Archive for January, 2009

Menorcan Horses

20 January, 2009

Well, we returned to Es Castell square on Sunday lunchtime to see what all the sand had been put down for and were very pleasantly surprised when four of the beautiful Menorcan horses (and riders!) arrived to show us their fancy footwork.

menorcan-horse2As I have said previously, I am not a great horse lover but there is definitely something special about these magnificent creatures and I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from them.  They are both majestic and “pretty”, if that’s the right word to use, and so elegant.  It is virtually impossible to see or hear the riders/owners instructing these horses to change direction, change their footwork etc. – they just appear to know when and what to do.

Below is a little information about the history of the Menorcan horse.

Menorquina horse

The Menorquina breed of horse is from Menorca and is famous for its exciting performances at traditional festives and fiestas throughout the island.  The horses are descendents of the Spanish Andalusian and Arabian breeds.

The origin of the Cavall de Raca Menorquina (the horse of the Menorquina race) can actually be traced back to two significant periods in the history of  Menorca.

  1. In 1301 the establishment of the cavalry troops by King Jaume II of Majorca, where the horses that were used as cavalry mounts were agile,  strong and manageable.  These are all traits which are still as important in the Spanish breeds of today and which are typical of the early ancestor of the Menorquina horse, the Andalusian.
  2. The second important period was in the 1700’s – the arrival of the English.  The English brought horses of thoroughbred blood and the influence of this can be seen in the elegant heads and long legs of the Menorquina horses.
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Fiesta San Antonio Abad – Menorca

18 January, 2009

We had a wander into Es Castell square yesterday morning to see what the Fiesta San Antonio Abad was about, given our knowledge of all things Menorcan is still very limited.  Apparently, during the Fiesta a mass is held in honour of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals, with a procession offering animal blessings.

JCB in Es Castell Square

We sat for a while in the square watching a large JCB levelling out a great mound of sand and wondering what all that was about.  Slowly but surely more and more people and their animals started appearing in the square, also drawn to the JCB and its amazing manouvering abilities.

After some time people started heading off, with their animals, in the direction of the local church so we decided to follow and at the same time received a call from my brother saying “Aren’t you coming”.  Five minutes later we arrived in the right place and were surrounded by quite a selection of animals/pets, all waiting in line to be blessed by the local priest.

spot-the-goldfishIncluded in the line up was an obviously well-loved cuddly toy dog and a bowl with two goldfish in it!

After the smaller animals had been blessed, the majestic Menorcan horses were then ridden past the priest to be blessed – causing a couple to be a little jittery, which is understable, having water sprinkled in their faces.  The fact these beautiful animals were literally just inches away from the crowd didn’t appear to unnerve or concern anyone – can you imagine that back in the UK?

menorcan-horseApparently the horses are back in the square today at midday, hence all the sand being prepared yesterday – something I definitely don’t want to miss.  I am not really a big fan of horses (if truth be told they rather frighten me!) but these horses are so beautiful and stand so proud.  Perfect day too – blue skies and lots of sunshine around.

January 2009

16 January, 2009

31st January 2009

A mild morning – thermometer said 13.6 degrees C at 8.30 a.m.  Now up to 14 degrees but a cloudy day with no sign of the sunshine as yet (11.20 a.m.).  Slight breeze.

30th January 2009

Foggy (?) start to the morning over Es Castell/Mahon.  Not sure whether foggy is the right description, might have been sea mist or something else, but definitely reduced visibility.  Mild again with temperatures around 14/15 degrees C.

29th January 2009

Another lovely day but a few more clouds around.  When the sun did come out it felt very warm – around 17/18 degrees C at least.

28th January 2009

Beautiful day but not sure of the temperature as I was out all day with Martin, cleaning swimming pools.  Felt very warm – jacket off, sleeves rolled up sort of warmth so it must have been around 18/19 degrees C.  Very little breeze and overall a lovely day in Menorca!

27th January 2009

Started off wet and cool but the sun soon came out and temperatures have been around 12-13 degrees C (in the shade) though the thermometer outside the chemists in St Clement said 19 degrees!  Quite breezy which does make it feel cooler.

26th January 2009

Quite breezy at times, plenty of sunshine but a couple of short rainfalls first thing.  Temperature fluctuating between 11 – 13 degrees C.

25th January 2009

Beautiful day today.  The winds have dropped (though I believe they are back with us later in the week) and the sun has been shining all day – thermometer at the Mahon roundabout said 15 degrees – very, very pleasant.

24th January 2009

Very windy today but very mild too – around 15/16 degrees so quite pleasant if you are sheltered from the wind.  Very sunny too.

23rd January 2009

Started off feeling quite mild but (and it might just be me) it now feels quite a bit cooler.  Temperature is supposed to be arround 15 degrees but it doesn’t feel quite as warm as that to me.  The forecast thingy on the home page of our website is proving to be quite accurate and has a good indication of the next 15 days if you want to check it out.

21st & 22nd January 2009

Oops!  I knew I had something to do.  Not really alot to report about the weather over the last couple of days, sunshine, slight breeze and the odd shower.  Temperatures around 12-14 degrees C but does feel a little colder if not in a sheltered spot.

20th January 2009

Around 12 degrees C this morning though in the direct sunshine it feels more like 14-15 degrees.  Lovely and sunny with a few cluds around.  The wind has dropped considerably since yesterday/last night though there is a slight coolish breeze.

19th January 2009

Temperatures around 14-15 degrees with quite a strong, blustery wind.  Feels milder than it has for the last few days.

18th January 2009

Around 12/13 degrees C with a coolish wind.

17th January 2009

A mixture of sunshine and clouds so far today, with a fairly steady temperature of around 13 degrees C (in the shade).  No wind to speak of, though looking at the forecast for next week, it looks as though it is on its way!

16th January 2009

Well, today has been beautiful, sunny and fairly warm with a light wind.  Temperature has been around 12 degrees C though in the direct sunshine it has felt warmer.

My husband (Martin) came in from work this afternoon and said the digital thermometer at the big roundabout in Mahon (on the road from Es Castell) said the temperature was 19 degrees, and the one on the port said 12.

View from our balcony this morning

View from our balcony this morning