Things have been a bit quiet on the blog front recently as we have had a stream of visitors. Mallorca is the UK's Bali as it's one of the nearest places with guaranteed sunshine Tthere are many flights from all of the UK's regional airports so we arranged to see a few family and friends while we were here.
Thousands of Britain's youth flock to Mallorca every summer, particularly to the resorts of Magaluf (known as Shagaluf for some reason) and Palma Nova to drink cheap alcohol and party and other resorts cater more for families. Because of this, it sells British beer, serves fish and chips and mushy peas, as well as sangria and paella, and has lots of British products on the supermarket shelves. I'm a travel snob but even I couldn't help squealing with excitement when I saw a plentiful supply of Tetley tea bags and HP sauce!
The capital Palma is delight. If I'd known this when I lived in the UK when it was just a quick hop away, I would have come over regularly. It's got a stunning cathedral, a13c Islamic fort which was converted into the King's palace, churches, windmills and the friendliest locals probably in Europe. A hundred meters from La Lonja marina, where we picked up our guests, is Sa Llotja, a fabulous area with lots of cobbled streets full of restaurants, tapas bars and art galleries. We seem to have spent many hours over there drinking large Gin and Tonics and eating tapas watching the world go by.
A short walk away is the market. I stumbled on it accidentally when we were looking for a supermarket. It is fantastic! For those of you with a Coles or Tesco down the road, you won't appreciate what it's like to see stall after stall of every vegetable you can think of, as well as all the meat, chorizo, jamon, quesa olives, fish you could ever wish for. It even has fresh chillies and coriander! Believe me, I nearly collapsed with excitement!
Interspersed with the food stalls are little tapas bars where the locals gather for a glass of something and a little bit of patatas brava, croquetas or fried pimientos from early in the morning. We sat in one drinking a San Miguel looking at the menu and couldn't work out what the others were eating. Prawns, sardines, mackerel, mussels, none of which were on the menu. Eventually one of the locals explained that we could go and buy what we wanted at the stalls and bring it back for them to cook. They grilled our kalamari and langoustines to perfection and served it with aioli and rustic bread. Muy bien!