May 29, 2017

3 must-see Roman ruins in Majorca

I’m taking a little time off and thought it would be great to explore an area I have never been to, Majorca.  Below is a guest post detailing some of the great Roman ruins you can visit on your next trip!  I’ll be back next week. . .

 

Majorca is well-known for being a great place to head if you love sun, sea and sand. However, if you’re also looking for something else to keep you busy during your holiday, you’ll find plenty of options.

The Balearic Island’s rich and varied history means there are a lot of historical monuments to see here when enjoying your holidays in Majorca including ancient statues, castles, cities and Roman sites.

Scene of Mallorca Majorca Spain

Mallorca by Scouse_and_Jules, on Flickr

Here are three of our favorite Roman sights you don’t want to miss while enjoying all Majorca offers.

Pol-lentia

Pol-lentia is an ancient Roman city that has been preserved for nearly 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest places on the island and perhaps the most antique location you’ve ever been to.

Founded in 123 AD Pol-lentia thrived as a Roman municipality for many years; however, once the Roman Empire fell, it fell into ruin.

After centuries of neglect, excavation work began on the area in 1920, helping to rescue the ancient city and redeem it, almost,  to its former glory. As a result, visitors can now walk around the site learning more about the history of Majorca and the conquests that have occurred over the years.

Pollentia Mallorca Majorca Spain

Pollentia - El Teatro by Richard Alen, on Flickr

Passing by stone buildings, courtyards and cobbled paths may also help history buffs learn more about the Roman enclave and gain a greater appreciation of how this community once lived on the island.

You can also visit the 1st century Roman theatre, which is the only one that still exists in the Balearic Islands.

Santueri Castle

This is another site in Majorca that has important Roman significance, as Santueri Castle was once used as a fortified commune by the Romans.

The Castle is situated near Felanitx and was built in the 14th century. Since its creation, it has been used by different groups of people over the years including the Arabs. Its position high on a plateau means it has a great vantage point looking over the rest of the island and the sea, meaning impending threats were seen from miles away allowing the citizens ample time to defend themselves.

Near Santueri Castle Majorca Mallorca Spain

Castell de Santueri by _basquiat_, on Flickr

Visitors nowadays can walk around the castle, learn more about who used to live here, in particular the Romans, and enjoy some of these views for themselves.

Son Real

Located on the coast, the estate was bought by the Balearic government in 2002, with the aim to protect the land and preserve its historical importance for future generations.

Mallorca Cove Spain

Mallorca at its Best!

The site was an old public farmstead and is now home to a number of archaeological remains, including the Necropolis.  It is believed this cemetery dates backt o the 7th century BC!
Son Real gives you the opportunity to learn more about the different people who have lived on Majorca over hundreds of years which include cultures from all around the world.

 

What are some other not-to-miss sights in Majorca?

Strange Games and Unique Festivals in Europe

We all enjoy festivals and outdoor events, especially during the summer, so I did a little digging and found some strange sporting games and unique festivals held in Europe that just might interest you.  Most are held during the summer but some are held at other times during the year.

Mobile Phone Throwing began as an international “sport” in 2000 with the World Championships being held each year in Savonlinna, Finland.  During the event, contestants can participate in up to 4 categories: distance throwing, freestyle choreography, team and a junior event for those under 12.  Guess we know what happens to all our old cell phones!

Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships

Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships by husin.sani, on Flickr

Imagine if you will, an Irishman goes with a few mates to a pub during lunch to discuss a new motor sport idea.  A few pints and hours later Lawn Mower Racing is born!  Beginning in England during 1973 the sport is now world wide with many events held during summer months including a World Championship.  That’s why men need to stay away from the pubs!

Lawnmower Races

Lawnmower Races by Fir0002

The Flour Festival in Viana do Bolo, a town in the Ourense region of Galicia in Spain, takes place each February during the Lent/Carnival season.  Yes, they actually throw flour, in fact, no clean face is safe including those of tourists!  Don’t wear your best clothes.

If you want to go to Hell then you might just want to go between September 1 and 4 when the Hell Blues Festival takes place in Hell, Norway.  Ok so this isn’t a strange festival but I thought some of you might want to go to Hell 🙂  They also accept volunteers to help with the festival, which allows one free entrance for every 8 hours of work!

Irish Road Bowling has been around since the 17th century and is now governed by the Irish Road Bowling Association.  Literally played on a road, 2 players throw an iron ball down the road with the one going the furthest crowned winner!  With terms like Bullet, Road Shower, Bowl of Odds, Butt, Faugh a Ballach and Kitter-Paw, how could it not be an exciting sporting event?

Road Bowling

Road Bowling by fergie_lancealot, on Flickr

Dragon Boat Racing has been taking place for at least 2000 years.  There are many festivals throughout the world but in Europe you can enjoy races in Lubeck (Germany), Budapest or, the largest, in Malmo Sweden.  The human powered boats are long and usually decorated with a dragon head and tail.  The crew is about 22 people including a drummer who controls the beat of the rowing.  The brightly colored boats are quite a sight as they glide over the water!

Dragon Boat Racing Budapest Hungary

Dragon Boat Racing Budapest Hungary

Splashdiving events are held throughout Europe and, from what I’ve seen, would be a fun event to attend!  Splashdiving or “Freestyle Bombing” was developed in Germany and the goal is to make as big a splash and as much noise when hitting the water as you possibly can.  This means you want a lot of skin smacking the water, ouch!  There are 12 sanctioned jumps each with a different degree of difficulty.  To see Splashdiving in action, watch this short UTube video:

Wife Carrying World Championships are held in Sonkajarvi Finland where the event was introduced in 1992.  As the name indicates, this “sport” is made up of the male competitor carrying his female teammate through an obstacle course.  The winner is the fastest and the prize is their “wife’s” weight in beer!  While there are other Wife Carrying Contests only in Finland do you win the beer.  After the events are completed stick around for awards, karaoke, dances and other festivities.

World Wife Carrying Championship

World “Wife Carry” Championships by jurvetson, on Flickr"

There you have it, some weird and strange games and festivals.

 

Which one would you most like to attend?

Is a Yurt Lodging?

What is a Yurt?

According to the dictionary, a yurt is “a tentlike dwelling of the Mongol and Turkic peoples of central Asia, consisting of a cylindrical wall of poles in a lattice arrangement with a conical roof of poles, both covered by felt or skins.”

Yurts are the traditional homes of Nomads in Central Asia.  The traditional construction consists of a circular wooden latticed frame covered with felt.  These homes worked especially well for the Nomads since they were designed to be dismantled and then carried by camel or yak to be built again at their next destination.  Yurts were repaired as needed and were passed down, father to son, to the next generation.

Today Yurts are still used by herders in the steppes of Central Asia but have also been adopted and used in other areas of the world as shelters for Nordic skiers, housing and school rooms.  Yurts are also available as an alternative to traditional hotels during our travels.

Modern Yurts offer European travelers the feel of a tent but with more of the comforts of home.  In fact, some of them are down right luxurious!

Mongolian Yurt Hoopoe Yurt Hotel Andalucia Spain

Mongolian Yurt courtesy of Hoopoe Yurt Hotel

Hoopoe Yurt Hotel – Andalucía Spain
“Camp in Style . . . allowing you to get back to nature without forgoing the usual luxuries you would wish for on your holiday.”

Afghani Yurt Hoopoe Yurt Hotel Andalucia Spain

Afghani Yurt courtesy of Hoopoe Yurt Hotel

The Hoopoe Yurt Hotel is a complex of 5 yurts set on 3 hectare acres of olive groves and Cork Oak trees.  The grounds offer amazing views of the Grazalema Mountains and the wilds of Southern Spain along with many hammocks and a chlorine-free swimming pool!  The entire complex is run on solar power.

Poolside Hoopoe Yurt Hotel Andalucia Spain

Poolside courtesy of Hoopoe Yurt Hotel

All of the yurts are individually decorated and include antique Mongolian furniture and antique linens from around the world.  Each yurt has a private bathroom next door complete with a hot shower and “ecological loo”.

Jaipur Yurt Hoopoe Yurt Hotel Andalucia Spain

Jaipur Yurt courtesy of Hoopoe Yurt Hotel

Each yurt has its own name affiliated with the area it came from.  You can choose from the Afghani yurt, Mongolian yurt, Jaipur yurt, Safari yurt, or Maimani yurt.  Each of these offers great views, seclusion and is decorated in traditional motifs.

Your Meal is Served Hoopoe Yurt Hotel Andalucia Spain

Your Meal is Served courtesy of Hoopoe Yurt Hotel

Canvas Chic – Ardeche France
This complex is a small campground located near the Ardeche river and gorge in the Rhone-Alpes region of southern France.  The area is known for its outdoors activities, prehistoric caves and stunning scenery.

Pont d'Arc Ardeche France

Pont d'Arc by Nolleos, on Flickr

The grounds of CanvasChic hold 11 yurts and 20 tent sights.  The yurts are all handcrafted from oak and ash and are covered in canvas.  There is a definite “rustic” feel to the lodgings but they are still very nice accommodations – they just have a campier feel to them!

CanvasChic Yurt Rhone-Alps France

CanvasChic Yurt courtesy of CanvasChic

There are shared showers and toilets as well as access to a shared kitchen complete with refrigerator, stoves and utensils.  If you don’t want to cook, there is a café and bar onsite.

One thing to note, they offer a 10% “zero emissions” discount if you arrive on foot or bike!

 

Are you looking for alternative style lodging for your next trip to Europe?

Would one of these options be something you would stay in?

Tell me about it . . . why or why not?

 

 

 

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