Friday, September 6, 2013

Noordam 2013 - Day 7: Palma de Mallorca, Spain

When we woke up, the ships Azipods were turned on to park the ship in Palma de Mallorca. Our balcony overlooked the sea so we had no idea what Palma looked like. At breakfast in the Lido we had a view over the city. That looked very promising. The old fortress (Castell de Bellver) now really was a must see, just as the giant cathedral. Nice harbor with a lot of yachts. Also a lot of palm trees. They should name the city after them…

We left the ship at 10 am. De decided to take the hop-on-hop-off bus. Usually we are more into public buses or taxis and we avoid the double-decker bus. This time the hop-on-hop-off bus had some advantages. It was the only public bus that went up to Castell de Bellver. Since we didn’t know if there were taxi’s available at the Castell, the bus was a good alternative. You should however be careful when buying tickets for the bus. We bought them at the lady at the bus stand, dressed in the right uniform. The people in line before us had bought tickets from a taxi driver. The tickets turned out to be fakes. Perhaps the taxi drivers were not very fond of the competition.

As usual we got off at the point furthest away from the ship and worked our way back. We will be here until midnight, so no worries about missing the ship. On top of the bus we had a nice introduction to the city. 

View from the Hop On Hop Off Bus at Av Jaume III

We walked on the boulevard towards the cathedral. We noticed that a lot of flags were half-mast. Probably because a terrible train-accident the day before. Our first priority was getting some drinks. Water to increase the fluid balance and cokes for the extra minerals (and the taste).

We went to the Palacio de l’Almudaina and the cathedral La Seu.

Palacio de l’Almudaina and La Seu

La Seu

La Seu
Just north of the cathedral is the old city of Palma de Mallorca. Nice little streets. We encountered a garden with beautiful pink flowers and a little pond with lilies. Very peaceful. Just like all the courtyards we saw with a lot of houses.

Garden behind La Seu
At the Placa Major we bought some extra water in the underground supermarket. Then we walked in the direction of the ship. We passed the Jugendstil hotel Gran Hotel La Caixa Forum, the magnificent building Sa Llotja and Es Baluard.

Gaudi style in Palma de Mallorca

Sa Llotja

At the bus stop we had to wait quite a long time for the hop-on-hop-off bus. The temperature reached 39 C (102 F) so every gulp of water we took in, exited our body immediately. So this time we sat downstairs in the bus where it was cooler. It was quite a climb and the driver did not really try to make it a comfortable ride. But we arrived at the Castell de Bellver.

Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver
Family picture at Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver

The castle has three floors and a tower that is separated from the castle itself. Up at the castle the views were amazing. We saw Noordam and Costa Serena in port, but we also had a panorama view on the rest of the city.

La Seu from Castell de Bellver

Noordam from Castell de Bellver

On the other side of the Castell, just two hills away, we saw a forrest fire. Lots of smoke. Afterwards we took the bus back to the port. After a short walk we could freshen up with the cold towels that HAL always has available at the gangway.

Noordam in Palma de Mallorca

Once back on the ship we had a late lunch. Kim and Rhodé went off to their friends. Our diner was once again in the main dining room. Lots of fish and shellfish for the adults and roast beef for Rhodé. Kim had her own dinner plans, with her friends after hanging out at The Loft again.

After dinner we talked to photographer John (aka Jan or Carlos). We decided to take a photo package again. Not the cheapest thing on the ship, but the photographers make great pictures.

That evening we danced in the Ocean Bar to the tunes of the HAL Cats. Nice music, very danceable. The dance floor was a bit stiff. They probable do that because the dance floor is also used by people walking through the bar and by the waiters. Not very good for the knees however. Maybe they can close the passageway, so the dance floor is only used for what it is made for. We would appreciate that.

We were looking forward to a nice pina colada in the bar, but unfortunately not all the ingredients had arrived yet. So we settled for a margarita instead. Great drink, so no problem with that.

After dancing we checked out the Piano Bar. The pianoman was Stryker. Wow, that man can play. He said he had an infection in his throat, but still he sang really great. He is there every night, so we will definitely return to the Piano Bar later on in the cruise.

1 comment:

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