Photography ~ Port d’Alcúdia

P O R T  D ‘ A L C Ú D I A :: M A L L O R C A

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

The cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Have you been? They are breathtaking! So beautiful. We had just finished exploring the Ring of Kerry the day before and headed northwest to check them out the day before we had to head back home. Film buffs will recognize them as the cliffs of insanity from the movie The Princess Bride. (LOVE that movie. so good)

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The cliffs are one of Ireland’s most famous tourist destinations receiving over one million tourists every year. They’re in Clare county and located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region. The cliffs consist of mainly Namurian shale and sandstone and it’s possible to see 300-million-year-old river channels cutting through at the base of the cliffs. 300 million years old? Wow.

I was really REALLY wanting to see a puffin. I think they are one of the cutest birds ever. Sadly, we didn’t see any (insert sad face) but maybe you’ll be luckier. If so, please send a picture.

You are free to walk along the cliffs. There aren’t any guard rails so if you have young children please make sure to watch them. I was astonished at so many people sitting on the edge with their feet dangling! It made my stomach drop a bit. Cuz you know, one slip and well, I’d think you’re a goner.

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The day was a bit hazy when we were there. But still gorgeous.

O’Brien’s Tower is located at the highest point of the cliffs. It was built in 1835 by Sir Cornellius O’Brien as an observation tower for Victorian tourists but is also rumored to have been built for a woman he was courting. On a clear day the view can extend as far as Loop Head at the southern tip of Clare and beyond to the mountains of Kerry. Looking north from O’Brien’s Tower on clear days, the Twelve Bens in Connemara, beyond Galway Bay can be seen, and typically the Aran Islands to the west.

The cliffs are a must see when in Ireland. Don’t forget to add them to your sightseeing list. I’m off to watch The Princess Bride again.

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2018 Resolutions

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My 2018 Resolutions.

Paint more

Write more

Declutter/Organize House

Visit a new country

Quit trying to please everyone

Do the best I can in everything I do

Practice gratitude

Do things that challenge me

Try a new recipe once a month

I think that’ll do it for now. How about you? Did you make any resolutions you care to share?

 

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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It’s Fall Y’all

Happy Fall Y’all!!

Today is the autumn equinox when the sun will be shining directly on the Earth’s equator, bringing equal amounts of daylight and darkness. But my cat doesn’t really care, as long as she can roll in the leaves and bring the dirt into the house.

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Did you know? The fall equinox only arrives on Friday, Sept. 22 for the northern hemisphere of the earth. In the southern hemisphere, Sept. 22 is the vernal or spring equinox. So, my amigas in Australia are celebrating for spring.

And soon we can see the leaves changing. Why? Well, thank goodness I’ve been brushing up on my Natural Science skills to tell you. At the end of summer, the decreased daylight and cooler temperatures cause chlorophyll to break down and that exposes other pigments that cause the brilliant yellow, orange, red leaves of fall. That was one of my favorite things to do when living on the East Coast, driving around looking at all those brilliant colors. It’s called leaf peeping, btw.

But really, I’m just excited for the pumpkins. Soon my house will look something like this.

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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.