Time goes by, and suddenly... It´s Christmas again....
Season of greetings, and season to meet the family.
From Ibiza, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas with this self made card, from an image that comes from a small part of an aside altar of the cathedral of Ibiza, with this image of the Nativity. Hope you like it.
On December 3 Formentera celebrates the feast of Saint Francis Xavier (San Francisco Javier) and the main church of Formentera is dedicated to him. Simple as the island itself, this church stands in the middle of the largest population of the small island. White walls inside this temple and architectural features as churches of the pitiusas, and very big looking outside, reminding us that, even built as a temple when the anxieties of Berber incursions were about to end, it could still have been used as a fortress against these dangerous attacks in case of need to do so.
By then, on the island there was only one place of worship, was the small chapel of Sa Tanca Vella, and early on the eighteenth century it was decided by the Archbishop of Tarragona, from which depended the churches of Ibiza and Formentera, build a large church and that was performed on the year 1726, with the collaboration of all the inhabitants of the island. The main altar we see today (pictured above) was added after the Civil War since the original was burned during the war.
The Church today is located in the middle of the main square of the town of Sant Francesc, and in front of the small council. A beautiful square which is the main meeting place for tourists and locals. A small and limed well it gives local charm, and next to it, we can see the ancient and massive defensive walls of the church.
And of course, we also see the calvary (set of three crosses that are usually at the entrance of churches of Ibiza and Formentera) at the outside white wall. Formerly the exterior walls of the church were not painted, so it had a hard aspect of a large grey building, currently whitewashed in its main facade. All this turns in a much more Mediterranean look, and it gives a especial atmosphere to all the square.
Located at the tip of Ses Portes, or translated would tip of the doors, and that is that this point is one of the two most southern of Ibiza and is therefore the gateway to it from the south. Hence came many dangerous hazards privateering raids that shook with fear to the inhabitants of the island. Therefore a strategic point to use it as a surveillance. Today we can see just below the tower, a group of varadero houses for fishermen as small docks where some local people save their small boats.
This tower is in a rocky area, between the beaches of Cavallet and Mitjorn (traditionally known as salinas). During the summer growing a plant species with beautiful white flowers adorning a bit, the desolate landscape of this place. Sand and rocks are only mixed with some native plants and junipers called here "sabinas".
This tower was one of the few on the island to be armed with canons and guns, as its strategic location was vital to prevent hazards and from reaching the main city. Their presence is dated around the sixteenth century, and as we see in the picture below its seaward views here are stunning, because the area looks to "Es Freus" in that little string of islands between the main island and Formentera, from here it´s possible to see the display that had the towers of ses Portes and the s'Espalmador tower, two towers that were vital to the safety of the island. In the picture below you can also see the lighthouse islet des Penjats, or what is the same, "the hanged" and that there is precisely where the pirates were executed.
Autumn has come, now there are less tourists and it's time to start doing some winter hiking. This is another thing. Tourists who remain are the ones that comes here lifetime, those who know the island well, and they don´t want to come in July or August to avoid overcrowding mass. So today is the day to visit the Santa Eulalia´s River, the only river that exist out the spanish mainland.
Here we find a bridge (although there are many) and is located in a very nice area. It´s named as Pont de Can Font, and pass down the old way of Labritja. Today the municipality of Santa Eulalia (second largest population center of Ibiza) decided to leave a plaque to remember the ancient history of this road.
To get to the Pont de Can Font at this time of year, we must go by a torrent full of weeds and reeds with leaves that we must be aware, because they can cut like a knife .... This river in Roman times was named as River Valcar .
From one of the shores out of the River, we can see from afar the "Puig de Missa" in Santa Eulalia. A small hill crowned by the main church of the population, as well as several white houses that surround it. We can also see an old water mill in other side, and to top it all in a natural setting with an enviable tranquility..
The resort of San Antonio has a new attraction. This time we can go high and is perhaps the best places on the island where it could be located due to the impressive views onto the bay. On one hand we see the area of the countryside on the other, the big show ... The spectacular San Antonio´s bay, its beaches, harbor, boats and the far distance little islets called "ponent islets".
Both day and night, it's a good idea to take the around fifteen minutes flight to heaven, and have a privileged view and enjoy of the silence of the great heights with these spectacular views.
Suitable for everyone older and young it will not be indifferent, to see a piece of island from the air. And even best, if there´s the sunset. That famous sunset so loud somewhere nearby, has nothing to do with this one, so privileged because of the height that separates us from the earth ... then comes the time to go down and the back to reality, but for a while we left, not only our imaginations fly but ourselves too.
Located within the "salinas" of Ibiza, this small parish is dedicated to St. Francis of Paula, and known as Church of Sant Francesc de s'Estany or Ses Salines. Its charm lies, not only in being in one of the most spectacular places on the island, but the simplicity of the small temple. The new altar was inaugurated this year, thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of his pastor priest, that he performed it from old photographs that exist of the former ancient altarpiece. This new altar piece added some allegorical paintings on the life of St. Francis of Paula who is dedicated this parish church.
As architectural complay the fees of the Ibiza churches, should be white and simple but also it has the "honor" of being the smallest church on the island. Everything in here is small. Even paradoxically has his choir on the top floor, which are not all the churches of the island even being much bigger that have it.
Sometimes some details are small surprises, such as the font of holy water (pictured above) which is located right next to the narrow staircase that leads to the choir. when we look at the ceiling we will see the amount of wood beams on the rustic way of typical houses (at the countryside) of the island. This church was built in the early eighteenth century. Although it is believed that was built on a previously existing chapel on the fifteenth century to meet the religious needs of the salt men who work at the near salt mines, then became a church in the year 1785.
The people of this area are very proud of their small but beautiful church, most of the religious images have been donated by some of them, and inside there are enough images that have nothing to envy in size and in numbers to the other larger churches . One of the surprising things in this temple is a shield of Castile in its facade, the reason for that, is that after the Civil War the salt mines passed to belong to the crown rights due the conquest, and the crown was responsible for the religious purposes of this place, where lived of salt workers and residents of the neighboring orchards.
Concealed and hidden, discreet and charming, and totally urban beach, but surrounded by nature. A small little beach hidden in Puig des Molins. It´s not a sandy beach, but rather in the form of small gravel pebbles.
The name of the beach is surprising, since called Reco de ses dones, (corner of women), Why?, well it seems in old times, Women and Men were swimming separately, and this was the beach just for Ladys. It´s also known under the name of "salt of s'ase" (donkey´s jump), I'm ignoring why.
When we approach the coastal road that borders the Puig des Molins, the views are fantastic, and the green "ses pitreres" a Mediterranean cactus which there are numerous examples in the area and all over Ibiza , mixed green color with the blue sea and the ocher color of the rock.
In the background we have the long and famous "Playa den Bossa", much more built and more crowded than this one. By the way I take the picture above (on the bottom also appear) to take the chance to talk about these cactus (pitreres), just before it died grows from within a large branch that seems goes towards heaven. On this trunk is where in old times the ibicencs obtained the "Pitra" with which they were formerly wore shoes for the inhabitants of the island. They are beautiful plants, and also had their uses.
The access to the beach, we can not say that is easy at all, not too dificult neither. Once we are on the beach, the few people who we can find on it sunbathing or in shade (as here we find both), find a relaxed atmosphere, and a natural environment as a cave, so it is also known as "Cova de ses dones" (women´s cave). Different names for this small but peaceful place, protected by the small islet infront, that protects the beach.
Immortalized in the famous novel written by Vicente Blasco Ibanez, this tower was the star buildings of the novel "los muertos mandan" "the dead command," set in rural Ibiza in the early twentieth century but also takes parts in the capital of Mallorca. The actual name of the tower is "des cap des Jueu" or "des Savinar".
It is located directly opposite the stunning islands of Es Vedra and Vedranell. Es vedrá reaches near the 400 meters high, and it´s said that has a great magnetic power. Definitely a special place, a mythical island where once the Father Palau, was a hermit there in his religious reflections. More recently is alleged to be the base of alien spacecraft. In any case with or without spacecrafts, these islets are very impressive.
This tower that once served as a watchtower against the enemies of the islands as the pirates, and from here the population was warned when the danger came near, to refuge and hide them in to the nearest defensive towers of the towns or to the fortresses churches. It enjoys a wide and impressive view because is located more than 200 meters in a stunning cliff in the Cap des des Jueu, quite close to the mythical "Atlantis" in one side and the cove of Cala D'hort in to the other. In 1753 the construction was completed and is now a place to be visited especially in the evenings where you stunning sunsets can be watched from here, also on days when visibility permits, the coast of the Iberian peninsula belong to the province of Alicante can be also easyly seen.
Walking through the countryside of Ibiza we may find amazing surprises for those who love lavender (allow me, to dedicate this post to a wonderful girl who loves these plants). This shrub grows wild only in the western Mediterranean and is a symbol for an area of France (The Provence), where fields are covered all over with its lavender flowers of this lilac characteristic color of this plantation. Besides culinary uses also has its place in pharmacies devices, and also as medicinal plant as well as decorative.
But surprisingly also in Ibiza this plant is present in forests, and in many gardens or decorating in some roundabouts and public gardens. Also in this house is tastefully completely surrounded by lavender, and everywhere seem to have adapted well to the dry land, to the strong summer sun and to the damp winter of the island. Besides the lavender, the white walls of the rural house made a nice contrasting.
this house is in the rural north of the island. Its small size makes it a simple house and even increases their beauty. this house is located between forests, and with its white walls, green forests and lavender flowers make this place a beautiful and unique in Ibiza.
With its simple houses and buildings, the evergreen fields, make this island a unique island in winter and summer, perhaps in summer many people forget that the rural Ibiza interior also exists, to the detriment of the beaches and coasts which are full of people, that makes that we opted for the inside Ibiza for enjoy more the solitude of these beautiful spots.
Draws attention both: its fragility and its situation on most occasions, due they are located in where you least expect them. Isolated on the rocks with nothing around, there are these little docks where local fishermen retain on the land, their small boats.
Their fragility is striking, although the Mediterranean sea almost always is calm, severe storms sometimes arise in a short time and are very aggressive so tend to destroy everything in its path, as the more fragile things. Perhaps that fragility of these varaderos, does as the bamboo canes do with the wind, bend, but not break.
So at open air and over a rocky place, these small boats will wait for the owner to go back to sea in a fishing day, where the sailor hopes to provide a good basket of fish to home, and after enjoy dinner or lunch with family or friends.
These docks (in the pictures) are located very close to the beautiful white sand beach that is located on the northwest coast of the island of Formentera and known as "Cala Saona." A walk through reddish rocks lead us to this small bay where we will run into these fragile-looking wood, that seems improvised small docks and boats that are in absolute isolation and there, boats will expect their owners for sail together on the old "Mare Nostrum".
FARO DE GINEBRA
FEUX DES PAQUIS (GENEVE)
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COURT OF ARMS
SHIELD OF THE ISLAND
THE FLAG OF IBIZA
The flag of Ibiza has the background of the former Kingdom of Aragon, and over it there are four castles over the sea.
THE FLAG OF FORMENTERA
The background is the flag of the former Kingdom of Aragon. And over it there is a shield with a watchtower over the sea and a background of blue sky, and over the tower two golden ears of wheat due that roman times Formentera was called "Frumentaria" (Land of wheat).