What stories does Kiko know about Cales Fonts?
Today I will get to see a cove in the port of Mahon called Cales Fonts. It is in Es Castell, the most British town in Menorca. It was built near the Castle of San Felipe more than 200 years ago and at first called Georgetown.
Cales Fonts is a small fishing port that has become a place of leisure to visit. We arrived there at midafternoon. The small fishing boats start arriving. They are not fully loaded but the restaurants are expecting them with their fresh fish that they will put on their menus today.
The coves fountain
Cales Fonts name comes from a source of the fresh water that use to right at the entrance of the port. Some of the ships that entered this cove stocked water for their sailors to take back.
Legend has it that some familiar characters visited this port. They say Ulysses, the hero of Homer's Odyssey, visited this area on their long journey to Ithaca. The pirate Barbarossa passed through here to invade Mahon and the Admiral of the Royal Navy, Lord Nelson, walked through this romantic place with Lady Hamilton.
The door of a goddess
This cove is small but has many stories to tell. Did you know that it is the first place where the sun comes up in Spain every morning?
Beside us, a waiter is cleaning the tables and chairs to begin his working day. We see a metal sculpture: rectangular and bright at one end of the cove.
What is it? I wonder
"It´s the Eos Gate," the waiter says. "A sculptor who once lived here, called Francesc Calvet, put it here so the first rays of sun that appeared would be more visible. It is dedicated to the Greek goddess of dawn, Eos".
What a pity that we did not come earlier this morning to see this. I'll reorganize another visit to Cales Fonts with my friends from Kikoland Club. We'll have to wake up early!
The walkway towards the cliffs
We walked along the promenade beside the water. The bars, restaurants and shops begin to open their doors. Craft market traders are displaying their wares. Their colors and bustle enliven the cove.
We bought ice cream. It is really good! Whilst we eat, we approach a wooden walkway surrounding the cliffs with rocks on one side and the sea on the other side. It is beautiful and there are many fish in the water and you can see crabs on the rocks.
We reached the end and we turn around. The evening has begun at Cales Fonts and they have already begun to turn on the lights on the terraces. From here on the music is heard.
Pass the quarantine
Directly in front of this small port is the Lazaretto. An island in which, in the seventeenth century, sanitary facilities were built to control the ships entering the port.
Did you know that at that time many ships disembark in the port of Mahon when sailing to the Mediterranean cities? They brought products from Italy, Greece and Africa to sell on the island. But sometimes, they also brought unknown diseases to Menorca.
Therefore, they had to stay 40 days at the Lazaretto. There these products were inspected and also were the sailors. When doctors saw that there was no danger to them, they could make their way into the port.
The island that was not really an island
Lazaretto was actually a main land and not an island. Do you know the difference? An island is surrounded by water on all sides. The main land is bonded to the rest of the land. What it is now the island of Lazzaretto, was once San Felipet.
The piece of land that was linked to the northern part of the port was demolished for safety of the inhabitants of Menorca.
Lazareto can be visited with a guide that tells you the history of this place. I have already planned another tour. I'll tell Hooky to accompany me. Sure he was here once on his travels around the world.
Reflections in the sea
The night falls and the lights reflect on the sea. Some children are throwing crumbs between the ships and a multitude of fish comes to eat it. The shows are fun and the laughter of visitors created more family atmosphere here at the port.
We are now thinking of where to have dinner. There is a lot of demand and the terraces begin to fill. Do you know Cales Fonts? Have you heard of the door of Eos or have you visited the Lazaretto before? Every corner of Menorca has a story! Would you like to know more?
Es Castell is 23 km. away of Son Bou. Getting to Cales Fonts is easy. From the Esplanade Square, the most central of Es Castell you can walk through the streets towards the cove.
Cales Fonts has a variety of restaurants and shops.
There is an artisan market every day during the summer from 20.00 to 23.00 o´clock.
From the pier on, boats leave towards Lazzaretto. There are guided tours on Thursdays and Sundays from the 15th of March till the 31st of October. Price for adults: 18 € and half the price for children aged 4 to 11 years old. You must book the visit at the tourist information offices Mahon.