Tuesday, April 19, 2011

European Vacation - Optional Elements

 We established yesterday that a European vacation will include visits to at least one castle and one cathedral/really big church.

As I consider it, there are three optional elements.  The first would be ancient ruins (usually Roman).  On the island of Mallorca they are currently excavating an ancient Roman city.  They have uncovered a few larger homes, a forum and an amphitheater (my current facebook profile photo).

Throughout Mallorca's history, they changed hands quite frequently, so not only are there Roman ruins but also Arabic ones.  We visited an Arabic bath house and gardens as well.  This bath house dates back to the 11th century.
Bath house 

The second optional element of a European vacation is an art museum.  Mallorca does have one.  We did not visit it.  (If one hopes to enjoy an art museum from time to time, one must not subject one's teens to every art museum in Europe.)

Optional element three is a historical rich person's house aka a mansion or manor.  Mallorca did have a rather nice one called La Granja.  The building and grounds date back to the 10th century and at one time it was a monastery.

La Granja not only had the typical displays of old furniture and pretty grounds but also demonstrated some of the working elements of local food and cloth production.   There was a yarn dying workshop, looms, olive and grape presses.

A strong stream runs through the grounds of La Granja.  This water powers a few water wheels which in turn power some of the equipment used in cloth and food production.   Kyra really liked the waterfall and took numerous photographs of it. (I'm very grateful for digital photography - she would eat up a lot of film).  I am invariably drawn to the arcaded terraces.  Thus I picked this photo instead of one of the waterfall ones.

If you come to visit we are prepared to show you a castle, a cathedral/really big church, a manor, and an art museum.  As for ancient ruins, we don't have anything local but we could suggest some in France, England, Italy and Spain.

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