Join special projects intern Gabriela Ayala every Friday as she travels in Miró’s footsteps through Europe.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
I am up early for my 50-minute flight over to Mallorca but it is all worth it because I am ready for some island life. When we take off we are literally in the air for a moment before they announce we are descending into our destination. Once I land I can already feel how different the environment is here. Smaller airports are always a joy to arrive to because they are usually empty, quick, and easy. I get myself to a taxi in no time and officially greet Mallorca. Hello, I introduce myself; I lower the window and the warm ocean breeze gives me a beautiful welcome. The water is to my left and an incredible castle reveals itself to my right. My first impression as we keep driving along is that the city has a sensation of a simpler, quieter, and older Miami. There are new buildings and old. The busiest path is the one that lines the ocean’s edge in a semi-circle around the city. There are hundreds of people biking, walking, and rollerblading. It is quite the destination. It is a stark difference coming from a city with small streets, many cars, and many stimulants. Mallorca offers a bit of this but as it goes on it quiets down more, the colors are brighter, and the pace is very slow. It is easy to become inspired here.
I decide the quickest way to get an idea of the city is the great red double-decker bus. It does not take long to visit the city as a whole but what I slowly learn is that it offers a bit of everything. There is an older part that is very romantic, a modern area with taller buildings and apartments that all resemble each other. There are castles and cottages. There is even an Old Spanish square where famous buildings from other parts of Spain have been recreated. Mallorca conclusively gives you a versatile taste of experiences but mostly it romances you. I end my relaxed and simple day with a typical Spanish dish, tortilla de patatas, refreshingly combined with a sweet glass of Sangria. As the food disappears from my plate and the ice in my round wine glass starts to disappear, I stop to let Mallorca fully seduce me. I need to take the time to recognize the intense gratitude I feel to be in a beautiful place, researching an incredible history. I could not wait to see the best of Miró tomorrow, his remarkable studio where he spent the last twenty plus years of his life.
Top image: Bay in Palma de Mallorca. Photographer: Gabriela Ayala