Spain - Canary Islands - Tenerife - Santa Cruz

by Kimp 23. June 2018 23:30

Welcome !!!

Photo Blog (click to view)

Today

Tenerife’s motto is “Do anything you feel like, any day of the year.”

About 10 Million people visit Tenerife each year, to do just that. 

Yearly average highs, range between 70-80F (20-27C) and the average lows are only about 10F (4C) less than the highs. With weather like that, just about anything grows very, very well. The food is always fresh and the fruit is always flavorful in Tenerife.

Tenerife is all about the outdoors. It boasts beach’s, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, whale watching, forests, hiking, mountains, astronomy, and you will never be wishing for more sun. All at affordable Spanish prices.

Home to some of the last pristine Laurel forest in the world and the highest mountain in Spain, which yields an abundance of microclimates resulting in many different habitats. 1,400 higher plant species, 140 of which are endemic to Tenerife. 400 Species of fish and 56 species of birds.

 

History

Some people believe that the lost Continent of Atlantis is in this area of the World. I could certainly believe that, as it is very nice.

 

Homer described the islands as the place righteous people spend their afterlife. Yea, I could certainly believe that as well.

 

Somehow Ptolemy estimated where the Islands should be, and he ended up being fairly accurate. But everyone was afraid to try to go there, for fear of falling off the edge of earth.

 

The Canary Islands were inhabited by natives, later called Guanches, but they were not seafaring, leaving scholars to believe that they were put there by someone else, who wanted to exile a population for some reason. Really no need to go anywhere else. Food was plentiful and living conditions were good.

 

Around the 1300's the Spanish started to colonize the Canary Islands and eventually conquered all of them. After America was discovered, Tenerife became a stopping point for the American Treasure Fleet. On the way back to Spain, they would stop there to take on supplies for the remainder of the trip to Spain.

 

In the late 1700's, the famed British Admiral, Horatio Nelson, decided to attack the port of Sana Cruz de Tenerife, thereby claiming it for Britain, and capturing the American Trade Fleet. He lost that battle, suffered an arm wound, that resulted in amputation to save his life. A constant reminder of the lose, for the rest of his life.


Culture

Tenerife has its own culture in my opinion. They seem to embrace their unique heritage, even with the huge numbers of tourists that are there. It didn't feel like Spain to me.


Food

Probably the best overall food experience ever. Eating fruit and vegetables what have been raised in paradise, is off the charts flavorful.

 

They appear to tend to very simple dishes, that allow the natural flavors room to work on their own. The fruit drinks come in about every variety that there is. I had a different type of fruit drink, every time I got one, and loved every one of them just as much as the other. There can be not favorites in Tenerife, cause the next one will have you second guessing yourself.

 

I ate one supper at a 5-star restaurant. Very expensive, but it was at least 6 courses and I was there for over 2 hours, thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. Small portions, but the flavor is so awesome, I just took extremely small bits and let the flavor savor my senses. The waitress was as great as the meal. She explained everything I was about it eat, with a massive smile and excitement that warmed by heart, and sole, before I even tasted the food. I ate quail for the first time that I can remember, and that was my favorite.

 

The local wine is grow from vineyards on another Canary Island. Those vines grow in the volcanic soil and take in all of the minerals, giving it, its own unique taste. I happily finished off a whole bottle, with the meal I described above.

 

An older British couple who was dining next to me, was also digging the experience I was exuding. The male came over to talk to me for a few minutes. He said, "You are a long way from home. What brings you here?" I jokingly said, "I've already been everywhere else.". He went on to tell me that his father was from the States. His father had fought in WWII, and was stationed in the UK afterwards, were he met and married his mother and stayed in the United Kingdom the rest of his life. What a great story.


That story reminded me of Lewis Kimpel, one of my ancestors back in the late 1800's. Lew lived a full life. When he was a teenager, he was illegally hopping a train, by running next to it, and jumping on the ladder attached to a baggage car. He slipped and fell, and both is legs were cut off at the knee. Later in life, he was a Pony Express rider, and was clubbed over the head by a robber, as he rode through a covered bridge. In those days, the pony express rides often carried bank money and other valuables between locations, in addition to the postage. Unable to ride a horse anymore, he learned guitar, started a band, and became a popular musician in the Western part of Pennsylvania. He was playing a gig in West Virginia one weekend. Meet a waitress there on Friday, they were married on Saturday, the next day, and returned to Western Pennsylvania on Sunday. His wife died of some illness, while still fairly young, and he married May Maude Baker, who would become my father’s grandmother. That is a true story, or at least the one that I remember.

Astronomy
Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for Astronomy, at its world class, sate of the art, mountain top Observatory. Close to the Tropic of Cancer, clear skies and ultra clean pure air make the perfect conditions for star gazing. The observatory offers a large variety of astronomical outings. It is a designated Starlight Tourist Destination.

Penginarium

The Penguinarium is a sort of aquarium dedicated to cute penguins. The largest facility of its kind, duplicates the conditions of Antarctica to allow the observance of penguins in their native habitat. It even snows inside, not where the people are, but where the pengiuns are.


Penguins are awesome. They mate for life in the wild, or at least try to mate for life. After their young are born, they separate, and don't get back together until they mating season. But only about 1/2 can find their mate, so it becomes a free for all, while the single males try to impress a new female mate. Penguins make a nest of mostly rocks, but the nest is a bit inland, and the rocks are way down by the shore. The female is very particular about the rocks, that are going to be the nest for her young. So the male will run down the shore, look for a rock that he thinks she will like, and cart it back, hoping that it will meet her approval. If it does, he will run back down and try to find another similar rock. But every once in a while, one of the males will break from the tradition. "Hell, why run all of the way down to the shore, when I can just steal a rock from someone else's nest, while they are away, looking for materials.". He will steal a rock and try to make a move on hard working Joe's prospective mate, while Joe is at the shore frantically looking for a great rock. If she doesn't like that rock, just steal a few more before Joe gets back, and slowly move in. The odds are in the favor of the penguins who presents the most rocks.


Performance Arts

The Auditorio de Tenerife was completed in 2003. It is a world class architectural structure with great acoustics and is often referred to as the Sydney Opera House of the Atlantic. In addition to the large symphony and opera section, there is also a small chamber music area. The lobby is open every day and the cafe and exterior is a great place to take a break. Beautiful inside and out. Below, on the rocks used to create a water break that prevent erosion of the base, are paintings of several prominent musicians from all eras.

Canary Island culture seems to be big on classical music. Lots of small towns have their own community symphonic orchestra.

I played in a community symphonic orchestra in Melrose Massachusetts for a year or so. They were short a Trombone player, and the dean of the brass department at the college I attended in Boston, asked me if I would fill that seat. I was a jazz performance major, but he knew I had classical roots. They really liked me, and that resulted in a whole string of other classical gigs in Boston. If I ever write up my Boston blog, I'll say more there. I'll just say that Community orchestras are one of those large groups full of all kinds of interesting characters.

From the little that I saw, I would say that Tenerife has some very high-quality community orchestras, and some not so high-quality community orchestras, but I am certain that they are all full of great people in their own right.

Botanical GardensThe old city landfill (garbage dump), an artificial hill sharing the coastline, near the Auditorio, was converted into a Botanical garden, that features palm trees from every part of the world as its main feature. There are also some tropical plants in an interior space called the octagon (for the shapes of the walls around it). The octagon protects the delicate tropical plants from the sea breeze, and somewhat cooler nighttime temperatures, and it has a higher humidity from waterfalls and small water features inside of it.

Photo Blog (click to view)

Thank you for comming along.

I will see you next time.

Craig

Tags: ,

Travel

Add comment