2016 - Parliament
Not only was it a warm and sunny day on Monday, it was a warm welcome to ESRA as some 50 Members visited both the Parlament de les Illes Balears and the El Consolat de Mar. For many Members the working's of the Government was something of a mystery and so it was not only a day of taking in the historical rooms within the buildings but also learning how Government and it's own members create new laws, debate and then implement laws that affect all who live on these beautiful islands.
We all heard how the Parliament building once belonged to the Circulo Mallorquin, an exclusive club for what was the Mallorcan gentry which became the seat of Parliament in 1983. Not only was ESRA welcomed by Antoni, of the Protocol of Parliament office but also Bernat our friendly guide working with Antoni throughout the visit. We were also privileged to be introduced to the President of the Parliament Sra. Xelo Huertas who took time out of her busy schedule to meet with our group for a chat and photos. The building itself is a gem and the wonderful rooms within have been restored to their former glory. It was also interesting that the library is open to all each day and is a splendid place to visit in itself. It was not long before the group entered the main Parliament chamber and it was clear that ESRA Members enjoyed sitting in the seats of power.!!!! There was much to see and learn and a big thank you went out to Antoni, the Protocol who I arranged the visit with and also to Bernat our friendly guide working with Antoni throughout the visit.
The time flew by as we were all due to be at the Consolat for noon and with some 50 Members walking through Palma with many cruise ship excursions also taking place it was a relief that all kept together and that some Member's did not end up joining the cruise passengers and ending up on the Harmony of the Seas!!! Thankfully, we arrived on time and again it was a warm welcome by Marc and Rosa of the Gabinet de la Presidencia office. The Consolat is a wonderful building with a great history dating back many centuries before it became home to the the President of the Balears Francina Armengol who sadly was unable to meet the group as she was unwell. However, seeing where the Ministers meet each Friday, the Presidents office and all the paintings and statues, some by Muro and seeing rooms which are rarely open to the public was another privilege. Not only did thanks go out to our hosts but also to Dorothy Loeffler who kindly acted as our translator when needed and indeed for a very reasonable fee!!!
We all left for lunch close by at the restaurant Ca n' Eduardo and were welcomed by owner and chef Johnny Maloney who had prepared an excellent menu for us with our tables laid out on the huge outside terrace. Ca n Eduardo overlooks the marina and fishing boats next to the fish market having been a restaurant, famous mainly for it's fish dishes since 1943, although Johnny confirmed that he had not been there since then!!! A tasty starter of homemade tomato soup with basil, prawn and pepper salad, braised pork cheeks, fillet of salmon with rice pilaf and a chocolat coulant so rich and perfect or Greek Yogurt with honey and walnuts. We were spoilt and it all went down well with the vino and coffee's bringing an end to a day that was certainly enjoyed by all.