Monday, December 7, 2009

20 Million Year Old Caves

What would you have to say if you were 20 million years old?

Last week I visited the Caves of Drach, aka, Dragon’s Cave on the eastern side of Mallorca. Drach means dragon in Catalan or Mallorquine. I recently found out the two are actually the same language. The first inhabitants of Mallorca gave the dragon three qualities, evil, sort of a devil, a symbol for strength and the sentinel or protector of a treasure.

The Drach Caves are cave formations created some 20 million years ago and have been visited by tourists for many centuries. An example of these visits is two tourists from Barcelona who went there in 1878 and got lost inside and nearly died of starvation. It’s most famous visitor was a geographer from France named Martel. He visited the caves in 1896 and discovered a large, until then unknown chamber with a large lake. The most impressive of the lakes in these caves is this lake discovered by Martel, named after him, Lake Martel. It is 230 meters wide by 177 meters long and is considered one of the largest underground lakes in the world.

The caves are full of interesting rock formations with many stalagtites and stalagmites and column shapes created from the coming together of the two. Some of the rocks protruding out and forming interesting shapes are pure white in color and we were told they are pure calcium. The various rooms in the caves have cool names like Asian City, The Window and Cave of the French.

There are other lakes in the caves too with names like the Blue Cylinder and Diana’s Baths. A tour guides takes you through the caves in about 40 minutes and for a grand finale there is a 10 minute classical music concert on lake Martel, given by musicians who go by in a canoe.

The water in the lakes have some salt content even though they have no connection with the sea, at least not at the present time. The depth of the water varies from about 3 meters to 9 meters. At the end of the tour you get to exit the caves taking a small boat ride crossing part of Lake Martel.

When the guide told me the caves were about 20 million years old I wondered what they would say if they could speak? This is an akashic record I would love to read. In Hindu mysticism, akashic records are believed to collectively make up the book of life where all knowledge and experiences from all time are recorded. Some describe them as the collective consciousness of the earth. Every being, object and mineral is believed to have a contribution in this book. I stood there trying to absorb even a tiny little bit of what these caves might know and have recorded in their akashic records.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I recently read that Michael Smith, the interior designer of many Hollywood stars, the same one who was hired by the Obamas to re-decorate the White House, was hired by Grupo Cappuccino to decorate their latest location on Paseo del Borne in Palma de Mallorca. Grupo Cappuccino is a very successful Mallorquine restaurant group owned by Juan Picornell. Cappuccino is a unique concept that incorporates a classic coffee house by day and a popular bar by night. They serve light meals, fresh juices as well as delicious desserts in addition to a wide variety of coffee drinks and a full bar drinks menu.

Today I paid my first visit to a Cappuccino and went there for lunch. I went to the one closest to Deia in the quaint village of Valldemossa. I was especially impressed because they even had cream for my coffee, a rarity in Spain since the Spanish are used to drinking their coffee black or with milk, but never with half and half or any type of cream.

The atmosphere was elegant, yet casual. There was a cozy fireplace off in the corner keeping the air at the perfect temperature in contrast to the crisp air outside. Next to the fireplace you could choose from a variety of magazines and books to peruse as you're having your coffee. The cakes were displayed in a case and they had wonderful varieties like blueberry cheesecake, warm chocolate cake, almond cake, and apple pie. I had a roasted chicken sandwich on a seeded baguette with lettuce, tomatoes and olive oil followed by a delicious blueberry cheesecake and a perfect americano coffee with cream.

Cappuccino is also well known for its good taste in music. They play different tunes in French, Spanish, English and Portuguese, featuring great lounge music from artists like Chet Baker, Lizz Wright, Pete Mo, Charlie Haden, and also alternative, indie and folk/pop singers like Gary Jules and Alex Parks.

The ceiling had dark wood beams and there were modern, colorful paintings on the light colored walls. The lighting seemed to be just right, soft but bright enough to see the features in the room and the delicacies in front of you on your plate. The room was filled with round wooden tables and chairs. There were also bench chairs across the window-covered front wall. The furniture was reminiscent of a 1950’s classic coffee house style. I look forward to visiting the new Cappuccino on Paseo del Borne when it opens next year.