Friday, March 6, 2009


Pine Mountain

Hello again from Pine Mountain. I hope everyone had a great week. The weather has been fairly normal this week. The snow level is at 7000 feet (2133 meters). The temperatures at night are 31F ( - 1 C ). The wind varies from 4 mph (6 kph ) to about 17 mph (27 kph ).

I have been commuting again this week to work on a project in the big city. The round trip commute takes about 4 hours out of my day. In my spare time I have been looking into a new system called aquaponics. I already grow enough fresh vegetables to feed myself in my little greenhouse, but my present system is labor intensive. If I build an aquaponics system I will not only have fresh vegetables without all the weeding and cultivating but also have fresh fish as well.

Well enough about life on the ranch. This week we will continue with our 3 section format.

Section 1----Pine Mountain Ranch Life

Section 2----Our Travel Adventure

Section 3----Pine Mountain Evening

Our travel story this week is about a trip to the Mediterranean island of Majorca.


We began our trip to the Balearic islands at Barcelona. Round trip air fare from Barcelona to Palma the capital of Majorca is about $56. We landed at Palma and rented a car. We made our way from the airport to Hotel Can Pastilla. This hotel was a small family style no frills hotel that was close to everything. It was clean and comfortable, a nice place to begin our exploration of the island.

Majorca history

Palma is the capital of Majorca and has a population of about 375,000. The island has been inhabited since at least 6000 BC. The cities of Palma and Alcudia were established in 123 BC under Roman rule.When the Roman empire went into decline, the Vandals ruled from 426 AD until 534 AD when the Byzantines claimed the island. The Byzantines built many of the islands churches while they ruled from 534 Ad until the Moors invaded in 902AD. The Moors improved the irrigation systems for the crops and vineyards and various factions ruled until King James of Aragon invaded in 1229 AD and made the island part of Spain.

Geography and Temperature

The island of Majorca has two mountain ranges. One mountain range is in the Northwest and the other is in the east. There is a central fertile plain called Es Pla. The northern coast of the island is very rugged with many tall cliffs and sea caves. The Mediterranean helps maintain the temperature of the island. The high temperature is in July and August of around 82 F (28 C ) and the low temperatures are in December and January of around 50F (13 C ). The high mountain regions do get a little colder and sometimes see snow but very few people live there. The highest point is Puig Major at 1445 meters and it is a military outpost.

Population and Restaurants

There is about 800,000 people that call Majorca home. Among the more famous ones are Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, Claudia Schiffer, Annie Lennox, Colm Meany, and Julian Lennon. Most of the locals speak Catalan and Spanish with English and German as a second language. 6.75 million tourists visit the island each year. There are some 2400 restaurants on the island and 4 million olive and almond trees.

Our Adventure

The next morning we awoke and had breakfast then we began exploring the island. First we visited the local sites in Palma. We went to the cathedral Palma. This was another cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi. It's distinctive features can be seen for miles.

Our next stop was Bellver castle. This castle is 112 meters above sea level and was built by King James II in 1300. It has served many uses including a home for Viceroys and a prison. Today it is a history museum.

After the castle we decided to explore the north coast so we went to Valdemossa. Originally built as a palace by James II for his son, it later became a monastery until 1835 when it passed into private hands.

After Valdemossa we went to the small north coast town of Pollenca. The town was founded in 1229 and now has a bout 8000 inhabitants.

We returned from the north coast and then began to explore the central plain. The central plain consists of farms and ranches and stretches from the northwest mountain range to the east mountain range.

Majorca has something for everyone. There is the rugged northern coast for spectacular scenery. The plains have the farms and the west, south and east have many coves and fishing villages. We spent several more days exploring the island of Majorca. Next week we will explore the neighboring islands of Minorca and Ibiza.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening again on Pine Mountain. I am in my easy chair by the warm fire in the fireplace
Squeekers is on his perch munching peanuts.

My coffee of the evening Melted Marshmellow is from This American roast coffee combines with melted Marshmellow to give you a tasty coffee that makes you think of campfires and roasting marshmellows on a stick. It goes well with homemade sugar cookies. Squeekers and I have been watching and theTV series called Lost. My coffee and cookies are now history and my show is over. It has been a long day. I put Squeekers in his cage and turned off the gas fireplace. It is time for bed. Good night all have a great week. See you next week.