The rest of the travel went smoothly, despite the amusing atmosphere of the Easyjet flight from Gatwick, which Sandra dubbed the 'Flying MaDonalds'. Several families had preschoolers who were allowed to run amok, both in the terminal and on the plane. Toasted sandwiches and bacon rolls were apparently being prepared fresh. It was such fun.
But all was forgotten when we saw our apartamento in Palma. It is in a (probably 18th century) building in a maze of narrow streets, very near the Cathedral, in the area known as Palma Old Town. The look is a little like the iconic Parisian streetscape, with tall narrow windows and tiny wrought-iron balconies, but also with unmistakablely Arab influences. The apartment is light and cool, with modern fittings (dishwasher!), two bathrooms and a tiny laundry. It's up three flights of incredibly steep stairs, which were a challengs with the 20 kilo suitcases, but which we are slowly adjusting to.
Yesterday we walked through the Old Town, visiting the Church of Santa Magdalena, built in the 18th century but adjoining a convent of enclosed nuns (Augustinians, just up the road from the Carmelites) built three centuries earlier. Inside, encased in a glass coffin, is the body of Santa Catalina Tomas, the island's only saint, who was a nun there in the 16th century. The body is said to be incorruptible, but as she is fully dressed in her nun's habit there is nothing to see except two really creepy pointy-toe shoes which stick up at the end of her robes. Unfortunately a local woman decided I needed the full lecture about the saint, and, despite my clear incomprehension and repetition of "Inglés", subjected me to several minutes of spirited rhetoric. I'm sure it was really interesting. Wikipedia will give you full technical architectural details, but whatever — it was a lovely church, and the walk back down through the tiny alleys and lanes, driveable only by residents, was just breathtaking in its unexpected vistas. I've started an album you can see here, and I'll update it as the days go by.
Just a teaser: some views from our windows — note the difficulties in photographing anything without including exceedingly ugly power infrastructure — and a plaque from the end of the street, which I think indicates that Chopin and George Sands lived here for a few months. This writer says that they were driven from Palma because of their unconventionality: she wore pants and smoked cigars and neither of them would go to church. Despite its huge reliance on tourism, Palma is still largely closed on a Sunday.
And just so you know I'm not neglecting you, a special photo for my crafty readers: A crocheted glass dog, howling to show his scarey teeth, exhibited as Art in the foyer of a posh hotel. There's a much less tasteful on in the album.