A Slow Farewell to Menorca

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Flag of Spain  , Balearic Islands,
Friday, November 5, 2010

 

We were due to leave Menorca on Saturday 30th October. Having decided to take the bus to the airport, we arrived early as planned and settled down to read for a few hours. Our flight was due to depart at 9.45pm but by the time we checked in at 7.30 it was running half an hour late. At 9pm they changed departure to 1.20 am. In fact, the plane had engineering problems and could not leave the UK. Passengers due to leave from Gatwick were sent off to hotels by 7pm but it seems to have taken some time for the message to reach Menorca as we were not allocated hotels until 1am. Anyway, back to the airport next morning after a few hours sleep and eventually news filtered through that our plane was circling above the airport, waiting to land. Unfortunately a storm then hit the island so the plane hopped across to land in Mallorca. Eventually it returned and we reached Gatwick mid afternoon on Sunday, two books later!

Despite the bumpy exit from Menorca, we really enjoyed our month there, but before moving on I should mention some of the prehistoric monuments on the island. One day when we had the car we went to the south coast, to Coves, where there are more than 90 caves hand-carved into the limestone cliffs. They were dug out to provide burial chambers. Getting up the cliff to view them was not easy, getting down again was much more difficult! We then drove on to one of the ancient inland sites from the Talayotic (or Talaiotic) period approximately 3,000 years ago.

There are numerous sites all over the island from this time, some consisting off Navetas, or stone burial mounds (looking like upturned boats), Taulas, or tables of stone and other stone buildings, some with wells inside. This was around the same time as Stonehenge was being constructed and archaeologists have found a skeleton near Stonehenge which they have identified as originating from the Mediterranean area, suggesting contact between the two areas. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little known about the people of the Talayotic age.
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