Dates: 09/08/08 – 9/14/08
Distance: 13 nm
Sailed from: Andraitx
We stayed at the Real (Royal) Club Nautica de Palma where we found plenty of space at the nearly empty visitor’s dock. Although the high season is technically over, the prices have not gone down to reflect this fact, but it was our best option for staying in Palma.
The city of Palma de Mallorca was too large for us to try to figure out during our short stay, so we just tried to get a flavor of what it was like by shopping at the nearby Santa Catalina Market, a city market filled with vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, artisan cheese, Iberian ham and locally produced wine and by taking extended walks in the old part of the city while working our list of errands, etc. Instead of renting a car, we opted to take the touristic train to the town of Soller for the day since we weren’t planning to visit the west side of Mallorca by boat. This turned out to be a nice way to see the interior of the island with its ancient stone walls, hillside terraces, mountain views, and groves of olive, lemon and orange trees.
While visiting Soller, our Austrian friends Peter and Annemarie of s/v Onyx called on the cell phone to let us know they had just returned to their boat on Mallorca. They met us at the train station in Palma with their rental car, and we went for dinner at Pedro Restaurant in nearby Genova. We love sharing meals onboard and dinners out with them because Annemarie is such a great cook and always knows what local delicacies to order. For appetizers, we learned how to rub tomato and garlic on the fresh, crusty bread with a drizzle of olive oil for pa amb oli and devoured the small roasted peppers with sea salt. David savored the tender, roasted suckling pig for his main course while Lisa opted for another local specialty, pork lion, stuffed with cabbage and baked in the oven with a hearty tomato sauce.
After dinner, Peter and Annemarie took us back to Palma for a drink at Abaco, a very fancy and elaborately decorated bar on the ground floor of a restored mansion in the old part of the city. The owners are also florists, and so the place is filled with showy floral bouquets, marble statues, ornate antiques and tiered water fountains. The “house special” drink is made from local oranges and served in a huge glass, costing more than most dinner entrees at any other restaurant, but we were not the only ones willing to splurge.
While in Palma, we met another American couple, Patty and John, who had been cruising for many years and after four years in the Med were traveling west with a small group of boats. They had to stay behind in Palma for repairs after what sounded like a very scary collision with a freighter on the passage from Sardinia. They were very lucky to be unharmed, but their boat suffered damage to the mast. They were hauled out the next day, and unfortunately we never re-connected again before continuing east.