Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mercat d'Oliver, Mallorca

Yesterday, Logan and I explored this large market in Palma, the main city of Mallorca. We had heard about it from a guy in our apartment building, so we took the bus to the area and walked about until we found the market. From the outside, it's a large yellow-colored building, with small windows up towards the ceiling. It does not look like much. We went in to discover one of the most immaculate and interesting fish markets we have ever seen. There were rows and rows and rows of fish sellers, filleting fish and skinning fish. We saw skinned and cleaned rays, smaller sharks, massive tuna, tiny sardines, and a gazillion other types of fish that we didn't know the names for. It was so clean and intriguing to watch. People came in to buy exactly what they wanted - for their home or restaurant, presumably. In another section of the market, we found glorious displays of colorful fruits and vegetables, cheeses, olives, nuts, wines, baskets, cured pork and pork legs, sides of beef, eggs, chickens. It was the most immaculate market I have ever seen. We exhausted ourselves taking photos. The funniest thing we saw was bacon-wrapped dates, coming from Saudi Arabia where dates grow to a place where they take a similar product and ensconce it in finely sliced pork product. We had a good chuckle over that.

From the market we bought sushi to eat in the square and from there, we  proceeded through the old section of Palma with its narrow winding lanes, free from cars and filled with shops, cafes, restaurants, and gelato stands. I felt like we could eat our way through Palma, but we were selective and waited for what looked like the perfect gelato!

Mallorca, very popular with Brits and Germans, is less well-known among Americans. English seems to be spoken by many, but I find my years and years of junior high and high school Spanish coming back in a flash. Even all of those verb conjugations make sense to me. I cannot really produce great sentences or paragraphs of spoken Spanish, but I find that I understand a great deal and - except for the random sentence in Thai - I feel pretty good about that. With several months here, I might really be able to communicate with great efficiency.

While David is in class each day until about 1:30, Logan and I swim, play at the beach, explore different sections of the island nearby, shop for groceries, and generally enjoy our free time. We love to jump from the large rocks near our apartment into the salty and wavy sea, and we all spent an evening listening to an incredible orchestra play Mozart and Beethoven in the Bellver Castle. What a wonderful spot for live music!

We are thoroughly enjoying our time here. It's culturally rich, stimulating and incredibly beautiful. The view from our apartment ...

Thanks for reading,