The Mallorcan Sea Turtle

The Mallorcan Sea Turtle (Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Castellano: Tortuga boba, Latin: Caretta caretta) is in a pretty vulnerable state, or so the Fundación Aspro Natura Marineland would have us know. Not many loggerheads are found along the European and African coastlines these days. And the few that visit our shores often enough get tangled up in local fishermen’s nets. What a perilous existence, don’t you think? According to Wikipedia, the Mediterranean Sea is a nursery for juvenile loggerheads. Almost 45 percent of the juvenile population in the Mediterranean have migrated from the Atlantic Ocean. Loggerhead turtles feed in the western and eastern basins of the Mediterranean, with Greece being the most popular nesting site with more than 3,000 nests per year.

The Aspro people with the support of the Servicio de Protección de Especies del Govern Balear last year rescued 25 of the biggish turtles in Balearic waters. However, 14 of the saved animals later died from their injuries and the distress they had sustained, and only 11 turtles could be resuscitated, saved and later released back into the Med.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 24th, 2010. The time was 15:48:39. The photo (bottom) was taken from the Internet. My thanks go to diariodemallorca.es.

Muchas gracias.

The Mallorcan Sea Turtle

The Mallorcan Sphinx

Along the Passeig des Born in Palma de Mallorca two pairs of Mallorcan sphinxes can be found. Originally, the passage was a dry riverbed occasionally filling up with water after heavy rainfalls in the Tramuntana mountains. One such gush of water, in 1403, lead to some severe flooding, resulting in the death of thousands of victims. The water course was duly moved to beyond the city’s expanse and a jousting field was installed in its place. Later, the area was converted into a Boulevard for Palma’s middle classes.

After the death of Fernando VII in 1833, the young Princesa Isabel was named his scion and successor, giving the authorities in Palma the opportunity to commemorate the future monarch with a boulevard in her name. The boulevard was now called Salón de la Princesa. The tortoise fountain was erected and so were the four sphinxes. In later years, the boulevard was given its present name, Paseo del Borne.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 2nd, 2010. The time was 10:53:22. The photo (bottom) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 2nd, 2010. The time was 13:01:50. The photo (top) shows the appearance of one of the sphinxes a few weeks ago, whilst the bottom photo shows the state of the sphinxes in the 1920s.

The Mallorcan Sphinx

The Annual Pottery Fair

This year’s annual pottery fair in Marratxí, the Fira del Fang, takes place from Saturday, February 27th, until Sunday, March 7th. The Fira del Fang has been going since 1984 and this year will celebrate its 26th anniversary. The fair programme includes demonstrations, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, competitions, music, dancing and things. You should go to Marratxí if you are interested in arts and crafts, pottery, kitchen utensils and things done the old traditional way. Make your way to Ses Tres Germanes in Sa Cabaneta (Marratxí) any day between this Saturday and Sunday week, any time between 10h00 and 20h00.

A visit to the Museu des Fang (Pottery Museum) is recommended as well. The museum is also in Sa Cabaneta. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10h30 am to 13h00.

Enjoy.

The photo was taken in Cas Concos des Cavaller, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 13th, 2009. The time was 13:16:59.

The Annual Pottery Fair

Intensive Care

A couple of days ago we tried to visit a friend in hospital in Palma. Our elderly Mallorcan friend had been involved in a rather bad accident. A motorist knocked him of his scooter and, being in a bad state, he was taken by ambulance to the Intensive Care Unit in Son Dureta‘s, and that’s where we wanted to visit him. We got there alright, but we were not allowed to see him. We did not know the valid visiting hours or had been misinformed. We were kept waiting for a good 30 minutes before we gave up and went back home again.

If you want to see someone at Son Dureta and in the Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos, you have to go between 08h00 and 08h30, 13h00 to 13h30 or 20h00 to 20h30, or not go at all. Visiting hours may be at different times somewhere else, but you better check before you go. If not, you may find yourself in front of closed doors, just like us (see photo).

Our friend, by the way, seems to be out of danger by now. He is no longer in a coma, and is expected to be discharged from the UCI either today or tomorrow. Not to his home yet, but a happy ending nevertheless, we hope.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 23rd, 2010. The time was 14:23:53.

Intensive Care

Gravediggers

You might remember that I told you about my female postman before, the one I am on kissing terms with. Imagine my surprise when yesterday she let on that she was applying for the job of gravediggeress(?), here, at the Municipal cemetery of Felanitx. Apparently, the oposiciones (entrance exams) are held today. All applicants have to sit these exams, and it seems that 13 people in total are applying for the vacancy. The exams are both, written as well as practical, in such matters as concrete mixing and stuff.

I hope she does well, my post office lady, even though I shall be sorry to see her go. Of course, I might well need her new services one day but, naturally, not on a daily basis.

When I went to our cemetery yesterday I managed to speak to one of the gravediggers in charge. They not only place the coffins into their respective graves or niches, they are also responsible for all the cemetery’s maintenance, including the gardening, pruning, cleaning and generally, keeping a clean ship, so to speak. The very friendly man told me that this Felanitx cemetery was inaugurated in 1814 and thus, will be coming up for its bicentenary in a couple of years’ time. The Felanitx cemetery is one of the nicer ones on the island, as far as I am concerned. It is not quite as special as the one in Sóller, and it lacks the distant views to the sea that the one in Son Servera offers, but, with Puig des Calvari and Puig de Sant Salvador in its proximity as a backdrop, it makes for a very special setting.

The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 23rd, 2010. The time was 13:35:28.

Gravediggers

Franco’s Coat Of Arms Is Erased

The monument in the Parc de La Feixina with its origins in the Spanish Guerra Civil has now been cleared of its, for some, provocative inscriptions and in particular, its offensive fascist heraldic emblem, the Franquist coat of arms.

The monument will not be pulled down, after all, but will apparently now receive a new inscription paying homage to the victims of all wars and any dictatorship. The Catalan text will read as follows:

Aquest monument va ser erigit l’any 1945 en record de les víctimes de l’enfonsament del Creuer Balears durant la Guerra Civil (1936-1939). Avui és la per la Ciutat símbol de la voluntat democràtica de no oblidar mai els errors de les guerres i les dictadures.

You may be interested to know, however, that the offensive coat of arms from Franco’s dictatorship can still be found in a number of other locations in Palma de Mallorca.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 2nd, 2010. The time was 11:36:04.

Franco’s Coat Of Arms Is Erased

The Visit

When I stepped out of my front door the other day, Paquita, my neighbour came out of her house at the same moment. She carried a strange wooden object which stirred my curiosity. What’s that, I inquired, thinking she might be taking a family heirloom to her car.

It turned out that Paquita carried a house altar to the home of a neighbour further up our street. The altar represented the Sagrada Famila (Holy Family) and was a religious object pertaining to the Teatines order. The altar was shared between a total of 34 families in Felanitx, for one day at a time on a rotating basis. My neighbour had had Maria and Josep with the little Jesus for the previous day, and now it was the turn of Margalida, another friendly vecina. Apparently, a number of such Theatinesian altar boxes make the rounds in Felanitx and, who knows, in other Mallorcan villages as well. What a delightful little custom.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 29th, 2010. The time was 12:13:07.

The Visit