Monday 25 September 2023

Buses On The Bigger One

No 3 Son On Holiday

The Balearic archipelago lies between Spain and North Africa. Of the four main islands the largest is what we used to call Majorca (Major - the bigger one) which sits alongside Menorca (Mini - the smaller one). There is also Ibiza and Formentara.

The Catalan speakers have engineered their spelling to be standard so now we have to spell ti Mallorca although the pronunciation hasn't changed!

If the Big One were a square, it would have sides of roughy 35 miles long.

There are lots of hilly and rocky bits ...
... a good number of historic bits ...
... and some apealling quaint bits.
But the overriding impression is of a coastline packed with big brassy beach resorts!
No 3 son has been at Palma Nova (above), one of a string of holiday destinations familiar to some of fbb's readers; but which would be avoided at all costs by your blogging septuagenarian! 

But, if you want to savour the delights of Palma Nova, here is 3 minutes of video without commentary! Watch closely for bus content!
There was one (red and yellow livery) driving through trees on the esplanade road ...
... one as we were taken through the early evening market stall excitement ...
... and right at the end we were actually ON a bus!
So the video was worth watching!
Palma Nova is one of a string of resorts along the coast road west from Palma itself, the capital of the Island. 

Buses in Palma are in the hands of EMT, a sort of Palma City Transport with a livery of white, green and blue ...
... apparently superseded by shiny silver and a darker blue.
EMT's web site gets a Catalan raspberry from fbb for being full of clutter. But fbb persevered.

There are night services ...
... two airport services ...
... and CC - an historic route though the city centre.
A timetable? Fat chance. After a battle, fbb found a downloadable "timetable" for the CC ...
... which only offered departure times from Balnguera. For a normal route you get a list of departures from the city centre and a similar list from the outer terminus. 

In between you have to guess.
There are some excellent frequencies, so perhaps it doesn't matter so muh! A total of 47 "normal" routes is operated.

Each route comes with its own map shown as a somewhat irritating moving dotted line as for the CC above.

The other big bonus is that all buses are FREE for residents.
For tourists, a single ride costs two euros with various multiple ride fares available.

If fbb has read his Catalan correctly, the CC (C above) is free to all.

But services outside of the city are in the hands of "tib".
The distinctive red and yellow buses cover the rest of the Island, augmented by train and metro.
It was in February 2014 when fbb was last in Mallorca (virtually) with No 3 son (actually). fbb focussed on the heritage railway between Palma and Soiler where connections are on hand for the heritage tram to Soller Port. The tram is worth another look!

Just A Little UK Tease
Spotted by Northampton Alan at Bletchley Station.
It was the 0813 to EGRNSID, calling at EGRNSID.

Any explanations? Perhaps Alan knows?

 Next Palma Nova blog : Tuesday 26th September 


  1. Judging by the age of the vehicles, the EMT blue and silver livery is the old one, and that with white is the new one.
    EGRINSID was a through train to the Bluebell Railway, which encountered "planning difficulties" on the way back, and was unable to use the Bletchley-Bedford line on its return journey.

  2. I've had several holidays in Illetes and found EMT Palma easy to use, though it does have its quirks like any operator. Major stops have real time screens that work!

    There is a button at the top right of the website home page which produces an English (or German) version of everything that a tourist would want to know, though you do need to guess, or translate, the more obscure bits that are only in Catalan. This includes "la nova xarxa" which explains the major recast of services in 2020, with a diagram of frequent routes.

    I've not been since the changes, which included splitting the cross-city route from Illetes into two overlapping routes. Hopefully this has reduced bunching - two artic Citaros in convoy take up a lot of road!

    The "free for residents" is a post-Covid bonus. The only multi-ride ticket available for visitors is a 10 journey smartcard, currently 15 euros. The others aren't applicable this year.

    Some routes, particular those along the coast, have several different seasonal timetables. The August peak is resourced by only running a skeleton service to the university.