Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sailing on the Nile. My photos.

This photo is sailing on the Nile, going from Aswan to a Nubian village, September 2006. It was incredible the peace and harmony with nature that you can felt there.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pineda de la Sierra, Burgos, Spain. My photos.

I start this new section with this photo:

it was taken in Pineda de la Sierra, Burgos, Spain; in May 2005. Don´t I look really relaxed? ;P

Eh! I don´t complain! This week my friend Rosa is at home and I´m enjoying being her guide. So, this week will be a bit difficult for me to continue with the tale of the weekend in Mallorca, but I´ll try to keep on it anyway.

My photos. Introduction.

Yeap! A new section! : D

Just as the music goes with me all day (and often much of the night too), I have on my laptop a gadget to display photos. It becomes like a digital photo frame embedded in a corner of my laptop, where it shows randomly the pictures I have, a matter of 7 seconds each.

Just as there are songs that "click on me" more than others, same thing happens with the photos and there are times when I one, due the beauty of the place or the moment it is reminding me, leaves me especially excited to see it ... and I decided to share them with you!

I don´t want to commit myself to put a different photo every day, I don´t want the same thing happens later with the songs that not always I have time to place everything that passed through my mind on the blog, but I will put those photos I am thrilled to see them specially. I'll put them, no matter if the photo is related or unrelated to the thread of the narrative I´m on at that time.

I hope you like them!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fornalutx: a postcard village. Walking in… Fornalutx, Mallorca, Spain. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

After the great lunch we had at Ca N´Antuna, we went to walk in Fornalutx. It´s a very nice village with narrow streets and many steps… better you watch it by your own!:

Here a bit of info about Fornalutx, from the web Mallorcaweb:

“Situated in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana, in a spectacular valley that starts from the Puig Major and descends towards Soller, Fornalutx can be found, considered to be one of the most singular villages on Mallorca. Because of its extraordinary beauty and enviable state of conservation, Fornalutx has received different prizes and recognition. In 1983 it was awarded by the the Mallorcan Tourism Board the Silver Plaque for the defence and maintenance of the village. The same year the General Secretary for Tourism gave it the Second National Price for Towns embellished and maintained in Spain. And in 1985 it received the Premi Alzina from the GOB.

The history of Fornalutx starts over 1000 years ago, when it was an Arab property. The population of the area started after the Catalan conquest and the present church was finished in 1639. Until 1813 it depended on the Parish of Soller and in 1837 it became an independent municipality.

The charms of Fornalutx are uncountable. The stone streets and steps of the old centre, carefully adorned with many pots and plants; the ancient stone houses and the doorways wide open; the lush vegetation on the mountain terraces and the orchards where the famous oranges are grown... The architectural group and the scenery are so interesting, that it is even difficult to appreciate it completely. It is important to take note of the eves of the houses to see the painted tiles, of "Arab tiles", an ancient tradition that is explained on the web "Teules de moro a la vall de Sóller i Fornalutx ".

… To cope with the numerous visits that Fornalutx receives regularly, the village has a varied and select offer for tourist accommodation and restaurants.”

The place is really pretty. I do recommend to visit it.

After walking we went to drink something to the Café de la Plaza, relaxed, that day the village was almost empty, so we were alone at the square, talking… till the wind came to worried us! The weather expectation for that day was cloudy and raining, so, we decided to better go back to Pochola´s home… that doesn´t meant it was for resting! But! That will be part of my next post! :D

(To be continued.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ca N´Antuna: Dreamed Views! Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

We went out Sóller to Fornalutx. Pochola have done a reserve at the restaurant Ca N´Antuna.

As I mentioned, we were very lucky with the weather that weekend. While in the peninsula were storms, we enjoyed the blue skies and almost no wind. We were able to give us the pleasure of eating at the restaurant terrace which has fabulous views out to Fornalutx.

Again we tasted the delicious Mallorcan food, but it was fun seeing them to have name of plates bearing the word soup and then the plate is quite dry ... and rice plates that seem as soups! :D

We tried a little of everything and I liked it a lot, but the Majorcan at the table agreed that it wasn´t the best place to eat the best food Mallorcan, but clearly, the views of the place gave it an extra for which to go. I totally agree! As if I had been sitting there and then I'd got a burger from Mc Donalds! I would have been delighted! (No, I'm no fan of those burgers or that particular spot, that´s why I say this). But not bad either. Except that there are better places to go to eat Mallorcan food, I agree ... but those views!!! :D

Joana and Nuria gave us a demonstration of what appears to be an unofficial sport at Sóller: shot-effect seed of Sóller! ;P

(To be continued.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Can Bell Esguard or Ses Torretes.Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

After visiting the exhibitions at the train station of Sóller, we continued walking around the city. Johana mentioned us a house with a different style and we went to watch it.

Soller train station.

Along the way we enjoyed the streets and again the view county yards in different houses like in Mallorca, leaving their doors open so that passersby will enjoy the view:

As we approached Bell Can Esguard, curiosity grew because the building is large and appears to be abandoned. We only could see it from outside and envy the view to be taken from inside.

I was intrigued with the history of the house, so I searched online, but sadly I found very little in Balears Cultural Tour:

“…where you will discover on top of a small mound the house of Can Bell Esguard, an unusual, unique building, which is surprising both in terms of its construction and its history; unlike the customary practice in Sóller, this house was built on the instructions of a French immigrant who settled in the town at the end of the 19th century. Can Bell Esguard was originally a fortified mill, renovated in 1898. Of note are the medieval and Mudejar decorative features, as well as the chrome plated ceramics and the turrets, which are commonly known as Ses Torretes.”

So, it mentions a surprising history, but no idea which one is it! :/

We finished our visit to Sóller walking thru it streets, going to the parking, we´ll have lunch in another place.

(To be continued.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Miro Exhibition at the train station of Sóller. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

After visiting the church, taken by one of its sides, we went to the train station. A tram car is in front of the entrance.

At the same station is an exhibition dedicated to Miró. On 23 August 2008, the council appointed Joan Miro as adopted son of Sóller. Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, but his mother and grandfather were from Soller, so during his childhood he went often with her mother to Soller.

Here a view of our visit:

There also was an exhibit of ceramics by Picasso, just there we can´t take video. I also recommend it!

(To be continued.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Parish church of Sant Bartomeu. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

We visited this church after walking in Carrer de Sa Lluna. We can´t see a lot from the inside, because they were closing, but what I saw was “son normal” comparing with the outside.

At its side is the Soller Bank, with similar design.

Information of the church and the bank from the web BalearsCulturalTour:

“In the Plaza de la Constitución, at number 22, dominating the square, stands the Parish church of Sant Bartomeu, a building erected in different stages of construction, evident in the various different remains that can be seen around it. The original church was built before 1236, undergoing various modifications throughout the centuries. On the side façade on the calle del Born is the old entrance to the medieval church, with a walled-up semicircular doorway; in calle de Joan Baptista Ensenyat, you can still make out a large Romanesque gabled window; and on the exterior, remains can be seen of the 16th century walled fortification, built as a consequence of the most devastating Turkish assault that the town of Sóller suffered in 1561. The interior still boasts very beautiful Gothic and Baroque altarpieces.

The church seen today is a Baroque structure (1688-1733), with an art nouveau façade designed in 1904 by the Catalan architect and Gaudí disciple, Joan Rubió i Bellver. The new façade starts from the entrance atrium consisting of three ogival arches, flanked by two angels sheltering the statue of San Bartolomé, patron saint of the city, and crowned by a staggered structure. The result is a façade of Neo-Gothic inspiration, with the greyish colour of the Sóller limestone catching your attention, with its rough or rustic treatment, giving the façade an interesting texture.

At number 21 of this square is the Bank of Sóller, which was built in 1889 in order to safeguard the capital accumulated by the emigrants returning from France and the Americas. It is the work of the same architect who designed the façade of the parish church, Joan Rubió i Bellver. The building was renovated in 1910-1912 with the same rustic treatment as the parish church façade, as if it were a continuation of that building. Distinctive features are the original design of the openings, the projecting double balcony in the style of Gaudí, the circular doorway and the meticulous ironwork on the windows in complicated curved forms.”

(To be continued.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Walking in… Sóller, Mallorca, Spain. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

As I mentioned, this time we went to Sóller in a car and we enjoyed a lot the views. Once I Sóller, we left the cars in a parking and walk in the streets. Sóller is a nice, warm and full of life village. It was Saturday morning and we headed to the square that was full of people walking or sitting in the various terraces. There we joined a Pochola´s friend, Johana and her daughter Nuria, who are from Soller and made us guides. Xisco also arrived, with his wife Eva and Marta, his older daughter.

Even when the road trip is nice, the best way to go to Sóller is by train This was the way we done with Sil in 2004. It is longer, but with spectacular views. The train itself is old and of wood, that gives a magical touch to the tour.

The train leaves you at the midst of Sóller, which is small, so you can easly do the visit on foot. Then you can take a tram to the port. I was watching the train on the web and they have packages that include the train from Palma to Soller, the tram to the port and a boat trip, all for between 35 and 42 euros (depending on the hours when you take the train). I think it can be a very good idea for the next trip! : D

Continuing the story of our experience of 27 February, we really had a great time. Johana and Nuria were excellent guides. We spent a while walking along Carrer de Sa Lluna, a pedestrian street of shops, picturesque spot where Curro and I bought shoes, handmade, called porqueras. We were delighted them! : D

Here a video of part of our tour:

Again I was surprised about so many people leaving doors and windows open so that passersby can see the courtyards and in some places even the living room of their homes. Of course it shows that Soller is a very safe place! : D

Walking along the Carrer de Sa Lluna we found a lady who had the windows of his house open. It was a house at street level windows and fairly large, albeit with bars. We drew attention for a dog that was there, watching the street and we approached ... the lady came to talk to us ... a little better look at it in the video! : D

(To be continued).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dancing Queen, Abba, version of the movie Mamma Mia. Today´s song.

Today I woke up with this song in mind but exactly with the version of the movie Mamma Mia:

The lyric:

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo.. see that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat, from the tambourine oh yeah
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo.. see that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the Dancing Queen

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on
Leave 'em burning and then you're gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine oh yaaa
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo.. see that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the Dancing Queen
Diggin the Dancing Queen

My comment: I already liked this song when I was teen, as much as I like to dance, it was easy to feel identify with it. But as many other songs of that period, it was already off of my mind… till I saw the movie Mamma Mia! I love that movie! And my very favorite scene is exactly this one. The quip concerned women over 50 years singing as if it were just about doing the bangs to one side and the little girl of 17 who seduced all on the dance floor will come back, I just love it! That they go on rampage around the island singing and dancing and all of the island women were joining the party ... as the significant parts of the girl who is holding a ladder to a guy and when she does´t care if he could fall, but she goes to join the group ... or the older woman carrying firewood when watched them strip the wood on one side and raises his hands in a gesture of liberation while joins singing out loud the “oh yeah!”. Oh yes! They had placed many meanings towards women in the 4 barely minute song! That was to give an award just for that scene! : D For me this song is a cry of "Women! Look at you! No matter how old you are! You are entitled to enjoy yourself, your sensuality, your femininity; to have your own space, and to be happy! And let nothing steal your shine! "Then the rockers touch in the end, with Meryl Streep doing that rocking movement with the head ... wow!

What it makes me feel: eager to live! :D

What it reminds me: in this cases it´s not about reminding me a moment of my life, but gives me a reminder: I'm still young and much remains to be living! I´m eager to enjoy it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meet me halfway, Black Eyed Peas. Today´s song.

I start my “today´s song” section with one of the freshest singles of Black Eyed Peas: meet me halfway.

The lyric:

I can’t go any further then this
I want you so badly, it’s my biggest wish

I spent my time just thinkin thinkin thinkin bout you
every single day yes, i’m really missin’ missin’ you
and all those things we use to use to use to do
hey girl, wuz up, it use to be just me and you
i spent my time just thinkin thinkin thinkin bout you
every single day, yes i’m really missin missin you
and all those things we use to use to use to do
hey girl wuz up, wuz up, wuz up, wuz up

meet me halfway, right at the borderline
that’s where i’m gonna wait, for you
i’ll be lookin out, night n’day
took my heart to the limit, and this is where i’ll stay
I can’t go any further then this
I want you so bad it’s my only wish

girl,i travel round the world and even sail the seven seas
across the universe i go to other galaxies
just tell me where you want, just tell me where you wanna to meet
i navigate myself myself to take me where you be
cause girl i want, i, i, i want you right now
i travel uptown (town) i travel downtown
i wanna to have you around (round) like every single day
i love you always.. way

can you meet me half way (I’ll meet you halfway)
right at the borderline
that’s where i’m gonna wait, for you
i’ll be lookin out, night n’day
took my heart to the limit, and this is where i’ll stay
i can’t go any further then this
i want you so bad it’s my only wish
i can’t go any further then this
i want you so bad it’s my only wish

let’s walk the bridge, to the other side
just you and I (just you and I)
i will fly, i’ll fly the skies, for you and I (for you and I)
i will try, until i die, for you and i, for you and i, for for you and i,
for for you and i, for for you and i, for you and i

can you meet me half way (yup yup)
can you meet me half way (yup yup)
can you meet me half way (yup yup)
can you meet me half way (yup yup)
meet me half way, right at the borderline
that’s where i’m gonna wait, for you
i’ll be lookin out, night n’day
took my heart to the limit, and this is where i’ll stay
i can’t go any further then this
i want you so bad it’s my only wish
i can’t go any further then this
I want you so bad it’s my only wish

My comment: this song liked me first due the music; I like a lot the energy it has. When I played attention to the lyric, in some how I felt it a bit simple but anyway it´s nice that young people talk about reaching a compromise in a relation that is having a bad moment but that use to be nice. And to hear him saying things like “girl,i travel round the world and even sail the seven seas, across the universe i go to other galaxies” oooohhh!! So cute! ;P

What it reminds me: a day some weeks ago, with Sil, going by car, we both alone, in the middle of the highway, playing that song over and over again, with high volume and we belting out! :D

What it makes me feel: it gives me a lot of energy! Makes me feel like dancing! :D

Today´s song. Introduction.

I´m interrupting my story for a moment to introduce you a new section.

As I said at the post “music gives me life” I love music!

I usually have music at the background the whole day, as far as it´s possible, of course.

I usually have a song around my mind for one or 2 days, a song that if it´s played at the radio I should have to give it more volume, or if it´s a CD I´ll play it again at least once. Usually are songs that I like but time to time also happens with songs I don´t like.

I thought it could be a good idea to share with you more or less daily the special song for that day to me. I´ll try, but I don´t promise to do it always, to place a video, the song lyric, the translation in case it´s in Spanish and comments about why I like the song, the memories it gives me back and how I feel listening to it.

I give special importance to the lyric, because I think there are so many people all over the world singing or humming songs with no idea of what it says and you see, not all the songs you like the music, have a nice or good words on it.

I usually like the whole: music plus lyrics.

So, from now on, no matter what I´m already talking about, time to time I´ll include a post for this section.

I hope you´ll enjoy this section!

Going from Palma to Soller. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

On Saturday 27th. we woke up more or less early, got ready and went down to take breakfast, Pochola had bought nice things for our breakfast.

Cris picked up Curro and me. Topo and Sil went with Pochola. We went to Soller, the day was so nice, good weather. We enjoyed the road, with cherry and almond blossom, blue sky and a pleasant chat.

(To be continued.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Playing the old serials game. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

Ouch! That we just played some Scrabble rounds and we went straight to bed, I said! :/

Weeeelllll… having that many posts was time to have some slip of this type!

So, no! I remind it as part of the Saturday night, but actually it also was on Friday night!

After dining we play a bit the old serials game. Pochola has thousand mp3s with old tv serials´ songs, from 80s´or something. The game was about creating 2 teams: of couse we did the classical females against males! ;P So, at the girls team we were: Cris, Claudia, Sil and I. At the boys one: Xisco, Topo and Curro. Pochola was the referee. Just that obviously the serials were mostly the ones famous in Spain, but just in Spain. Claudia and I during that period were she in Argentina and me in Guatemala. Sil came to Spain having 11 y/o so, ok, she had seen a lot of Spanish tv serials but not exactly of those years. So, the real true was that at that game the boys were playing just against Cris and Sil! :/

Cris showed us that anyway she can even play alone. How quick she is for saying the name of a serial with only hearing a couple of chords! :D But anyway the logical thing happened: boys won! :/

It was quite nice to see them all, how at some point of the game, when the serial in question was one of their favorites during their childhood ... they face changed at atll! They sang the song as if it had been a hymn, telling stories of those years. A great moment Pochola played some Abba songs ... and I can´t remember how or why, Cris, Pochola and Lola brought us the following:

And now yes, around 2 or 3 in the morning, as good kids ;P we went to sleep! The ones at Pochola´s home went to bed singing:

(This was a classical song for making the kids to go to sleep during the 70´s and 80´s in Spain and Latin America).

(To be continued.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mari Paz Yllera special recipe: chili beans. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

Mari Paz Yllera, also known as Pochola at the Spain Scrabble world, is the current president of the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear. She loves Scrabble, has a great personality and is also a great travel guide! (Hem, no, this is not what she does for living.) :)

Chilli beans

>- 1 kg minced meat (beef, pork or mixed)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 can of beer (33cl.)
- 1 can of baked beans
- 2 packets of chilli
- Jalapeño pepper
- 1 jar of natural tomato and 1 jar of fried tomato sauce

Cut finely the onion and pepper and mix with ground beef, put everything to a saucepan with a bit of olive oil.
When meat is browned, add the tomatoes, two packets of chilli, salt and beer. Cook for an hour and a half. Near the end of the cooking add jalapeños diced and drained beans.

It can be served with rice, potato, in burritos ...

Soooooo easy to do! Have a good meal!

(To be continued.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Scrabble Night with the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

After being at Capuccino San Miguel Xisco and Pochola left us just with Cris for a while. Xisco had to go to pick up Claudia and Pochola to move her car. They told Cris the place to take us.

We went walking, enjoying the county yards and the shops.

Once at the place suggested by Pochola and Xisco… we wondered about how long time ago would be the last time they went… or maybe the point was that they haven´t gone at that time before (it was around 18.00)… because it was a seedy bar, but well, just a seedy bar wouldn´t be a problem actually, but you see, also happens there were just kids with only 16 years or so, rather Gothic, with typical and normal attitudes of the kids this age. We sat anyway but I can imagine that our faces were a poem, but well, everybody was actually quite peaceful and in any case we were the ones not fitting there.

They actually ignored us and we appreciated that. There we discovered there´s something called “gothic lolitas”. We being there for a while waiting Pochola but as far as she was coming late, we preferred to wait her outside.

When they finally came, we went all together to Pochola´s house. Very nice one btw, with a small pool, we also met there her puppy Lola.

We left our belongings in our rooms and… went to play! :D Scrabble, of course! After several rounds, we dine.

Pochola prepared a very delicious chilli, she had already talked us about it in Leon. When we finish the dinner, the visits went out and we all went to bed as good kids… the next day we´ll start early in the morning! :D

(To be continued.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Capuccino San Miguel: the real coffee palace! Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

After eating at Celler Sa Premsa, Pochola and Xisco led us to Capuccino San Miguel. We went walking (no more than 10 minutes).

The curious part was that we were walking slowly, I was taking pics and videos of the places I liked and when I saw this place I liked so much and filmed the entrance, they were a little ahead of me. I caught them thinking it was a real pity not to go there. They were looking for an address and… yes! It was this! :D

The cafe is in an eighteenth century palace. The building is beautiful and has managed to decorate it with such good taste that only to see it, it´s worth entering. When you arrive in the middle of the main room you get a tray of samples of their cakes. Marble tables in the main hall, some stairs that take you to a small section with a few more tables

We sat right in the space under the stairs and the menu, for a coffee and tea fan like me, was like opening a book of poetry. From evocative names to classics as the expresso, all sounded so good for me. A pity that we had ate a lot in Celler Sa Premsa! The menu of sandwiches and cakes was also so tempting. We must go again! ;P

The music, chill out, was the apotheosis of the moment. Yes, as I explained on other occasions, when I'm in a place whose beauty I get through all the senses, often I feel that instead of walking I´m levitating. This time I was sitting but levitating as well!

Here Cris joined us, she´s also part of the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear. I didn´t know her yet but during that weekend we became friends.

We were there for a while enjoying the place and our beverages. I went to the toilette and… the icing on the cake! In the corridor just before entering the bathroom they had a sample of their music in CDs! They also sell them! No, I did not buy any, but the temptation is big and they also have them for sale on its website. :D

I also discovered it also has a courtyard with a fountain in the middle which should be great for spring time. It's totally different atmosphere.

Here the video:

I definitely will go back there! And I will go to the one that they will open during this spring! This will be located in the Paseo del Borne, which will be decorated by Michael Smith, who was commissioned to redecorate the White House for Obama (yes, yes, I mean the Obama that occupies the White House!)

A pity not to have one of those in Madrid!

(To be continued.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eating in Celler sa Premsa. Visiting the Club Scrabbalear!

Pochola had reserved a table at Celler Sa Premsa. The food and the decoration of the place is very traditional, with a bullfighting touch.

We started to delight with the delicious Mallorcan food. If it would depend on me, I would do a tasting menu with what everyone took! ;P It was around 14.30 and Xisco, a Scrabble Club Scrabbalear member, came to join us. I use to play with him on tourneys.

We had been there, eating, talking and laughing for a while. As far as I had taste a bit of everything, I could tell I liked all, but in case I would go back there, I´ll defenetely would ask for the Fideua… a great one!

(To be continued.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Open doors on the roof of Círculo de Bellas Artes , Madrid.

I´m interrupting a bit the story about our weekend in Mallorca in order to give you an exclusive ;P

Today I had a meeting with a friend at the Café o Círculo de Bellas Artes, around midday. At the entrance it was a sign that read “just today, open doors at the roof”, they had 2 passes, one at 14.00 and the other one at 16.30. I asked a bit more what It was about, and the people of the reception desk told me it was for the views, agreed the views were really fantastic.

Actually I had plans for this afternoon but the “just today” made me thought that I could miss a once in a life chance, specially due the part of “fantastic views” as far as if there´s something I really love are the views, so, I´d move my appointments in order to be there at 16.30 again.

Since more or less a year ago, I usually have with me a small digital camera. It´s Olympus, small one, easy to carry on, takes good quality pics (not the best over the world but good enough for my uses). It has the option of taking video, I insist, for simple things it´s quite good, I even had placed videos taken with this one at the blog before… but… I should say today I found it´s not for landscapes, especially if you want to use the zoom.

Anyway I wanted to share with you my experience. The video is ok, just that views at that roof deserves going with a better camera. I have 2 versions:

With ambient sound:

With music at the background:

The good news is that actually the open doors will stay at least till the end of the summer. Somebody explained me there that they place the “just today” at the sign because time to time they have activities at that roof that won´t allow to let the people to go there, so, in order to avoid claims, they preferred the “just for today” thing.,

So, the passes for this open doors of the roo fis from Monday to Sunday at 14.00 and at 16.30. Saturday and Sunday also at 11.00 and 20.00. The cost of each pass is 2 euros.

I´m really glad to know the roof doors will be open more days, so I can go again with a better camera and even in different times, I think to watch the sunset there should be priceless!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Udo Walz. Visiting the Club Scrabbalear!

Just right in front of Rialto we found an Udo Walz hair salon. Pochola told us it was the typical place that just due the name they had high prices, but you see, watching the prices again I could tell you would find similar or even higher prices in Madrid without being a big name hairdresser.

I had search in internet and yes, seems to be a very famous hairdresser (watch out! I never said that he himself is in Mallorca cutting hair! He has a chain for hair salons and one of them is in Mallorca.) Just it seems to be 100% focused on German clients, because his web and even the services menu of this salon in Mallorca, are fully in German, not even English translation.

He seemed to have clients as Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Marlene Dietrich, Plácido Domingo, Maria Callas, Demi Moore, Jodi Foster, Andie McDowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron y modelos para marcas como Estee Lauder bu! In his salon in Belin or at the suits of their hotels! :D

(To be continued.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rialto Living: Glamour in each corner. Visitng the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear.

Walking in Mallorcan streets, we saw a window telling us “come inside!” ;P It was Rialto Living. I just love the concept! It´s a bit difficult for me to give a category to this shop, due it has from cloth to art articles, books, a cafeteria and even a space for art exhibits. Everything with quite good taste! Of course the prices go accordingly, so, a bit expensive.

But my very favorite was the fitting room! You see, I liked quite a lot of things there and thanks God I had the perfect excuse for not to buy anything: “my bag is so small” ;P hehehehe… like I said, from all my very favorite place was the fitting room… we concluded that no matter what you fit on there, you´ll see glamorous yourself! :D watch it by yourself:

The curios part was that Pochola didn´t know this place.

The store is placed where Rialto cinema was… but I better let the owners to tell you this part:

“Founder is Klas Kall, also one of 3 founders and designer of the GANT brand. Co-founder is Barbara Bergman who also works as a grafic designer.

The building was built in the 15th century, and in 1928 they built the theatre Rialto in what used to be the old gardens. Later on it was turned into a cinema.

In July 2007 Rialto Living opened it doors for the first time and now converted into a lifestyle store. Approximately 800 square metres full of fashion, furniture, books, gifts, accessories, art and a Café in Carrer Sant Feliu 3c, Palma de Mallorca.”

And here their presentation video, as far as I wasn´t allowed to continue filming:

Tour Rialto Living from Cubic Creaciones on Vimeo.

(To be continued.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Art exhibit in Art Aqua. Walking in… Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear.

This was one of the first interesting places we saw walking in Palma de Mallorca, we liked what we saw in the window and went inside:

It was nice. They also showed us some photographs of one of the artists, very nice as well.

(To be continued.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Walking in… Palma de Mallorca, España. Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear!

We met Topo in a terrace of a restaurant at Parc de la Mar, with views to the olimpic port and to the cathedral. We started the walking right there, we found an craft fair with a lot of interesting food.

We continued the walking at the most emblematic streets of Palma, with calm, giving us the time for discovering it by our own.

I started to enjoy the nice Mallorcan habit of opening their gates so that passersby can admire the wonders of the courtyards.

There are a lot of foreigners´ shops with, we´ll say… hem… curious concepts? An example was the place Matarraz that was very strange from outside, but inside it was surrealistic at all. Starting with the owner that can´t even reply our greeting when we entered. The place was so small and I´m not sure if it was a cafeteria? A bar? Well, something a bit strange at the way is always something to appreciate hehehe. ;P

(To be continued).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Visiting the Scrabble Club Scrabbalear! Introduction.

If you remember, at the flat where we were on New Year´s Eve in Leon, one of the people there was Pochola. She lives in Mallorca. For going back home she should come to Madrid, so she was at home on Jan 5th.

As good Scrabble fans, instead of going out to sightseeing or something, we stayed in house playing. (Eh! I told her to go out, but she didn´t want!) ;P So, after midnight, she told asked us when we´ll go to visit her and I replayed the typical “it´s so expensive to fly to Mallorca” and she jumped to the PC to show me some Ryanair offers! And yes! They were very, very good! So! There I was! At 3.00 a.m. buying tickets for going to Mallorca! :D

Latter on we decided to invite more people, but the only one that can was Topo.

On Friday 26 February around 9.00, we were flying to Mallorca. Topo will be already there when we arrived.

Sil and I were on Mallorca in 2004, but Curro haven´t.

Pochola went to picked up us as planned; Topo had already arrived and was waiting us drinking a coffee in a cafeteria. We joined him as far as we haven´t took breakfast jet. The weather was great. Just the day before it had been raining but that Friday was a sunny day and we even had took out the sweeter.

Pochola had all the weekend already planed, she´s a very good tourist guide! The weekend was great, we had take advantage of each minute! The whole Scrabbalear Club was a great host!:D

(To be continued).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Patxi Navarro Special Recipe… Potato Omelette

Patxi Navarro, the World Champion 2009 of Scrabble in Spanish, Duplicates mode, delighted us one of the nights of the weekend in Leon with his:

(4 people)

Cut 4 large potatoes in thinly slices. Finely chop an onion and fried both in plenty of olive oil, adding a pinch of salt. The heat shouldn´t be so high, so the potato will be a bit cooked but mostly almost fried. Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl and add a pinch of salt and some finely chopped parsley leaves. Remove the potatoes and onions and mix everything well. Place a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet and let it warm. Pour the mixture and cook over medium heat.

Other variants may change the onion for one or two zucchini (gives it a very spongy texture) or finely chopped tender garlic. You could also add to the beaten egg a half glass of milk.

Thank you Patxi!

I´m afraid the idea about placing recipes at the blog came at the end of that weekend, so I have no pics neither videos, sorry!

Special recipes. Introduction.

Yeap, I know, having that maaaanyyy webs with recipes now, why should I have recipes in my blog as well? Well, first of all, if I should think like that about travels, for example, there wouldn´t be a blog from Igotita at all! :D

This is an idea from our New Year Eve celebration in León. 10 people sharing a flat, a lot of board games having Scrabble as a king, with a tourney on between, city tours, a lot of laughs and good vibes… and excellent food every day! The clue was that, without planning, each person was responsible for giving us a sample one or more of our culinary specialties and it was a complete success!

The idea of having the recipes at the blog came from the typical “give me the recipe!” that usually goes to nowhere. So I thought: “not anymore!” heheheh “we´ll place them at the blog so we all, but also our friends and even other people we still don´t know could also enjoy our creations!” :D

For the professional chefs Reading this posts: even being amateur recipes, they are as good as for being in a good restaurant menu, so, feel free of using them but please at least give a small mention to the author and a small comment at the blog! :D ;P

Start preparing the stoves!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Weekend of Games in Madrid.

On Saturday, February 20, the Scrabble Club Atriles of Madrid had organized a Scrabble tourney.

Patxi and Montse, from my club, Scrabble Girona, came to play it. My good friend Gloria from Barcelona and Santi from Sant Andreu also came. I had the honor of being their host at home. Due job they can´t came before but the day of the tourney. Santi came during the morning, but the rest came in a car, so they had been just in time for starting to play.

The tourney was a 6 rounds one. The winner was Juan Carlos Ayala, that is showing a big interest of being one of the classifieds to the World Championship this year.

Atriles is innovating a new tournament format, we started to playat 14.00 (ok! Ok! We really started a bit later). ;P We made a long stop for dine something and finished the tourney around midnight.

My personal experience with this new format was really ok. In some how I felt less tired, it was like having more time for playing.

After finished the tourney we came to home, Curro had prepared something to eat, not so much due we had already dine at the tourney. I think it was a mix of being tired due the travel and the tourney but we haven´t play more Scrabble that night, but we had been talking a lot about good memories.

On Sunday everyone got up when he wanted… that for Patxi that this time shared the room with Santi, meant to wake up at 7.30. As he was the only one early bird, he was so nice and went alone to study seated at the floor of the kitchen (in Spain is normal to have a table with chairs at the kitchen for breakfast, but as this is not part of my habits, I have none… otoh: if I would thought someone would be at the kitchen for a while, I´ll show him where we have the stools).

I got up around 10. The coffe and the tea were already ready and Santi had gone to buy churros. (Yeap! Nice to have guests at home! Hehehe). Well, actually I had planned to prepare them some hot cakes, but seem I should wait another chance to.

After breakfast… no! We haven’t play Scrabble! We were talking, Montse discovered my 3D puzzles (yeap, I should talk about them in some post), when I saw she was very excited with them I showed them the Rush Hour, the first one playing it was Patxi, but the one that really loved it was Montse. :D There was a moment when everyone was in he´s own world! Patxi camouflaging himself with the sofa, Gloria and Curro watching something at the PC, Montse challenging the Rush Hour (no, that wasn´t a redaction mistake!) ;P and Santi uploading his blog… and I was taking pics to all! :D

For lunching we called a Chinese restaurant that also has roasted chicken. While taking the coffees Curro played some videos of his own creation and them got excited with the music! :D

Finally, after the coffees, we played Scrabble! Just Montse didn´t, she kept with the Rush Hour and the puzzles.

I´m afraid that last just a moment, due they had 6 road hours to travel and 2 more to Girona.

Guys! I miss you!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Almenara de Catalucia: the Icing on the Cake! Saint Valentine´s 2010 Special Weekend: Final Part.

The restaurant we reserved for lunch time on Sunday 14th. Was Almenara de Catalucia.

Once there Ana María greeted me as if she'd known me a lifetime, that wondered me due we had seen each other just in our first visit there on November. She explained me they had seen my post at my blog and Willy was willing to talk to me. Nice! Hehehe.

We were there a bit early, so we took a snack at the bar. Willy came very excited about the post. I told him I just had been honest. (This is the way it is).

The restaurant was full. We taste new things: octopus, grilled vegetables, rice with mushrooms and shrimp… Mother of God! A delight! As dessert: chocolate cake and a crepe.

I should confess that week, as far as I had car and time, had gone several times to Almenara. This meal is a vice! I insist, after all is good not to have this restaurant close to home! Otherwise I´ll endorse my salary to Willy! ;P

Here some pics:

On Wednesdays Willy has “cocido madrileño”… O H M Y G O D!! I could bet there´s no better one. Curro had tested cocido madrileño of “la Daniela”, that is famous as the best cocido madrileño in Madrid and he told me the savor is very alike, but you can note Almenara´s one has better quality ingredients. Otoh: at La Daniela it costs 21,755 euros, in Almenara 10 euros and we think Almenara´s one is bigger, but in La Daniela they give you more for free if you want.

So! I am about to proclaim myself the No. 1 fan of Almenara! Actually once, eating a risotto, crossed my mind that God exists! And he should be training Willy as his official chef! I only hope that he won´t call him for sooo long for the job! ;P

An especial mention to Ana María and Stefan, the waitress, which even having the restaurant full, always have a smile for you.

Yeap! It was a great weekend! :D

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Xanadú. Walking in… Madrid, Spain: Xanadú. Saint Valentine´s 2010 Special Weekend: 10th Part.

On Sunday 14th. after breakfast, we did the check out and went back to Madrid. We had already reserved for lunch and we went out of the hotel soon just in case the traffic would be so heavy.

We were lucky, almost no traffic, so we were closet o the restaurant 2 hours before of the time we had scheduled the reserve, so we decided to go to visit the mall Xanadu. We still didn´t know it.

In fact I'm not the kind of person who likes to spend the day at the mall. Actually I´m not even a malls fan. But… I liked this one! You see, it has a lot of leisure places, is quite big, so, it has quite a lot of stores but also restaurants, cinemas and…

A bowling:

A karts track!

And its emblematic snow zone:

The prices are not low, but comparing with going to a real sky slope, seems to be better. A friend of mine told me this was great for people just starting skiing, due it´s a safer place.

What I didn´t like was how crowded it was. I know, the place is successful, especially on a carnival Sunday plus Saint Valentine. I should go again in a different day or date to check it.

Here a view of the corridors:

(To be continued.)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Night Spa in Los Enebrales. Saint Valentine´s 2010 Special Weekend: 9th Part.

We arrived at the hotel just in time to take a short shower, put on the swimming suit, the towel and to go down to the Spa.

We were lucky and were the only ones at the spa at that time, 23.00, we had it just for us for an hour more or less.

Actually it was a magic view: big candles in strategic places, the light was off, just the one of the pool was on… definitely a nice atmosphere!

We tried to go inside the pool first… but! It was with cold water! :/ I was so wondered about that, it has a big jet, for you to place under it to have a massage at your back… and you see, this kind of jets supposed to be with hot water! Just natural ones (like in Salto el Hacha in Canamia Park) ;P that usually are in hot places, could be with cold water and even then really help you.

So, if we can´t go straight to the pool, we went to the Jacuzzi. Point is if you take out the pool of the Los Enebrales Spa options, you just have the Jacuzzi, the sauna and a shower with small jets for hydromassage. I usually don´t like saunas… so I just had the Jacuzzi and the shower… that was with cold water as well! :/

So, we start with the Jacuzzi. Yes, I already mentioned that, I´m a Jacuzzis fan, but you see, you shouldn´t be in the Jacuzzi longer than 20 minutes. This is due the temperature of water at the Jacuzzi should be between 38 to 40 C. degrees and you have the risk of having problems if you stay longer. The same with alcohol, you shouldn´t drink alcohol while being inside a Jacuzzi (no matter what you watch on tv)… but the night spa included champagne and strawberries! (And where you could take the champagne if the pool is with cold water, eh?) (Hem… no, the sauna isn´t a valid option for alcoholic drinks).

Well, we had been “more or less” good and “responsible adults” ;) so after been a while at the Jacuzzi (yes, it was more than 20 mins, I confess), we went a bit to the pool. Curro was able to swim and enjoy the jet, no my case, it still was so cold for me.

The strawberries we had were just in pieces for eating them without forks. Around 24.00 came more couples and they gave them strawberries with chocolate… so I asked for that as well! ;) Also I should complain about the rule of wearing caps… nobody but us used them! Gggggggggrrrrr!!

Any way, it was a nice experience. Could be better. Actually I thought it had a better Spa. Specially being the Spa the first attraction of the resort, at least could have better prices, you see, the prices of the Spas I usually go in Madrid are better and the quality is completely another lever (I´ll talk about them in future posts). :)

(To be continued).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spa categories. Enjoying Spas! 4th. Part.

From The International SPA Association has categorized spas into seven types to assist spa goers in choosing the best spa experience for them.

CLUB SPA - a facility whose primary purpose is fitness and which offers a variety of professionally administered spa services on a day-use basis.

CRUISE SHIP SPA - a spa aboard a cruise ship providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.

DAY SPA: local spas offering hourly services. Choose a day spa near your home or while traveling when you want a spa experience for a short period of time. Day spas are designed to provide a beautifying, relaxing, or pampering experience with individual treatments that last for as little as an hour or multiple spa treatments that may take up to a whole day. Day spas are freestanding or located in health clubs, hotels, shopping centers, department stores, or even airports.

DESTINATION SPA: spas where guests come to focus purposefully on lifestyle improvement, health enhancement, and self-renewal.

HOTEL SPAS: spas in city hotels. Choose a City Hotel, (also called hotel Spa or urban spa), when you are traveling or wish to have a day spa experience with hotel amenities like a health club and a restaurant. Steam rooms, saunas, pools, exercise equipment, and fitness classes may also be offered. Located in metropolitan hotels, some of these spas are open only to hotel guests, while others are accessible to the general public.

MEDICAL SPAS/WELLNESS SPAS: spas with a focus on wellness and preventive healthcare or cosmetic and aesthetic procedures. Choose a Medical Spa if you are interested in healthcare in a spa setting, either at a day spa or at a spa with overnight accommodations. Medical spas offer traditional and complementary medical services supervised or administered by medical professionals. The spa's specialty may be diagnostic testing, preventive care, cosmetic procedures, or a combination of these.

MINERAL SPRING SPA - a spa offering an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal or seawater used in hydrotherapy treatments. Resort/Hotel Spa - a spa owned by and located within a resort or hotel providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.

RESORT SPA: spas in resort settings. Choose a resort spa if you want to combine a wide variety of recreational activities with a renewing spa experience. At these vacation resorts, spa treatments and services complement such activities as golf, tennis, horseback riding, skiing, and water sports. Healthful spa cuisine is on the menu alongside traditional fare, and alcohol is available. In the evening, guests can enjoy resort pastimes such as dancing and live entertainment. Children's programs may also be offered.

Yes, I know, the title says 7 kind of spa experiences, but the list talk about 8. I had check it in other webs, seems in the original list from ISPA Hotel and Resort Spas are in the same type, but actually I´m agree about putting them in different ones.

I´m really glad about an international association taking care of giving categories to the different Spas… just that even this is actually not enough from my point of view, because you don´t find the same in different Spas of the same category. For example, what you find at the Hotel Habakuk, Slovenia or at the Hotel Senator Spa Madrid is definitely not the same of what you find at Los Enebrales, Almorox. I´ll talk more about them in other posts for give you a better picture of what I mean. ; )

(Pic: Elysium Spa, Hotel NH Eurbuilding, Madrid).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spas: basic terminology. Enjoying Spas! Third Part.

Here some basic concepts to understand a bit better what we can do in a Spa, from the web

Traditional Chinese pressure-point massage used to stimulate the flow of energy in the body.

Traditional Chinese healing technique based on Taoist philosophy. It can be administered by using needles, low-voltage electric current (electro acupuncture), or pinpoint massage (acupressure).

Seaweed bath that is a form of thalassotherapy.

aqua aerobics
Aerobic exercises performed in a pool using the support and resistance of the water to burn fat, strengthen bones, and increase cardiovascular health and endurance. The buoyancy of the water greatly reduces the chance of injuring joints or muscles.

Treatments such as massage, facials, body wraps, or hydrobaths that include the application of fragrant essential oils. Different oils are used for different therapeutic benefits.

The use of water to restore and revitalize the body. Since antiquity, balneotherapy has been used to improve circulation, fortify the immune system, and relieve pain and stress.

Bodywork combining exfoliation, herbal treatment, and light massage.

body wrap (herbal wrap)
Treatment in which strips of cloth are soaked in herbal teas and cocooned around the body.

The hottest room in a Roman bath, where the ancient Romans would bathe in steaming water for detoxification purposes. Modern-day spa caldaria may not have a pool of hot water, but they all utilize the detoxifying power of steam heat.

color therapy/chromatherapy
Use of color to balance mental and spiritual health through the use of colored rooms, light bulbs, fabrics, etc. The technique dates back to ancient Egypt.

dead sea mud treatment
Application of mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea in Israel. Used to detoxify skin and body and to ease painful symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.

Massage technique involving quick, long strokes used at the beginning and end of certain treatments.

Procedure to slough top layer of dead skin cells off the face or body. Dry brush, loofah scrub, and salt glow are among the techniques used in conjunction with ingredients including grape seed, sugar, clay, and salt.

From the Italian word for mud, a treatment that uses mineralized mud mixed with oil or water and applied over the body as a heat pack to detoxify the skin, soothe the muscles, and stimulate circulation.

Cleansing, rehydrating treatment using creams that are applied in long movements, similar to a massage.

herbal wrap
Treatment using strips of cloth soaked in a heated herbal solution to wrap around the body. It is used for relaxation and said to eliminate impurities and detoxify.

hot stone therapy
Relaxing, therapeutic treatment in which dark, smooth stones heated in hot water or hot spring pools are placed or stroked with light pressure on areas of the body such as the back, in the palms, and between the toes. Cold stones may also be used.

Treatment using water therapeutically to aid relaxation in a variety of procedures such as underwater jet massage, different types of showers, and mineral baths. Thalassotherapy, using seawater for hydrotherapy, has long been a staple in European spas.

The first free-standing whirlpool bath was introduced by Roy Jacuzzi in 1968, of the famous inventing Jacuzzi family, whose members also were also responsible for advances in agriculture and aviation. Though many companies manufacture whirlpool baths today, Jacuzzi is the trademarked name for the invention.

Kneipp baths
Water therapies originated by Germany's Father Sebastian Kneipp, a holistic teacher and proponent of natural remedies. Originally involving dips in the icy Danube, nowadays the therapy involves immersion both in warm and cold water.

krauter bath
Based on German natural remedy, this is a strong, aromatic herbal bath solution.

From the German "kur," a planned course of spa treatments that typically involve mineral water, mud baths, algae, and herbs. "Taking the kur" might be a ten- to twenty-day process every three months.

labyrinth walking
Following a man-made, spiral pattern path (traced on the ground, as in many cathedrals, or constructed in garden) to meditate, focus, and calm the mind. Not a maze, the path follows a number of circuits to the center of a circle and back out.

lomi-lomi massage
This traditional technique was derived from the ancient Polynesians and administered by village kahunas in old Hawaii. Lomi-lomi is sometimes referred to as "loving hands" massage because of its extremely gentle, continuously flowing strokes. Gentle stretches and joint rotation are often incorporated as well. Massages may include traditional healing rituals and/or healing prayers in Hawaiian that forge a link between past and present.

loofah scrub
Exfoliation with a sponge made of the fibrous skeleton of the loofah, a vegetable from the gourd family. Loofah is used extensively in Europe and Asia because of its effectiveness in removing dry skin and stimulating circulation.

Manipulation of tissues, usually manually, to improve health and well-being by relaxing muscles, relieving tension, and improving circulation.

Facial exfoliation procedure in which skin is "sandblasted" with ultra-fine crystals of aluminum oxide or other ingredients to remove top layer of skin.

mineral springs spa
Spa offering an on-site source of mineral-rich thermal or seawater that is used in hydrotherapy or thalassotherapy.

moor peat baths
Uses mud harvested from a moor or a peat marsh that is rich in proteins, organic matter, vitamins, and minerals. It is used as a body or facial treatment to hydrate and exfoliate the skin and in a bath to ease aches and pains.

Volcanic mud is mixed with paraffin wax to alleviate aches and pains caused by such illnesses as rheumatism and arthritis.

paraffin treatment
Heated paraffin wax is brushed over the body to soothe muscles and, by drawing out the dirt, removing the dead skin, and drawing out perspiration through the head, leave skin clean and soft.

photo rejuvenation
Treatment with laser light to smooth wrinkles, diminish the appearance of age spots, broken capillaries, and rosacea

Healing treatment with plants, such as herbs and seaweed, and in the form of aromatic essential oils and herbal and floral extracts, applied in conjunction with massage, packs and wraps, water and steam therapies, inhalation treatments, and homeopathy.

Body conditioning program developed by Joseph Pilates meant to develop flexibility and strength without building bulk via a system of controlled movements and specially designed exercise equipment.

polarity massage
Therapeutic, relaxing treatment involving hands placed along the energy meridians, stretching, and light rocking to bring the body's own energy into balance.

Ancient Chinese technique that uses pressure-point massage, usually on the feet (but also on the hands and ears), to restore the flow of energy throughout the entire body.

Japanese healing technique in which practitioners use their hands to bring energy into the body for deep relaxation and wellbeing.

Full-body treatment meant that uses a combination of clay, herbs, seaweed, and mud to deal with the differing cleansing and moisturizing needs of different parts of your body and face.

Rolfing Structural Integration
Deep massage system developed by Dr.Ida Rolf to achieve changes in posture and structure by manipulating the body's muscular-skeletal system. She believed proper alignment would relieve pain and chronic stress. Treatments progress from localized areas to larger body segments.

Roman bath
Traditionally, a series of hot, warm, and cold pools, but today used to refer to a hot whirlpool or Jacuzzi with benches.

Bathing process that consists of periods of perspiring in the heat and steam created by throwing water on heated stones. In combination with refreshing cold showers, sauna therapy is said to enhance the body's immune system and relieve stress.

Scotch hose
Water massage through high-pressure hose while client is standing. The therapist alternates hot and cold and fresh or salt water to relieve sore muscles and stimulate circulation.

seaweed wrap
Body treatment using concentrated seawater and seaweed that contains nutrients including minerals, rare trace elements, vitamins, and proteins. Said by proponents to detoxify, increase circulation, and improve appearance of cellulite.

sensory-deprivation flotation capsule
Enclosed tank filled with warm water and Epsom salts in order to create a dark, peaceful environment, similar to that in the womb, to promote total relaxation.

Massage technique developed in Japan in which therapist applies pressure to specific points in the body to simulate and unblock "meridians" (pathways through which energy is said to flow).

Ayurvedic treatment lasting 7 to l0 minutes during which stream of oil is poured in the center of your forehead (on your "third eye") in order to help you focus, concentrate, and relax your mind and body.

The International Spa Association(ISPA) defines the word spa in the following way: "Spas are devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit."

spa journey
A seamless treatment experience, rather than a perfunctory service, that might include a consultation, welcome foot bath, scrub, and massage in the same treatment room, thus aiming to improve the service quality of a spa treatment for guests (no switching rooms; cross training therapists in aesthetics and massage, etc.) as well the relaxation benefits.

steam room
Room where temperatures are kept at 110 to 130° F and humidity is generated in order to soften the skin, clean the pores, calm the nervous system, and relieve tension.

Extending and lengthening muscles slowly, then in a static manner when hitting resistance. Meant to increase flexibility and relieve stress by improving circulation, and facilitating blood flow to the muscles, heart, and brain.

Ancient depilation process that involves applying a sugar-containing sticky paste to the skin, then pressing on a cloth or paper strip and quickly removing it to remove unwanted hair. Estheticians in some states must be licensed to perform this procedure.

Swedish Massage
Classical European massage technique of manipulating muscles with the use of massage oils. Meant for relaxation and to improve circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, and improve flexibility.

sweat lodge
Traditional Native American place for ceremonial purification and meditation involving the use of intense heat in a sauna-like environment.

Swiss shower
Treatment that involves powerful shower jets directed at the body from various heights, creating the effect of an invigorating

A heated open space, which in the ancient Roman spas was used as a room where visitors would prepare for a bath. Contemporary tepidaria often feature lounges and other types of comfortable furniture on which guests can luxuriate before and after treatment.

Also known as a sweat lodge. A traditional healing method involving heat that is practiced by indigenous North and Central Americans. Inside a dome-like structure, participants gather around a pit where water is poured over heated stones. The steam is meant to relax and detoxify, and thus to create a relaxed, balanced, contemplative state.

Thai massage
Traditionally done on the floor, with client dressed in loose clothing, a full-body treatment that involves passive, yoga-like stretching and pressure-point massage along the body's major energy channels to release blocked energy, relieve tension, and increase awareness and tranquility.

Treatments using sea and seawater products such as seaweed and seaweed wraps. See also hydrotherapy.

Traeger massage
Therapy developed by boxing trainer Milton Treager, MD, that uses gentle, rhythmic movements to relieve tension, ease movement (especially in joints), and induce relaxation. Compressions, elongations, and light bounces as well as rocking motions are involved.

Turkish bath/hamam
Bathing procedure that involves going through a series of steam rooms of increasing elevated temperature, followed by a rubdown and massage and finished off with a cold shower.

Ultrasound spa treatments use low-frequency sound waves to promote subcutaneous rejuvenation by causing friction beneath the surface of the skin. This technique is employed in several areas of spa aesthetics, from facials to cellulite reduction. Many spa professionals claim that ultrasound treatments tend to be even more effective and efficient than similar treatments without ultrasound.

vichy shower
Inspired by treatments in the French thermal spa city, involves client lying down on a table atop a cushioned mat and under a spray of warm water from a five- to-seven head shower system. It is meant to reduce stress, hydrate, and improve circulation.

Healing massage treatment performed in a warm pool in which the therapist administers rhythmic movements, pressure-point massage, and stretches to help client achieve deep relaxation.

Depilation process that involves application of warm wax followed by a strip of cloth quickly pulled away from skin to remove unwanted hair.

Whirlpool baths can supplement spa services by providing stress-relieving, therapeutic hydromassage. Regular uses of whirlpools are often prescribed by doctors to patients experiencing chronic pain or recovery from injury. Most baths are equipped with hydrojets utilizing electric pumps and automated air vents to soothe muscle tension, aches, and pains with streams of heated water that can be directed by the bather(s).

(Pic: Hotel Senator Spa, Madrid, Spain).

(To be continued).

Spas: Definition and History. Enjoying SPAs! Second Part.

What is a SPA? The answer is from the web “Precisely when and how the term "spa" first came into use is still un-resolved. Spa historian Jonathan Paul De Vierville notes, "One possibility is that the word is an acronym created from three words—allegedly scrawled as graffiti on the walls of ancient Roman public baths—salude per aqua." “

How the term spa started to be use? Also from the same web: “Spa, a Belgian town established in the 14th century, could also be the birthplace of the word. Derived from the regional term for fountain (espa), the town's name quickly became synonymous with the beneficial waters located there and, over time, with healing springs elsewhere.”

When people started to use water therapies? From “Modern spas have their roots in ancient towns famed for the healing powers of their mineral waters and hot springs. Travelers would come to "take the waters" and restore their health.

The practice of bathing in hot springs and mineral waters dates at least to the Babylonians and Greeks, and knowing people, probably much sooner!

In the 19th century, Europe's great spas were destinations for the wealthy, who went there to "take the waters." Water treatments are still considered the heart of the spa experience in Europe. Today massages and facials are by far the most popular spa treatments in America.”

(The pic is in Casa Santo Domingo Hotel, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala).

(To be continued.)