This was our second time in Mallorca in two years but our first time in Palma itself. To be honest we hadn't actually planned to be back in Mallorca. It was a substitute port for the cruise we were on due to US worries about Tunis. It was a nice substitute stop. Though we didn't have a huge amount of time and the cost of the transport to get from the port into the city was a bit much from our cruise line, as soon as we could we ditched them and went exploring on our own it was a good day trip.
I'll not type too much about the place as we didn't really do that much, time was against us, but on the morning we arrived this was the view from the ship looking out over the port of Palma.
We got off the coach and picked up a City Sightseeing tour bus ticket near the Cathedral of Santa Maria.
As I said in my post about the cruise itself, the downside to such a trip is the rushed nature of the port visits. You can't see a place properly let alone take it easy enough to get a true feel of it but we did our best with what we had.
We took a walk around some of the streets and saw the city hall and some of the narrow pedestrian areas that scatter the underlying terrain. Back on the main streets it was quite a busy little city and fairly well built up.
Once on the hop on hop off tour bus, which was very full on the day (probably due to all the Cruise ships in port), we eventually found ourselves able to get upstairs before making it to the one place I'd picked out as wanting to go to. That place was Bellver Castle (Castell de Bellver) a 14th century castle but one of only a few circular castles in Europe.
The scenary in the area was much less built up, in face a much more relaxed spot.
Bellver Castle is rather impressive, it's not huge but it's location certainly adds to it's impact.
Inside there are many rooms with the history of the castle through the centuries including it's use as a prison between the 18th to 20th centuries. It's splendid circular interior is quite a sight.
The rooms on both floors on the interior of the building house the museum exhibits and artifacts from the castles history. It's well laid out and very informative.
The upper level, the roof really, is where the awesome views of Palma can be found.
The castle itself is quite impressive too.
After another part of the City Sightseeing bus tour that took us to within 1 mile (1.6km) of the boat but sadly not close enough to walk it given Norngirls injury, we headed back into the city center. It was quite pretty for the most part.
There was just one street that was stereotypical clubber tourist centric but thankfully it's only one street, the city was very Catalonian in character with influences seemingly from throughout the Mediterranean.
A funny sight was towards the end of the hop on hop off bus tour where people had just dumped their earphones en-mass over time. It reminded me of the movie Triangle.
Our next stop was just to get a beer in a bar along the Passeig des Born which had its Christmas decorations up.
We found a nice spot for a beer and relaxed for an hour or so watching the world go by before heading to buy the customary fridge magnet.
After which we headed back to the boat and enjoyed a drink as we sailed off from port whilst the captains of the boats blew their horns at one another.
I liked Palma, it'd be nice to see more of it and the Castle was well worth visiting, I'd very much recommend it and it wasn't very expensive, just a few Euro entrance fee. If we ever make another trip to Mallorca, maybe back for a relaxing stay, I'd certainly be adding a trip to Palma into our itinerary. Our next port of call was Malta.