MERRY TREECEMBER!

Alright, how has December, Christmas, almost freaking 2018 crept up so silently?! Any of you all prepared? If so, please come over and help me. Please. I will pay you. I just baked cookies. Tempted?

Gonna send out a few Christmas ideas these next few days in case you are like me and um, completely unprepared for Christmas. So keep checking the blog and I hope to have something that tickles your fancy. I absolutely love LOVE this gift. Save the world, you know, is one of my favorite themes. And trees, I love trees. There is this oak tree over one thousand years old close to our home in Germany and I’m always in awe. Plus the 800 year old olive tree in Palma with a witches face.

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Trees help clean the air we breathe, clean the water we drink, provide habitat to over 80%+ of the World’s biodiversity, provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people on this planet, provide health in so many ways (1/4 medicines we take come from trees & plants) and trees absorb carbon from our atmosphere.

One Tree Planted is a non-profit charity/reforestation project that plants trees around the world (North America, Asia, Africa, South America and wildfire areas). One dollar = one tree, you choose your area and minimum donation is $12. You can get involved by donating or fund raising or even becoming a tree ambassador. So you can do all that but how does that work with Christmas? For $20 you can have 20 trees planted in the recipient’s name and they also receive a digital tree certificate. And if you spend $50 they will send the certificate in the mail with a t-shirt.

Pretty cool, huh? For your favorite hipsters, tree huggers and all ages. They are so gorgeous. Just like you. Mwuah.

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Laos ~ Colonia St. Jordi, Mallorca

Another one of my favorite restaurants in Colonia St. Jordi is Laos. They actually advertise it as restaurant – bar – chillout, considering what level you are on.

The bottom level is the restaurant with a patio out front, a covered outdoor area and then my personal favorite, the inside where you watch the chefs make the food – I love to do that. Of course, then I start watching for my food and I tell Felix – hey! I see ours, it’s coming out soon. And then it’s served to another table. Patience is a virtue.

The staff is super friendly. Laos is run by a sister – brother team and they couldn’t be nicer. Or sweeter. The normal Spanish bread and aioli (which I find so tasteless and boring) most restaurants typically serve is not the thing here. Nope. A most delicious chicken pate covered with an orange sauce and a fresh, personal-sized, homemade baguette plus yummy olives is their “amuse bouche”. And damn it’s good, don’t say no to that.

The menu is quite large (and in many languages) from salads to steak tartare to lamb chops to salmon. And they offer half portions or full portions to most of the selections (which I think is cool). But my most favorite thing about Laos is that every month they have a specials menu – three appetizers, three entrees and usually one dessert. And the first time we go every month I always try one of the specials. Last month they had salmon ravioli and oxtail on the specials menu and we ordered that the entire month. It was THAT good.

After you’ve eaten to your hearts content. Have a delicious dessert – my favorite is Crema Catalan (pretty much crème brûlée (so many accent marks with that one!) with a strawberry sauce on top – so freaking delicioso).

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When you are full and happy, you can head to the top floor which is their chillout area. Overlooking the one of the main streets of C. St. Jordi and just a block over from the sea, its the place to be. With its open windows, the fresh breeze and a cocktail in your hand, you can relax and let the cool tunes and mellow vibes wash away all your problems.

It’s Saturday and we are planning to go to Laos tonight. See you there!

LAOS RESTAURANT  Av. Primavera, 26, 07638 Colònia de Sant Jordi  971 65 58 73

Hike to Torre de Estellella

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Some people call them torres, which is Spanish for tower. Some people call them the watchtowers. But the real cool people in the know, call them atalayas. I will call them watchtowers…. even though I’m still cool. 🙂 At least I think I am and that’s half the battle, right?

A loooong time ago, Mallorca had a bit of a pirate problem. Who didn’t in the years 1200 – 1600s? Seriously. Especially with the famous Redbeard pirate (aka Hayreddin Barbarossa) hayreddin barbarossa and his brothers. In 1530 Barbarossa captured the castle of Cabrera and set up camp there to use as his base. They would storm towns in Mallorca and if you were lucky they would only steal your possessions and burn your home. Not so lucky, they were killed or taken as slaves. Due to the constant menace of pirate attacks a series of lookout and defense towers were built across the island.

There were 84 towers built in the 16th century on the island but only about 50 them still exist today. Some are in good to great condition and some are deteriorating rapidly. The majority of them were built without foundations, the towers generally had between two and four levels and can be square, rectangular or circular in shape. The entrance was several meters above land and was reached by a rope ladder.

Joan Binimelis from Manacor designed a simple communication system of smoke signals during the day and fires at night. With it, neighboring watchtowers could be alerted, and the information was passed from tower to tower to the Almudaina in Palma.

I see these watchtowers all around Mallorca and while I knew they existed to warn villagers, towns, etc of pirate attacks I love learning even more about how they worked and when they were built. You can usually check out most of them. Some you can enter but most are closed up and you can just walk around it. Kinda like the one I like to hike to in S’Estanyol. I wrote about my hike to the lighthouse here but you can extend that and hike about 20-25 minutes more and get to the Torre de Estellella. It’s a non-strenuous walk along the coastline and the end site is worth it. Think of the history! The pirates! The people watching for those silly pirates! Arrggghh.

Here is how to get there:

S’Estanyol is a small town in the southeast of Mallorca, to arrive you would follow the MA-6015 to the end (arriving at S’Estanyol) and turn right. Park at the end of the road, after the S’Estanyol Club Nautico and get ready for your hike. Walk along the beach and you can either stay on the coastline or walk on a path through the pine trees. They smell so good! Follow the FAR signs. FAR is lighthouse in Catalan (faro in spanish). Just keep following that and soon you will arrive at the rocky coast where you will find this beautiful lighthouse.

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We always like to stop here for a beer. A picnic is a wonderful idea too. To continue onto the watchtower just keep along the water walking away from S’Estanyol and towards Cala Pi. The path will curve to the right and soon you will have the watchtower in sight.

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And the view towards the sea ain’t too shabby either.

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If these walls could talk. I would love to hear the stories!

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And there you have it. If you are in my neck of the woods please stop by Torre de Estellella. We would love to see you. Don’t forget the camera and some sunscreen! See ya there.