2018 Watercolor Mallorca Adventure with Jo Williams

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Sunday, September 9 – Friday, September 14, 2018

Welcome to Majorca or Mallorca! Majorca is the largest island in the Balearic Islands, which are part of Spain and located in the Mediterranean. The capital of the island is Palma. 

On this Adventure, you will enjoy 6 days and 5 nights with Jo Williams in the sunshine while painting the lush olive and almond groves, the majestic mountains to the north and the blue-turquoise sea all around! Enjoy an amazing private island Villa, delicious gourmet food prepared by your private Le Cordon Bleu Paris trained Chef, daily excursions by private van to fun and fascinating local destinations.

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More about Mallorca . . .

Habitations from the Neolithic period (6000–4000 BC) have been discovered. The Phoenicians arrived around the 8th century BC and established numerous colonies. The island was occupied by the Romans in 123 BC.  It flourished under Roman rule, during which time the towns of Pollentia and Palma were founded.  The local economy was largely driven by olive cultivation, viticulture, and salt mining. Majorcan soldiers were valued within the Roman legions for their skill with the sling.  In 427, Gunderic and the Vandals captured the island until Roman rule was restored in 465. In 534, Majorca was recaptured by the Eastern Roman Empire. Under Roman rule, Christianity thrived and numerous churches were built. From 707, the island was increasingly attacked by Muslim raiders from North Africa. Recurrent invasions led the islanders to ask Charlemagne for help. In 902, the Moors conquered the Balearic Islands, ushering in a new period of prosperity.  The Moors improved agriculture with irrigation and developed local industries.  King James I of Aragon  launched an invasion which landed in 1229 with 15,000 men and 1,500 horses. From 1479, the Crown of Aragon was in dynastic union with that of Castile. The Barbary corsairs of North Africa often attacked the Balearic Islands, and in response the people built coastal watchtowers and fortified churches. In 1570, King Philip II of Spain and his advisers were considering complete evacuation of the Balearic islands. In the early 18th century, the War of the Spanish Succession resulted in the rule of the new Bourbon Dynasty. In 1716 the Nueva Planta decrees made Majorca part of the Spanish province of Baleares. A Nationalist stronghold at the start of the Spanish Civil War, Majorca was subjected to an amphibious landing, on 16 August 1936, aimed at driving the Nationalists from Majorca and reclaiming the island for the Republic. Although the Republicans heavily outnumbered their opponents and managed to push 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) inland, superior Nationalist air power, provided mainly by Fascist Italy as part of the Italian occupation of Majorca, forced the Republicans to retreat and to leave the island completely by 12 September. Those events became known as the Battle of Majorca.

Majorca is the largest island of Spain by area and second most populated after Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Majorca has two mountainous regions, the Serra de Tramuntana and Serres de Llevant. Each are about 70 km (43 mi) in length and occupy the northwestern and eastern parts of the island respectively. The northeast coast comprises two bays: the Badia de Pollença and the larger Badia d’Alcúdia. The northern coast is rugged and has many cliffs. The central zone, extending from Palma, is a generally flat, fertile plain. The island has a variety of caves both above and below sea.

Chopin’s piano is in Valldemossa, Majorca.  Together with French writer George Sand, the Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin resided in Valldemossa in the winter of 1838–39. Apparently, Chopin’s health had already deteriorated and his doctor recommended that he go to the Balearic Islands to recuperate, where he still spent a rather miserable winter. Nonetheless, his time in Majorca was a productive period for Chopin. He managed to finish the Preludes, Op. 28, that he started writing in 1835. He was also able to undertake work on his Ballade No. 2, Op. 38; two Polonaises, Op. 40; and the Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39. George Sand, at that time in a relationship with Chopin, described her stay in Majorca in A Winter in Majorca, published in 1855. Agatha Christie visited the island in the early 20th century and stayed in Palma and Port de Pollença. She would later write the book Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories.

Majorca has a long history of seafaring. The Majorcan cartographic school or the “Catalan school” refers to a collection of cartographers, cosmographers, and navigational instrument makers that flourished in Majorca and partly in mainland Catalonia in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. 

The main language spoken on the island is Catalan. The two official languages of Majorca are Catalan and Spanish. The local dialect of Catalan spoken in the island is mallorquí, with slightly different variants in most villages. The education is bilingual in Catalan and Spanish, with some knowledge of English.

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