When we saw the weather forecast for our weekend in Menorca we were on the verge of cancellation. We even went so far as to check the cancellation charges, as rain descended upon the Mediterranean. Could it be possible, we asked ourselves? Surely it couldn’t rain in Menorca. But as it was, we decided to go, lured by the promise of hotel pampering and a change of environment, and as it happened it didn’t rain all the time as the weatherman had promised. In fact for at least 60% of the time, the sun shone delightfully.
Consequently, our experience of Ciutadella, the beautiful second city of the island in which we based ourselves was something of a mixed weather bag, as we dodged rainfall, spent our time in more cafés and restaurants drinking wine than could perhaps be justified, and constantly revisited the same sights in the hope of capturing the best photos of the famous pink-tinged sandstone which characterises the city. The collection which results is therefore one which shows not only the beautiful city, one filled with little cobbled lanes and impressive palatial buildings, but also the weather conditions which changed its character. I especially love those photos when the buildings are almost illuminated by a hazy sun, but where the promise of a menacing dark rain storm looms in the background.
Whatever the weather, there is no doubting the charm of Ciutadella as a holiday destination. Far prettier (in my opinion) than Menorca’s primary city of Mahon, it’s hard to see Ciutadella as a city with some 20,000 inhabitants only. However, there is something truly cosmopolitan about its main square surrounded by baroque and classical facades and an impressive town hall built on the ruins of an old Moorish Alcazar, not to mention it’s imposing cathedral whose box like character looks like a large lump of peach coloured soap, complete with gargoyle detailing and a not displeasing perfume of incense.
The city also benefits from a very beautiful little port which takes advantage of a natural inlet which creeps into the city from the nearby outer coastline from where the views of Mallorca are truly stunning. Back in the centre, this small city can be enjoyed at its bustling best around the popular Placa Llibertat Market, or in the crowded little arched shopping arcade, Ses Voltes, all white washed of course in the Menorcan fashion.
The Market of Plaça de la Libertad
Come rain, come shine, Ciutadella is Menorca’s gem. A little historical focal point on an island otherwise characterised by its uninhabited open spaces and utterly unspoilt natural beauty.
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