• Bruce

Day 20: Mallorca Part 2

Although we initially wanted to get up early to go golfing, we slept through our imaginary tee time. The weather was cloudy and a quite windy, so not ideal for golfing anyways. We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant. It was the same place as our buffet the night before. The food quality and spread were both pretty good, as you would expect from this class of hotel in Europe. Again it can’t compare to the breakfasts from Asia though.

After breakfast, we checked out, stored our luggage, and called a taxi into the city. It was a short 10 min ride down into Palma city center. We got off right by the Palma Cathedral. This was a massive and ornate structure over looking the Mediterranean.

There were a lot of people around the cathedral as we waited for the 12pm Good Friday procession. Nothing happened though so we continued on exploring. We walked through the narrow alleyways of the historic center, while passing various landmarks and plazas.

Along the way, we passed a department store and checked out the supermarket at the basement. We got some mini chorizo sausage snacks for the road. As we continued walking, we reached this modern art museum. There was a cafe inside so we enjoyed some cappuccinos.

By now it was nearing our 3:30pm reservation for lunch at Can Manolo. This was a highly rated seafood restaurant by the Palma Marina. When we got there, it was still packed, so we had to wait a bit for a table. The restaurant had a homey vibe and the staff were very warm and friendly. We enjoyed a delicious seafood paella, served tableside. It came with a side dish of seasoned fresh peppers and radishes, which went really well with the paella. After the meal, we headed to the marina to walk it off.

By now it was past 6 p.m. and there wasn’t much left to do in the city, so we got a taxi to take us back to the hotel, pick up our bags, then continue to the airport. Palma airport is actually pretty big, with flights from lots of European cities. Most notably, there were direct flights to pretty much every midsize city in Germany. There were several Priority Pass Lounges, so we just went to the one closest to our gate. This lounge was brightly lit with white lights, giving a futuristic/Black Mirror vibe to it. There were a decent amount of snacks and drinks, as well as some real food and soup. We stayed at the lounge for about 3 hours before heading to our gate.

Our flight was operated by Lauda, which is a Vienna-based subsidiary of Ryan Air. We lined up to board in 2 lines, one for those who purchased carry-ons (us) and one for those who didn’t. There was some confusion and frustration with one German family who must have never flown on Ryan Air before and tried to bring carry-ons in the no bag line. We boarded the A320 at around 10:30pm and headed towards Vienna. I slept for most of the 2 hour flight. We landed just after midnight local time in Vienna. Once again because of the late arrival, I booked a night at the Moxy hotel which is directly connected to Vienna Airport. This was a new, very modern, and millennial oriented hotel for young party people. Moxy is part of the Marriott family so I could earn points here, but not much in terms of elite benefits. The room was new and clean, but very small. Ditto for the bathroom. It also didn’t have any bottles of water, but had a sign that said the tap water was safe to drink. Despite the night club vibe, it was very quiet and we slept well.

While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the destinations on the trip so far, I was kind of disappointed with Palma. The weather definitely didn’t cooperate (although it didn’t rain, so I guess it could have been worse). The Sheraton, while it was fine and the service was good, felt overpriced for what we got compared to similar hotels in Dubai and Macau. Although it was relaxing, we weren’t able to use the golf course as we planned. The location made it difficult to eat anywhere other than the hotel, which was pricy. The taxis, however, were better than expected (I thought they would be more expensive). The city itself was kind of boring and it didn’t have quite the polish or cleanliness as Valencia. The food was fine but not as memorable as Valencia either. While there was nothing significantly wrong with Palma and it did serve its purpose of a relaxing destination, in hindsight I probably would have picked somewhere else.