August 07, 2016

MILLS IN SA MIRANDA

WIND MILLS  OF SA MIRANDA IN FORMENTERA
Giants memories of the past, when Formentera was hungry and in these mills that transformed the wheat into bread, thus they were essential in the daily life of this small island.
This "venda of Miranda" (venda, means something like neighborhood) is located on the same side of the capital of the smaller island of the "Pitiusas islands", and its main square is easy to find the street called Sa Miranda or Molins de sa Miranda. At that point is where we can find these gigants stone mills (6 are the antlers of wheat mills in Baleares, like those in Malta, which were identical in design to the Balearic Islands). This area although it seems a great plain, is actually the top of a small hill where with certain intensity blew the wind, reason why there are several of them at this very point. As we see in the picture above, today are relatively surrounded by lampposts and telephone, the result of technological breakthroughs that these mills have seen over the time.
In 1,990 these mills were declared of cultural interest, in the nineteenth century were seven throughout the island, only three remain today with the entire structure including the six blades per mill. These two mills have their names as locals know them by their proper names: Moli d'en Jeroni and Moli d'en Mateu. Although I have previously referred to the nineteenth century as a golden age, some of these mills were already in the eighteenth century, but unfortunately from the 50s of XXth century were falling into disuse.
As clearly seen in  one of them, is privately owned and is within the grounds of a private house, but that does not stop us to see its top, while the other one can be fully seen.
These mills are situated at an altitude of 60 meters above sea level, although not seem high altitude, for Formentera which is a very flat island is enough that they might come the winds to blow and make them work, while the people awaited for the results , I mean from his wheat to subsequently get the bread.

June 13, 2016

WORSHIPS AND FORTRESS ON THE PAST

FORTRESS IN THE CHURCH OF SANT ANTONI DE PORTMANY
I have already spoken before that the oldest churches of the island were originally built as temples but mainly as robust and strong fortresses, where people from the village and surrounding areas came not only for attending the holy mass but also was the place they were gathering in case of threat for moorish invasions.
Invasions came by sea, and here at the Portmany port (Portmany was the name of this bay after the conquest of the Kingdom of Aragon, and comes from its former Roman name "Portus Magnus") was an important target of those invasions of the Turkish and Arab pirates, where the invaders were attacking with mercilessly the farms, villages and especially to their inhabitants that made them their slaves. That´s why were so crucial that the church as main building had to be well defended, so that´s why its square and strong tower (the only square shaped defence tower of the island) had to hold powerful guns, as cannons that protected the population, from the barbarians incursions. 
Undoubtedly this tower located at one side of the church building is looks as that of any other castle. And this was where the population was feeling much safer on attacks. This tower dates from the sixteenth century and from there by sounding a sea conch shell, warned the population of the imminent danger of the incursions that was about to stalk people, making to everyone was running to take refuge here.
The guns had a range of about 4 kilometers, far enough to protect the harbor and able to sink any invader ship. Still at this temple we can see a moat between the bell tower down to the front door of the temple, where the population received the invaders by pouring through it, large amounts of boiling oil when they were trying to go into the temple. and of course helping this way to repel the attempted entry. Anyway the doors were made of iron, in order to prevent be burned and thus destroyed. Today the guns have not anymore the wide visibility that they had then, now great buildings surround this temple, as this town now is an important tourist resort and makes the church to be a real miniature.
Slowly, as the threat of invasions were diminishing, the temple left his defensive character to become gradually in religious and worship temple.
And then after the main steeples were built, in Sant Antoni Abad the bell tower has two bells named after Angela and Mary, the first because it was used to play the Angelus hours, meanwhile the other used to call the Mary prayer during late in the afternoon.
 For this reason in the ancient worship temples of Ibiza most of them that exercised that function do not have windows and if thick white walls (except for the tower is made of stone and was never painted white).

May 16, 2016

CALA PADA

CALA PADA
Located few kilometers from Santa Eulalia, between Santa Eulalia and the Es Canar tourist resort, we can find this beautiful cove of white sand and surrounded by pine trees. Surrounded by few bars and some hotels which are outside from the beach and make it a familiar and quiet beach.
Perhaps the pier (that sometimes serves as a makeshift trampoline to jump directly into the sea) is one of the most remarkable things about this quiet beach.
This beach is ideal for families since the water is not very deep and it is usually protected from the winds. It is not a very large cove as it has a length of 200 meters.
Now in spring,  but also in autumn and on winter, it is great  for a sunbathe, because during summer is much more busy, but the rest of the year usually is very quiet.
Some of the pines surrounding the beach have the shape the wind is sculped on them, adding the green color into the landscape that contrasts with the blue of the crystal clear waters of this beach, in addition to the native pine trees also this beach has some palm trees giving you a tropical touch.

February 28, 2016

CALA BOIX

CALA BOIX
the sand of this beach is black, although is not volcanic but anyway is unusual to find in Ibiza beaches with sand as dark as this one. Although currently I dont visit often this beach as I did when child and always  this beach is in my memory because it is one of the beaches where I most enjoyed thanks to its (sometimes) huge waves.
Clayey materials from their small cliffs that surround it must have some guilt sand color, far from removing beauty, can even say it adds.
The beach is ideal for its waves, because usually its waters are quite moved, maybe that's why my memories with this beach are great because almost every time I went there when small, I enjoyed on the water with air mattress or pulling myself directly towards into the strong waves which broked on the shore of the beach.
Anyhow the beach is not very big, and although it is located in the east side of the island, I must say that there are enough hours of sun, and the beach itself faces the South and this gives more hours of sunlight than others of that area, which are very limited.
Surrounded by cliffs, with a bright water and almost always with waves and dark sand, that is certainly a unique beach of this kind. It has a small beach bar. It is accessed by a concrete staircase because you have to leave the car at some point at the top of a cliff, at that parking atop and next to where the vehicles are left there are also two larger restaurants. This is a beach for everyone though perhaps limited by the large rungs of the steps and is not recommended for people with mobility problems.

August 04, 2015

AUGUST 5TH SAINT PATRON OF IBIZA AND FORMENTERA

FESTIVITIES OF IBIZA TOWN 
PROCESSION OF OUR LADY OF THE SNOWS
For the second consecutive year is celebrated in Ibiza the procession of its patron saint, Our Lady of the Snows. The tour begins in the new area of the city, specifically from the parish of Santa Cruz, to the Cathedral located at the top of the hill where is located the ancient city of Ibiza today is "World Heritage" since 1999.
Some parishes involved carrying banners of their parish to accompany the patron saint of Ibiza and Formentera through the streets of the city. The best is when passing through a part of the impressive walls of the city of Ibiza.
The entrance to one of the most beautiful places in Ibiza (Portal de ses Taules) is somewhat complicated and you have to lower the image .... 
To get to the courtyard of arms, which is a place inside the walls of Ibiza where a few decades ago was located the first hippy market of Ibiza. 
Surprisingly, the patron saint of Ibiza is the Marian advocation of "Snow", snow is a rare event in the island ... but the choice of the patron has a rather historical explanation. 
In 1235, an August 8th, was conquered Ibiza by troops of the Crown of Aragon for the King of Aragon James I the Conqueror, (pictured above the shield of the King of Aragon can be seen embedded on the wall, behind the image of the Virgin), then once conquered the island to the Arabs, it was established that was to be built a church dedicated to St. Mary, however, it was established that the Marian devotion would be chosen by the closest Marian festivity of August 8, the day which the island was conquered. So, Santa Maria de las Nieves (also known as Santa Maria Maggiore) was choosen as Patron of Ibiza, and the new church was dedicated to her, as his feast day is celebrated on August 5th. 
The image continues its way towards the cathedral, passing through the famous city walls, and the most emblematic places of the town, while passing by the famous "Plaza de Vila" folks will mixing with tourists who are surprised with the fest. 

At this point the procession must face the most hard part because now comes the steepest slopes that reach the cathedral. Gradually the lights dim smoothly and the streets will be more narrows as we climb.

July 26, 2015

URBAN ART IN SAN ANTONIO

URBAN ART IN SANT ANTONI DE PORTMANY
I must say that I'm not in favor of vulgar graffiti that I think normally disgrace walls and street furniture, but I must recognize that some ones are great art that we can enjoy meanwhile we walk around the town. Let´s have a look to some of them...

I must admit that I do not know who has been the idea, but I think it's great, you may not like all these murals there, but it gives it another go to some buildings and especially to their sidewalls.

One of these building with murals is the outside walls of the football field of the village, we must recognize that the two murals on their walls, give it another appearance to the building and by the way very original. Certainly one of the murals has nothing to do with another at the other side. One seems more cold due the black and white contrast meanwhile the other is full color, and a bit more "comic look"

Quite shocking this face of golden iguana with her watch, ring and chain which is eating grapes on a very lavish look. Certainly does not lack originality.
 
On a school wall, we can see a drawing on a very "science fiction" style. It´s composed of several drawings in a  somewhat futuristic way...

If we take a closer look we are provided with further details that we have not seen before far at distance. So a closer look to the body of the lady, reveal a field with a sky with a staircase where several people are climbing to try to reach the heart of this woman.

And though the goal has nothing to do with the mural, it seems that here is done on purpose to match with the drawing , it is obvious that the goal has nothing to do with the wall, or  with the small details of the bottom of the wall.

These drawings, draw attention in the streets where they are, and definitely not go unnoticed thanks to the color of some of them, Although others are more monochromatic style. But certainly not those, located above nor below these lines.

On a side of a building we can see a large squid in a fishbowl, where it seems there is not enough space to fit comfortably.

At a closer look, we notice the details of their tentacles and the kind of colorful that calling us much attention.

Another one is a silhouette, like this one located in a parking, among the parked cars the mythological horse "Pegasus" starts flying with its powerful wings ....
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Or as this one in another side of another building depicting a large water drop shared by different levels,  in each level, the different stories are developing.

The interpretation in some of these drawings is completely free, and may vary from a person to person but obviously here we can see from some soldiers running into battle in a level, and a number of factories in a complex in other, or a couple watching the news in a large room, or people purchasing, it is curious as shopping carts are empty.
In the image below we see a piece of mural, the same mural  which we began this post and is a detail of details, so closer we get more details we can see ....
Great idea of these murals and its impact on the village.