Menorca News Update: May 2012
Menorca Commemorates Spanish Constitution Bicentenary: The spectacular galleon ship known as ‘La Pepa’ arrived in the port of Maó yesterday evening, Wednesday 16 May 2012. The ship is a replica of the galleons that united Spain and America for more than three centuries, and is the ambassador of the bicentenary of the first Spanish Constitution of 1812, commonly referred to as ‘La Pepa’. The constitution stands for the birth of freedom and rights for Spain and was the inspiration for Europe and America and, 200 years later, is recognised as the first liberal constitution (Carta Magna) of Spain.
The ship can be visited from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 May, thanks to the collaboration between the Nao Victoria Foundation and the City of Maó, with the aim of contributing to the economic revitalisation of the port of Maó during the tourist season. At 55m long and 11m wide, with a gun deck and 1,000 sq m of sails, the ship is also used as an educational centre for visitors to learn more about the historical events being commemorated this year. Since ‘La Pepa’ came into operation last year in Cadiz (the focal point of the celebrations), it has already received 174,024 people in different ports around Spain.
Marina Parc Resort Water Park: The Marina Parc Hotel in Coves Noves, Arenal d’en Castell will be opening a new water / splash park at the end ofMay. Occupying an area of 8,000 square metres, the new facility will initially be for the exclusive use of those staying at the hotel complex. The water park will consist of a variety of slides, chutes and other water-based attractions for all members of the family to enjoy, from the smallest to the largest, along with a café / bar and seating area. The Marina Park complex consists of 570 apartments set within landscaped gardens with a large swimming pool, entertainment area and stage for live music performances as well as a restaurant and bar for All Inclusive guests.Menorca’s inherent characteristics continue to attract families as a top holiday destination, but their requirements are changing. The addition of the water park addresses the need for more family entertainment while on holiday and it is hoped this investment will also encourage a longer tourist season from four to six months and well as bring more employment to the area. The new water park is conveniently situated a few minutes walk away from the main hotel building, next door to the Coves Noves commercial centre with its good selection of restaurants, bars and shops.
Menorca Featured in New York Times: The New York Times carried an extensive article on Menorca in its travel section in April, the online version filling four pages. Travel journalist Sarah Wildman described Menorca as ‘a tranquil Biosphere Reserve’ and compared it with Mallorca, the better known of the two island in the USA, saying that the difference between the two could not be greater. She wrote of Menorca’s status as a Biosphere Reserve and the mix of cultures that gives the island its unique character. Describing many of the towns on the island, she also recommended places to stay and where to eat. The article has already resulted in bookings for hotels such as the Tres Sants in Ciutadella and Binigaus in Es Migjorn Gran. You can read the full article here: http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/travel/minorca-off-the-coast-of-spain-is-a-tranquil-biosphere-reserve.html.
Latest Balearic Island Demographics Announced: For the period between 1997 and 2011, the highest population figure recorded was on 10 August 2011 with 1,890,426 inhabitants. The minimum figure recorded was on 18 December 1997 with 743,835. In Menorca, the day with the highest population density was on 9 August 2011 with 210,279 people and the lowest was on 23 December 1997 with just 67,756 people.
Harley Davidson Rally: The III Jaleo Moto Custom organised by Custom & Harley Menorca took place again this year on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29April 2012, attracting over 60 pre-registered Harley Davidson biking enthusiasts and a huge number of spectators. Many arrived from Mallorca and all were keen to try out Menorca’s roads on two wheels while taking in the island’s beautiful scenery and sample its specific cuisine. The Rally started out on the Saturday morning from the Club Hotel Aguamarina in Arenal d’en Castell before beginning their tour of Menorca which included Maó Port, Es Castell, Sant Sant Lluís, Sant Climent as well as a stop off at the Subaida cheese factory. After a trip up Monte Toro, the striking procession of standard and custom built Harleys made their way to Es Migjorn and Ferreries before returning to Arenal d’en Castell. On Sunday, the bikers rode to Fornells and then along the Camí de Tramuntana and on to Ciutadella. The Rally ended with a dinner for all the participants back in Arenal d’en Castell. The Custom & Harley Menorca Bikers Club, which now has around 50 members, meets on Sundays at 10.30 hours at the Café Savoy in Es Mercadal before setting off at 11.00 hours. The next event is the III Ruta Nocturna por la Isla (Night Time Tour of the Island) on Saturday 9 June.
Ciutadella to Fine Pedestrians & Cyclists: While cycling in towns is encouraged with the introduction of new dedicated cycle lanes, Ciutadella has now introduced a list of new ‘health & safety’ byelaws under which cyclists as well as pedestrians can be fined. Cyclists who fail to use the cycle path, who ride against the flow of traffic, don’t indicate with their left arm, fail to respect pedestrians’ right of way on crossings or ride over 10 mph in a pedestrian area, park in unauthorised areas, ride on one wheel or use a mobile phone while cycling can be fined €80. Bicycles must also not be tied to trees, seats, traffic lights or left in unloading areas. In addition, pedestrians waling along the hard shoulder of a road which has a useable path, or skateboarding, can be fined €80, while those failing to obey a red traffic light could receive a €200 sanction.
Sant Jordi: La Diada de Sant Jordi (St George’s Day) on 23 April saw towns around Menorca become flooded with books and roses. Widely celebrated throughout Catalonia in recognition of their patron saint, as residents and regular visitors will no doubt know, this day also referred to as El Dia del Libro (World Book Day) as well as El Dia de la Rosa (Day of the Rose). With similarities to Valentine’s Day, this is when gifts are exchanged between sweethearts and loved ones. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—‘a rose for love and a book forever’. In modern times, the mutual exchange of books has also become customary. In towns around the island, stalls were set up over several days displaying all sorts of literary material for sale, from modern and historic fiction, biographies and children’s books to travel guides, dictionaries and cookery books. The idea is to encourage people, especially children, to read more or to try something different, while other stalls sell the traditional roses of Sant Jordi to signify romance and love. The whole occasion is very popular and was well attended making for a great atmosphere in the streets.