Liz Golden was born and reared in Mallow, Co Cork. Raised in a family-owned pub, she worked for almost 17 years as a primary school teacher in Cork's northside. She has travelled the world, from Sydney to Saigon, Kenya to Kathmandu.
She decided to radically change her life as she approached 40 and now lives in Palma, Majorca, where she works as a travel/lifestyle columnist for The Majorca Daily Bulletin. She is a student journalist with the London School of Journalism. She blogs at aliveandgold.blogspot.com/
What do you like about living in Palma? I can't quite put my finger on any one tangible thing. The sunny climate, the beaches, the lemon tree-laden mountains and the local cuisine all play their part of course, but mostly it is the relaxed, unhurried and easy-going vibe that permeates this place that I like the most.
Where is the first place you bring people to when they visit Palma? Initially I'd let the city "take them" instead of planning anything. I would suggest ditching the phone to instead wander aimlessly around the old and new town. The streets here are full of hidden gems, art galleries, bookstores and much more.
The top three things to do in Palma that don't cost money, are... Go to the beach! Swim, snorkel or float in heavenly turquoise waters.
Put on hiking boots and go to the mountains.
Get yourself to a fiesta/street party. I recently witnessed a water fight between approximately 1,000 people. It was an explosion of colour, noise and intense summer heat – the essence of Spain, no?
Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Palma?
The best food I’ve had here has been cooked by my Majorcan boyfriend on his boat. Aren’t I the lucky chica? Besides that, the majority of the tapas bars in Palma will not disappoint.
El Camino restaurant is definitely worth a visit for a treat and for some Mediterranean-inspired food and also for the experience of sitting at the long table watching the chefs at work. For a cheaper and very casual dining experience Bar Espana is a must but be prepared to queue!
Where is the best place to get a sense of Palma’s role in history?
The jaw-dropping Basílica de Santa Maria (La Seu) is the best spot to get an idea of Palma's seafaring history. Built on the site of a former mosque, this gothic sandcastle-like vision will help orientate you in time and tide. I would highly recommend doing a "soundwalk" of this gothic cathedral. soundwalkrs.com/store will tell you how.
What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Palma?
Take home an ensaimada (a local spiral-shaped ring of delicious chocolate-filled pastry). Also a sobrasada, which is a cured sausage stuffed with pork and spices and all things nice. Finally, don’t forget a bottle of white Albariño wine.
And definitely try to bring back a bottle of the bright and breezy energy that hangs in the air here because once you get a taste of that stuff, your heart and soul (and vitamin D levels) will sing out for more.
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