Tag: palm trees

A weekend in Palma de Mallorca

I’m quite the fan of going away for May Bank Holiday weekend – you get an extra day “free” and generally the weather in Europe is better than at home so its good time to soak up a bit of culture and avoid the wash out that is usually a UK bank holiday.

Imagine my chagrin then, when the weather forecast in the lead up to our weekend in Palma last month was predicting rain, while the UK was in for a heatwave? That’s not how it’s supposed to work! (although, thinking about it, our May Bank Holiday trip to Lyon a couple of years ago came with rain and wind, although at least the UK had the decency to be having the same weather at home).

Ever the optimist (seriously, I’m the kind of person who will look through ALL the weather forecasts until I find one I like!) off we went on our early morning flight to Palma with me declaring it would “all be fine” and if it does rain “it won’t last long”.

Well, it was raining when the plane touched down, raining when we left airport arrivals and absolutely torrentially bucketing down by the time the taxi dropped us off at our hotel about an hour later. It was too early to check in and we were only in the city for 3 nights so we left our luggage at the hotel, dug out our brollies and headed out into the narrow cobbled street (me in open toed sandals, told you I’m an eternal optimist, I didn’t pack any wet weather shoes!)

It rained all the way through lunch in Placa Espanya (although I still insisted on sitting outside “because were on holiday” even though we got dripped on from the welcome but not completely covering us awnings) but by the time I’d finished my second goldfish bowl glass of sangria the clouds had started to break and that was that for the whole weekend.

Palma de Mallorca is the capital of Majorca, largest of the Balearic Islands and around 2.5 hours flight from Birmingham. Lots of people land on the island and head straight to the beach resorts, and of course there’s the hideous party town of Magaluf that doesn’t do Majorca’s reputation any favours but the island is very beautiful, with so much more to offer than white sands, cheap beer and a really good climate (arrival day excepted). Just 20 minutes in a taxi from the airport, the capital is a maze of cobbled streets, bright plazas, a bustling harbour with cruise ships coming in and out and the piece de resistance, Palma Cathedral. It has a wealth of great shopping opportunities (we weren’t there to shop, but if you were you wouldn’t be disappointed), some great food and wonderful architecture.

We did our usual open top bus tour to get a feel for the city, wandered through narrow streets, ate delicious ice cream, looked up at the buildings, looked out at the sea, took a train journey away from the city and up through the mountains (more on that in another post) and generally just had a lovely time.

Here are some pics.

Palma Cathedral

We stayed at the Dalt Murada hotel which is in the Gothic Quarter and very well located for the cathedral, seafront and lots of places to eat. It’s a 16th century building situated on a very narrow side street which would, at some point, been lived in by a well to do family. There’s lots of dark wood, stone floors and old paintings, a bright breakfast room opening up on to an internal courtyard (we didn’t eat breakfast in the hotel) and a rooftop terrace with views towards the cathedral. It was reviewed in The Telegraph and I’d say it’s pretty bang on. I’d always rather have a bit of character than a faceless place to stay, given the choice.

Have you ever been to Palma? Or to Majorca? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Fuerteventura – Hotel Elba Sara and the Cat Cafe

I’m flabbergasted that it’s only been 4 weeks since I was soaking up the sun in Fuerteventura. It seems like such a long time ago, and almost like it never happened, to be honest. To prove that it did I thought I’d share a few pics!

When we arrived at our booked hotel, we were told that there wasn’t a room available for us due to water damage (the island had experienced some unusually heavy rains. I found out that, because heavy rain is so rare, many of the buildings aren’t fully waterproofed, simply because there is no need.) Panic immediately subsided when the receptionist told us we’d be moved to another hotel in the resort – a better class hotel than we had booked – at no extra cost. Result! They called us a taxi, and off we went to Hotel Elba Sara.

hotel-elba-sara-fuerteventura

hotel-elba-sara-fuerteventura-lobby

hotel-elba-sara-fuerteventura-downstairs

hotel-elba-sara-fuerteventura-pool-and-bar

(images taken from hotel website)

It was, undoubtedly, a very nice hotel but it was just so big! This isn’t the kind of hotel we would usually go for at all, because with a lot of rooms comes a lot of people using the pool/bar/restaurant. That’s not to say it wasn’t lovely, it was, but it wouldn’t be my choice. It was also much further out of the resort than the hotel we’d booked. Having said that, we were only there for 4 days so didn’t have much intention of getting out and about anyway, and with all inclusive running from breakfast time until midnight we were happy to soak up the surroundings and enjoy some chill time.

Mid 20s temperatures and blue skies aren’t to be sniffed at in November!

The hotel grounds were lovely, lots of bright flowers and a lazy river running through the gardens.

We’d noticed quite a few cats wandering around the hotel grounds, and had both commented it was unusual as generally you would expect animals to be kept away from the public. They were all very clean and well kept, very tame and loved to be fussed. Then we can across this. cat-cafe-hotel-elba-sara

It says “We are a small charity, run entirely by volunteers and have been working in Fuerteventura since 1995.Our aim is to humanely manage the homeless cat population. Each cat you see with the left ear tip missing has been sterilised.

We have installed this cat café so visitors can feed the cats here. Please put cat food and biscuits in the bowls provided and not on the surrounding ground or on the base of the café as this attracts the ants and flies. We rely on the visitors to feed the cats and to keep the area clean, a dirty cat café would reflect badly on the cats.

We depend entirely on volunteers and public donations to carry out our work.

Please help us to help the cats of Fuerteventura. Thank you from all of us at “Twinkle” and the puss cats”.

Isn’t that just adorable?! I love that the hotel encourages this instead of shooing the animals away. It shows compassion and understanding.

Here are some pics of the kitties, who were all extremely well behaved and liked being fussed (I think I’d be well behaved and like fuss if I could live in year round sunshine with free food, too!)

Find out more about Twinkle Trust Animal Aid and cat cafes here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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