I could not resist taking a photograph of these beautiful sheep horns when I saw them at a friend’s place. The Mallorcan sheep is a handsome animal, called the Oveja Mallorquina. Most of us never see these creatures other than on a plate when we eat their succulent chops, legs or shoulders.
You will have a chance to see some prime samples of Mallorcan sheep, including the Oveja roja mallorquina, at this weekend’s Fira de Porreres, or at the upcoming Dijous Bo market in Inca (3rd week of November). Go and see what these animals look like in real life and show them to your children or grandchildren. They might be suitably impressed.
The photo (top) was chosen from my archive. It was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 30th, 2009. The time was 12:09:03. The photo (bottom) was taken from the Internet, courtesy of the Govern de les Illes Balears, Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca (Razas autóctonas de las Illes Balears). Moltes gràcies.
Originally the Real Cartuja de Valldemosa (Royal Carthusian Monastery) was the site of a royal palace for Rei Sanxo I (1311-1324). In 1399 the palace was given to the Carthusian monks, who extended the buildings and converted the site into a monastery. The sanctuary had to be dissolved though in 1835 when the new law of Desamortización (Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizabal) led to many or indeed most of the ancient monasteries in Spain being expropriated and privatized, including the one in Valldemossa.
Today, most visitors journey to Valldemossa to explore the Real Cartuja in search of the spirit of Frederik Chopin and George Sand, but believe me, this eminent site has so much more to offer than just that brief episode during the winter of 1838/39. I find the Palau Sanxo fascinating with its imposing defence tower and the Sala Anckermann where short piano recitals are given almost daily. The Museo de la Cartoixa is equally interesting, with its church and the frescos by Francisco Bayeu, the old library and the historic pharmacy from the 18th century. And yes, do visit the Chopin celda and its exhibits, even though it is said that cell no. 4 was not where Chopin and his consorts actually stayed. A visit is recommended overall, although it must be said that admission fees are on the steep side, especially for families with older children (adults: 8.50 €, children under 10: free, students with identification: 4 €). Opening hours during the Winter months are Monday to Saturday, 09h30 to 15h00.
The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Valldemossa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 9th, 2008. The time was 18:16:40.
The Aeródromo de Son Bonet was Mallorca’s original civil airfield. Mallorca’s first ever airplane landed here in 1916. Son Bonet was inaugurated in 1920 as Mallorca’s official airport under the name of Aeródromo de Mallorca. The first commercial flight was carried out in 1927 by the Iberia LAE airline; a flying school was established here in 1935. Mallorca’s first tourists landed here, just outside of Palma, near Es Pont d’Inca. During the Spanish Civil War, Son Bonet was adapted for both civilian and military purposes. The Italian air force briefly used the airport as one of its bases to launch bomber raids on Barcelona and Valencia. During 1946, Son Bonet was equipped as a customs airport and opened to domestic and international traffic.
The small airport could not accommodate the larger aircraft that was soon common nor could the runway be extended. Consequently, these services were transferred to Son Sant Joan airport in 1959. Nowadays, Son Bonet is purely used for private air traffic as well as for leisure aviation with approximately 10,000 flight operations per year.
The airoplane shown in my photo is a Douglas DC-3, built in 1936, probably one of the world’s best known aircraft. This particular plane flew in and out of Son Bonet during the Fifties and Sixties.
The photo was taken in Son Bonet, Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 27th, 2009. The time was 16:45:07.
You may have heard about the tragic accident of a residential building collapsing in Palma last Monday night, not far from the city centre. Seven people perished, including a father and his 15 year old daughter. The tragedy has affected the neighbourhood quite badly with the cause of the collapse as yet unknown. Dozens of neighbours had to be evacuated from adjoining buildings and are now afraid to return to their homes, because they do not trust the safety of their own buildings.
Bang opposite the accident site I discovered the location of a branch of the Pentecostal Church, a Christian sect, with a sign above its door reading ‘Dios es amor‘ (God is Love). Let’s hope that this will be of some comfort to the surviving relatives.
The photos were taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 27th, 2009. The time was 19:05:43 and 19:06:25, respectively.
The Spanish firm Telefónica S. A. ranks amongst the largest companies in Spain. The multi-national company is the world’s fourth-largest telecommunications provider, dealing in 25 countries, and is the largest one in Latin America. Chances are that you are one of Telefónica’s 260,000,000 worldwide customers if you live in Mallorca even though you might have signed up with a different provider, as it is Telefónica who runs the telephone lines service.
If you have had dealings with this telecom company you will most likely agree that the company’s service and attitude are not very customer friendly, which to my mind is a consequence of Spain’s fate of suffering under a dictator not all that long ago and for a rather long time.
Of course, Telefónica is not alone in its authoritarian ways here in Spain. Spain is not as yet a consumer oriented society. Old habits die hard.
The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 7th, 2009. The time was 14:15:12.
The village of Consell celebrated the Fira del Vi yesterday, as part of its annual Fira del Tardor (autumn fair). The fira was not really a wine festival the way we know it from Binissalem, but rather a wine tasting exhibition, and a rather small scale one to boot. Three local bodegas were presenting their wines, as were Miquel Gelabert from Manacor, Vins Nadal from Binissalem and Celler Binigrau from nearby Biniali, and others.
I used the occasion to visit Ca’n Ribas, where Consell’s main vintners, Bodegues Ribas, operates. Today’s photo was taken there. Their Sió vino tinto is excellent if you want to know, an exquisite blend of Mantonegro, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The Ribas bodega is open for visits by prior appointment from Monday to Friday. Informative tours can be arranged for free by telephone (663.937.270).
The photo was taken in Consell, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 25th, 2009. The time was 14:37:13.
If you made your way to Felanitx yesterday to watch the 3rd Trobada de Gegants de Felanitx, you may well have been disappointed. Two years ago when this island-wide giants’ meeting was held for the first time in Felanitx, a total of 28 giants congregated. One has to know that these massively big Mallorcan giants always come in pairs, most often but not only a male-female couple. Last year, 24 giants assembled in Felanitx. Yesterday, however, only twelve giants made their way to Felanitx, or should I rather say ten, as one pair was from Felanitx (es Macolí and na Maria Enganxa). For those of you interested: apart from the two Felanitx gegants, there were two giants present courtesy of the Consell de Mallorca, plus a pair each from Manacor, Alcúdia, Bunyola and Porreres. Well, I don’t know the reasons for this year’s low attendance of giants but one might blame La Crisis. What else could it be?
Let’s hope that today’s affair in Felanitx, the annual Mostra Folklòrica Fira del Pebre Bord, will be more successful and less affected by the economic downturn.
The photos were taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 24th, 2009. The time was 18:20:31 and 18:13:19, respectively.
There is a wonder herb in Mallorca that you should get to know. The plant is called Hierbaluisa in Castellano, or Marialluïsa in Catalan; you may know it already under its English name, Lemon Verbena (Lippia triphylla).
Lemon Verbena nowadays is a largely undervalued medicinal herb. I don’t know why. The plant contains a strong lemon-scented essential oil that has calming and digestive qualities. It has a gentle sedative action and a reputation for soothing abdominal discomfort. It also has a mildly tonic effect upon the nervous system and helps to lift the spirits and counter depression. An infusion made from the leaves has a deliciously refreshing lemon flavour and is used mainly in treating digestive disorders such as flatulence, indigestion and acidity. Some caution is advisable though, since prolonged use or large internal doses can possibly cause gastric irritation. The herb is also useful as a stimulant for treating lethargy or depression whilst it is also used to treat feverish colds. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy in the treatment of nervous and digestive problems and also for acne, boils and cysts.
Other indications are said to be digestive disorders, anxiety, sleeplessness (insomnia), asthma, cold, gas (flatulence), colic, diarrhea, indigestion, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, skin conditions, and constipation.
As well as being very useful, the plant is a wonderful addition to your garden thanks to its lovely, fresh smells.
The photo was taken near Ca’s Concos d’es Cavaller, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 23rd, 2009. The time was 13:07:08.
Yesterday, the island was affected by some considerable wind gusts. No Caps de fibló, just ordinary stormy winds or gales. Wind speeds of up to 90 km/h were reported in some places. In the Tramuntana mountain range, gales even reached 100 km/h, together with more heavy rains. Some ferry services between Mallorca and Menorca and between Ibiza and Formentera had to be cancelled, whereas air traffic has not been interrupted, so far. For today, wind conditions should be less severe, or so we are told. The weather alert remains at Level Yellow, though. Tomorrow should be back to normal, wind and weather wise.
A weather vane like the nice one shown here will give you an indication as to where the wind blows from, today or any day.
The photo was taken in Son Macià, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 18th, 2009. The time was 14:07:08.
The island suffered more downpours yesterday. Everything and everybody almost anywhere in Mallorca got soaking wet. This autumn is really turning into one of the wetter ones for a very long time. The meteorological alert system had been upgraded to Level Yellow for yesterday, and was raised to Level Orange for today, for most of the island bar the North. There should be less rain today, though, but wind speed should be on the increase. There may be storms locally.
The outlook for tomorrow and the weekend is better. Rain should subside, and temperatures should increase to the mid-twenties. Let me remind you that water temperatures in the Mediterranean are still around 23° C, at least near us, in the Southeast of Mallorca. One can still go for a swim in the sea.
My photo shows a reflection of the tower of the Església de Sant Nicolau de Bari on the tarmac of Carrer Unió. The church is one of the four original parish churches in Palma and dates from the 15th century, occupying the remains and site of a smaller, earlier church. I believe the hexagonal tower to be from a later date, possibly from the 17th century.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 21st, 2009. The time was 14:11:41.