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4 posts from November 2015

11/26/2015

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, by Caroline Schulte - CIEE Palma de Mallorca 2015

El otro día después de clase vimos a una película de Pedro Almodóvar, un director muy famoso en España y en los Estados Unidos. Ha ganado dos premios Oscar y es más famoso por sus películas de miedo. Sin embargo, Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios es una de sus comedias. Trata de las mujeres que se vuelven l0cas por amor y como ellas reaccionan cuando un hombre rompe su relación con ellas. Hay gazpacho envenenado con somníferos, una mujer con dos pistolas, acusaciones del terrorismo y más. La película es de los años ochenta, pero a mi me encanta- no hay algo más siniestro que una mujer desdeñada. Al final de la película, todas las mujeres se dan cuenta de que el protagonista, Iván, no vale la pena. Para mí, era el mensaje perfecto para las mujeres de todo el mundo: si alguien no te quiere, no vale la pena. Es más importante estar con alguien que piensa que tú eres la persona más importante y buenísima de todo el mundo. Yo tengo mucha suerte porque ahora yo tengo mucha gente que vale la pena en mi vida. ¿Es verdadera para usted? ¿Cómo puede mejorar sus relaciones? Es algo en que puedes pensar.

Today after class we watched a Pedro Almodóvar movie- he’s a really famous director in both Spain and the United States. He’s won two Oscars and he’s most famous for his horror films. However, the film we watched- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown happens to be one of his comedies. The movie talks about women who end up going crazy because of love and what kinds of crazy things they end up doing because the love of their life has decided to end their relationship for one with another women. There is gazpacho laced with sleeping pills, a lady with two pistols, accusations of terrorism in Madrid and more! The movie was made in the 1980s, but I love it- there is nothing more sinister than a woman scorned. At the end of the movie, all of the women end up deciding that the protagonist, Ivan, is not worth all of their pain. I thought that this was a perfect message for women all over the world- if someone doesn’t want you or love you, they aren’t worth your time- its more important to find someone who thinks that you are the most important and wonderful person in the whole world. I am so lucky because I have so many people in my life who I believe feel this way about me and who I think are quite wonderful as well. Is that true for you?How can you make your relationships better? Just something to think about.

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cieepalmademallorca

Blog: http://study-abroad-blog-palma.ciee.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cieepalma

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/ireland/dublin/dublin-to-palma-summer-tourism-in-europe

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/palma-to-kralendijk-summer-marine-science

11/19/2015

FAREWELL MALLORCA, by Samantha Mackiewicz - CIEE Palma de Mallorca Summer 2015

 My last few days in Mallorca were fun and memorable, but also very bittersweet. On Thursday afternoon we went to the Macia Batle winery in Santa Maria, which was very interesting. They gave us a tour of the winery where they make over a million bottles of wine a year! The process takes a very long time and is done very well. Thursday evening I continued to work on my presentation that I would give in class on Friday. Working on my project also involved eating more ice cream because how else could I work on my presentation!?

Friday morning, my group and I presented our presentation on the implications of building a marina in Mallorca. We compared the status of different beaches in Mallorca and made suggestions as to which would be more suitable for a marina. Ultimately, the project taught us that the building of a marina is always bad for the environment so ideally no marinas should be built. Watching the beaches in Mallorca deteriorate anymore would be extremely sad. I really loved my class in Mallorca. It supported all of the things I learn about marine policy at URI, but with a Mediterranean twist. Whether I’m on the Atlantic or the Mediterranean, I love learning about all things ocean policy and conservation. I’m so lucky to have a major that I truly love! After our presentation, the entire program went out to lunch as a final farewell. It was really nice to sit down with everyone one last time. I really did have an awesome group of people to spend time with in Mallorca! Friday night I enjoyed a night out on the town with my friends celebrating the end of the program.

On Saturday we took our last day trip to the Caves of Drach and Porto Cristo located on the Eastern side of the island. First we went to the caves which were absolutely amazing! As we walked down the stairs into the caves we saw just how huge they were! There were multiple “rooms” in the cave with huge stalactites and stalagmites. There was even a lake within the cave. At the lake, there were rows of benches where we sat for a special convert. After everyone was seated, the lights were turned off and then we could see a faint light at the far end of the lake. Slowly, the light became brighter and we could hear beautiful classical music. There were three boats lit up that glided across the water in front of  where we were sitting with musicians on board. The music was lovely and the concert was truly a sight to see! After the caves, my friends and I went to the beach in Port Cristo. It absolutely gorgeous! On the left side of the beach, huge cliffs lead down into the sea. We spent the afternoon swimming and napping on the beach before heading back to Palma. That night we went to a tapas place we had wanted to try all month! It was called Tast and it was absolutely delicious! We got a variety of tapas from patatas bravas to padron peppers. And then of course we got ice cream after because we are seriously obsessed with the ice cream in Mallorca!

Sunday was my last full day in Mallorca and I was really feeling sad as I spent the morning packing my belongings to leave. In the afternoon we went to the Illetas beach one last time where I had a great afternoon with friends. Then we got our favorite ice cream from Can Miquel before saying goodbye! I was so lucky to have found such great friends in Mallorca and I am truly going to miss them all so much. There’s something about the bond you make with people you travel with. It brings you very close together and you share amazing experiences with one another. I have my study abroad friends to thank for making my month in Mallorca that much more amazing. That night I spent some time with my host mom Gemma who I was also sad to say bye to. She treated me so well and always made sure I was alright. I hope to return to Mallorca someday and visit her again and hopefully she can visit the U.S. someday too!

My month in Mallorca was absolutely incredible. You can’t go wrong with a place that looks like a tropical island and has an amazing Spanish culture. It truly felt like home to me and I’m going to miss it so much. I will never forget the memories I made there and I will always be grateful for the month I got to live on my island in the Mediterranean. Mallorca.. you have truly stolen my heart and this is not a goodbye but a see you later. Thank you for one of the best months of my entire life.

Macia Batle winery

Macia Batle winery

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Caves of Drach

Caves of Drach

Caves of Drach

Port Cristo beach

Port Cristo beach

Some of my friends and I in Illetas for the last time!

Some of my friends and I in Illetas for the last time!

The last sunset in Palma from my apartment.

The last sunset in Palma from my apartment.

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cieepalmademallorca

Blog: http://study-abroad-blog-palma.ciee.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cieepalma

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/ireland/dublin/dublin-to-palma-summer-tourism-in-europe

11/12/2015

El Castillo Bellver, by Caroline Schulte - CIEE Palma de Mallorca 2015

El Castillo Bellver es un de los sitios más hermosos en toda la isla. La palabra Bellver significa “bella vista” en catalán antiguo- está en el suroeste de Palma. Tiene vistas muy bonitas y es un sitio para toda la familia. El castillo tiene much historia- fue construido en el siglo XIV por Pere Salvá para el rey Jaime el segundo, era su castillo de las vacaciones. Pero, Jaime no es el único rey que usó el castillo- varios miembros de la monarquía- como Jaime el tercero, Juan el primero de Aragón y varios virreyes lo usaron para muchas cosas.  No era sola para residencia, Juan de Aragón lo usó pars escapar la peste y en el siglo  XIV lo usó como cárcel durante la reina Violante y después en el siglo XIX durante la guerra Independencia Española.

Es importante entender que El castillo no es famoso solo para su historia, sino para su diseño. Salvá lo construyó en el estilo gótica- que es un estilo tipico de otros edificios de Palma. Es el primer tipo de castillo en España y era la segunda de esto estilo en toda Europa- toda su estructura es rodada, como el patio, las torres y.  Tiene cuatro torres, y una de las torres es más grande que las otras- se llama la torre de homenaje. Este torre proveyó defensa al Castillo. Abajo de la torre hay una cisterna que tiene un aljibe que tuvo toda el agua del castillo. Ahora la pública usa el patio para conciertos.

En los cuartos del Castillo el Ayuntamiento de Palma ha creado un pequeño museo con artefactos, estatuas y información sobre el Castillo. Puede aprender sobre los prisoneros más famosos- como Gaspar Melcho Jovellanos y el Cardenal Despuig. Jovellanos escribió muchos libros cuando estaba encarcelado y hizo una descripcion del Castillo y habló mucho de la flora y fauna también. Si le gusta la historia y quiere aprender algo sobre Palma- el Castillo Bellver es para usted. Si va el domingo es gratis para todas las personas.

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Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cieepalmademallorca

Blog: http://study-abroad-blog-palma.ciee.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cieepalma

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/ireland/dublin/dublin-to-palma-summer-tourism-in-europe

11/05/2015

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: PALMA AQUARIUM, by Naomi Pohl - CIEE Palma de Mallorca 2015

Yesterday our class took a trip to the Palma aquarium, which is the largest aquarium in Europe.

We got to the aquarium just as it opened. Our professor seems to know a few of the workers there (of course) so we got a personal introduction to the aquarium and were the first of the day to go on the Shark Vision Boat. It’s a small square boat with a glass bottom that moves over their largest tank–the shark tank. “Big Blue,” as they call the tank, holds 3.5 million liters of salt water (just under 100,000 gallons), is 8.5 meters deep (28 feet), and houses more than twenty different species of sharks, fish, and sting rays. The tank is the deepest shark tank in Europe. As we moved across the water, I was amazed at how calm the sharks were. They floated underneath us very slowly and peacefully. There were plenty of fish and sting rays in the tank, but the sharks didn’t attack them as one might expect. Sharks seem to get a bad reputation by the media, and can be dangerous creatures at times, so I was in awe with how nonchalant the majestic animals were. The aquarium has an option to dive with the sharks, but I wasn’t quite comfortable enough with them yet…

The aquarium is broken into different geographical areas including Mediterranean, tropical, and rainforest. A unique feature throughout the aquarium is that they only use live corals. Other aquariums use synthetic corals and substrates, but the staff at Palma aquarium are proud of the fact that they grow real corals. We first walked through the Mediterranean section, where I quickly noticed my class was easily the oldest age group there. The exhibits were so incredible that I didn’t even care. We saw fish that reflected like mirrors, baby sting rays, and some crazy colored anemones (likeAnemonia viridis). There was even a set of tanks side-by-side in the tropical section that contained many of the fish from Finding Nemo. Nemo the Clown Fish, Dory the Pacific Regal Blue Tang, Gill the Moorish Idol, Tad the Longnose Butterflyfish, and Bubbles the Yellow Tang were suspiciously close to one another. Still wondering if they did that on purpose.

My favorite part of the exhibit was the jellyfish section. It was only one main room with one large tank in its center–an upright tube that contained at least two dozen jellyfish of all different sizes. The room was dark except for a color-changing light in the tank that made the jellyfish glow. They floated around so gracefully even though some of their tentacles were gigantic and intimidating. The effect was breathtaking (see pictures below).

The aquarium’s mission statement is “learning and understanding in order to appreciate and protect,” and I think they did a wonderful job of achieving this. I felt like a kid again as I saw new beautiful species everywhere I turned. I haven’t been to an aquarium as far as I can remember, so walking through the different exhibits gave me a greater appreciation for how mysterious and diverse our oceans are; I also saw how delicate the organisms were. The aquarium trip was an incredible last excursion for our class.

Today has been filled with hours of work on our final presentation, but it’s finally coming together. I’ll talk more about what we did in the next post. For now, enjoy these pictures of the aquarium!

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Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cieepalmademallorca

Blog: http://study-abroad-blog-palma.ciee.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cieepalma

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/ireland/dublin/dublin-to-palma-summer-tourism-in-europe