Friday, July 20, 2012


I woke up this morning a bit cranky but very happy that Friday has finally arrived.  This summer has moved along at a snail's pace because I know a great adventure awaits me this year.  Still I remind myself how lucky I am to be gainfully employed and enjoying the time I have left in Denton.  So I roll out of bed, get ready and before leaving my apartment, decide to check my e-mail.  Lo and behold, I got an e-mail from the Conselleria d'Educació, Cultura i Universitats de les Illes Balears.  My jaw hit the ground!  It finally came!  Upon further reading I found that I will be teaching in a school named C.P. Costa i Llobera in a small town called Pollença ([poˈʎɛnsə] for those who are linguistically inclines or pol-YEN-suh for the others).  Seriously, check out their website.  There are pictures galore.  Now if you're like me, your Catalan is a little rusty, but that doesn't matter.  It looks phenomenal.  The little town is located in the Serra de Tramuntana range on the northeast side of the island (about an hour away from Palma, where I hope to live) and has a population of about 16,000.  Sounds tiny, huh?  Don't pity me.  Check out the pics below.
You can see Palma de Mallorca on the south-west side of the island.  The circle in the north is Pollença.  It's about an hour's bus ride from Palma.

Couldn't you die?

A typical street in town

An overview with the town cathedral and Plaça Maior

A flight of 365 steps in the middle of the city.  It gets cooler and cooler!

The bottom of the 365 steps.  I captured this one on Google maps

Google Maps shot of Plaça Maior, the main square 

And apparently it has snowed there before!!!

So those are a few shots of my future haunts.  I don't have any idea of what my schedule will look like, but I sure hope to have the chance to explore this amazing place.  Towns in Spain are much more concentrated than here in Texas (and a heck of a lot cleaner) so they look much larger than they really are.  Now I'll give y'all a bit more info on the school.  It's named after Miquel Costa i Llobera (many people of Spanish and Catalan origin have two last names, hence the "i" in Catalan or "y" in Spanish, between the last two names) who was a poet born in Pollença.  It really is an appropriate name for a school on the island, and it makes me feel as though I'll get a great history lesson along with this position.  All of the pictures of the school on the Internet are very impressive.  I thought a little K-6 school in a small town would be an ugly little place, but it's really a beautiful facility.  Check out the website linked in the first paragraph and click around.  Even if you don't understand a word of the verbage, they have some really great slideshows of what an average day is like.  Can't wait to get started!!!

Front view from Google Maps.  Looks great!
A look down the street from Google Maps.  The school is on the edge of town so there's a great view of the mountains.
This is the back side of the school.  They have an enclosed area out back for recreation.

Now what will I ever do with my free time around town?  There are three amazing beaches located nearby, and I can't wait to get a little color on my skin.  The water is crystal clear and the surroundings are spectacular.  I can't even express how lucky I feel.

The first beach area: Cala Figuera (Figuera Cove)

Cala Formentor - Are you kidding?

Cala Murta - OK, when's the ball gonna drop?  This place looks amazing!

Shot 2 of Cala Murta

As I mentioned earlier I hope to live in Palma and bus out to Pollença every day that I work.  I'll have to play this by ear.  If I love Pollença I may just find a more convenient (and cheaper) apartment in town.  Still I'm excited to live in Palma.  Getting around the island will be an adventure as I generally love exploring public transportation systems (unless I'm in Texas).  In Palma I will mostly be walking.  If it's too hot or the distance is too long, I can always make use of the wonderful public bike system, grab a taxi or take the metro.  The metro is what excites me the most.  Metro de Palma is a fairly new system built in 2007 to service the Palma area.  It is a single line that has 9 station, stretching from L'Estació Intermodal Plaça d'Espanya (The Palma Intermodal Station) to L'Estació d'UIB (University of the Balearic Islands Station).  Past the metro, trains also extend throughout the island to select locations.  Sadly the train doesn't go to Pollença (thus the bus trips), but I can't complain.  The train does reach some really cool places, and it will make it easy to explore the island and all its corners.  The bus service is fairly cheap.  From my calculation I will be spending less than $100 on transportation every month, and that's about the price of 2 tanks of gas here in TX.  I'd say that's a win!  The Transports de les Illes Balears offers una targeta intermodal (intermodal card) that will allow me to use trains, the metro and buses through one single system.  Sounds like a great deal to me.

My new ride

Inside a metro car

I think the more pics that I post, the more apparent it will become that Spanish is not widely used on Mallorca.  Of course most of the people on the island speak both Catalan and Spanish fluently, but Catalan is the preferred language, especially in the smaller towns.  Spanish will be more prominent in Palma while I assume that I'll mostly hear Catalan in Pollença.  I'm excited to learn a new language!  Actually, on Mallorca the inhabitants speak their own brand of Catalan called mallorquí so that'll be some added fun.  I'm thinking I may need to change the title of the blog to Les aventures diàries de Tyler!  No? OK ...

Un petó,
Tyler from Texas

1 comment:

  1. Omagaaa that first picture of the town is un. real. It really gives off those rather-romantic small European town vibes. I am definitely going to be exploring Mallorca vicariously through you this school year hehehehe. But it's great that you get to live in a big town and still experience small-town Spain life.

    And I think you should totally change your blog title to Catalan. Even if you don't, I'm excited to hear about your Catalan-learning adventures this year!!