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5 posts from October 2015


Sailing the Mediterranean, with CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Fall 2015


Getting ready to sail



Leaving the harbour




Loving to sail





Paddle Boarding


Going to the coast for a break IMG_1066

Sunset from the sailing boat


Back to Palma


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Trip to Granada - CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Fall 2015

Last weekend we spent three days in Granada.

Alhambra 2 estrecha

We stayed in a family owned hostel, Hostal Moni, decorated with Andalusian style, and with a big terrace on the top where we had breakfast every morning overlooking the roofs of Albaizín neighbourhood, the old Arab quarter of Granada.

Granada 4

On Friday, we visited San Bartolomé Church, Plaza Larga, Puerta de las Pesas, the Mezquita Mayor, the El Salvador Church, and of course the Mirador de San Nicolás to see the Alhambra colored in orange by the afternoon sun.

Alhambra 3

We went down to the Cathedral walking by the Cuesta del Chapiz, stopping every once in a while to contemplate the Alhambra rising on our left side, on the other side of the river. We visited the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel, where we literally saw the coffins of Isabel I and Fernando II Catholic Kings of Spain in the XV century and authors by their marriage of the unification of Spanish kingdoms Castilla and Leon.

Albaicin 1

We had some time to wander and shop in the little Morroccan stores in downtown Granada. And afterwards we had the best kebabs of Granada in Baraka, of course with a very sweet Morroccan style mint tea.

Granada estrecha

In the night, we went to see a classic Flamenco show, with two spectacular dancers, a guitar player and a singer "cantaor". Students were so impressed as to say they had never ever seen something so intense and such a beautiful dance.

Granada 5

On Saturday we spent the day at the Alhambra, the Generalife's Gardens, and the Palacios Nazaríes. An absolutely wonderful experience! And in the end, of course, we had chocolate con churros for breakfast!

Chocolate con churros 2

Chocolate con churros

Granada 6

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First month with CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Fall 2015

Presentation day 1 2

Orientation: This is me! Activity, a student introduces herself to the group

A month has passed since the day our students were nervous to meet their homestays at the orientation hotel, and since that first night when they were excited and a little bit afraid to try the different kind of Mallorcan tapas and pambolis with jamón. Now our students are settled in their Spanish home, know how to move around the intricate streets of Palma, some of them have started to meet with their intercambio, and are attending regularly their CIEE and university classes.


UIB International Students Association, first excursion to Tramuntana Mountains

(CIEE students are on the right)

CIEE language class Spanish for Business and Tourism visited the 15th century castle of the city of Palma. This castle is well known for its museum of the history of Palma, for being the only Gothic round castle in Spain, wonderfully preserved, and for its incredible views of the Bay of Palma. No wonder its name Bellver means “Beautiful view”.


This semester, CIEE students are enrolled in the following CIEE and UIB classes: Spanish for Business and Tourism, Tourism and Sustainable Development, Spanish Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Tasting, Advanced Contemporary Spanish Cinema and Literature, Tourism Marketing I, Operations & Processes in Tourism Enterprises, Contemporary Spanish Literature, Poetics of the 20th Century, Biochemistry of Membranes and Bioenergy, Business Intercultural Communication.

Palma desde el castillo

Palma de Mallorca views from Bellver Castle

Three students are undertaking internships this semester at the following companies: The Hotel Factory (a travel agency and touroperator), Hoteles Saint Mitchel (central offices of a hotel chain), and Hotel Caballero (offices within a hotel). They are doing marketing, social media, sales, human resources, and finance controller tasks.

Bellow you can see pictures of some of the activities we have been doing so far:

Grupo escaleras


Popular Celebration with Demons and Bonfires

Tapas estrecha

Tapas night, Ruta Martiana on Tuesdays


Night of the Arts: Open Museums

Valldemossa estrecha

Excursion to Valldemossa, Village with Arab origins


Excursion to Formentor (viewpoint) with UIB International Association

Sailing long

Sailing excursion with CIEE 

Cathedral 23

Visit to the Gothic Cathedral of Palma, La Seu


Biking along the Bay of Palma



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Hace unos días fuimos a la Ruta Martiana, que es famosa en Mallorca los martes y miércoles. ¡Puedes comprar una bebida y una tapa por solo dos euros! Alba nos mostró los mejores bares  y nos divertimos mucho. Ella es la mejor guía en toda Mallorca y tiene respuestas para todas mis preguntas sobre la política, el clima, la cultura y las costumbres de Mallorca y España en general. Aprendí mucho sobre el referendum en Cataluña y que va a pasar con las Islas Baleares si Cataluña se independiza, porque Cataluña ve a las Islas Baleares y a Valencia como parte de su estado, pero las Islas Baleares y Valencia no piensan eso. ¿Entonces, si no son parte de Cataluña van a votar en el referendum? ¿Que pasa con estas regiones si Cataluña se independiza? Tengo muchas ganas de ver las elecciones en septiembre. Hoy en clase vamos a aprender más sobre el funcionamiento del gobierno aquí en España. Quizás cuando tenga más información, podré contestar estas preguntas. ¡Hasta Pronto!

Last night we went to the Ruta Martiana, which is famous in Mallorca for its combinations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You can buy a drink and a tapa for only two euros! Alba showed us around and directed us toward the best bars on the route and we ended up having so much fun. She is the best guide in Mallorca and she always answers all of my questions about politics, the climate, culture and all of the Mallorquin customs and traditions. She is a saint because normally my questions don’t seem to stop- sort of like my questions in English. I learned a lot about the Catalonia referendum and what will happen to the Balearic Islands if Catalonia secedes. If Catalonia secedes they believe that Valencia and the Balearic Islands are part of their state and want them to leave as well. However, the Balearic Islands and Valencia don’t believe this. So if they aren’t par of Catalonia do they have the opportunity to vote in the referendum? What will happen to these regions if Catalonia does leave? I am so excited to find out what will happen after the elections this September. Today in class we are going to learn all about the political system here in Spain. Maybe after that I will finally be able to answer my own questions regarding Catalonia and its ideas of secession. See you later!

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TRUE BLUE, by Samantha Mackiewicz - CIEE Palma de Mallorca Summer 2015

Hola again!

So to begin, on Tuesday I woke up and had class in the morning. I was surprised to find that on that day I no longer needed a map to walk from my house to school. It’s pretty amazing how well you can get to know a city in just over a week. In class we learned about more marine animals in the Mediterranean. After class, I took my time to get home and wandered through Las Ramblas and Plaza Mayor. Las Ramblas is a street full of flower vendors which I love to walk down to see and smell all of the gorgeous bouquets. When I got home I ate lunch with my host mom and then decided to head to the beach that is closest to my house. It’s called Platja Ca’n Pere Antoni, and is a short 5 minute walk from my street. I spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and enjoying my book. Later that night, my school program took my entire study abroad group out for Tapas Tuesday! Tapas, are small appetizers, usually breads with different toppings, and are very popular all over Spain! The deal is you get a tapa for 1 euro and you get a drink for 1 euro. You then go around to different bars and cafes trying all the different tapas and can generally get a lot of food and drink for very little money. Our professor later explained to us that the tapas originated when people would order wine and in order to keep the flies out of the wine a piece of bread would be placed on top of the jar of wine. Eventually, restaurants would add meat, cheese, and more intricate toppings to the bread, and the tapa was created! It was a fun night with friends and the tapas were amazing!

On Wednesday we had our first field trip! We took a bus to a small beach town called Sant Elm, where we took an even tinier ferry called the Margarita to Dragonera Island. Dragonera is a natural park that is said to have gotten it’s name for two reasons. The first is that from a certain perspective on the main land, the island looks like a sleeping dragon. The second reason is that there are thousands of lizards on the island, which we would discover to be very true! We went on a hike to the Eastern portion of the island which had gorgeous views! Then we spent the rest of the day snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Snorkeling in the Mediterranean is entirely different than snorkeling in the Caribbean. The marine environment is different as it has an abundance of sea grasses rather than corals. The fish and marine life is also very different, but beautiful none the less! As always I spent a long time in the water exploring and even found some sea glass to add to my collection when I get home. We took the Margarita back to the mainland where our professor Guillem treated us all to an ice cream! He is so nice. That night I went to Naomi’s house for dinner. Her host mom teaches cooking at the local university so I was excited to try her food. She made a fresh salad, bread, spinach pie, and we had chocolate and almond ice cream for dessert. I was in heaven. My host mom’s cooking is good, but as you can imagine a meal from a professional was amazing.

Today, we had another field trip to Soller, which is a beautiful town amongst the mountains. The drive to Soller was incredible as we saw countless olive and lemon trees and got right up close to the massive mountain range in Mallorca. We even went through a tunnel through the mountains! Upon arrival in Soller, Guillem bought us all cafes con leche (coffee with milk, which is amazing here!). I have never had such a generous professor before. We went to the Natural Science Museum where Guillem gave us a tour of the museum and showed us the beginning of the sciences on Mallorca. The history of people studying nature and the marine world in Mallorca was amazing. Then we got to dissect fish! I’ve done dissections before and to me it is always fun learning about the anatomy of various species. After our time at the museum we were given the option to stay in Soller, which I took the opportunity to do. Soller has a cute downtown area but an even more adorable tram that takes you to the Port of Soller about 20 minutes away. We rode the historic tram down to the Port, which had gorgeous scenery. The Port of Soller can only be described as picturesque. Numerous boats lined the wharf and houses were built all up the mountainside. It was stunning. Here, we spent the afternoon browsing in the gift shops and swimming in the sea to cool off from the heat. We headed back to Palma and I spent the evening relaxing, going to a cafe where I had the most amazing lemonade ever, and then writing this post.

So why is this post titled true blue? Well over the past few days I’ve realized something about the water here in the Mediterranean, particularly the water I saw in Dragonera. It is not green-ish, it is not turquoise, but rather it is perfectly blue. The water is true blue. To be true blue means to be unwaveringly loyal or faithful. The people of Mallorca are persistently loyal to their culture and this island, and as I spend more time here I begin to feel that same sense of true blueness towards this place. Mallorca has certainly stolen my heart.

Until next time..


The ferry to Dragonera Island!


The view from the ferry over to Dragonera Island


The view from our hike in Dragonera.


Snorkeling in Dragonera.


The seagrasses of the Mediterranean.


The Natural Science Museum in Soller.







The tram to the Port of Soller.


The gorgeous Port of Soller.

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