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4 posts from September 2015

09/24/2015

CABRERA’S CAVES, by Naomi Pohl - CIEE Palma de Mallorca Summer 2015

Today was truly an incredible day. It may have been my favorite day abroad yet. I thought I had seen most of Mallorca’s landscapes, but I was very wrong. We took an excursion to the National Park islet of Cabrera, which is about 10 miles off the south coast of Mallorca. It has been a protected area since the late 1980s (before which it was used by the military) so it’s a beautifully pristine environment. We took an hour-long boat ride there, and it was interesting to see the landscape changes from the Port of Colònia de Sant Jordi to the islet. The port was filled with boats (obviously) and although the water was fairly clear, there wasn’t any seagrass or visible marine life. As we approached the islet, some people saw dolphins and the water became crystal clear and bright turquoise and we saw vegetation on the small islands we passed. It was like a whole different place.

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View from the boat ride to the island.

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Nora explores Cabrera.

Once we got to Cabrera, we took a quick but steep 15-minute hike up to a small fortress that overlooks the island. Today was really hot and unusually humid for Spain, so by the time we reached the top we were pretty tired. The view was worth it, though. We could see the hills and the white houses of the (three!) island residents and the blue, blue ocean. We also saw lots of plants; it’s surprisingly lush for a sandy island.

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The view from a fortress on the island.

Of course after the hike we went straight to the ocean (like, bellyflopped in). The water was warm and clear and we saw lots of marine life while snorkeling. Professor Mateu also snorkeled with us and helped identify different organisms. We saw a huge Echinaster sepositus (Google it–you won’t be disappointed) and sea grasses and many types of fish. It was surreal swimming through schools of tiny silver fish and then coming face-to-face with a two-foot long gray fish. There weren’t many tourists on the island, and the ecosystem reflected that. Pictures to come!

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Snorkel gear sitting on the shore where we went snorkeling.

On the boat ride home we stopped in a cave and got to jump in the water–one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had in Mallorca. The water was so blue and I could look down and see the rocky bottom twenty feet deep. We saw a few jellyfish and big schools of fish swimming around and below us. The water just seemed to glow from beneath. The whole Cabrera trip was magical because we came so close to nature.

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Cora dries her hair after swimming in the cave.

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Cave swimming.

Meanwhile we’ve been working away on our final projects. Our task is to compare and contrast two marine areas (one protected and one not) and consider the implications of building a marina in both environments. My group is working on the Illetas and Platja Ca’n Pere Antoni (the touristy beach near old city). We’re planning on gathering quantitative data by “sectioning” off parts of both beaches and counting and qualifying the organisms we see. This way we can get an idea of how healthy and biodiverse each area is. From here, we will be able to better understand the possible implications of building in the areas.

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

09/16/2015

Hola, by Emily Kozak - CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Hola!!  The past few weeks have been busy, with not too much time to write a blog!! I have officially finished my classes!! I had a lot of presentations to present and one exam for my Spanish class. Yesterday, Monday, was the first day of my 30 hour weeks (6 hours a day) at my internship. I will be working Monday-Friday from 9-3. Although this week I will be missing some hours since my parents are coming to see me. They first went to Barcelona for 4 days and today they are coming to Mallorca!! They are probably getting ready to board the plane as I write this. I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THEM!

I have done and seen a lot of things. I went to a winery with my Spanish class called Macia Batle. It was a very nice excursion; we toured the winery and then got to taste some wine and ¨tapas¨ with different types of olive oil, salt, vinegar, and other tasty things! Of course, I have been going to the beaches too! It is so fun to explore all the beaches here. There are so many of them and they are all so unique, each having something that makes it special. I visited the lovely town of Valldemossa again with my friend Jordan. It is one of my favorite places here. The town is so relaxing and nice to spend the day in. Since Palma is the capital of Mallorca and the ¨big¨city, it is sometimes nice to go somewhere quieter. I also went to the Palma Aquarium on one of my Saturdays. It was pretty neat; all the fish and sea creatures are always fun to see! And now I have seen some from the Mediterranean Sea. One of my friends Raquel had all of us over for lunch one Sunday at her house, it was originally going to be a pool party, but the weather was a little chilly. It was still so much fun and all the food was delicious!

This past Saturday, two of my friends and I all had lunch with our host moms (our host moms are really close friends). We went to my friend Amber´s home stay and her host mom cooked us all lunch. We had duck for the main dish; it was my first time having duck. I was hesitant to eat it, but it was really good! It was a very nice lunch; we spent a few hours there. Afterwards we walked around for a bit and came across a market. I always love going to the markets! This past Sunday, Jordan, Amber, Stefanie, and I went to mass in the Cathedral. It was a wonderful service and the Cathedral is just stunning. Afterwards it was a beach day, of course!!!

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Above are three pictures of the winery, Macia Batle!

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An amazing sand castle we saw at Playa de Palma

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This beach is called Cala VInyes, it was stunning.

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Above are pictures of Valldemossa, I absolutely love all of the flowers there. The picture of me is at the Frederick Chopin Mueseum, him and George Sand spent time in Mallorca and they have turned where the stayed into a museum. There is a book about their life in Mallorca written by George Sand, called “A Winter in Mallorca”. I bought it and I can’t wait to start reading it. 

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Two pictures from the aquarium!

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The girls at the pool party!

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This is a picture of the beautiful Palma!! I took this while walking around one afternoon.

I am REALLY looking forward to this week with my parents and my sister! We will also being going to Rome for three days, my friend Danielle will be in Rome, so we are going to spend time together, it will be a great time!!

Hasta luego!

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

09/10/2015

FRESH CHERRIES, A FISHING VILLAGE & LA PLAYA, BY SAMANTHA MACKIEWICZ - CIEE PALMA DE MALLORCA 2015

Our first excursion was a great, no, an amazing day. We had a full day excursion and we went to three different locations. The first was Santanyi, a small town East of Palma. In Santanyi we went to a market, un mercado. The market was filled with delicious foods, beautiful clothes & handmade crafts. It is a very popular and crowded market, but it definitely enhanced the experience. I didn’t buy any clothes are gifts in the market, but I did buy the most amazing cherries I’ve probably ever had in my life. For only 3 euros I got a bag of fresh Mallorcan cherries, or cervesas, which I enjoyed the rest of the day.

Next, we headed to Cala Figuera, a small fishing village. It was honestly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life. Crystal clear turquoise waters, gorgeous houses in the cliffs, and quaint fishing boats make this place an absolute must see in Mallorca. The photos I took in Cala Figuera are some of my favorite I have taken so far. I hope I can go back to Cala Figuera and enjoy lunch looking over the sea!

Our last stop on our excursion was Cala Mondrago. It was a gorgeous inlet that had two beaches. It was clearly a popular spot for both tourists and locals. Here, I ate the lunch my host mom had packed for me. I had a delicious pasta with meat and a cheese sandwich. It was a lot of food and I couldn’t finish it all but it was very good! We spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and swimming in the amazing waters of the Mediterranean. I am definitely a beach girl and this was my kind of afternoon.

After the beach, we headed back to Palma and back home to our homestays. I spent some time with my host family and met some of their friends! We ate dinner together and then I read Spanish books with my new Spanish sister, Martina. She is such a kind, sweet girl. Despite the language barrier between us, I can see that I am starting to form a bond with my host mom and sister. All in all another great day here in Palma. I start classes tomorrow and then I am headed to the beach again in the afternoon! Hasta la proxima!

A beautiful mosaic on the outside of a door in the market.

The market in Santanyi.

The fishing village of Cala Figuera.

Fishing boats in Cala Figuera.

The group and I seeing Cala Mondrago for the first time.

There were many catamarans and yachts in Cala Mondrago. Beautiful scenery!

La Playa!

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 

09/03/2015

PAELLA, BEACHES & ADVENTURES, BY EMILY KOZAK - CIEE PALMA DE MALLORCA 2015

Hola! Since spring break, I have been back to classes and my internship. My classes will end at the end of May and in June and July I will be working at my internship Monday-Friday. The weekends are when I have most of my fun.

The first weekend I was back from my travels was a paella filled weekend. Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish. On Saturday my group had a “paella cooking class”. We helped make the paella and we also made sangria, which we got to eat and drink at the end. This was a really fun experience! On Sunday my friends from my study abroad group and some of the students we met here went for lunch, we had paella! After paella we went for ice cream and then some of us stayed to play beach volleyball. We played all afternoon!

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This is the end result of our hard work! Paella!

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The sangria we made! It had the sangria, watermelon juice, and sprite in it, also a ton of fruit!!

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The group at our paella lunch on Sunday!

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This beach is called Arenal, also very close to Palma!

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Before playing beach volleyball all afternoon!

The weather here is finally starting to get really warm, which means beach season!! Last weekend on Saturday I spent my day at the beach, it is so relaxing. I like to read a book, listen to music, maybe take a siesta, or just listen to the waves. On Sunday, my friend Jordan and I ventured out to a different part of the island. We went to a town called Porto Cristo. The main attraction is Cuevas del Drach, which are caves. This was our first stop. The caves were absolutely unreal, I have never seen anything like that before. We walked through all of them and then at the end there is a special 10-15 min concert. They turn off all of the lights except the ones on a boat, which goes by while playing live classical music. After the caves we walked around Porto Cristo, the marina and beach there were beautiful!

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Beach day on Saturday at Illetas! (I am in love with my pineapple towel)

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Because what’s a beach day without ice cream after?!

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These are pictures from the Cuevas del Drach!! After the concert, we got to ride in a boat ( like the one pictured above ) to the exit, it was so cool!

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After the caves, Jordan and i indulged in these huge bowls of ice cream!!

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The marina at Porto Cristo!

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Enjoying the beautiful beach at Proto Cristo!!

This weekend was a long weekend, on Friday, it was a “work holiday” so I didn’t have to go to my internship, instead I stayed in to work on some school work and watch a movie or two, it was a much needed day to relax. Yesterday I spent the day at Illetas beach, which is closer to Palma, about a 35 min bus ride. This beach is the prettiest one that is closest to Palma (in my opinion). Today my friend Angie and I decided to go to a beach called Es Trenc. This beach was about an hour and a half a way. Mallorca has so many beaches and they are all so unique and different! I think most of my weekends will be spent exploring all of the beaches here. It is also nice to go to different parts of Mallorca, since during the week and up until last weekend most of my time has been spent in Palma. I am intrigued to see what else this island has to offer.

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These three pictures are from today at Es Trenc! it was gorgeous, especially the color of the water. I love how different all the beaches are!

Since my classes will be done by the end of May, I have a lot of work ahead. I have some projects to work on and some exams to study for. My goal is to get that all done during the week so my weekends will be free!!

During the weeks:

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During the week after classes or my internship it is fun to walk around and find new cafes! This one was sooo cute and it was called “Cupcakes” !! I had earl grey tea.

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On Thursday night, some of my friends and I went out for sushi, I usually don’t like sushi, but this was really good!

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Probably some of the best strawberry sorbet here! And a yummy pastry.

Adios mis amigos!

 

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