Sunday, 30 April 2017

First time in Tenerife

Anyone who saw my previous post will understand what a shock it was to return from this setting to that of ours three weeks ago.

This is Puerto de Santiago also known as Los Gigantes in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, in western Tenerife. The coastal area lends its name from the majestic cliffs, the Giants, on the north-western corner of the island. The rugged volcanic landscape, the subtropical vegetation, the rich blossoming and the ocean charmed us from the start with their stunning beauty.

The Canary Islands off western Africa in the Atlantic Ocean have been the main winter holiday destination for Europeans for decades but I had never been to any of the seven islands before. Even hubby had only stopped over when he was sailing on merchant vessels for a couple of years in his teens – some fifty years ago! As we generally travel in our early spring and late autumn, we just never thought about anything else than cultural holidays, most often in a Mediterranean country.

Although mass tourism is today at most locations much more ‘civilised’ than what its reputation used to be, I must admit we had been a bit prejudiced against such a destination. The friends who won us over to join them for this holiday are seasoned Canary Island visitors and knew better. They had picked out the resort carefully: an apartment hotel quite close to the ocean in an inviting neighbourhood with practically only human-sized man-made structures. They proved us there are ways to avoid the blatant tourist traps and greatest masses if you choose wisely.

The Fishermen's Museum at Puerto de Santiago.
We were more than lucky also weatherwise. It was somewhat warmer than usual, the temperature rising to an ideal +25–+28°C (+77–+82°F) every day through our stay. We attended a couple of great guided excursion but didn’t make it to the northern parts of the island where the greenery is even more abundant. And then there’s La Laguna with the UNESCO-listed old town not to mention the many other towns, villages, nature sites and microclimates to explore. Needless to say, we’ve already started to talk about the next visit as we absolutely loved it. Thank you so much for inviting us, dear friends!

I am hoping a few more posts on this trip will follow while we are waiting for our ‘spring’ to be brought to life. It seems we haven’t seen any real progress since our return.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Faint signs

Some time ago just before our recent holiday, we had the renting of the seaside cottage secured for another year. A couple of days ago, we paid a visit to check the situation there.

I was hoping the weather wouldn’t be too cold to take up some raking and other landscape clean-up. It was +4°C (+39°F) both outdoors and indoors, actually also in the sea. As the wind made it feel even colder we attacked our picnic lunch instead later walking around in search of some physical proof of spring.

In addition to a few specimens of the first spring flowers, the signs were still very faint. I just couldn’t get excited about the tiny buds. Fortunately, one of the mute swan couples spending the summer season in the neighbourhood had already settled down bathing and grooming rather close by. Such a sight will never fail to please me.