Historic Alcúdia

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Alcúdia in the north of the island probably boasts more history than any other town or city on the island, possibly even more so than Palma de Mallorca.

The reason is that the Romans set up the island capital here, calling it Pollentia, as early as 123 B. C. The capital was moved to Palma (then called Palmaria Palmensis) only about 200 years later.

Before the Romans came and conquered, it is said that the Carthaginians had been to what today is the Alcúdia area. Talaiotic settlements point to an even earlier civilization.

After the Romans, first came the Vandals and the Byzantines, then the Moors, the House of Aragon, and thereafter the Saracens. Each and everyone of them left their mark on this very attractive little town. Some of their marks can still be seen today, such as the Talaiotic Son Simó, the ruined Pollentia settlement and its Roman amphitheatre, or the captivating Mediaeval city walls shown here.

You should pay a visit, one day. Marketdays are on Sundays and Tuesdays.

The photo was taken in Alcúdia, Mallorca, Spain. The date: February 20th, 2008. The time was 12:18:31.

Historic Alcúdia

Making Lime Marmelade

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Don’t be fooled by the picture into thinking that I am showing you some lemons today.

They are limes (Citrus Aurantifolia). We picked them ourselves from an organic farm (Ses Aigos) in the Los Huertos valley, near Felanitx, Mallorca, a few weeks ago.

In the meantime, my wife has concocted her first ever lime marmalade, and you wouldn’t believe how delicious that preserve turned out to be. I am not talking about the untold talents that my beauteous wife is gifted with, but about the many delicious smells, flavours, fragrances and some such delights that this wondrous fruit comes with, and lime marmalade with it.

In case you are interested in the recipe, you can find it at The Hungry Caterpillar’s Blog (that’s my wife’s blog on food recipes).

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: January 19th, 2008. The time was 15:20:03.

Making Lime Marmelade

The Pine Processionary

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What you see here – if you look closely – is the Processionary Caterpillar (Thaumetopoeidae pityocampa), actually three of them clinging onto each other top to tail.

I think they are rather beautiful little creatures to look at, but hey, don’t ever touch one.

These Pine Processionaries are lethal in many different ways. They can kill a healthy pine tree in three days flat, before they hop onto the next pine tree and finish off that one for seconds.

If you touch them, you will suffer a terrible rash on your skin. If you get them anywhere near your eyes, you will be in serious trouble of pain and irritation.

The Thaumetopoea Pityocampa is considered a pest in Mallorca, and much money is spent by the Consell de Mallorca every year to combat them, not necessarily with all that much success it would seem.

The photo was taken in Los Huertos, near s’Horta, Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: February 23rd, 2008. The time was 14:56:08.

The Pine Processionary

Election Fever

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General Elections are scheduled to be held on March 9th for the Spanish parliament in Madrid. 350 diputados will be elected into the Congreso (the Lower House), plus 208 seats are up for grabs in the Senado (the Upper House).

Only during the last two weeks, the political parties are allowed to campaign for their programmes, i. e. now.

Two days ago, during market day, the parties distributed their leaflets and some silly little gimmicks to the populace of Felanitx. Us foreigners have no vote, this time, irrespective as to our status of Residencia. We are only eligible to vote during the local Municipal elections (they were held last year), and during the elections for the European parliament (coming up next year, I think).

The party in government at the moment, Spain’s PSOE, will have a mítin (election rally) tonight in the Palma Arena with the participation of Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Opinion polls record a small advantage for the PSOE party, at the moment, when asking about voting intentions.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: February 24th, 2008. The time was 11:34:26.

Election Fever

Dry River Bed

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You are looking at a torrente here. A torrente is a normally dry river bed.

In the centre of my photo you can just about see the remains of an old bridge that was swept away by a raging torrent almost twenty years ago. Queen Sofía of Spain came to this very spot a few days after the Big Rain in 1988, to see the devastations for herself.

It was obviously not deemed necessary since, to rebuild this bridge.

By the way, three lives were lost at the time, elsewhere on the island (in Portocolom).

The photo was taken near Ca’s Concos d’es Cavallers, Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: February 19th, 2008. The time was 13:24:19.

Dry River Bed

A Battle of Wills

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Organized industrial action over pay has been staged by the employees of the legal system in Mallorca for the second week now. The law courts in Palma de Mallorca are incapacitated in their jurisdiction. Amongst other cases, judgement in excess of 250 divorce cases had to be adjourned. That’s a lot of unhappy couples it seems.

My photo shows the local offices of the UGT (General Workers Union) in Felanitx. Just like in other European countries, unions in Spain have shed lots of their power over the last few years. A little strike action here and there helps demonstrate that unions are still in existence.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: February 1st, 2008. The time was 11:37:03.

A Battle of Wills