Wednesday, 1 December 2021

     City of Eternal Spring

 


 

 A couple of weeks ago, my partner and I headed north from where we live in the south of Tenerife. The island itself isn't very large, so our journey to Puerto de la Cruz on the northern coast, only took around two hours. Only stopping for a short time to have a sandwich and a coffee, which was welcomed, after rushing around at the last minute.

 

  The small city itself sits on the other side of Mount Teide, and the area differs greatly from where I live in the municipality of Arona, which consists of many purpose built tourist areas. In the year-round warm/dry climate, rain in the south is a rare commodity, which means the land is barren and desert-like.

  Puerto de la Cruz has a sub-tropical climate, and near the city, the gardens and parks are filled with tropical green lushness. Yes, that means slightly more rain falls here, but the winters are still warm here and summers dry.

 

 


   

    Its clement climate has made it attractive to European tourists for centuries, many of the owners of large homes here turned them into hotels, many survive today. It has been a choice of place to visit for many famous writers since the early 19th century. One travel such writer, Olivia Stone, I featured in an earlier blog post. https://devilslayingamongstotherthings.blogspot.com/2015/03/romancing-stone.html

 

  Irish born doctor and writer, Sir William Wilde, father of Oscar, travelled to Puerto de la Cruz in the early 19th century, at that time the port being known by its English name the Port of the Cross. His ship docked in Santa Cruz but he travelled the north of Tenerife, in search of a cure for tuberculosis, the climate being a key element in his medical research. His travels are documented in the book https://books.google.es/books/about/Narrative_of_a_Voyage_to_Madeira_Tenerif.html?id=o09BAAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y

 

  The location was also featured in a travel book written by author Florence Du Cane and featured illustrations by her sister Ella https://www.amazon.es/Canary-Islands-Ella-Du-Cane/dp/1116674173/ref=sr_1_7?qid=1638272172&qsid=260-83718 in the early 20th century. 

 


    I can't help but mention author, Agatha Christie,  who stayed in Puerto de la Cruz too, in 1927. In the week that she stayed there she wrote, The Man from the Sea and The Mystery of the Blue Train. A bust celebrating her visit can be found in the, Mirador la Paz. https://www.amazon.com/Man-Sea-Agatha-Christie-Short-ebook/dp/B00D64I5TK

 


   The city of Puerto de la Cruz is a city of eternal spring, it continues to surround visitors with a beautiful botanical landscape, a place that continues to put spring into my step when I visit. 

  


    

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Eclectic Mix

  

 One of the things I love about living in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, is the eclectic mix of food available throughout the island. The Canarians love to socialise around the tables in the street cafes and restaurants, and I do too. My ever-expanding middle is proof of that.


  While we were locked down last year I missed both the social side of sitting down in a small bar, chatting with friends and sampling the fantastic array of tapas that many offer to accompany your cold beer or glass of chilled Rioja at little cost. 


  Since the covid restrictions have been relaxed a little here, I've been trying out some fab eateries throughout the island. I've tried tapas ranging from goat croquettes, serrano ham, white cheese to baby squid, at first when you view the menu you may think it is a carbon copy to the place you've already visited, But, trust me each establishment has its own twist on the Canarian classics. 


   Restaurants offer tapas which can be eaten just the same way as you would eat them in a bar but can be substituted as a starter to be followed by the main meal. Main meals are very much influenced by the nationality of the owner of the establishment. That's very much where the eclectic mix comes to fruition. Here, in the Canaries, the population is a melting pot of many nationalities and this is reflected in the food.


   Chickpeas to cherne, kleftiko and koftas, can all be found somewhere if that's what takes your fancy. Being able to sample these foods is a privilege and something I am truly thankful for.
                 





#food #CanaryIslands #Tenerife #tapas

Sunday, 7 November 2021

 As the Petals Depart

 


 

    Hi, remember me. I haven't posted in a while, you could say  I reached a hiatus. Over the last few months. my brain has popped back into writers mode, ideas and most importantly words have started to be put down on paper once again.

    Blogging is something I always enjoyed. Writing various themed posts twice or three times a week was fun. However, when your ideas temporarily dry up, the enjoyment fades. I found in the past that my inspiration came from ongoing events happening around me, places I had visited, things that I had read or, heard about on the radio. 

    So, here I am now about to tell you what prompted me to write this post. On the island of La Palma, a neighboring island to where I live here in the Canary Islands, there has been an ongoing natural phenomenon. Over the last seven weeks,  the eruption of Cumbre Vieja has caused devastation for a number of the island's 84, 500 inhabitants. Fortunately there has been no loss of life, but the lives of the islander's whose homes, businesses, towns and farmland that lie in the path of the lava flow, have been turned upside down.

    On November first, All Saints Day (Dia de Todos Los Santos) is observed in Spain and a day when people pay their respects to their loved ones who have sadly departed. On the island of La Palma this could not be done as the largest cemetery  has been carpeted by a thick covering of volcanic ash. Also surrounded by amass of lava the area is totally inaccessible to residents, forcing their culture to take a back seat.

    Knowing how distressing this was for those affected, the Spanish Air-Force took to the skies. Having loaded their helicopters with sacks of flower petals, the onboard personnel took it upon themselves to pay the islanders respect on their behalf. They released the petals over Las Manchas Cemetery, hoping that their actions would alleviate some of the grief felt.

    This wonderful gesture, I found moving and I wanted to share it with you. We'll chat soon. Thanks for reading and take care.

 

Who  would have thought my shriveled heart could have recovered greenness? 

It was gone,

Quite underground; as flowers depart to see their mother-root, when they have blown,

Where they together all the hard weather,

Dead to the world, keep house unknown.


The Flower, By George Herbert, (1633)