From our hotel room we could see Bellver Castle on the hilltop so after breakfast we decided to walk up and take a look. It’s quite a steep climb, first along a road and then up very many stone steps to the castle entrance. It was another sunny morning but the cooler days of April made it ideal for hill walking in the Mediterranean. Arriving at the castle gates there were several events taking place and small stalls selling drinks and locally made produce. We soon discovered that it was the ‘Fiesta of the Guardian Angel of Palma’ which takes place on the first Sunday after Easter and is held at Bellver Castle each year.
Although the event was taking place we were still able to go inside the Gothic sandstone castle which was built in the 14th century. Walking across the drawbridge we found tables set out with chess sets and families taking part in a competition. The centrepiece of the castle consists of an ornate circular room and this morning a large choir were performing so we stopped awhile to listen which was a delight. Small exhibition rooms lead off this central area which can be visited and information boards were also printed in English which helped us understand a little about the castle’s history. Steep stone steps lead up to the balcony and a further flight lead out onto the roof. From the roof there were far reaching views over the harbour and across the mountain range in the distance. We could also see down into the auditorium where the choir were performing.
Leaving the castle, lots more people were arriving for the festival. A band were performing on a stage in the castle grounds and a children’s cycle race was underway. An organiser told us that upwards of 20,000 people were likely to attend during the course of the day so we were very fortunate to have been able to have seen a small part of the festival for ourselves. As I have mentioned previously one of the joys of independent travelling is discovering the unexpected and that is exactly what happened to us this morning.
Instead of walking down the stone steps we took the longer forest path to obtain a different view on the way back. We spent the afternoon in Palma town centre strolling along the narrow alleyways of the old town, browsing in small shops and stopping for drinks in the main square Placa Major which was extremely quiet, presumably everyone had decided to spend their Sunday afternoon enjoying the festivities at the castle.
We had dinner once again in the hotel restaurant, my main course of sea bass being cooked to perfection.