Again, the extended forecast called for rain but cleared that morning, so we decided to head into Palma de Mallorca to explore Old Town. We again started off the day getting pastries. Gabby chose an ensaimada, Josh a delicious pork pie, and Laurelin enjoyed a coca de patata. I wasn't hungry and just nibbled a few bites of Josh's pie. It was phenomenal! The pork inside was seasoned deliciously and the pastry crust was buttery and flaky. I wish I'd been hungrier! We worked our way through Old Town to La Seu cathedral and the Palau Reial de l'Amundania, the palace of the royal family. Both were stunning works of architecture and design. With flying buttresses and gothic arches, the cathedral took me straight back to my art history days in college. It was so stunning, so very very stunning. We enjoyed touring the palace and seeing some more of the Mallorcan histrory, including artifacts from times with it was under Arabic rule as well as Christian rule. The island has so much history and culture. Josh being a great lover of history and myself being a great lover of art had such a great time learning. The girls are somewhat less enthusiastic than we are, but they managed not to complain too much when we lingered in rooms or try to rush us through. Gabby did say she would dessert us if we took a guided tour, ha!
She was fascinated though when we entered to chapel in the palace and behind glass was presented in great honor reliquaries of St. Anne. Apparently, I had yet to explain to her what reliquaries were. I guess we didn't encounter those while we were in France with the girls. Being Gabby, she found it fascinating. Laurelin was far less intrigued by the reliquaries, but she did enjoy the architecture. Out of respect for the cathedral, I did not photograph anything inside. There were many signs posted requesting photos not be taken, and I can understand their regard for their sanctity of their house of worship. It was amazing though. The stained glass had me in awe. Their rose window looked like a kaleidoscope, full of rich blues, reds, and yellows. The rest of the stained glass windows were beautiful mosaic works of art. There was art by Gaudi, a crown of thorns canopy above the alter. Throughout the wings of the cathedral were displays dedicated to many saints, each a unique display. There were also several reliquaries at the cathedral.
Being in the large cathedrals throughout Europe never fails to take my breath away. They are such stunning works of art and craftsmanship that took decades if not centuries to be brought to life. We wandered Old Town on our way back to the car, stopping to eat at a delicious bao place. Ok, so bao and dim sum are not in any way Spanish food and we failed in our diving in to the culture in that moment, but oh my word, those were delicious!! They were hand made, fresh and simply amazing. The girls also split a bowl of fresh ramen. Our final stop of the day was Bellver Castle on the edge of Palma. It is a circular castle with a stunning open courtyard. There was a beautiful view of the harbor in Palma, despite the rain and gloom. Unlike most of the towns we visited or drove through, Palma is very modern and highly populated. It was quite a contrast from the terraced villages we'd seen the day before. That evening we headed back to the resort, where we relaxed for a bit before headed out to supper. We ate at a restaurant in Cala Pi just a short walk from our resort. The food was fantastic! We shared a bread and olive plate with fresh green olives which were so good and I do not like green olives. I enjoyed lamb chops. Gabby shared some of mine and had a bowl of fresh tomato soup. Josh and Laurelin shared a beautiful pallea. Josh and I shared a delicious Spanish Tempranillo.
The next day the rain finally caught up with us. We took the morning to chill in the room while we tried to decide the best activity for a rainy day. We landed on visiting the Cuevas del Drach. I'm so glad we did! The drive out there was lovely, despite the drizzle. I don't have any photos unfortunately, as the rain discouraged us from stopping, but the blossoming trees were stunning! We got to the Cuevas del Drach before the tour time and enjoyed some chocolate caliente for the girls and espresso for Josh and myself, because there's nothing better on a cold rainy day than a nice warm pick me up.
The walk through the caves was pretty awe inspiring, so many formations. About two thirds of the way through the tour, we stopped at a seating area where we were all treated to a concert. The lights within the cave were turned off and lit boats slowly emerged from the distance, two guide boats and one boat containing a pianist and string quartet. The music changed as the boats drew closer and the sound echoed off different structures on the ceiling. It was very unexpected on our part, we weren't sure going into it what they meant by "the concert is included in admission." But it was a wonderful experience. I wish I had pictures of that part as well, but they requested no images of video be taken of the performance. Our room at the resort was a suite and included a kitchen. We needed to restock on a few things, so we decided to find a market on our way back to the resort after the caves. When Aldi popped up as an option, I was all in! So many different options for meats and cheeses, great fresh breads, a multitude of wine options, and Gabby's favorite thing: a machine that freshly squeezed orange juice with local oranges. It was a lot of fun shopping there! We even decided to grab groceries to make dinner at the resort that evening. Before, we'd just been keeping breakfast items on hand because none of us are morning people, so not having to leave the room to go grab coffee and food first thing is more our speed. Well, that's a wrap for days 3 & 4. Check back soon as there is more to come from our Mallorca trip!