Palma is empty early in the morning by Palma Cathedral. | T. AYUGA

Last week, I suddenly realised that a regular, six-monthly check-up at Clinica Roger in Palma was well and truly overdue. And was somewhat astonished, on telephoning the said clinic, to discover that my dedicated consultant was fully booked-up until July. Eeek!!! Hadn’t expected that! Luckily, Other Half is a savvy bird, and suggested to the appointment receptionist that perhaps they kept some appointments back for emergencies, and that the consultant really needed to see me, as it was quite an important check-up? “OK,” said the receptionist. “How about tomorrow at 12am?”

Although rather sudden and somewhat unexpected, I hastily took the appointment, only to recall that a required blood test was also pending! The department dealing with ‘bloods’ is routinely open between 7-11am, and I was told that if I presented myself at first light, the lab would be able to process the results in time for my midday appointment.

So... next morning, up at 5 then out by 6 to avoid any traffic, and parked up in Palma to be at destination clinic by 7. Phew! All a bit of a rush, but mission accomplished. By 7.15am blood analysis successfully done and dusted, leaving only five hours to kill before the consultation. No problem! But the sun hadn’t even raised its head, and the sultry shadow of Palma’s iconic landmark cathedral was lording over the cityscape, inviting us to explore the secret city beneath her sleepy gaze.

The idea of grabbing an early coffee was soon dashed however, as nothing was yet open – well, at least none of our favoured haunts were up and running. But somehow, it all felt refreshingly magical and surreal. It was now 7.30 and we were wandering the seductive streets of Palma, stripped of any distraction from tourist hoards in their colourful regalia, the City took on a romantic awakening. No cruise ships tours in port, with hustle bustle dialed down to the max, we discovered hidden gateways and mysterious portals, palaces and glorious courtyards as we imbibed the classic mystery of the buildings, all under the watchful architecture of ‘La Seu’.

The odd jogger silently breathed past. Early dog walkers, dedicated to routine, and ‘keen beans’ on their way to offices, breached the ghostly pavements. By 8am, we found what we assumed was a rather grand ‘patisserie’, yet secretly (well to us anyway) served coffee upstairs on a cosy gallery; a complete revelation to discover such a gem, as we had passed this way many times before, without a clue to its existence.

City council workers slowly slid into view as Palma stretched her languid limbs ahead of the day. We wandered through the timeless beauty of the serene palace gardens then strolled up the elegant Borne – the silence, hauntingly beautiful. An early mist burned through by a mellow sunrise made me realise how beautiful our capital city really is! By choice, I probably wouldn’t drag myself out of bed at 5 to be in Palma by 7, but Wow! I’m so glad we did! And maybe everyone should do it at least once to drink in the raw, unadulterated beauty of the waking city.

When you live and work somewhere, you often take your surroundings for granted. I have been to Palma thousands of times before, yet never fully appreciated the breath-taking architecture or the power behind the empty streets before. I felt privileged, like I was walking through a painting, or some unwritten chapter in a secretly penned novel.

Up at the crack of dawn, and the memory will be a lasting one of Palma, showcased in the entirety of its own colourful tapestry. A city incidentally which constantly appears in the top listings of places to visit amongst Europe’s best. And one that I shall be visiting time and time again, yet maybe not at 7am?