Mercat de l’Olivar and new vegan inspiration.

Today is Day 3 in Mallorca and I’ve walked so much since I arrived in Palma. I walked close to 10 miles the first day, over 12 miles yesterday, and 9 miles today. I enjoy walking and like the exercise because I need to burn off this fruit energy somehow, but walking limits my exploration of Palma (and the rest of the island) since I can only walk so far.

I decided to splurge on a bus pass today so I can travel further and explore more of the city. After researching Palma’s public transportation online, I discovered that I can buy a discount bus pass for €10 from the EMT Palma office in the city centre. (Search for ‘Empresa Municipal de Transports Urbans’ on Google Maps.) This pass allows me to ride for 10 trips on Palma buses at a discounted rate. Without this bus pass, I’d have to pay the usual price of a single trip, €1.50, each time I ride the bus. I also managed to purchase this pass by speaking entirely in Spanish. Go me!

Some important things to remember about this bus pass:

  • The pass is valid for 10 trips, not including changes, so you need to validate your pass by placing it on the card reader on board the bus each time you ride.
  • You must pay for the pass in cash.

After scoring my handy bus pass, I made my way to the Mercat d’Olivar, an indoor marketplace packed full of fruit and veggie stalls. All the fruit looked amazing!

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Did you know it’s taboo to touch produce at markets? Proper etiquette is to place your order with the vendor, and then he or she can bag up your fruit with gloved hands. You can point to the fruit but never touch it! You may even need to take a number if it’s busy, so look for a ticket dispenser at the stall.

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Whatever you do, keep your dirty paws off the fruit!

As expected in a Spanish market, I regrettably came across several butcher stalls. The smell and sight of rotting meat, organs, and lifeless bodies hanging from hooks angered me and made my stomach turn. I was able to keep away from fishmongers because seafood is kept in an entirely separate area, but I could not avoid the smell of any of it.

I don’t plan on returning to the Mercat d’Olivar market because I’d rather avoid these sights and smells much as possible. Most of the produce was over-priced anyway, which I expected since it’s a tourist attraction. I found several stalls selling cherries for €7 per kilo. That’s more than double what you can find in any produce shop on the street! After making the rounds of the produce stalls at the market, I found one selling cherries for only €3 per kilo. I snagged a kilo and ate them for lunch outside.

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After the market, I met up with new vegan friend Carolina from Facebook. It was so refreshing to meet up with a like-minded fruit and veggie lover! I like walking around Palma alone during the day but I crave some friendly chat from time to time, especially friendly vegan chat. We strolled around the city centre for a bit, keeping in the shade as much as possible (the sun here is intense!), then made our way back toward our flats. We even got rained on briefly—not sure where that came from!

Meeting up with Carolina was a chance occurrence since we only recently became acquainted on Facebook. She’s a newbie to Palma as well, super vegan, and happens to be a health coach. Previously, I was interested in pursuing health coaching as a possible career but didn’t have the right motivation to get started.

I believe that every person I meet comes into my life for a reason, whether good or bad. Come to find out she was even certified through the same health coaching program I’ve been considering! Meeting her in person and hearing her gush about her experience was just what I needed to push me in the right direction. I’m lucky to have been inspired by her and am definitely looking forward to hanging out again!

Do you enjoy visiting markets like these when you travel?

Do you notice a price difference in markets that cater to tourists?

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