Top 5 Things To Do In Palma, Mallorca

So many people ask me about things I would recommend doing/seeing in Palma de Mallorca when they are visiting the island. So, why not give a blog post to that topic. Just for y’all, my favorite peeps.

It was a difficult list. Palma has so much to offer – art galleries, museums, shopping, great bars, hidden back alleys where you stumble upon something new every single time. I could spend a whole week just exploring those narrow side streets.

In no particular order because they all rock.

1.Pilar y Joan Miró Foundation

First up, the Pilar y Joan Miró Foundation. If you are an art lover, you can’t miss this. You actually walk through the studios Joan Miró worked in through 1956 until his death in 1983. The collection of works by Joan Miró includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. You can see how and where he worked at the two studios (Son Boter and Sert Studio), both of these have been included in the Bienes de Interés Cultural architectural heritage list.

One of my favorite Miro sculptures in Palma ~ FEMME

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Joan Miró – Femme

2. La Seu

Next, the Cathedral – La Seu. This majestic, architectural masterpiece took from 1230 – 1601 to build. It has a gorgeous, gothic, rose glass window which is one of the largest in the world. And if you are into Gaudí, he later designed the columns and the controversial Crown of Thorns that hangs over the altar. It is situated next to the Parc de la Mar which is also a lovely place to hang out, look at the sea and have a glass of wine.

A visit begins through the museum entrance and there is a small entrance fee.

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La Seu in Palma, the Cathedral that took almost 400 years to build. Gorgeous!

 

3. Passeig Des Born

Enough architecture and art for you? Alright, how about some shopping. Did some of your ears pop up? Palma has great stores – from Louis Vuitton to Caroline Herrera to Hugo Boss. And they are all in one of my favorite spots in Palma, Passeig des Born. Come here to this tree-lined promenade with boutiques, cafes, shops and beautiful fountains at each end. You can always find a street performer or two to keep you entertained, if you are needing that.

Walk up to Jaime III and if you turn left you will find Es Corte Ingles (Palma’s big department store), Mango and other shops. Turn right and you can head to Placa Major, where pretty much in every direction are more and more shops. If you have been dying for a Starbucks, one has been recently established at the Placa Cort.

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4. Ca’n Joan De S’aigo

Time for a break after all that sight seeing and shopping. Stop at one of the oldest chocolatiers in Europe, founded in 1700. So much deliciousness under one roof. It’s almost a sin. Pastries, cakes, ice-cream, cava and the popular Mallorcan ensaimada. My favorite is the one with apricots. They have two locations but the Calle Can Sanc has the mosaic from the original building. Bon Profit!

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5. Palma Old Town Bike Tour and Tapas

Did someone say bike riding and tapas? I’m in. This is a super fun bike tour to see the top sights of Palma ~ La Seu Cathedral, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, ride down the Rambla of Palma and discover the nightlife center of La Lonja. Finish your excursion with tapas at the Illenc restaurant.

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I hope you enjoyed the list. I would love to hear about your favorite must-sees in Palma. Thanks for stopping by this beautiful city!

Workspace Inspiration

Easter is coming up and I will have a free week to concentrate on life outside of the regular j-o-b, take a break and put my focus elsewhere.

And what exactly may I be focusing on?

Ah, so glad you asked. I also work on writing, creating designs for clothing, caps, mugs, etc., and just my general business of having 104 other things on my plate that I am thinking about doing, creating, trying. And for this, I need a nice office space in my home.

So that is what I will be doing in a few weeks. Making a space that helps get my creative juices flowing. I like a large desk with things that inspire me. But not TOO many things. Just the right amount. Tricky, no?

Here are some ideas I’ve found that I like…. or my dream home office:

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Patti Smith drew my eye on this workspace. She is the coolest rock star evah. I like this workspace, it’s a lot what mine will end up – a bit messy, a little chaotic but still with flair – the cool chair with a fur (fake please), some inspiration on the walls, a plant or two, headphones and some storage with books and bags. I always strive for clean lines and simplicity BUT let’s be real folks. This is me! And I will never be able to keep my space completely free and clear.

But a girl can still dream.

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Like this space. Good Lord, that is one organized office!! I bow down. It is very nice, so very tai chi. I love the shelves.

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Such organization! HOW DO THEY DO IT!? And there is that fur on the chair again. Is that the latest cool thing in your workspace? For me only if it’s like sheep or something that didn’t have to die to be made.

All that white is so comforting. Ahhh, breathe, create, focus.

I like it.

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This is a bit of a mixture of the first and the next two. I wish my room had a big window, I love that so much about this room. Plus the plants. Plants I can do! Making a huge window in my room, not so much.

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I need some kind of inspiration board on my wall. Something where I can pin pictures or ideas or what not. I love the glass of light pink roses on the desk.

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Another idea for an inspiration “board”.

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I really REALLY love this inspiration area. The huge frame where you can pin or paint or write whatever things make you feel happy, creative, ready to work! And I already have that screen saver on my computer – so one thing already checked off the list!

Well, I will give an update to how I changed my workspace in a few weeks. So don’t forget to come back and check it out.

How about your workspaces? At your home or at your office? What inspires you?

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La Tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris.  It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair,  it has become both a global and cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 17 feet (5.2 m).

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The tower has three levels for visitors. The third level observatory’s upper platform is at 279.11 m (915.7 ft) the highest accessible to the public in the EU. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift (that means elevator to all you non British speaking folks), to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is usually accessible only by lift.

The line for the elevators was too long for our liking so we bought a ticket to walk the stairs. I can’t remember how much it was but no more than 10 euros. And the climb began! Up and round and up and round we went. Finally we made it to the first level! It was much higher than I thought it would be. Like everyone else, we snapped some pics.

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You can see Sacré-Coeur in the background

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And a lovely picture of us! I have this new habit of sticking my tongue under my teeth for some reason. But aren’t we adorable!?

We decided to keep going. Up to the second level. Yeah, we’re cool like that. That was about another 300 steps and we were getting high! As in elevation, my friends. I am usually fine with heights but I was getting a little dizzy and trying not to look down. Possibly it was being more claustrophobic with the people climbing the stairs up and down alongside me but the stomach was starting to do some flip-flops here and there. We arrived at the second level and took a quick walk around. Snapped some more pics …

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.I took this one leaning back as far as I could. After that, vertigo kicked in and we had to GO! On the walk back down 600+ steps, Jeannette joked that we should start telling everyone, “Sorry, it’s closed.” I laughed the entire way down. Miss my Jeannie!

So there you have it. Maybe next time we will go to the top but maybe I will chicken out. Or maybe we will just hang out at the restaurant for hours and have several beers – will that make vertigo better or worse? Whatever the fact, time for you to climb the TOWER.

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EPRT II Stralsund, Germany

Old warehouse in the Stralsund harbor. You can see Rügen Island in the distance.

The next day we drove about six hours from Wesel to Stralsund, Germany. One of the main reasons for our road trip to the north of Germany and over to Poland was for my Mom’s family tree research. She has been really into this for many years and has made amazing strides in finding out so much of her and my ancestral background. Go MOM!

So, Stralsund. Stralsund is a Hanseatic town in northern Germany. During its history, it had to defend its independence against Lübeck (Germany), Denmark, Holland and Sweden. In the Thirty Years’ War, General Wallenstein vowed that he would take the town even if it was chained to heaven – but he failed. Subsequently, Lower Pomerania stayed under Swedish rule for 200 years until 1815, when it became Prussian. Despite its turbulent history, 811 protected buildings survived in the old town, among them some truly remarkable examples of architecture.

The town’s largest church, St. Mary’s (Marienkirche), which was built in 1383 – 1473, with an octagonal tower for seeing great views of Stralsund.

I thought this Milchbar (Milk Bar) building was super cool. I took about a bizillion pics of it.

As I mentioned above, my Mom is trying to find out more about our family tree. She has traced my Great x5 Grandparents to a tiny village called Müggenhall – we drove through it and it was one street, maximum 20 very old homes. But we went to the next town over and we were able to meet with the minister (Der Pfarrer) in the town of Franzburg. He gave us many books to look through but we couldn’t find anything that had information with the names that Mom was looking for. Nonetheless, I think Der Pfarrer was happy with Mom’s 50 Euro contribution for giving up an hour of his time to dig out these old books for us to look at.

Besides going to Müggenhall we also went to a small village about 45 minutes from Müggenhall where my Great x5 Grandparents went to work as servants at an estate. It was bigger than Müggenhall and the homes were more cared for, obviously a village with more money. We scoured the graveyard for Schulzs and actually found a few. This one was my favorite, though a bit strange because it was so small and on top of another cross. Was it a child?

And my obsession with graveyards continues…. with a new post! There was a large home with a farm and more that quite possibly could have been where my great great great great great (whew!) grandparents worked. Here was my favorite building from there, love the thatched roof!! Maybe my Gx5GP (please tell me you get that) slaved away in there making cheese or washing laundry or sneaking away for a nap.

Looks like a perfect place for a snooze. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

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EPRT II Day One/Two

The EPRT II (European Parent Road Trip Part II) started off with us flying into Düsseldorf. Me, flying in from Mallorca, and my parents flying Phoenix – Chicago – Warsaw – Düsseldorf. Wasn’t sure about that whole extra stop for them until I looked at where dad bought his tickets – CheapO Air. Yup, that’s my Dad! Love him!

I had booked us a night at the Düsseldorf hotel Stage 47. We had the Maisonette Suite which was a lovely two-story room for the price of 170 euros. My roll away bed was about the skinniest thing you have ever seen but since I am skinny, we worked it out. A nice dinner at a Thai restaurant just down the street and then it was time to hit the sack.

The next day we headed towards Wesel, Germany. Felix’s parents have a gorgeous townhouse in the middle of the city. During World War II,as a strategic depot, Wesel became a target of Allied bombing. On the 16, 17 and 19 February 1945, the town was attacked with impact and air-burst bombs, which destroyed 97% of the city. Felix’s parents home is one of the few that survived. It is at least five stories tall with an incredible huge wooden staircase that runs through the middle of it. And his mom is such a great decorator she has made the entire place, including the backyard to the most sweetest, most comfortable home you would ever want to live in.

So, after kisses of hello, a glass of rosé champagne and a piece of strawberry cake we headed off towards Xanten.

Xanten is the only German  town whose name begins with an X. The history of Xanten goes back to the Romans, who founded the settlement of Colonia Ulpia Traiana in 15 BC. That is a reeeeeeaallly long time ago. But by 275 it was mostly destroyed by Germanic tribes. But nowadays it has been rebuilt within the Archäologischer Park to see how the town might have been. The Nühlens (Felix’s parents) said the park is an all day thing so we only went to the Römer Museum. And it had so much to see and you get (for a small fee) your own handset which tells about each area in museum, it works as a listening device but also has videos reenacting moments from that reeeaaallllyy long time ago.

Among the exhibits on display are the remains of a Roman boat, suspended from the ceiling at a height of 12 metres. Further highlights are a stunning, large mural and the oldest and best preserved Roman cannon yet discovered. Spanish oil amphorae, silver tableware, pottery and a considerable collection of Roman army weapons and equipment are also on display.

The parents at the Römer Museum in Xanten, Germany

After the museum we saw the cobblestone streets and the church in Xanten – all so very lovely. And then we headed towards the town of Kevelaer, Germany. The clouds were menacing and there was thunder in the distance but we were able to see the Chapel of the Candles and the Chapel of Grace. Two very beautiful and different things!

Xanten Dom

The Chapel of Grace is a very small but very richly decorated hexagonal building built in 1654. Hundreds of people come to pray at the chapel every day. Even the Pope has been there! The story about the building is interesting and unusual. I am only going to give the overview but if you are dying for more, go here for the full story.

A traveling salesman, Hendrik Busman in 1641 prayed at his usual spot where he heard a mysterious voice that said, “Build me a chapel on this spot”, which he then heard three other times on this same spot. By the way, all sites that I have read about this story claim he was a very sober man for those days. Which makes me laugh, did all drunks have the same voice echoing in their heads? Anyways, soon after Busman’s wife had a dream of a postcard offered for sale to her by two soldiers. She told her husband and he made he go find the card and buy it. That card is still there today. It was such a tiny place I never realized the importance of it until now.

And only a few steps away was the Chapel of Candles which you have hopefully already seen on my last post. Felix’s dad thought there were too many candles. But Felix’s mom and I disagreed. They were beautiful! They are kind of like shoes, you can never have too many.

Stay tuned for Stralsund and Rügen Island!

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La Boda

My first Spanish wedding this weekend. Marga y Miguel Ángel were married Oct. 23, 2010 at the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca.

I have never mentioned how amazingly beautiful this cathedral is, and I guess you must take my word, but, it is. GORGEOUS. I never seem to get the time right (or know when the right time is) for when the cathedral is open. So I usually don’t get to go inside. I did enjoy a lovely Easter service there in 2009, with the King Juan Carlos. Yes, he invited me.

And if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona. Ahh, I love Mr. George Strait.

Back to the wedding, and the Cathedral! The Cathedral is more commonly referred to here as La Seu, and it took almost 400 years to complete. That’s a long damn time. May I present to you, La Seu:

And a picture I took of it last year that I love. I think when I open my art gallery in Palma, this will be a main print. What do you think?

Cool huh? As I have already mentioned, the wedding took place at the Cathedral, not too shabby, eh? I was told to be there at 17:00 (that’s 5 p.m. to you americans) and as the norm, I was the first one there. Let’s just say, Spanish people are not the most prompt. And I know my friend Bess is rolling her eyes right now! Cos, let’s just say I used to be not the most prompt either. Fashionably late was my favorite theme. So, I have changed my ways, I guess chalk it up to getting older. Or maybe Bess just whipped me into shape.

The crowd began to gather, the invitees and the touristees. When finally, the bride arrived in a black car with her father and her in the back. The groom was excited but anxious, and he opened her door. A kiss on both cheeks for each and then she pinned his boutonniere. A Spanish wedding in La Seu then ensued.

Wishing Marga y Miguel Ángel all the happiness in the future. Congrats!

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Trippin with the Rents.

My parents have finally settled down in Phoenix, AZ. Finally! They were nomads for a couple of years and it seriously drove me batty. I guess in my old age I am just concerned about them in their old age (kidding mom, you’re not old, only dad). I know Mom was enjoying the nomad life, but not so sure about Dad. But now, with their son, daughter-in-law, grandson in the very same town, everyone can be happy. I think. Every time I am back in the states I seem to end up on a road trip with my parents. Like here or the European one here! And I seriously love trippin’ with Dot and Chuck. Maybe when my nephew and nephew-to-arrive-in-DECEMBER (!!!) are a bit older we can add my brother’s family along. That would require a little larger method of transportation, like the Winnebago my grandparents owned. It was the coolest ride ever.

At first, we were going to head down to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Even with all the problems between Arizona and Mexico we were still going to go, after all it is only a mere three-hour drive! But then, a few days before we were going to leave a murder occurred in Puerto Penasco and we decided that maybe now is not the best time to go. Change of direction, lets head north-ish. And we were off with no real plans.

From Phoenix we headed up to Flagstaff and then over on 40E to New Mexico. Once we hit Gallup we went north on 491 up to Shiprock, because my dad likes to read the Tony Hillerman books and they are based around Shiprock. After we left Gallup and until a the day we drove back to Phoenix, my cell phone (the cool GO PHONE, everyone should get one. yes, i am being sarcastic) was never too reliable.

We drove up to Colorado and stopped at Durango for the night. Cute town! It was very touristy with lots of stores with souvenirs, jewelry and art. Plus the train is there to take you up to Silverton. In the morning we headed over to Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.

We bought tickets to see the Cliff Palace but we had a few hours before it was time for our tour so we drove around and stopped at many of the archeological sites to see. First one was the Pithouse.

 

That’s my cute mom walking around the Pithouse in her favorite Skechers Shape Ups.

The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the North American Continent. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. While still farming the mesa tops, they continued to reside in the alcoves, repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century. By the late 1270s, the population began migrating south into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By 1300, the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended.

Check out some of these cliff dwellings that the Ancestral Puebloans would climb down to with specially marked footholds. Truly amazing.

How in the world did they climb DOWN to that?

Here is a lovely pic of my Dad eating an apple….

Hehe. Okay, seriously. It was time for the Cliff Palace tour! There are three tours you can go on; The Cliff Palace, The Balcony House and The Long House. The latter two are the most strenuous with tall ladders to climb and small holes to crawl through. As I mentioned earlier, my apple eating Dad is old (love you dad! now go take your medication) so the Cliff Palace was the only one he could really do.

But he wasn’t tooooo terribly old to do this one. Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in the park. A Cliff Palace tour descends approximately 100 feet into the canyon on a steep trail that includes 120 uneven stone steps. During the tour, visitors climb five, eight-foot ladders.

Recent studies reveal that Cliff Palace contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas and had a population of approximately 100 people. Out of the nearly 600 cliff dwellings concentrated within the boundaries of the park, 75% contain only 1-5 rooms each, and many are single room storage units. If you visit Cliff Palace you will enter an exceptionally large dwelling which may have had special significance to the original occupants. It is thought that Cliff Palace was a social, administrative site with high ceremonial usage. Here it is …..

Pretty cool my friends. But come back soon, this is just the first part of trippin’ with the rents. So much more to come. See you soon!

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