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Metered parking free for electric vehicles on Formentera

expoelectrics 210916This morning in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, the Formentera Council (CiF) staged an exhibition of zero-emission vehicles. Local firms Cooltra, Es Brolls, Novelec and Proauto displayed their selection of e-vehicles and recharge units and the Council exhibited part of its electric fleet as well.

The event was held to commemorate European Mobility Week, and, explained CiF transport councillor Rafael González, “so locals and tourists can get a first-hand look at these kinds of cars and the advantages of using them”. González seized the opportunity to announce a change for the coming summer: free parking for electric vehicles at the Plaça Europa underground car park. With the change, all metered and pay parking on the island will be free for e-vehicles.

Bike ride across the island's nature trails
Commemorative activities for European Mobility Week will continue tomorrow, Thursday September 22, with a bike ride to spread the word about the island's network of nature trails, the so-called rutes verdes. Participants in the ride will gather at 9.30am in plaça de la Constitució, and bikes will be available at no charge for anyone keen to join in. The loop will run to Cala Saona and back, picking up three of the 32 trails on the island.

Tourist-appreciation day
Immediately after the bike ride, Formentera will celebrate its tourists by offering them a sampling of local products. The event is scheduled for 11.00am, when participants in the morning bike ride are expected to roll back into town. The assortment of snacks will be open to the general public.

Extensive array of courses and workshops await those spending winter on Formentera

cursos-cultura-2016 mailThe Formentera Council has announced its autumn-winter catalogue of courses and workshops for adults. The aim is to offer a wide range of options to meet the local demand for educational and leisure courses.

Language courses
This year's catalogue of language courses includes Catalan, Italian and English. The free-of-charge Catalan classes will be given by the Council's language advisory service, Servei d'Assessorament Lingüístic. Morning, afternoon and evening sessions will be offered at the A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 levels. Enrolment will be open from September 26 to October 13 and lessons will get under way October 17 and 18. The end of the course will depend on the scheduling of this year's round of official exams, projected to take place January 2017.

Language instruction is also available for those keen to study foreign tongues. Take, for example, the English courses conducted by Nancy McConachie. Her afternoon classes will start in January and will be offered at the basic and advanced levels. Italian classes, by Rodolfo Taccheo, will also be given. The two courses —in beginners' and advanced-level Italian— will start in January on a morning timetable.

Art and Creation
Like every year, there will also be workshops with a decidedly more artistic slant. Creación y Pintura (Creation and Painting) will be taught by Teresa Matilla and a woodworking course will be given by Aaron Keydar. Remedios Castillo and Silvia Jobani will teach a course on pottery. Those three courses will begin in November and finish in March.

Given the positive response received last year, Toni Ruiz will once again lead a radio production workshop. This theory- and practise-based course from the head of Ràdio Illa will begin in February. As for classes in IT, this year will see the start of a beginner's Photoshop course aimed at addressing some of the most basic tools of this essential image-editing software. Sergio Torres will give the course, which is due to run from February to March.

Also new this year is a beginner's digital photography course from Josep Maria Moreu and Pep Martínez. This intensive theory- and practice-based course will provide participants with a variety of photo techniques.

Health
The Council will also run a yoga course with instruction by Susanne Laier. Classes start in November at the municipal cinema.

Theatre
Now for the performing arts. Espai F_, a cultural association dedicated to stage productions, and Fortmenterart, a dance and musical theatre group, have put together various courses and workshop for 2016-2017.

Espai F_ is, together with IES Marc Ferrer, coordinating an introductory theatre course for youth aged 12 to 16. Classes will be given by Mireia Sobrevela and Miquel Costa.

The group is also behind two theatre courses for adults: a theatre laboratory for on-stage training and a course on the psychological work of constructing a contemporary dramatic character. Both courses will be given by Miquel Costa and Mireia Sobrevela.

Another course —Inside-Out— is framed around movement. It is geared towards individuals who seek to explore movement within a new body and will be led by Valeria Del Vecchio.

With Belén Cabrero at the helm, dance and theatre group Fortmenterart will give introductory and advanced jazz dance classes to adults over 18. Another course, this time with instruction by Siri, will focus on stage acting. Both courses will meet in the municipal cinema.

Pre-enrolment
Pre-enrolment will take place from September 21. Individuals interested in participating in courses that begin in November (like pottery, painting or woodworking) have until October 21 to register. Students that wish to take part in January language courses have until December 16 to sign up. For photography, Photoshop and radio production, registration is open until January 16.

Additional training opportunities fill out the autumn-winter course catalogue. One will deal with teaching basic restaurant and bar service, another is tailored for youth workers and a third course aims to teach participants about social and cultural integration. Anyone interested in participating should contact the Office of Social Welfare.

Traditional arts and dance
Finally, the Sant Ferran retirees' club will offer workshops on traditional pursuits like sewing, reseating chairs, basket weaving, wool working, cooking, and ballroom and salsa dancing. Those workshops will also be held in November. For more information, contact the retirees' club.

Formentera unveils nature trails for European Mobility Week

rutes verdes senyalecticaA full programme of activities underpins the Formentera Council's backing of European Mobility Week. At the top of the list, said Rafael González, is an initiative called Rutes Verdes, a network of thirty-two newly completed nature trails. The transport councillor called the bid to boost exploration of the island by bike one of the Council's “star projects”.

For the Council, European Mobility Week also has great symbolic value; our administration has for years made strides in sustainable mobility. The Council, González said, backs any effort to enjoy the island in ways that are cleaner, quieter and more sustainable.

E-cars
This Thursday, September 21, an exhibition of zero-emissions vehicles will unfold in plaça de la Constitució from 10.00am to 1.00pm. Various local companies will showcase models from their e-vehicle fleets and the Council will follow suit, with displays of two of its own E-Meharis, two scooters and two bikes. Formentera's celebration of the yearly European Mobility Week campaign centres on “giving locals and tourists a way to discover the advantage of these vehicles firsthand”, said the councillor.

Bike ride and tourist-appreciation day
Visitors and residents alike are invited to jump on board, Thursday September 22, for a bicicletada (bike ride) across the island's network of nature trails. The gathering point has been set at 9.30am at plaça de la Constitució. From there, participants will set out for Cala Saona, making their way across three of Formentera's 32 bike and walk paths. González was sure to highlight the trails' newly installed signage. His office runs the initiative with the help of tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer.

The Office of Tourism has slated celebrations for its tourist-appreciation day, Dia del Turista, on the same day, Thursday September 22, “to put the spotlight on sustainability and see that Formentera's visiting tourists are committed to this kind of transport”, said González. According to the councillor, moving Dia del Turista to its current spot on the calendar was the Council's way of letting tourists know where Formentera's priorities lie and boosting the importance of the Mobility Week initiative.

An outreach campaign over the last week at area hotels and tourist lodgings was aimed at getting the word out about the activities and the trails system. At approximately 11.00am on Thursday, when bike ride participants make it back to plaça de la Constitució, they will be met with a sampling of traditional Formentera products. All of Formentera is invited to come out and participate in this encounter for increased sustainability.

Minute of silence

minut silenci 1909Today, Monday September 19 at 12 noon on plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc, a minute of silence was observed in condemnation of the murder of Ada Benítez last Saturday on Eivissa.

Discounts, bonuses and fun activities are back...and all part of 'Discover Formentera in October'

nightskyEarlier today the Formentera Council's tourism bureau pulled the curtain back on Discover Formentera in October, a bid to boost pre- and post-season tourist travel to the island leveraging special offers and bonuses. “October is the perfect time to come spend a few days on Formentera,” proclaimed the island's tourism board director, Carlos Bernús, who invoked a mild climate ideal for late-summer swimming and a beefed-up calendar of events as two of the island's most potent draws.

Gastronomic Weekends
The first and second weekends of October, various restaurants will offer sample menus of typical island cuisine for a lean 20 euros. The idea is to encourage tourists to visit the island before or after the traditional high season, but as Bernús acknowledged, the effort has also become a hit among locals.

Activities
Brand new this year is Formentera Astronòmica, an event whose subtitle —“the universe at your fingertips”— is indicative. Bernús described the initiative in the following terms: “For 70 euros, participants will get a chance to discover, photograph, observe by telescope and otherwise marvel at Formentera's fabulous nighttime skyscape.” For the complete programme and to signup, visit www.formenteraastronomica.com.

In addition, this year, from October 8 to 11, residents and visitors will see the return of Formentera Zen, promoting approaches to healthy living. The entire programme can be seen online at www.formenterazen.info and registration costs 350 euros.

Sports
Sporting events on Formentera are a mainstay. Formentera's fourth annual triathlon is scheduled for October 8 and signups is possible on the website, www.triatlonformentera.com. Volta a peu a Formentera (“the walk round Formentera”) runs from October 8 to 11, and offers participants the opportunity to hike the island in groups and in multiple stages. Head to the www.amicsdeformentera.cat website for details and registration.

Local celebrations
El Pilar de la Mola's popular festival (“les Festes”) is another towering figure on the island's list of attractions. Live music, traditional dance, kids' activities and a procession are all on the agenda for locals and tourists alike starting October 12. Up-to-date information can be found at www.agendaformentera.cat.

Discounts
Transport companies offer discounts on boat tickets for the Eivissa-Formentera route for tourists that stay in any one of the 21 hotels and tourist lodgings that have signed up for the island's ploy to bolster off-season visitors. Three rental car agencies have also pledged to give discounts to tourists and active tourism firms offering bonuses. Details are available at Formentera's tourism webpage, http://formentera.es/beta/ca/content/descobreix-formentera-loctubre-2016.

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