The Oveja Mallorquina

oveja_mallorquina

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.

Ovella_roja_mallorquina

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.

The Oveja Mallorquina

The Real Cartuja de Valldemossa

Cartuja_Valldemossa

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 Real Cartuja de Valldemossa

The Aeródromo de Son Bonet

Douglas_DC_3

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.

The Aeródromo de Son Bonet

Dios Es Amor

calle_alós

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.

dios_es_amor

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.

Dios Es Amor

Telephone Business

telefónica

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.

Telephone Business

The Fira del Vi In Consell

Ribas

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.

The Fira del Vi In Consell

The III Trobada de Gegants in Felanitx

gegants_felanitx

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.

trobada_felanitx

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.

The III Trobada de Gegants in Felanitx