Shall we have a walk with Kiko through Mahon?
Christmas has arrived and I am looking forward to seeing the streets full of colorful lights and live the festive atmosphere. Today I am going to Mahón. I have met some friends from Menorca who will tell me all about the old city walls, markets and parks here.
They are waiting for me at the (Square) Plaza Esplanada. When arriving I see that the children are having fun playing football. It's hard for me to get them to start walking but the walk towards the center is so beautiful that it doesn’t take long for them to start walking.
We arrive at the medieval city
We have arrived on the outside of the old city. The walls reach as far as the street Bastion and there are still remains you can see in some courtyards of the houses and restaurants. Pedro says that first we will go to see the bridge of San Roque.
The bridge and the stone towers are all that is left of the wall that was constructed almost 700 years ago. Maria tells us that here you can find one of the exit doors of the city from which the travelers could head towards Ciutadella.
I can already imagine the wooden carriages being pulled by horses leaving Mahon to carry supplies or people to other parts of Menorca! Although they are now under construction you can see the two square towers and, among them, the bridge very well.
Hanging from the cliff
We continue the road of the old wall down towards the cliff that descends to the port. We already know a lot about the port of Mahon. We walked and sailed through it so today we will not go down there. We will go down to the Cuesta del General, a passage that leads to the port from where you can see landscapes. From up here the port looks very large. The views are very beautiful and Pedro says that I would enjoy it even more from the Mirador de las Monjas. (Viewpoint)
In Mahón there are 6 viewpoints overlooking the port. When you look down it seems as if you are hanging off the cliff. It's awesome! This one is right next to the City Hall.
Do you know that the clock on the frontage was bought by the Governor of that time, Richard Kane? Did you know that 200 years ago the Island was British? They built it in London and say that it is the first non-solar clock in Menorca!
The town hall square is very lively. There are wooden huts where they sell Christmas products and people walk among them listening to the carols. On the square is the Church of Santa Maria.
There they have one of the largest church organs I've ever seen, Maria says. It was built by a Swiss organist in Barcelona 200 years ago and it took 2 years before they could bring it to Menorca because the French were at war and had all their ships throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The English Admiral Collingwood helped us and got a safe passage for the church organs to arrive in Mahon.
A convent is a market
Pedro invited me to come in and listen to a concert of the church organs of Santa Maria. I want to go, but Maria prefers to go to the markets now.
"Look, this is the fish market," she says as we pass a small building with an iron gate. On Saturdays at noon there is music. We will go another day. Today I want you to see the market of the Cloister of the Carmen. You will like it!
The building was built 200 years ago. It is next to the Church of Carmen and was a convent, but now it is a market where you can find typical products of Menorca, such as cheese, and delicious fruits and vegetables.
I buy nougat for my friends
We will buy some pastas as we enter the Cloister because I am already a little hungry. At the top is the Conservatory of Music and the area we visit is full of shops. People walk happily under the arches that adorn the building. Right in the center there is a large space where, in summer, concerts are offered and activities are celebrated.
We bought cheese, sobrasada and some pastas. For my friends of Club Kikoland I have some nougat with whom we will celebrate Christmas.
We are going to eat the pastas at the Freginal Park, Maria says, when leaving the Cloister.
This park is a fantastic place! It is in the city of Mahón, full of trees and plants. We have sat down to picnic on a bench whilst watching children play on the slides and climbing ropes.
Did you know that this park use to be part of a ravine? Pedro tells us that there where are now orchards, the canals on the sides served to carry irrigation water away.
Did you also know that the pirate Barbarroja camped here when he conquered Menorca? They told me that when the pirates got into the city nearly 500 years ago, they set up their camp here. That is why there is an area called the Sinaia de Barbaroja. A Sinaia is Spanish for a device that was used to draw water from the wells.
Wow, Peter and Mary know a lot! We have to go now but we have not had enough time to see some other places in Mahón such as the Museum of Menorca, the Main Theater or the Skate Parc. Very near, is also the Fortress of La Mola and the lighthouse of Faváritx, ...I think that I will have to organize a new excursion for next year. There are so many things to see! Can you help me make a list of my new excursion? What places in Menorca would you like to visit?
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to everyone!