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Megalithing in Menorca! (Possibly part 1)

My copy of TME has opened up the possibility of visiting a range of package holiday destinations previously filed under "nothing for me there". So on 11th May, Beardy and I got up at pre-crack of dawn and set off for Menorca. The deal was a fair bit of megalithing, some sun and sand and plenty of relaxation. 8 days and 18 locations later, there were another 500km on the hire car and miraculously no new scratches. Here's a few notes and pics on where we went:

Day 2 (day 1 being spent just relaxing) Thurs 12th

We started on the "road" to Calas Coves and after much stopping and "can we really drive down there" - we did - and were glad to see a few other vehicles at the head of the bay.
There are caves, used for burials from the Bronze Age, on all sides of the double inlet here - most secured to prevent squatters - we found one that had been reopened and admired the fantastic views.

After an hour or two scrambling over the rocks, we set off cautiously back up the track to the sanctuary of So Na Cacana, as Torre Llisa Vell seems to have been renamed (or now known to be two different places!)

It's a complicated site, only a small part of which has been excavated, and unusual with two talaiots (circular towers, possibly used for defenses) and two taula sanctuaries - a taula being the stone T.

The plan to carry on and visit Torralba d'en Salort, just a few metres up the road, was scuppered by siesta time and secure gates, so we continued on to another "show" site, Torre d'en Galmes.

Another huge site! It's all been neatly laid out with paths, ropes and signs, and seems orderly past the impressive talaiot and taula sanctuary where the top of the taula has been removed and inverted.

But further on, down the hill into the village, it's chaotic.

Day 3 Friday 13th

An early start at Torralba d'en Salort was followed by the long (by Menorcan standards - it's right the other end of the island) drive to the Cala Morrel Necropolis, with the holiday villas springing up not too cruelly around it. A magnificent series of caves along a ravine, originally used for burials but believed to have used later as houses.

Heading back to base on the south east of the island, it would have been rude not to call in at the Naveta d'es Tudons - restored and walled and a little showy but not without charm ...

... but nothing prepared me for how our next location would take my breath away.

Torre Llafuda - a talaiot with a taula sanctuary, the latter overgrown with olive trees standing in a field - maybe it was the creaking of the olive tree branches and the wind rustling the ears of corn, the dappled sunlight through the leaves, the place completely to ourselves - it was magical!

Day 4 Saturday 14th

Are we getting obsessed? Are we really on holiday? Oh yes, probably to both counts! A day off but the evening drive out in search of local cuisine brought us to the sign to the poblat (ancient village) of Binissafullet, strangely not where it should be according to the map.

and the next wrong turn brought a bigger surprise - Biniparratxet Petit, removed to extend the airport runway and relocated to by the airport terminal, was not all moved! I spotted the now familiar blue "menorca monumental" sign and slammed on the brakes literally under the flight path between the end of runway lights.

Fenced in, impossible to reach, with a talaiot almost scraping the landing gear of the planes as they come in ...

And so, half a week along, the story stops for now. Further pictures and locations can be found at my work in progress!

sals Posted by sals
4th June 2005ce
Edited 5th June 2005ce

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