8th April 2016
It was love at the first sight. Already at my first visit when I was looking for a new home in the city two years ago.
It was spring when I was sitting in a small café to see and feel the life there. I was both, impressed and fascinated of the multi cultural atmosphere and how they communicate and live together in harmony.
Everyone was speaking at least two languages and that’s what inspired me the most. People lived there who have already traveled the world or have just started and made a first stop there. We all had something in common – to see and discover as many places as possible. On this day I was sure I belong to this area in the city. The half world meets here and I want to belong to them. I will live here, this will be my new home.
That’s how I made a further step to the future and moved from the more tranquil north of the island to the busy south, the capital Palma. Directly to the middle of a multicultural area, which was not long ago still a simple fishing village near the city. Where Spanish fisher and captains used to live, today it’s captured by Scandinavian, English, German and French people.
Windmills, little and colorful houses with French balconies or beautiful art nouveau facades still characterize the place, which has despite the quick change kept its flair. I also live today in such an old fisher house.
The heart of this hotspot is definitely the legendary Mercat de Santa Catalina, existing since 1905. It is located between Placa del Progres and Avenida Argentina. Full of life, it has become the international hotspot the whole year through. Like a magnet it attracts local and international residents and dozens of travelers.
Just drifting and enjoying a Cafe con leche in one of the various cafes or a caña, a light beer, at a bar at one of the market locals. Along with some tapas and the world is all right. The high quality and the variety of the Mediterranean and international offered deli like Spanish cheese, meat, fresh fish and seafood are essential and used as a basis in lots of top restaurants.
But also gourmets from all over the world are daily attracted by the market. Fresh flowers, spices and wine rarities are widely offered here. Actually there is no flavor which does not exist in Santa Catalina. Permanently a new restaurant opens with more exotic ingredients and menus to delight all the gourmets.
Beside the established and popular Spanish and Italian restaurants exists a wide choice of international food. Every morning you have the choice of delicious Maccarons or Croissants at the French cafe, La Madeleine de Proust or start the day with a healthy Detox smoothie at ZIVA.
And so it goes on. If you want to go out for lunch or dinner the choice is endless. Lebanese Shish Taouck in Rotana, or follow the new culinary trend – the Peruvian national dish Ceviche, which you can order directly at the Peruvian Sumaq.
It does not surprise me, that you can find here also Creole cuisine from New Orleans and Thai food with its Chinese and Indonesian influences. I have to admit I totally felt in love with the Indian cuisine. My favorite is the Basmati restaurant. Before you can order an Indian Vindalho Curry you have to walk over red rose pedals. The oriental and good smelling rooms make you feel like in trance somewhere in Bombay.
I think that all the Yaties (that’s how the people working on yachts are called tenderly) have had a big influence through their travels around the world. They represent a big part of the people living in Santa Catalina. It doesn’t matter how far you can travel or how many countries you visited, sooners or later all strand on Mallorca!
Meanwhile I have spoken with many globetrotters and all tell the same. If they lived in St. Bath in the Caribbean or traveled the half world with a sail yacht – here on the relative small island in the Mediterranean Sea, the living quality is the best.
That was recently confirmed by the British Sunday Times selecting Mallorca to the “Best place to live”. Among 50 countries worldwide, the climate, landscape, living quality and the gastronomical variety were taken into account.
Here on this small island the world meets and brings out constantly new ideas and incentives. I neighter could escape the attraction and love this busy neighborhood.