Palma Diary, March 2016 – An Englishman abroad
It’s a bit of a dismal morning and must have rained during the night, but it’s fresh and not cold. I have chocolate and ensaimada in the middle of the Born. What a way to start the day
Quite a long walk to San Juan Gastronomic Market. When I know I should be near, I ask a local sitting on a bench, but he has never heard of it and then I realise that it’s right in front of me! It’s in a little complex with a small cinema. Apparently, it was originally the local slaughterhouse. I didn’t know what to expect when reading about it – I feared it may be overpriced artisan food on sale to tourists. But no, it’s a massive food hall with the stalls around the side serving food to take and eat at the central tables. Really well organised and spotlessly clean. No English or German translations of the menus here; infact I think I’m the only foreigner. It’s a really well-kept secret, but nonetheless, by 2pm it’s packed.
I start with Frit, the local dish of liver and fennel. Then I have to try a Tortilla Mallorquina, an omelette with sobrasada. The baby squid stuffed with paté and wild mushrooms looks good, but doesn’t quite work for me. Yet another variation on broken eggs. Patetitas from Sa Pobla, thinly sliced and soft, but with two unbroken eggs on top. I choose the most unusual accompaniment which is gambas and asparagus which, perhaps surprisingly, goes really well. All this is washed down with cold beer and some nice local wine. There is so much stuff here I want to try, but can’t physically eat any more.
So, a stroll back to Placa Espanya and the bus to Son Moix (now officially the Ibérostar Stadium), home of Real Mallorca. Today they are playing Mirandés and I am astounded to find the ticket is only €2. Not the best game of football I have ever seen, but it has its moments. Finishes 1-1, which is probably a fair result.
The bus back is absolutely crammed. It’s amazing how many people they manage to fit in. I wander back via Placa Cort in an attempt to catch one of the Palm Sunday processions which were supposedly planned, but there is no sign of anything.