Friday, 30 September 2016


A man painting the Amazigh flag
Berbers or Amazighen (Berber: ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ) are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. They are distributed in an area stretching from the Atantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River.

Historically, they spoke Berber languages, which together form the Berber branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. Since the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the seventh century, a large number of Berbers inhabiting the Maghreb have acquired different degrees of knowledge of varieties of the languages of North Africa.

Today, most Berber people live in Northern African countries, mainly in Algeria and Morocco; a small Berber population is also found in Niger, Mali, Libya, Mauritania, Tunisia, Burkina Faso and Egypt, as well as large immigrant communities living in France, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and other countries of Europe.

More information:

There are some twenty-five to thirty million Berber speakers in North Africa. The number of ethnic Berbers (including non-Berber speakers) is far greater, as a large part of the Berbers have acquired other languages over the course of many decades or centuries, and no longer speak Berber today. The majority of North Africa's population is believed to be Berber in origin, although due to Arabization most ethnic Berbers identify as Arabized Berbers.

Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en, possibly meaning  free people or noble men. The name likely had its ancient parallel in the Roman and Greek names for Berbers, Mazices.

An Amazigh tent in the desert
The name Berber derives from the Latin barbarus and from Greek bàrbaros, βάρβαρος. A history by a Roman consul in Africa made the first reference of the term barbarian to describe Numidia. The use of the term Berber spread in the period following the arrival of the Vandals during their major invasions. Muslim historians, some time after, also mentioned the Berbers.

The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers from at least 10,000 BC. Local cave paintings, which have been dated to twelve millennia before present, have been found in the Tassili n'Ajjer region of southern Algeria. Other rock art has been observed in Tadrart Acacus in the Libyan desert.

A Neolithic society, marked by domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region, the Maghreb, of northern Africa between 6000 and 2000 BC. This type of life, richly depicted in the Tassili n'Ajjer cave paintings of south-eastern Algeria, predominated in the Maghreb until the classical period. Prehistorical Tifinagh scripts were also found in the Oran region.

More information: Casa Amaziga de Catalunya

The areas of North Africa that have retained the Berber language and traditions best have been, in general, Morocco and the highlands of Algeria, most of which in Roman and Ottoman times remained largely independent. The Ottomans did penetrate the Kabylie area; Turkish influence can be seen in food, clothes and music, and to places the Phoenicians never penetrated, far beyond the coast. These areas have been affected by some of the many invasions of North Africa, most recently that of the French.
Extension of Amazigh language
Around 5000 BC, the populations of North Africa were primarily descended from the makers of the Iberomaurusian and Capsian cultures, with a more recent intrusion associated with the Neolithic revolution. The proto-Berber tribes evolved from these prehistoric communities during the Late Bronze to Early Iron Age.

Uniparental DNA analysis has established ties between Berbers and other Afro-Asiatic speakers in Africa. Most of these populations belong to the E1b1b paternal haplogroup, with Berber speakers having among the highest frequencies of this lineage. Additionally, genomic analysis has found that Berber and other Maghreb communities are defined by a shared ancestral component. This Maghrebi element peaks among Tunisian Berbers. It is related to the Coptic/Ethio-Somali, having diverged from these and other West Eurasian-affiliated components prior to the Holocene.

The Maghreb today is home to large Amazigh populations, who form the principal indigenous ancestry in the region. The Semitic ethnic presence in the region is mainly due to the Phoenicians, Jews and Arab Bedouin Hilallians migratory movements which mixed in. However, the majority of Arabized Berbers, particularly in Morocco and Algeria, claim an Arabian heritage; this is a consequence of the Arab nationalism of the early twentieth century.

Regarding the remaining populations that speak a Berber language in the Maghreb, they account from 50% to 60% of the Moroccan population and from to 15% to 35% of the Algerian population, besides smaller communities in Libya and Tunisia and very small groups in Egypt and Mauritania. 

A Tuareg in Algeria
Tuaregs are Berber people with a traditionally nomadic pastoralist lifestyle. They are the principal inhabitants of the vast Sahara Desert.

The Berber languages form a branch of the Afro-Asiatic family, and thus descend from the proto-Afro-Asiatic language. These Berber speakers are mainly concentrated in Morocco and Algeria, followed by Mali, Niger and Libya. Smaller Berber-speaking communities are also found as far east as Egypt, with a southwestern limit at Burkina Faso.

The Berber languages comprise many closely related varieties. Among these idioms are Riff, Kabyle, Shilha, Siwa, Zenaga, Sanhaja, Tazayit in the Central Atlas Tamazight, Tumẓabt in Mozabite, and Tamasheq, as well as the ancient Guanche language. Tamazight is a generic name for all of the Berber languages.

I only have my nails to scratch with and my feet to walk on 

Amazigh Proverb

Thursday, 29 September 2016


Tina on the top of the Seu Vella main tower
Tina is in Lleida today. She’s enjoying the big party of the city because today is Sant Miquel (Saint Michael) one of the patrons of the city. Lleida is an old city full of tradition with a history of more than one thousand years. Since the Iberian tribes to nowadays, the city has resisted dozens of attacks and its population has survived to different invasions. 

If you go to Lleida, don’t forget to taste the most popular local dish Cargols a la llauna (grilled snails) and try to visit the most emblematic places: the river Segre, the Paeria (City Hall), the Roser Convent, the old Hospital of Santa Maria, the Sant Martí Church, Champs Elysees and especially, the Seu Vella, the most beautiful building of the city, an incredible cathedral built on the top of the mountain which was a mosque, a cathedral, a prison and nowadays is a cathedral again and a museum.

More information: Turó Seu Vella

Geographically, Lleida is located in the Catalan Central Depression and it is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period. Until the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the area served as a settlement for an Iberian people, the Ilergetes. The town became a municipality, named Ilerda, under the reign of Augustus.

Indibilis and Mandonius
The history of Lleida talks us about Iberian tribes, Roman, Visigothic, Muslims, the Crown of Aragon, the Succession War, the Reaper's War and the Spanish Civil War. In all these ages, Lleida had an important role and today is one of the four Catalan capital cities but if there's a legend that all the citizens explain is the story of Indibilis and Mandonius the local heroes during the 3rd century BC.

Indibilis and Mandonius were chieftains of the Ilergetes, an ancient Iberian (pre-Roman) people of the Iberian Peninsula. Indibilis fought against the Romans and sided with the Carthaginians at the Battle of Cissa in 218 BC, when Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus fought them. Indibilis was defeated at this battle and became a prisoner.

In 217 BC, Indibilis had regained his freedom and, with his younger brother Mandonius, decided to harass neighboring Iberian tribes that were friendly to and in alliance with Rome.

The two brothers soon abandoned the Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus and sided with the Romans. In 209 BC, they concluded a treaty of alliance with them. They then collaborated in a campaign against Hasdrubal Gisco which ended in a victory at the Battle of Baecula in 208 BC.

Indibilis and Mandonius with their influence over all the territories of Iberia participated in a rebellion against the Romans but they soon realized their mistake. In a battle with the Romans, the Iberian tribes were all totally destroyed. Indibilis was killed in this battle and Mandonius escaped with the remnants of the army. He was soon given up by his own tribesmen and then killed by the Roman generals.

La veu Mandoni i les cadenes trenca,
i estén los braços de genolls alçant-se...
Mes ai que xiula la destral, llampega,
i un tronc desploma’s i una testa salta.

La mare al poble gemegant la mostra:
-Què has fet, oh raça de tants hèroes? Guaita,
 i a eix preu te vens a los botxins? Desperta!  
Venjança i llibertat!... I el poble calla.

Angel Guimerà, Indíbil i Mandoni, Mar i Cel

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Garbo or Alaric?
Today is a great day for History fans like The Grandma who is totally excited with the news: the secret services of the British Government, the MI5, have aired new documents about the WWII and we can read some interesting new information about this important fact, especially for us, the documents about Joan Pujol Garcia, codename Garbo in the UK, codename Arabel in Germany, a spy for the Allies who had a key role in the success of Operation Fortitude, the deception operation intended to mislead the Germans about the timing and location of the invasion of Normandy near the end of the war.

Joan Pujol Garcia MBE (1912–1988) deliberately became a double agent during World War II, known by the British codename Garbo and the German codename Arabel. Pujol had the possibly unique distinction of receiving decorations from both sides during World War II, gaining both an Iron Cross from the Germans and a Member of the Order of the British Empire from the British.

Joan Pujol Garcia in the German Embassy
After developing a loathing of both the Communist and Fascist regimes in Europe during the Spanish Civil War, Pujol decided to become a spy for the Allies as a way to do something for the good of humanity

Pujol and his wife contacted the British and American intelligence agencies, but each rejected his offer. 

Undeterred, he created a false identity as a fanatically pro-Nazi Spanish government official and successfully became a German agent. He was instructed to travel to Britain and recruit additional agents; instead he moved to Lisbon and created bogus reports from a variety of public sources, including a tourist guide to England, train timetables, cinema newsreels, and magazine advertisements. Although the information would not have withstood close examination, Pujol soon established himself as a trustworthy agent. He began inventing fictional sub-agents who could be blamed for false information and mistakes.

The Allies finally accepted Pujol when the Germans spent considerable resources attempting to hunt down a fictional convoy. After the initial interviews carried out by Desmond Bristow of Section V MI6 Iberian Section, Juan Pujol was taken on. The family was moved to Britain and Pujol was given the code name Garbo

The Garbo Network
Pujol and his handler Tomás Harris spent the rest of the war expanding the fictional network, communicating at first by letter to the German handlers and later by radio. Eventually the Germans were funding a network of twenty-seven fictional agents. Pujol had a key role in the success of Operation Fortitude, the deception operation intended to mislead the Germans about the timing and location of the invasion of Normandy near the end of the war. 

The false information Pujol supplied helped persuade German intelligence that the main attack would be in the Pas de Calais, keeping two armoured divisions and 19 infantry divisions there for two months after the Normandy invasion.

Garbo's life was reproduced in cinema with a film that explains his interesting and fascinating life.

 Spying is a like a game of chess: Sometimes you have to withdraw, 
sometimes you have to sacrifice one of your pieces to win,
preferably a knight rather than a king or queen.

John Rhys-Davies

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


A ghost station in Barcelona
This morning I have explained some experiences of my visit to the City Hall. One of the reasons of this visit has been searching information about a civil refuge built by civil people during the Spanish Civil War.

Barcelona is full of these refuges although not all of them are  in conditions of being visited. When the war started, the population knew that it could be very difficult to win and the best option was the resistance. Thousands and thousands of people participated in the construction of these refuges but before they were built the population used the metro like a refuge. Some years later, this story repeated in London with The Tube.

Barcelona had got one line that crossed the city from south to north. Nowadays, this line is still working and it's Line Number 1 or Red Line. Other lines were under construction and they were also used like a protection, refuge and a safe place against the bombs.

After the war, the reconstruction of the city and the creation of new suburbs and metro lines changed the old urban planning and nowadays Barcelona has an interesting list of ghost stations, that is to say, some stations where the metro doesn't stop.

What scares me? I kind of believe in ghosts. I believe they can wander around, so that scares me. But the stuff that really scares me are the catastrophic events like my husband or children or my family being harmed, or something like that.   
Annabeth Gish


The Grandma arriving to the City Hall
Last week, The Grandma returned to the City Hall to search some information. She's working in two new projects: for one hand, she's searching information about a civil refuge which was built under one of her houses in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and for other hand she's trying to have information about the new plans of the City Hall in her suburb. The City Hall wants to build some new buildings in the zone and some people are going to lose their homes in a new expropiation plan. Shame.

As you know, The Grandma is battling against The AntiChrist who is destroying the peaceful lives of the citizens. In her last visit to the City Hall, The Grandma was helped by two nice and kind civil workers who are also affected by The AntiChrist policy. They helped her in all her needs and we must accept that thanks to the enourmous work of these workers, especially in the last year, the City Hall is still alive.

After finding all the information that she was looking for, The Grandma did other burocratic works and she wrote a letter to the councillor. She doesn't hope anything good from because she practises something as old as the Victorian age: the double moral.
The Grandma in front of the City Hall

It is morally wrong to criticize the practices of other people unless one is prepared to be similarly critical of comparable practices when they occur in one's own.

It is morally wrong to criticize the practices of other people unless one's own has eradicated all evils of a comparable kind. 

These two basic rules of double moral are very common in this City Hall, a City Hall that treats its citizens like children, do nothing to improve their lives and disturbs constantly.


In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance. Hubris is often associated with a lack of humility.

Examples of hubris are often found in literature, most famously in Paradise Lost: John Milton's depiction of Lucifer, who attempts to force the other angels to worship him, is cast down to hell by God and the innocent angels, and proclaims: Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven; Victor in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein manifests hubris in his attempt to become a great scientist by creating life through technological means, but eventually regrets this previous desire; Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus portrays the eponymous character as a scholar whose arrogance and pride compel him to sign a deal with the Devil, and retain his haughtiness until his death and damnation, despite the fact that he could easily have repented had he chosen to do so.

 I think self-doubt, as grim as it can be, makes me a better writer. Stasis and hubris would probably be the death knell for my career.
Kristan Higgins

Monday, 26 September 2016


Paul Newman
Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008) was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, professional race car driver and team owner, environmentalist, activist and philanthropist. He won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for his performance in the 1986 film The Color of Money, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy Award, and many other honorary awards. Newman's other films include The Hustler (1961), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), and The Verdict (1982).

Despite being colorblind, he won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing, and his race teams won several championships in open wheel IndyCar racing. Newman was married to actress Joanne Woodward from 1958 until his death. He was a co-founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity. 

As of 31 December 2015, these donations totaled over US$460 million. He was also a co-founder of Safe Water Network, a nonprofit that develops sustainable drinking water solutions for those in need. In 1988, Newman founded the Serious Fun Children's Network, a global family of camps and programs for children with serious illness which has served 290,076 children since its inception.

More information: Newman's Own Foundation

If you don't have enemies, you don't have character. 

Paul Newman

Sunday, 25 September 2016


It was a normal day until the sky became dark and a terrible storm changed our lives forever. We mustn't forget that. - Joseph de Ca'th Lon.
Terrassa - September, 26th 1962
September, 25 1962

I was a child. We were visiting my grandparents in Terrassa

I remember Terrassa like an industrial city plenty of chimneys and factories. The sky was always grey; the workers wore grey clothes; the buildings were grey; life was grey in an important city that was living under a military dictatorship. 

It wasn't easy to visit my family but thanks to our Swiss nationality, nobody could forbid us to do it. My grandparents lived in the centre of the city, near the City Hall Square. Terrassa was one of the most important industrial cities of the state and lots of people lived in the city, the most part of them near the streams in poor huts made of wood and mud.

The previous day, we had visited Barcelona, the capital. Barcelona celebrated its big party and my grandparents thought that it could be interesting for me to enjoy it. Barcelona was a big city, bigger than Terrassa, the biggest city but the feeling was the same: grey people living grey lives and suffering an endless dictatorship.

I didn't understand why my grandparents didn't want to live with us in Geneva where life was plenty of colours and freedom but they had their lives in this city.

It was a typical day of autumn and we went to sleep after having dinner. Suddenly, a light across the window was the first signal. It started to rain. At the beginning, it seemed a normal storm but it wasn't. Hundreds of litres falling over the city and the disasters were tremendous.

More than one thousand people died because of the overflowing. The most important river in the area the Besòs and lots of streams overflowed.

Terrassa, Sabadell, Rubí, Sant Quirze del Vallès, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Ripollet, Mollet del Vallès, Castellar del Vallès, Montcada... 

Terrassa - September, 26th 1962
These cities were desolated by the force of the flood; thousands of people died and thousands and thousands of people lost their homes.

Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Antoni Tàpies, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, Antoni Clavé, Modest Cuixart, Antoni Cumella and Joan-Josep Tharrats donated their works to an auction. They offered 204 works.

The political situation in 1962 and a nonexistent urban planning were the responsible of that disaster. Nobody paid enough attention about this catastrophe in the high spheres because nine years later, in September 20, 1971, it happened the same, this time with the Llobregat river and with the population of El Baix Llobregat, especially in the cities of Martorell, Sant Boi and Cornellà de Llobregat.

Almost a thousand people died, in a tragedy that someone could have avoided. Nobody did nothing and the tragedy repeated again.

In memoriam.

More information: Flood in the Vallès, 1962

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. 
Karl Marx

Saturday, 24 September 2016


The Grandma with her original ticket
The Grandma is very happy today. As you know, she spends long time in Barcelona and today is the biggest day for the city because its citizens celebrate the festivity of the Virgin of Mercè, one of the three patrons of the city with Santa Eulàlia and Santa Madrona.

For one hand, The Grandma is enjoying all the day in the city which is plenty of cultural activities that she loves: giants, big heads, dragons and human towers are offering their performances around the city.

For other hand, The Grandma, as all of the families know, is a great supporter of Futbol Club Barcelona and because of this, today is also an important day. Today is the 59th anniversary of the Camp Nou Cerimony of Inauguration.

The Grandma was one of those lucky people who assisted to this event. Fifty-nine years ago, she bought a ticket and she went to watch this cerimony. It was during the Franco's dictatorship. The Spanish government wanted to be pleasant with the international community and allowed to show a bit of Catalan culture. Nowadays, she remembers this day with a great emotion and beautiful feelings because as you know, FCB is more than a club, and during days like those you could discover why.

Inside the Camp Nou
Camp Nou is a football stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia. It has been the home of FC Barcelona since its completion in 1957. With a seating capacity of 99,354 is also the largest stadium in Europe and the second largest association football stadium in the world in terms of capacity. It has hosted numerous international matches at a senior level, including a 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-final match, two UEFA Champions League finals and the football competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

The construction of Camp Nou started on 28 March 1954 as Barcelona's previous stadium, Camp de Les Corts, had no room for expansion. Although originally planned to be called Estadi del FC Barcelona, the more popular name Camp Nou was used. The June 1950 signing of László Kubala, regarded as one of Barcelona's greatest players, provided further impetus to the construction of a larger stadium.

The architects were Francesc Mitjans and Josep Soteras, with the collaboration of Lorenzo García-Barbón.

I wrote every day between the ages of 12 and 20 when I stopped because I went to Barcelona, where life was too exciting to write.

Colm Toibin

Friday, 23 September 2016


Bruce Springsteen, born September 23, 1949 is an American musician, singer, songwriter and humanitarian. He is best known for his work with his E Street Band. Nicknamed The Boss, Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana, working class and sometimes political sentiments centred on his native New Jersey, his distinctive voice and his lengthy and energetic stage performances, with concerts from the 1970s to the present decade running over four hours in length.

Springsteen's recordings have included both commercially accessible rock albums and more folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born to Run (1975) and Born in the USA (1984), showcase a talent for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily American life. He has sold more than 64 million albums in the United States and more than 120 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award as well as being inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

Bruce Springsteen draws on many musical influences from the reservoir of traditional American popular music, folk, blues and country. From the beginning, rock and roll has been a dominant influence and Springsteen's musical and lyrical evocations, as well as public tributes, of artists such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Gary Bonds, and many others helped to rekindle interest in their music. Springsteen's other preferred musical style is American folk, evident on his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park and more strongly on Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad. Springsteen songs such as This Hard Land demonstrate the lyrical and musical influence of Woody Guthrie.

Often described as cinematic in their scope, Springsteen's lyrics frequently explore highly personal themes such as individual commitment, dissatisfaction and dismay with life in a context of everyday situations. It has been recognized that there was a shift in his lyrical approach starting with the album Darkness on the Edge of Town, in which he focused on the emotional struggles of working class life.

The best music is essentially there to provide you 
something to face the world with.

Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, 22 September 2016


Barbra Streisand
The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. It is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware something is being kept from them, their motivation to access and spread the information is increased.

It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, inadvertently drew further public attention to it. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters to suppress numbers, files, and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

The term invoked Barbra Streisand who had unsuccessfully sued photographer Kenneth Adelman and for violation of privacy. The US $50 million lawsuit endeavoured to remove an aerial photograph of Streisand's mansion from the publicly available collection of 12,000 California coastline photographs. Adelman photographed the beachfront property to document coastal erosion as part of the California Coastal Records Project, which was intended to influence government policymakers. Before Streisand filed her lawsuit, Image 3850 had been downloaded from Adelman's website only six times; two of those downloads were by Streisand's attorneys. As a result of the case, public knowledge of the picture increased substantially; more than 420,000 people visited the site over the following month.

The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.

George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Tina Picotes in Formentera
Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pityusic Islands group (comprising Ibiza and Formentera, as well as various small islets), which belongs to the Balearic Islands. A local Ibizan variant of the Balearic dialect of the Catalan language is spoken in Formentera. While the official languages are Catalan and Spanish, other major languages like English, Italian, German, French and Dutch can also be heard extensively in the summer due to mass tourism.

The island's name is usually said to derive from the Latin word frumentarium, meaning granary. The island had been occupied by the Carthaginians before passing to the ancient Romans. In succeeding centuries, it passed to the Visigoths, the Byzantines, the Vandals, and the Arabs. In 1109 it was the targets of a devastating attack by the Norwegian king Sigurd I at the head of the Norwegian Crusade. The island was conquered by the Catalans, added to the Crown of Aragon and later became part of the medieval Kingdom of Majorca.
More information: Consell Insular de Formentera

The main island of Formentera is 19 kilometres long and is located about 6 kilometres south of Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea. More specifically Formentera is part of the delimitation of the Balearic Sea which is a northwestern element of the Mediterranean Sea. Its major villages are Sant Francesc Xavier, Sant Ferran de ses Roques, El Pilar de la Mola and La Savina.
Formentera has a population of 9,962 as at 1 January 2010. Its land area is 83.24 square kilometres. It is subdivided into several civil parishes themselves subdivided into others.

Lighthouse of Barbaria
North of Formentera is the island of Espalmador surrounded by a few minor islets. Espalmador is a tombolo, separated from the main island of Formentera by a shallow sandbar, and during low tide, it is possible for one to wade between the two islands. This area is a popular stopping point for those in yachts heading between Ibiza and Formentera.

Ferries to Formentera operate from their own terminal in Ibiza port, with departures every half hour in high season on large fast catamarans. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes with 10 minutes each leaving Ibiza, crossing the sea, and arriving in Formentera past the isthmus to Espalmador.


Martello towers, sometimes known simply as Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. Most were coastal forts.

They stand up to 12 metres high with two floors and typically had a garrison of one officer and 15–25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof and able to traverse, and hence fire over, a complete 360° circle. A few towers had moats or other batteries and works attached for extra defence.

The Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Many have survived to the present day, often preserved as historic monuments.

Martello towers were inspired by a round fortress, part of a larger Genoese defence system, at Mortella Point in Corsica. The designer was Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino and the tower was completed in 1565.

Tower of Garroveret
Since the 15th century, the Corsicans had built similar towers at strategic points around the island to protect coastal villages and shipping from North African pirates. The towers stood one or two storeys high and measured 12–15 m in diameter, with single doorway five metres off the ground that one could access only via a ladder which the occupants could remove.

Local villagers paid for the towers and watchmen, known as torregiani, who would signal the approach of unexpected ships by lighting a beacon fire on the tower's roof. The fire would alert the local defence forces to the threat. 

Although the pirate threat subsequently dwindled, the Genovese built a newer generation of circular towers, the Genoese towers that warded off later foreign invasions.

 The Mediterranean Sea with its various branches, penetrating far into the great Continent, forms the largest gulf of the ocean, and, alternately narrowed by islands or projections of the land and expanding to considerable breadth, at once separates and connects the three divisions of the Old World. 
Theodor Mommsen