"Antoni Maura you will find a traffic circle with this lovely fountain in the middle. It is just at the Placa/Plaza de Reina where the Joan Alcover memorial is located. I really couldn't find any information on it other than to tell you that this is where the Tourist Information Office is located at 2 Placa/Plaza de Reina which would be the road just to the top right of the circle.
We visited the town of Pollenca on a Sunday morning when the market is in full swing. To be honest it's much the same as any other Spanish market, but nice enough anyway. There were plenty of other tourists there and the guide books had warned us to park up outside the town and walk in rather than try and negotiate through the narrow streets, which proved to be a useful tip.
There are a number of Landmarks to look out for, such as the 365 steps to the Calvari, the Cockerel at Placa de L'Almoina, and the impressive church of our Angels in the centre of the town with it's large rose window.
Certainly worth popping in to if you're on your way to or from the Cape de Formentor, but conversely don't worry too much if you miss it.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Processions on Holy Week
Spain is a very religious country. Through out it´s history the kings and the government was allways helping and supporting the Vatican. Nowdays U´ll see not only lot of churchs and cathedralas but also in special days, processions.
During Holy Week U can see procession of all kinds. 24 of march, 2005, 3 days ago, I went to st Los Olms, near plaza Espanya and stand there for almost 3 hours. It was worth seeying. People told me that in other cities like Sevilla or Andalucia are prittier and better. But nontheless, I enjoyed the evening. Many people watching and waiting with religous fervor. Many kids, dads, moms and grandmas with tipical religous suits folowing the processions.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
The Episcopal Palace houses the museum of religious articles. It is located next to the DAli Murada square and close to the bay. There are two floors of items and relics and statuary. There displays are nice presented and many centuries old. They have crypts besides many pieces found in a typical church setting, but also including 200 art works from some famous known persons. After 6 years of refurbishment, the museum opened in 1916, even though the inside looks more modern today.
It is open 10-2PM MOnday-Saturday and entry fee is 3 EuroRelated to:
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
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