Thursday, November 20, 2014

Walking at Cavalleria Beach

Since I went to Cavalleria Lighthouse last week, I've been thinking in walking on the beach nearby. There was absolutely nobody there when I returned. Not even footprints on the sand.

Trochoidea Trochoides is a species of air-breathing land snail not rare in Menorca. Its habitats are dry vegetation in coastal vicinity, usually in dunes, also in ruderal habitats with similar vegetation. It can be found in Algeria, Tunisia and Spain and Adriatic Coasts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cavalleria Lighthouse

In 1857 a lighthouse was built on the most northern point of Menorca, called Cavalleria under the petition of the authorities of the island, due to the frequency of wrecks taking place on the northern coast. The lighthouse tower is 15 metres high and it is located 94 metres above the sea level. It shows two white lights every ten seconds and reaches a maximum of 32 nautical miles.

In fact, more than 700 wrecks between the 14th and the 19th centuries are documented in different charts. According to these written records, many of them wrecked during the 18th and 19th centuries, such as San Josef (1712), La Asunción (1821), San Jaume (1892) and Bourgianen (1900). Two of them, La Asunción and Bourgianen have been located in the past few years.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Taula at Binimasso and San Nicolas Farmhouse

 A headless taula (T-shaped stone setting) and other standing stones stand on a bush which seems like an island in a field, and a talayot (bloc piled tower) stand across a road.

San Nicolas, near Ciutadella.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Punta Nati. Ciutadella.

Punta Nati Cape is located further northwest of the island located in the town of Ciutadella. This area is characterized by rocky and barren landscape, impressive precisely because of its hardness. Only a few specimens  of the plant world that survive in this desert-like landscape.

Ecballiuem Elaterium also called squirting cucumber.

The lighthouse, which is a few tens of meters high above the cliffs was built in 1913 as a result of a dramatic shipwrecks, the "General Chanzy "covering the journey Marseille-Algiers that killed more than 200 people and only one survived. The lighthouse, which was inhabited until the second half of the twentieth century, has a white tower, a dome and aluminum flashlight. Also has large housing units for the old lighthouse keeper and a courtyard surrounded by a stone wall. To the right of the lighthouse are the remains of an observatory and a battery built during the civil war.

The coordinates of this lighthouse are: 40 º 3 '0.20 "N 3 º 49' 24,91" E,

Monday, September 29, 2014


Looks like we can expect a week of autumn weather in this end of the season. Although the day was gray and dark, at least it has not rained and at Fornells, some people has yet dared to enjoy windsurfing.

 Modern sculpture or remains of a shipwreck? It does not seem to be a concern for this cormorant

The great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo),  is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds.  It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. Northern birds migrate south and winter along any coast that is well-supplied with fish. 

The great cormorant can dive to considerable depths, but often feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. Many fishermen see in the great cormorant a competitor for fish. Because of this it was nearly hunted to extinction in the past. Thanks to conservation efforts its numbers increased.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


After a torrid summer autumn has arrived with some signs of severe weather. This waterspout was seen from the Hotel this morning also from many places in the South Coast. Spectacular.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Every one is welcome at the fiestas and people come from far and wide to take part in these lively street parties, particularly the jaleo, at which black Menorcan breed horses are the stars of the show.

The origins of the jaleo date back to medieval times and are steeped in tradition but, once the show starts, the history and original meaning will be lost to most as the band strikes up, crowds spill out on to the streets and into the squares where makeshift bars are set up selling beer and pomada (a potent mix of local gin and lemon).

The beautiful black menorcan horses, adorned with ribbons and rosettes, and their riders dressed in back tail coats, white trousers and three-pointed hats, make their way through the throngs into the main square in twos and threes, where, to shouts and cheers from the crowd, they show off their skills, dancing on their hind legs and even jumping, in time to the jaleo melody played by the brass band.

It is a spectacle the likes of which you will not see anywhere else in the world. The fiesta atmosphere is infectious. It is impossible not to get caught up in it – before you know it; you too may be making your way into the midst of the masses, reaching up to touch the horses’chests. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

...getting ready for the party!

In a week or so the Festival in Mahon will start! The town is, in these days, getting ready for it.

UAM Creoula in Mahon Harbour.

UAM Creoula is a training ship of the Portuguese Navy, built in 1937 in the Companhia Uniao Fabril (CUF) shipyards in Lisbon for Parceria Geral de Pescas fishing company. From 1938 to 1973 it was used in the Cod fishing campaigns in Newfoundland and Greenland. Between 1973 and 1979 remain moored in Lisbon until it was bought in 1979 by the Secretary of State for Fishing to become a fishing museum, but during the repairs it was noticed that the hull was in excellent condition, so it was determined that the ship should sail again, therefore it became a Portuguese Navy training ship.

After a couple of days in Mahon Harbour she sailed yesterday destination Algiers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wednesday 13th. Musica Reservata de Barcelona

A unique event for lovers of early music will take place next Wednesday in the Church of Santa Maria in Mahon.

Created in 1991 this early music ensemble was founded as a vocal group with the intention of introducing the repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, paying special attention to the Spanish composers of the Siglo de Oro. The absence of a permanent conductor has allowed Musica Reservata de Barcelona to work with renowned master specialists, such as Jean-Marc Andrieu, Bart Vandewege, Peter Phillips, Andrew Carwood, Bruno Turner, Josep Vila and Mireia Barrera.
 Clic for the full program

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July. Some Guests.

Mr. & Mrs. Gregory

 Ms. Bevan & Ms. Pollock. Winners of our Quiz Game 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Healey

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A unicorn gargoyle at the Menorca Cathedral.

A French legend that sprang up around the name of St. Romanus ("Romain") (AD 631–641), the former chancellor of the Merovigian king Clotaire II who was made Bishop of Rouen, relates how he delivered the country around Rouen from a monster called Gargouille. La Gargouille is said to have been the typical dragon with batlike wings, a long neck, and the ability to breathe fire from its mouth. There are multiple versions of the story, either that St. Romanus subdued the creature with a crucifix, or he captured the creature with the help of the only volunteer, a condemned man. In each, the monster is led back to Rouen  and burned, but its head and neck would not burn due to being tempered by its own fire breath. The head was then mounted on the walls of the newly built church to scare off evil spirits, and used for protection.

But to be fair, a gargoyle is in Architecture a carved or formed grotesque figure with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. 

Many medieval cathedrals included gargoyles. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall.

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Llavor de Falguera"

In many of the old stories and tales of the island, it refers to "Llavor de Falguera" which is the seed of this plant as something very hard to find.

And so in some legends it is said that this seed has to be collected on a particular night of the year, June 24th, the night of Sant Joan, the Summer solstice or wearing special clothing.

It is said also that those are used to make magical ointments and balms,
extraordinary potions that provide  whoever drinks an enormous force, the abbility of seeing without being seen or even to be entitled to get a couple of little demons working for the protagonist of the tale in the pursuit of his also fantastic targets.

Could it be that all that was true if someone were able to find the precious seed of this plant. But being Pteridium Aquilinum that reproduces by spores and does not produce any seeds all that remain in the imagination like in a book writen by  Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cala Pilar

A sample of the differences between the northern and southern Cala Pilar is one of the less accessible pristine beaches throughout Menorca.

To get there, take a detour on the road, between Ciutadella and Ferreries, which reaches a few kilometers from the beach. Then there is a walk of about an hour, first among century old oaks and the final without any shade.

The sand is golden and the water sparkling. There are no trees and hardly any shade, so you should take umbrella.

Before organizing the visit to Cala Pilar, it is sure to avoid disappointment after the walk, that sea conditions are good in the north of the island as this beach will greatly affect the wind from the north.

It is included in the zone of greater protection of the marine reserve, so it is prohibited to fish, and marine life, simply equipped with snorkel gear, is spectacular.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Pallenis spinosa is a beautiful herbaceous biennial plant of  the Mediterranean region that bears bright yellow daisy-like flowers with hard spiny bracts, and is the only member of the small genus Pallenis in Menorca. The large yellow flowers are surrounded by sharply pointed bracts.

Colias croceus is a small butterfly of the Pieridae family, that is, the Yellows and Whites.

The upperside is golden to orange yellow with a broad black margin on all four wings and a black spot near the centre forewing. The underside lacks the black borders and is lighter, with a more greenish tint, particularly on the forewings. In the forewing underside is the same dark spot as on the upperside, but often with a light centre; the hindwing underside has a white centre spot, often with a smaller white or dark dot immediately above it. Sometimes, a row of black dots occurs on the underwings' outer margins, corresponding to where the black border ends on the upperside.

Females differ from the males in having yellow spots along the black borders on the upperside. In a small proportion of females the golden upperside colouration is replaced by a pale cream colour.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

THE 61st (South Gloucestershire) REGIMENT OF FOOT.

After a period of garrison service in England, Ireland and the Channel Islands the 61st Foot was stationed on the island of Minorca in 1771. The island had become a British possession under the Treaty of Paris of 1763. 

By 1779 Britain was involved in a war with America, France and Spain. In the following years and after an outbreak of tertian fever had hit the garrison, in August 1781 the Duc de Crillon landed with 8000 Spanish troops and 100 guns, the garrison had only 1500 men. The 61st found themselves besieged in Fort St Philip. Soon after another 8000 French troops joined the Spanish. The Duc demanded the surrender of Fort St Philip. The garrison held out until February 1782 when it was forced to surrender, the enemy commanders were so impressed with the conduct of the defenders that they paraded their troops as the garrison marched out.

 Fort St. Phillip

The remains of the regiment were repatriated in May 1782 where they began recruiting. In August 1782 all regiments of foot without a royal title were given a county designation, and the regiment became the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot in 1782. In 1783 the regiment moved to Ireland where it remained until 1792. In the latter year they moved to Gibraltar.

Link to Soldiers of Gloucestershire Website

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New engravings added to the Hotel collection.

Some engravings by John Kay have been recently added to our collection.

John Kay (1742 – February 21, 1826) was a Scotish caricaturist and engraver born near Dalkeith in Midlothian. He was originally a barber-surgeon, but after the success obtained with the first caricatures, he then dedicated to it, professionally.

Kay's portraits were collected by Hugh Paton and published under the title A series of original portraits and caricature etchings by the late John Kay, with biographical sketches and illustrative anecdotes (Edinburgh, 2 vols. 4to, 1838; 8vo ed., 4 vols., 1842; new 4to ed., with additional plates, 2 vols., 1877), forming a unique record of the social life and popular habits of Edinburgh at its most interesting epoch. 

Those books are nowadays difficult to find as most of them have been mutilated for their original engravings.

Print Title: Napier, Pilmer, Clarkson of the Hopetoun Fencibles
 - Original Print 1795 by John Kay

Our gratitude to Mr. Mellon for helping us to find some.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Ash Tree Criket Club from Macclesfield, Cheshire.

The Ash Tree Cricket Club was touring in Menorca this year and we had the pleasure in allocating them at the Hotel del Almirante. The weather has been glorious these last days and the team have been able to enjoy two days for their games, and another couple of days of tourism in Menorca.

Pictures by Mr. Bill Kavanagh

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The "Besitos" moored in the calmed Ciutadella harbour

Should you walk through the port of Ciutadella, you might find this boat moored next to the building of the old port captaincy. Besitos is her name. She is a traditional Menorquin boat of a type called "llaut" operated with a latin rig, a triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast, and running in a fore-and-aft direction.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Poisonous beauty

Echium plantagineum, commonly known as purple viper's bugloss or Paterson's curse, is a species of Echium native to western and southern Europe (from southern England south to Iberia and east to the Crimea), northern Africa, and southwestern Asia. It has also been introduced to Australia, South Africa and the United States, where it is an invasive weed. Due to a high concentration of pyrrocilidine alkaloids, it is poisonous to grazing livestock, especially those with simple digestive systems, like horses. The toxins are cumulative in the liver, and death results from too much Paterson's curse in the diet.

Throughout these weeks their purple flowers bright in Menorca's prairies together with other herbs that bloom at the same time. Despite their beauty, people of the island do not have them in high esteem for being often the cause of death of horses that eat those plants when grazing.