Monday, 10 August 2009

Friday - A Coach Tour of the Island

We booked a bus tour, billed Magical Ibiza, where we were going to learn all about the island. We certainly learned a lot – mostly about hippies – taught by possibly the last of them!
The hippies seem to have been very important to the development of Ibiza, time seems to have been measured before and after the hippies. There are many hippy markets where local arts and crafts are sold, music is played and many locals gather to sell their produce.

As we drove around the island we saw people harvesting almonds, to achieve the harvest they drag out closely woven nets under the trees and hit the branches with sticks so that the nuts fall off into the nets. Carob beans were all ready and hanging in brown pods ready to be harvested after the almonds. Prickly pears had been picked in some places but not others.

We had a couple of breaks from the bus to take photographs of the salt flats and to visit a church.

The Church of Sant Josep De Sa Talaia

The area was very rich in the 18th Century and a beautiful church with gold plating on the altar and paintings on the pulpit, and huge highly ornate statues was built. It was badly damaged in the civil war but much of it has been restored now and it is, once again, quite beautiful.

The ceiling decoration is coloured blue, as many building entrances, windmills etc are., this is to prevent the little people of local folklore, familiars as they are known, from entering the houses and creating mischief.

The Salt Flats

“The island's salt flats measure six million square metres and were deemed worthy of conservation by the Spanish government in 1995. In 2001, the Balearic government confirmed the area's national park status. It contains 26 salt pools and the salt harvested there is considered to be one of the finest varieties in the world. The main buyers for the "white gold" are Norway, the Faroe Islands (Denmark), Iceland and Great Britain. At the beginning of the last century, the salt company even had branches as far away as Canada and Calcutta. Ibiza's salt is mainly used to preserve cod and as table salt. Ships stop off at the sa Canal jetty all year round to take on a load of salt. About 4,000 tonnes of salt are on hand to be collected at any given time.”

Quoted from: where there is a load more information. There are more photos on the Flickr page.

Cava de Can Marca in Puerto St Miguel

The bus tour ended at the Cava de Can Marca in Puerto St Miguel. The cave is over 100,000 years old. Down about 300 steps – has stalactites – but also an artificial waterfall, coloured lights and piped music – pity!

It was far too hot to be on a bus for most of the day. Unfortunately we had done a full tour of the island picking up passengers – by the time the tour started we had more or less had enough by 5pm we were just so glad to get off and take a very long drink to the swimming pool!

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