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10 posts from November 2011

11/28/2011

Soller with CIEE Palma de Mallorca Palma in the Mediterranean class, by A Morgan

Andrea 1Name: Andea Morgan

Semester: Spring 2011 Liberal Arts

School: Gustavus Adolfus College

After la Raixa, we went to Soller, a small pueblo on the northern end of Mallorca to see a modernist museum. I was definitely not a huge fan.The sculptures were really cool, and the architecture of the building was awesome, but the paintings were kind of ridiculous. One, for example, was literally popsicle sticks and a torn up cardboard box glued to a canvas. If that´s all it takes to be in a national museum, just about every kindergardner ever should have his work featured. Dumb. There were some cool pieces, but overall, I just didn´t care much for the artwork.

Museo soller3

I said the architecture was my favorite part-these stairs were pretty sweet


Soller, though, is a really cute town. It was Sunday, though, so most things are closed. Here are some pictures anyway :)

Soller 3
Museo soller 4

more cool architecture-this is the outside of the museum,

and you can see the sweet shapes of the windows-they´re all different

After Soller, we went to La Granja, which was easily my favorite part. It might be the best thing I´ve seen on Mallorca so far.

The Granja is a huge estate- basically, the way I understand it, is very similar to a Southern plantation. It was absolutely beautiful, and was the first convent on the island. The cool thing was that all the rooms were set to look exactly like they did when people lived here, with original pieces of furniture/tools/whatever else would have been used in the specific room. I think my favorite part (which I didn´t get a picture of, because it was so big) was the cellar with the olive press. This farm made its own olive oil (my new favorite thing) and the aparatus was so sweet! It was this HUGE stone cone on top of a round stone base. A horse would be attached to the cyllinder and walk around the stone base. The cyllinder on top rolled on the base which had olives on it, so they were pressed, and the oil was drained out. There´s a long process that follows, but this part was really cool to me!
Granja 5
meat curing station (clearly my favorite!)

Granja 16
look closely at how creepy these toys are. I would definitely

NEVER have played with toys if these were my options

Granja 8 more rapids-water power used on the grounds

Granja 9 home-made home-dyed wool

This was definitely reminiscent of a Renaissance fair (except it is much older) because it was really a display of everyday life when this farm was in its prime (it´s still functioning, but now the main drive is obviously tours).


Funny story: there was a show going on with a man and a falcon. I´m not exactly sure what he was doing, but he walked around with it on his arm for a while, and then released it with some dramatic music. The falcon flew away, and never came back. It was clearly meant to, becasue the man apologized after a few minutes when the falcon was nowhere to be seen! It was quite humorous.

11/25/2011

Becoming oriented in paradise, by Rhonda Crittle

RhondaRhonda Crittle, George Washington University

Its very easy to get distracted with so much beauty everywhere. I have to keep asking myself, "Is this real?" After having lunch and meeting each other, we received our own folders filled with information, maps, and schedules. Oddly, I smiled when I saw the Calendar of Activities for this semester. Finally, I'm back to an academic, intellectually stimulating, color coded schedule. How great it is to have a plan of action of how I will accomplish and see so much. Yes, its a nerd/ type A personality thing. No, I can't help it. Moving on.

Five minutes after we got our pertinent info, we walked, walked, and walked around the immediate central area. It is beautiful, but treacherous. First street knowledge I gained was to be aware of the cars. There are no sidewalks, some curbs here and there. The streets will trick you into believing that it is suppose to be a sidewalk for pedestrians because they are the same size or smaller than the sidewalks in the States. Falso! Cars can go anywhere that they can fit. If they can't fit, listen out for the mopeds and motorcycles as well. Here are some photos of the streets, and these are unusually large.


After all that walking, we enjoyed our first meal together. It was a form of tapas, but not exactly. Sorry, I didn't catch the name, but I will find out. We used bread and tomatoes as utensil and enjoyed several dishes. It was perfect. I was so tired from the tour that I just ate what was in front of me, sin carne por supuesto (without meat of course). Yup, I am going strong, and I really don't notice a difference between my meal and everyone else's meal. There are always so many options on the table at EVERY meal, and EVERYONE is so helpful and understanding. I feel fortunate and satisfied después de cada comida (after each meal)!

So we finished eating at about 10:30. Even though it was a Tuesday night, we HAD to go out and welcome ourselves to Palma. We toasted to the semester, and made it our own fiesta. We stayed at a place called Funky Buddha. It was a fun, long night, on top of the day of traveling and inevitable jet lag!

As a result of our evening/morning, we did not make our 10 o'clock meeting Wednesday morning. Sadly, the guys made us look bad, as both rooms of ladies overslept. I was shocked. Oversleeping on the first day?!? I set an alarm. I remember hearing it, but I just didn't respond. At 10:08, we awoke to the phone ringing, which was right next to my head. It was a our "Guardian Angel (GA)", like a peer mentor, Ali. We scrambled and stumbled to get ready; nevertheless, my two roommates and I were actually able to make it down by 10:25. We were all impressed with our efficiency.

Lesson Learned: A full DAY of travel+An eventful NIGHT out=DEEP sleeping!


This is the front of our very eco-friendly, charming hotel and restaurant. It kind of reminds me of somewhere else. 

 

11/21/2011

Raixa with Palma in the Mediterranean CIEE Palma de Mallorca, by A Morgan, March 28 (Sp 11)

Andrea 1

Name: Andea Morgan

Semester: Spring 2011 Liberal Arts

School: Gustavus Adolfus College

Sunday, we had an all-day excursion. We went to three historical sites all over Mallorca, which was really cool, but by the end I was really tired. This was unfortunate, because the last place we went to was absolutely the most interesting, and the best as well.. Anyway.

First we went to the Raixa, an Arab land posession from when the Moors conquered Mallorca in the 1200s. It was so beautiful, because it has these fabulous expansive gardens and is really ancient and the architecture is so cool, but what bothered me is that the Mallorcan government recently bought the property and is restoring it.. so it´s this fabulous and beautiful historic site..that just happens to have sheetrock walls? I don´t know, it seems foolish to me to refinish a national landmark... like maybe the Roman government should fix the Collisseum? hmm. Anyway, here are some pictures of what I thought was beautiful here.

Raixa 1

Raixa 2
Raixa 3

statue of the owner of the posesión (and my professor standing next to it)  



11/18/2011

Palma, a city with a long history 1, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Every student who took my class knows how much fun it can be learning about the history of the Mediterranean. Let me introduce myself: I am Toni Vives, the professor of the CIEE class "Palma in the Mediterranean" taught in Palma de  Mallorca, Spain.  Through a series of posts I will introduce you to the rich history of Palma de Mallorca. Follow me every Friday!

Palma is the political and economical center of the Balearic Islands, gathering roughly half of Majorca's population. Its strategic position was known to the Romans already in 123 BC. Later it entered a period of decadence and was rebuilt by the Muslims of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba starting with 902 AD. By then the name of Palma had vanished and the city had come to be known as Madina Mayurqa, which means city of Majorca.

Bellver castle

view of the city with Bellver Castle (gothic)

Its current historic district was defined by the remodeling and expansion of the wall, around this time. The Catalan-Aragonese conquest led by King James I "the conqueror" in 1229 brought to the Kingdom of Majorca with Madina Mayurqa as its capital. The archipelago will soon become part of the Kingdom of Aragon. After the War of Succession started in 1715, the islands fall into the control of the Castilian system.

Catedral al atardecer

Cathedral (gothic) by sunset

In 19th century, specifically in 1833, came to be just another province of Spain. After having been constricted for centuries within its walls, in 19th century strengthened its economic lead of Majorca as well as of the other islands. In 1902, with the demolition of the renaissance city walls and the building of a large "Ensanche" (widening), the city experienced a considerable growth going from 65,421 habitants in 1940 to 111,405 in 1940.

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Almudaina Palace

In Spanish:

Palma es el centro político y económico de las Illes Balears y concentra aproximadamente la mitad de la población de Mallorca. Su posición estratégica ya fue descubierta por los romanos allá por el 123 a.C. Después decayó y fue reconstruida por los musulmanes del emirato omeya de Córdoba a partir del 902. Entonces, el nombre de Palma posiblemente ya había desaparecido y pasó a denominarse Madina Mayurqa, o lo que es lo mismo, ciudad de Mallorca o Mallorcas. Su actual casco antiguo se debe a la remodelación y ampliación de su muralla, que es de esta época. La conquista catalana-aragonesa llevada a cabo por el rey Jaime I «El Conquistador» en el año 1229 supondría la creación del denominado Reino de Mallorca y la Madina Mayurqa su capital. El archipiélago pasaría a formar parte de la Corona de Aragón. Después de la Guerra de Sucesión, a partir de 1715, es cuando las Islas pasarían a estar regidas por el sistema castellano. En el siglo XIX, y más concretamente en 1833, se convertirá en una provincia española más. Recluida durante siglos, dentro de sus murallas, en el siglo XIX reforzó el papel como capital económica de Mallorca e incluso de las Baleares. En 1902, con la demolición de las murallas renacentistas y el inicio de la construcción de un gran ensanche, la ciudad conoció un gran crecimiento y pasó de los 65.421 habitantes en 1900 a los 114.405 en 1940.


11/16/2011

Healthy people, fall 2011

2010Name: Antonia Ferriol, RD

On october 15-16, the CIEE Palma de Mallorca fall 2011 group spent two days walking in the mountains of Mallorca. We slept in a mountain refugee by the sea, near a lighthouse and an unbelievable view of Soller's harbour. Spending time in this beautiful nature, without any classes stress helped us to get to know each other really well.

 

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Another activity we have done this semester is biking along the coast of Palma. As you can see, we like hiking, biking, walking, swimming... It is possible to be abroad and healthy :-)

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Thanks to Matt Mantikas for letting me use his pictures for this post

11/14/2011

An Island Man, by Matt Mantikas, Fall 2011 study abroad with CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Blog PicName: Matt Mantikas

CIEE Palma de Mallorca Fall 2011

University: Colby College

 No Man is an Island. So, what is one man on an island surrounded by women? Most  would say lucky. Those with similar experiences would say unlucky. I call it a blessing in disguise.

Going into this semester, I had the classic mythical preconception of what to expect from study abroad. You know: a few classes, a little bit of Spanish, some tapas and a whole lot of crazy partying. Minus the tapas part, I don’t think I could have had more incorrect expectations.

I chose this program because of Palma’s small size, but I didn’t know that a small city and small program went hand in hand. Who doesn’t want to live on a Mediterranean island for three and a half months? Clearly hundreds of CIEE students across other parts of Spain, but that’s beside the point. Our group of six is the only thing that matters.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed with my group for the first few weeks of the program. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was and still is extremely nice, it’s just that female drama is something that I do my best to avoid and there was no means of evading it once I got to Palma. Fed up and forlorn, I missed my friends back at Colby more than I ever have.

Normally, study abroad groups are big enough that friendships are made organically: small friend groups emerge out of common interests, not obligation. However, being six people, our situation was the latter. We were obligated to spend a lot of time together, and this definitely caused unnecessary tension. I had a hard time dealing with this initially, but as time has progressed, we’ve grown closer as a group and I also no longer see the first few weeks in such a negative light.

I still miss my friends at home, but I’ve come to the conclusion that studying abroad is best done “alone”.  I’m obviously not really alone here, but I think it’s the best word to describe the situation. Studying abroad is perceived to be a semester-long vacation, but in reality, it’s a true taste of the real world.

Take away the preconceptions: prior friends in the same program/region, the party scene, the American ways of life that we take for granted, etc. Take this all away and what do you have? A student living in a new place with a completely new schedule, a new language, and very different customs. It would be all too easy to fall back on a preexisting group of friends and not become truly immersed. Given the opportunity, I would absolutely take this path of least resistance.

The right group of people can make any situation enjoyable and I miss the group that does this for me. However, feeling isolated forces and requires a great amount of self discovery, and that is what study abroad is really about. My group will be there for me when I get back to Colby and I definitely look forward to our reunion, but for the time being, this is a rare opportunity to explore not only a new location, but also a new definition of myself.

Blog Pic 2
We all had different reasons for choosing this program, but the common denominator is independence. Whether conscious or not, thoughts of independence are always associated with islands. I like being self-dependent and I think that this freedom is the best aspect of our program. We each have our own island within this island. With different families, classes, and activities, we have completely separate daily lives, and whether we knew it beforehand or not, this is exactly what drew us here in the first place. We have a fantastic group of directors and professors and the individual attention that we’re given is what sets us apart from the mass of massive programs. As I’ve stated, the big programs obviously have their advantages, but ultimately, for such a short period of time, sacrificing full immersion for social reasons makes no sense.

I’ve been to some awesome places during my weekend travels, but there’s nothing like coming back home to Palma. Home: a commonly used word, but a very meaningful one in this situation. Mallorca is my home and I’ve only recently begun to appreciate how lucky I am to live here. Put all the negatives aside; I have no reason to complain. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I’d be wasting my time if I were doing anything but making the most of it. The weeks have flown by already and before we know it we’ll be back to the daily U.S. grind, missing the “good old days” of study abroad. Until then, I’ll be enjoying every day here. Until then, I am an island man.

11/11/2011

CIEE Excursions in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, by Evan Latoure

 

11/09/2011

Learning through field study excursions, Fall 2011

2010

Name: Antonia Ferriol, RD

We are half through the semester. All the students are taking at least one regular class with other Spanish students at the University (UIB). In these classes, our students not only learn about the topic of the class, but also about the Spanish educational system, the culture of the classroom, and how Spanish students learn and communicate in the class.

This semester, four students are enrolled in the class Cultural Encounters in Spain offered by the UIB just for International students. In this class, the professor Rosa Coto teaches about the culture, traditions, art, and history of Spain. Students have to do group field research in Palma, and therefore spend a lot of time in the streets and with the locals to learn about the city in real life. The class together visited with a guide the north of the island, the tower of Canyamel, and a cave named the Cave of the Pirates.

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Two students are taking Introduction to Everyday Catalan. Students went to a flea market in a village of Mallorca where they learnt about gastronomy and traditions of the islanders. 

IMG_2564Jamones and Sobrasadas, delicious Mallorcan meats




 

 

11/07/2011

3-day excursion to Granada with CIEE Palma, by Andrea Morgan, March 8 (Spring 11)

Andrea 1

Name: Andea Morgan

Semester: Spring 2011 Liberal Arts

School: Gustavus Adolfus College

 

This is about to be a big undertaking. This weekend was absolutely fabulous and I loved Granada so much! We did A LOT and I am going to write about all of it and put pictures. That said, if you don´t have a lot of time, maybe don´t start to read until later, becuase this is going to be looooong :D

Granada 1Friday we met up at about 2:00 to head to the Palma airport. Of course, I was frantically packing until the very last minute, which seems to just be a theme of my life when I travel. We were flying Air Europa, which I have never done before, but I  knew that the carry-on limits were extreme.I kept getting nervous that my backpack was too big or too heavy, so I ended up just taking my big stupid pink purse. Everything I needed fit, but it was way cumbersome and annoying to have everything in a bag that doesn´t really shut. I would have been totally fine with my backpack, which is good to know for when I have to pack for Semana Santa (10 days of my life and three countries defintely won´t fit into that purse). Everything went completely smoothly, we got on the plane on time and made it to Granada earlier than we expected. This gave us some time to walk around the city for a while and explore a bit.

Granada2La Alhambra from the city

After walking around for a while, we went to a Flamenco show. It was so cool; the bar had been converted from caves into a restaurant, which was awesome, and the dancing was amazing. It was completely different from what I expected Flamenco to be, because only one dancer danced at a time; apparently authentic Flamenco is a solo show, not a dance with two people. I liked it a lot, although parts of it were kinda funny. It´s a lot of violent tapping and stomping with the feet, which sounds really cool and looks sweet as well, but at times, the dancers' faces showed that it hurt them, and it looked to me like they were throwing a tantrum. Stamping and flailing their hands everywhere haha.At the end, the dancers pulled up a few people from our group to dance, which was hilarious! We also befriended some Japanese kids which was fun as well :)

Granada 3
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After the Flamenco show, we went back to our hotel to sleep before the loooong day ahead. We woke up on Saturday, and left for the Alhambra, and spent about five hours seeing it. It is probably the most beautiful thing I´ve seen here. The gardens and fountains were spectacular, and then we went in the palace, which was unbelievable. It was the Arabic palace when they took over Granada, so the architecture and decoration was absolutely amazing and so different from anything I´ve ever seen! My favorite part, though, by far, was the view. The Alhambra is 3km uphill from the city, so you can see everything. There are mountains in the distance, and every single angle of the city is breathtaking. I took way too many pictures, and of course they don´t adequately represent what we saw, but alas.

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Granada9 walking with the ipod dock

More pictures to come as well, because other people took some great ones that I plan on stealing (esp ones with people actually in them)
After the Alhambra, we went to lunch and then back to the hotel for a siesta. May I say that, not being much of a nap person, the siesta has really grown on me. Anyway, this was a serious nap, and it lasted a little more than two hours. We weren´t messing around. We got up and then got ready to go out and see nighttime Granada. It was Carnaval this weekend, which is pretty much like Halloween, but without the scary part. People were dressed up all day, and we decided that we were gonna go out in costume. A couple of guys from our group went out and bought some sombreros and we were a Mariachi band. One person in our group has a friend who is studying in Granada for the semester, so before we went anywhere, we went and hung out at his apartment for awhile. Ok, this next part may be my favorite part of the whole night :) We had a portable iPod dock, so as we were walking to the apartment, in our sombreros, we were playing music. Everyone was stopping to watch us walk by. It was hilarious and so much fun. We hung out at the apartment for a while, and then went to a bar and then the discos. I had so much fun.

Granada10 mustache bash


Granada11
probably my favorite picture of the night

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Sunday we had to be up early again, so that was no fun. We went to the Catedral and then to the market. This was amazing, becasue it´s so different from the markets in Palma. Granada is full of Moorish influence and such, so the things there are all very Arabic in style. I bought a fabulous tapestry for hanging on the wall (Rachel, get excited!) We then went to a tetería, which is a traditional teahouse. This was one of the coolest restaurants/drink place/whatever you could call it I´ve ever been in. The tables were low, and we sat on cushions, and there was incense burning and the ambience was just really cool. You all know how I feel about tea, so I ordered a café Árabe, which is coffee with cardamom. Not sure what that means, other than that it was delicious.

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a pretty lame picture, but it gives teh idea of how the place looked

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 I would be all over stealing this table, but I´m pretty sure they would have seen me.

It was a pretty small place.

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After tea, it was time to get our stuff for our flight back to Palma. Unfortunately, our trip back was more in line with the theme of my stay in Europe, which is "A Series of Public Transportation Fails". You´ll all remember the bus that left us at the stop and  the train that hit the donkey. Our flight out of Granada was delayed for 2.5 hours. Of course we didn´t know until we had arrived, so we had to just hang in the airport for a few hours. This sucked because 1) we were absolutely exhausted, that siesta being the most sleep most of us had had over the course of the weekend and 2) this airport was a hallway with 5 terminals, meaning that there was nothing interesting to do. We ended up playing cards and name that tune with the iPod dock until our plane decided to show up.

11/03/2011

Playas and parasols, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain, by Evan LaToure