Dear Sir, WHENEVER I have friends or relatives over for their first Three Kings experience I have a well thought out plan executed with military precision. First we go to Arenal for 18.30 when the Tres Reyes arrive by boat at the Yacht Club. They are joined by a couple of lorries packed with a motley collection of followers in fancy dress of no particular style. The procession is headed by a local band terribly out of tune. En route to the church they throw out sweets much to the amazement and delight of my grandchildren. Little do they know that this is just an appetiser for a real extravaganza.

By 19.00 Arenal is over and we pile back into the car and hightail it to Palma. Well not quite hightail as our normal 10 minute trip takes 45 minutes as it appears everyone is heading to town. This delay is included in the plan and just before 20.00 we have the car parked in Plaza Bispe Berenguer and stroll to Calle Olmos as the shops are closing. Just as the staff pull down their shutters we commandeer the shop steps and so are literally head and shoulders above the crowd. As the time approaches 20.30 we have our eyes directed up to the corner with Calle San Miguel where the Magi will come from. Suddenly the crowd becomes agitated as a police car with strobe lights on max turns the corner starting the pageant. Then come into view the mounted police with their “manure clean up” car, a myriad of floats and eventually the Kings themselves. This is when our position in this old narrow street comes into its own as we can almost touch the procession as it passes by. It does stop and start as the lorries have to back up on the tight corners but the snarl ups and delays are all part of the fun allowing the crowd to banter with the people on the floats. After about an hour the throng has passed and we all retire back to the square to finish off a memorable evening with dinner in Cellar Sa Premsa. My favourite restaurant, great atmosphere, great food, great price.

Well that was my well rehearsed plan last night but it was not to be. It was shot down by the new route. By the time we got to Via Roma at 20.00 more than half the defile had passed including the Kings themselves. I presume the new shorter route cutting out the picturesque old town for the wider boulevards speeded up the procession by an hour or so. Also even with what we saw at the tail end of the defile was so far away it lost a lot of the excitement we had in the past.

Let's hope this route is not adopted for the Easter Procession.

Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma

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