Yes, this post is about how we spent New Year’s Eve. Better end of April than never, right?
My parents were once again amazing to keep the kids for us in London for a few days, so M and I escaped the darkness of the English winter and jetted to warmer, sunnier Mallorca (also spelled Majorca), a Spanish island.
We stayed at the lovely and well-situated Nakar Hotel in the city of Palma. The best part of this hotel is its rooftop deck.
This was an uncharacteristically chill trip for us. M brought his bicycle and went for long rides around the island every day, which is what he really wants to do on holiday, and I enjoyed lots of relaxing time, which is what I really want to do: I enjoyed a massage in the hotel spa, browsing the shops, wandering around the city taking photos, and taking in the views from the hotel’s rooftop deck. And of course we both enjoyed lots of Spanish food and wine!
On Friday, after a big breakfast at the hotel, M went for a bike ride and then we met up for a delicious lunch in the quiet courtyard of Can Cera.
That afternoon we did the “Palma City Walk” from our guidebook to explore the city a bit.
The best part was stopping for ensaimadas, the traditional Mallorcan pastry, and thick hot chocolate, which is absolutely divine.
We had them at C’an Joan de S’Aigo, the oldest cafe in Palma.
Sugared up, we walked to the massive Gothic cathedral, which dominates the city’s skyline.
Next we headed to Placa Major, which had some leftover Christmas market stalls up; but after Vienna, it didn’t impress us much.
We had dinner that night at Quina Creu, which had funky decor and tasty tapas.
Some more nighttime photos from walking through Palma:
On Saturday, M went for his longest bike ride of the trip, and it was a gorgeous, sunny day, so I went for a long walk.
I went in search of a Saturday flea market mentioned in the guidebook but couldn’t find it. I ended up perusing Olivar Market instead, which is just food, and then browsing a little shopping street, stopping to buy some made-in-Spain espadrilles.
Then I headed down to the seafront, to the Anima Beach restaurant, where I could plant myself right next to the surf and just stare at the ocean with a glass of rosé in my hand, trying to soak up as much sun as possible before going back to England. It was bliss.
Living my best life.
It was a long walk back to the hotel, but there was a churro stand about halfway, and they had chocolate-dipped ones, and also I received the news our new niece was born, so the second half of the trek was greatly improved.
That evening M and I watched the sunset from the roof deck, listening to the peals of church bells.
We had dinner at Celler sa Premsa, a restaurant known for its traditional Mallorcan recipes.
On Sunday, New Year’s Eve, the city was eerily quiet. We expected Palma to be a destination for NYE, since it’s the biggest city on the island, but a lot of shops and restaurants were closed. That’s Spain for you.
We looked for something open for drinks and dinner, but had a hard time finding anything. We hadn’t wanted to pay €100 a person for the NYE prix-fixe dinner at the hotel, but as we walked around, we realised that we didn’t have many other options.
There was a stage set up in a square near our hotel with a drum set on it, like there was a planned NYE celebration, but no one was around. It was a ghost town. This was 10:30 p.m.
My guess is in Spain they start celebrating the new year at midnight rather than ending the celebration at midnight. The typical Spanish dinner doesn’t start till after 9, so I guess that makes sense—everyone was still at dinner.
After we finally found a place to eat, we went back to our hotel and popped open a bottle of cava (Spanish sparkling wine) on the roof deck. Again I was surprised that we were the first ones up there. Where WAS everyone?
By midnight, quite a few other hotel guests had joined us, and as the city’s church bells chimed 12, fireworks started going off all around us, and we had a 360-degree view. It looked like the city was sparkling all around its edges.
It’s the tradition in Spain to eat 12 grapes for luck at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. We’d come prepared with some grapes purchased from the grocery store earlier, and ensured our good luck for 2018. When in Spain…