Next Week in Tenerife 5th to 11th September 2015

Whilst I give an overview of events and celebrations that are taking place during the current month, there are always new items being advertised, or appearing in the press with only a couple of days notice, so these weekly blogs are an opportunity to catch up on things that may have been missed or not announced when the original ‘Monthly Things To Do’ was published.  Hope you find something that catches your interest.

Pinloria Craft Fair celebrating 30 years of crafts.  This is one of the most important fairs throughout the whole of the Canary Islands and will feature more than 200 craftsmen showing and marketing their creations as well as a wide range of activities including music, exhibitions, tributes and workshops.  (When 4, 5 and 6th September Where: Pinloria La Orotava)

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The Festival of Colours inspired by the “Holi-Festival” from India. Every hour throughout the event, the band or DJ announces the “play of colours” – coloured powder is launched in to the air resulting in a spectacular visual effect! Tickets Here (When: September 5th Where: Puerto Colon towards Fañabe then Cafe del Mar)

60th Island Cycle Race Eight teams participating in the competition, which takes place in three stages. (When 4 – 6th September – Where around the island)

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Sports Fair (When September 5, Where the main square of El Medano)

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Sabandeño Festival – Half a century dedicated to Canarian and Latin American folklore music and making them known worldwide. If you are on the island you can not miss this unique event, the landmark anniversary of a Canarian group. (When: September 5th Where: Plaza del Cristo, La Laguna)

Romería del Socorro The Descent of the Virgen del Socorro is possibly the oldest of the Canary Islands pilgrimage, and certainly one of the most impressive, with a unique ancient flavour. The pilgrimage starts at 7 am with the transfer of the image from the church to the chapel. At 6 pm, the virgin is moved to the beach where an old Guanche ceremony depicted in her honour takes place. The next day, the image returns to its church. (When: September 7th Where: El Socorro Güímar )

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Efecto Pasillo bring their new album a mix of reague-pop, bachata, samba-pop without losing the identity of the group that has been characterized by the “good vibes. Tickets on sale at tenerifemagma.com priced between €12-18 Their music also encourages people to get up and dance so be prepared for an active night . (When 11th September, Where The concert will take place in outer space the Magma Art & Congress Playa de las Americas)

This weeks music scene includes

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For other ideas and dates of things to do throughout September check HERE

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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Top 10 villages in Tenerife

The island is full of charming villages and towns and at any point in time, you will find Tenerife blogs advising which should be on everyone’s ‘Must See List’.  As with everything, we all have different opinions so below is MY Top Ten not in any particular order but all worth a visit.

1 Masca

Like most people, my list contains Masca; it is up there probably somewhere near the number one spot. Why? Because it is simply breath-taking, spectacular, awesome… and even using all of those words together doesn´t do it justice. It was relatively unknown until the 1970s when the winding road was built.
Masca

2 Vilaflor

Breathe the pure air and smell the fragrance of pine forests as you enter Spain’s highest village. It is like being in the Swiss Alps but with a subtropical climate.
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3 Arona

The administrative centre for the main tourist resorts of Las Americas, and Los Cristianos is a tiny, sleepy, cobbled street Canarian village, where locals pass the day in the charming church plaza surrounded by shady trees and old balconied houses.
Arona

4 Chirche

Each July in the picturesque hamlet of Chirche you will be transported back in time to experience life as it was for the inhabitants in the 17th and 18th century. The celebration is called the Day of Traditions, but the tiny village is worth a visit at any time of the year.

Chirche

Courtesy Cherche Society, Facebook

5 Arafo

The old town holds many surprises in its narrow streets and small squares. Known as the “music town” of the island its long musical tradition has operated continuously since the nineteenth century
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6 Abades

The slow pace of life in Abadas is typical of many of the fishing villages in this area. The beach is never crowded and the village square has a couple of bars to partake of a refreshing drink at the end of a long sunny day.

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7 Los Roques

Not one but two beaches, the quiet and clean Playa del Abrigo and my favourite Playa de Los Roques a tiny shingle beach surrounded by half a dozen Canarian houses and a chapel all built into the rocks that give the village its name.

8 La Maretas

A tiny village, filled with a wild profusion of crimson and citron flowers. La Maretas is cobbled streets, old-fashioned houses lining a small shingle beach lapped by a calm, lazy sea.

9 Alcala

Today the town of Alcala is known for the hotel that dominates the seafront, but at heart, it is still a fishing village. The local market is held in the small plaza with its restaurants and cafés. The original tiny beach and sunbathing terrace have now been joined by new beach areas and the prom is stylishly in keeping with the 5 star hotel.
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10 Tajao

The little, old fishing port of Tajao is famous for its tempting restaurants where the meals jump straight out of the sea and onto your plate. The pace of life here is slow and has changed little in hundreds of years.

So that’s my list but I am sure I have missed many places that are worth a visit.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

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Things to do in Tenerife in September 2015

Whilst most places in Northern Europe begin to cool down September in Tenerife, is still a sizzler. During the month, the average temperature in the south of the island is a pleasant 28°C with highs in the low 30°Cs and summer nights never dropping below 20ºC. It is a few degrees cooler in the north, thanks to the trade winds and daytime temperatures are in the region of 23°C with nights of 17-18°C.

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The balmy air beckons you outdoors and even as the sun goes down there is a whole range of outdoor activities to enjoy under the stars. The following is a round up of some of the best cultural, sport and music events to help you extend the summer vibe.

September Highlights

Virgen Del Carmen The fiesta starts to build up at least a week prior to the main day with various activities including sporting competitions, foam parties, dances and a fairground, There is something for everyone. On the evening of the first Sunday of September, the image of the Virgin and St. Joseph make their way from the church to the beach. Hundreds of residents and visitors follow the procession.

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Feast in honour of Our Lady of Light, patron saint of Los Silo is celebrated the first week of September, this takes the form of Masses and processions, fireworks, floral tributes to the Virgin, and traditional folklore festivals. With the proclamation, the 29th, and the ‘Chimes of the Festival’ on August 31, the acts begin: Art Festival (5th), the Elevation of the Virgin (6th), the big day is (8th) Food and Floral Offerings  (11th) party (13th). (When:From August 29 to September 13 Where: Los Silos)

Romería del Socorro The Descent of the Virgen del Socorro is possibly the oldest of the Canary Islands pilgrimage, and certainly one of the most impressive, with a unique ancient flavour. The pilgrimage starts at 7 am with the transfer of the image from the church to the chapel. At 6 pm, the virgin is moved to the beach where an old Guanche ceremony depicted in her honour takes place. The next day, the image returns to its church. (When: September 7th Where: El Socorro Güímar )

Other Events in September

Tenerife Motor Week the latest developments of various automotive brands, and companies related to the sector. (When 1 to 6 September Where The Magma Art & Congress, Playa de las Americas)

XI  Ruta Nocturna Theater and Music (When 4th September, Where El Medano)

Pinloria Craft Fair celebrating 30 years of crafts.  This is one of the most important fairs throughout the whole of the Canary Islands and will feature more than 200 craftsmen showing and marketing their creations as well as a wide range of activities including music, exhibitions, tributes and workshops.  (When 4, 5 and 6th September Where: Pinloria La Orotava)

The Festival of Colours inspired by the “Holi-Festival” from India. Every hour throughout the event, the band or DJ announces the “play of colours” – coloured powder is launched in to the air resulting in a spectacular visual effect! Tickets Here (When: September 5th Where: Puerto Colon towards Fañabe then Cafe del Mar)

Sabandeño Festival – Half a century dedicated to Canarian and Latin American folklore music and making them known worldwide. If you are on the island you can not miss this unique event, the landmark anniversary of a Canarian group. (When: September 5th Where: Plaza del Cristo, La Laguna)

LX Vuelta Ciclista Isla de Tenerife Do not miss the most important cycling test which this year celebrates its sixtieth edition. Eight teams participating in the competition, which takes place in three stages. (When: 4 to 6 September Where: Vilaflor)

OBG is a 5 night, fun-fuelled overseas clubbing holiday, the best experience of your life! With the opening of some new venues including a luxury pool party to give Ibiza a run for its money. (When 8th – 13th Sept Where various throughout the south)

Efecto Pasillo bring their new album a mix of reague-pop, bachata, samba-pop without losing the identity of the group that has been characterized by the “good vibes. Tickets on sale at tenerifemagma.com priced between €12-18 (When 11th September, Where The concert will take place in outer space the Magma Art & Congress Playa de las Americas)

XXXIV Craft Fair lots of local art, crafts and food to purchase (When 13th September, 10am and 6pm Where Plaza of Our Lady of Light in front of the church Guia de Isora)

‘Boreal’ is a festival whose aim is to disseminate the importance of the environment. There will be two days of celebrations among which are activities like musical performances, plays, documentary screenings and an organic market for the whole family. (When 18th  – 19th September from 10:00 to 23:59 daily Where Los Silos)

Concert Ana Belen and Victor Manuel  (When 19 September Where  Pavilion Santiago Martin, La Laguna)

Murder Mystery Evening THIS (The Inglés Speaking Theatrical Association) is holding a “Murder Mystery Dinner” If you fancy yourself as a Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes Reservations can be made with Sheila Perrin on 922 302331 or Colin Price on 922 572104 (When September 19th. Where “Petit Los Angeles” Restaurant in Puerto de la Cruz)

Coco, Pepe, Buby and Noodle famous clowns CantaJuego is a musicalAimed at children aged0 to 6 years (When 20 September Two functions, at 12.00 and 17.00 Where Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín)

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Roy Chubby Brown He’s back, he’s still rude, he’s still crude and this time he’s turning headlines into punch lines as his rip-roaring brand of banter continues to burst bellies across the world. Strictly over 18’s only Tickets Online: www.showtimetenerife.com  (When 25th and 26th September  Where Showtime, Karting Las Americas)

Carrera Charity West 5.5k run. The registration fee is 5 euros, plus the contribution of a kilo of non-perishable food that will be distributed to various NGOs. (When September 27th Where Santa Maria del Mar)

Photography · Music · Short films . Sculpture · · · · Illustration Contests · Workshops · Talks – Ten Diez dedicates the next international event of art to the memory and life of the Canarian Artist Dayana Dominguez Perera and also show some of her work. (When 3rd October to 14th November Where: Baobab Suites)

Illusion, LIVE – The ultimate Las Vegas show, right here in Tenerife, starring Gaetano Garofalo direct from the Flamingo in Las Vegas. Grand illusions, levitating women, sleight of hand and beautiful dancers – everything you never dreamed possible! No camera tricks, no computer graphics just amazing illusions, right in front of your eyes. (When Every Thursday at 8.00pm Where Showtime Tenerife, Las Americas Tickets)

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INSOMNIA VIP BOAT PARTY  Pre-party with shots, boat party with Insomnia DJ’s playing the very best music, 3 hour FREE BAR including spirits, beer and cocktails. After party with FREE BBQ (When Sailing every Sunday and Wednesday.)

Tenerife Opera brings a new season full of novelties. Enjoy four great titles from 60€. The Marriage of Figaro  by Mozart,  The Troubadour by Verdi, Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart ) by Donizetti and Werther by Massenet. More info auditoriodetenerife.com

Visit the Dorada Brewery The local brewing company opens its doors to unveil the manufacturing process of Dorada beer, from the collection of raw materials to bottling, at the end of the visit you will be invited to a Dorada in the Tasting Room. (Booking is necessary.  http://doradatour.es/ Every Tuesday and Wednesdays Avda. de Ángel Romero Santa Cruz to 31/12/2015)

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

Photo by Justin Ng

Sit in a moon shadow with an otherwise open view of the predawn sky, and if you’re really lucky, you might see as many as 40 meteors in one hour. Good luck! Click the links below to learn more about meteor showers in 2015.
October 8, 2015 DraconidsOctober 21-22, 2015 Orionids
November 4-5, 2015 South TauridsNovember 12-13, 2015 North TauridsNovember 17-18, 2015 Leonids
December 13-14, 2015 Geminids

Whilst these are some of the most interesting events, there is an overwhelming amount of activities on Tenerife each month. Click on the links below to see what is happening elsewhere.

Tenerife – Attractions

Tenerife offers a wealth of attractions follow the LINK to get just a few ideas.

Tenerife – Tours

Guided tours both free and private as well as numerous excursions are available throughout the year.  For a few ideas follow the link to Tenerife Tours and Days Out

Tenerife – Sporting Activities

Year round temperatures averaging 22 degrees combined with a low level of rainfall provide an ideal climate for outdoor ventures. Whether on land, at sea or in the skies, Tenerife provides outdoor adventure for all types of travellers. Check them out HERE

Tenerife – Markets

Everyone loves a market and the island is home to a wealth of covered, outdoor and street markets. Many specialise in a particular type of goods while others selling the same product move from site to site. Most open early in the morning and close early afternoon. Follow this link for a list of Tenerife Markets

Tenerife – Museums

The museums of Tenerife are accessible to all sections of the community regardless of limited mobility or communication. Follow the link to find a comprehensive list of Tenerife – Museums

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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A Glass Of Wine Makes Life More Enjoyable

As many readers of this Tenerife blog know I am teetotal and whilst it has been whispered (albeit behind my back) that I must be alcoholic the truth is I am actually allergic to alcohol. I used to enjoy the odd tipple, have even been known to have a few too many, but not for many years. Within a few seconds of me sipping anything whether wine or spirits, my nose runs, my eyes fill with tears, I start to sneeze, and this can last for several hours.

So, when I mentioned on Tuesday last that I was going to a wine tasting on Friday afternoon at Prestigio y Tradicion several folks wondered why. Initially it was to buy some decent wine at good prices as presents for friends, but also I wanted to check the other foodstuffs the company sells that are sourced from small companies that produce food and drink by using traditional methods.

The company is easy to find in Las Chafiras, and they have a small car park. This was full so we parked behind another car and told the staff if someone wanted to leave, we could move. Once inside it didn´t look as if anyone was in a hurry to go anywhere, it was quite a party atmosphere with lots of people chatting. Lots of drinks being sampled and some exceptionally tasty food being served.

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I met Stephen (Steph) Beney the Commercial Director. He is French but have no fear his English is perfect.

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I told him about my allergy and he laughed. “It is what a large number of producers add to the wine that you are allergic to not the alcohol,” he said. Then he rushed away and came back with a bottle of white wine that he asked me to try. I was willing to do this but did have my tissues at the ready.

It smelt good, fruity without being overpowering, and so I took a sip. It was delicious just a hint of apricot or perhaps peach, so I took another sip and waited…..nothing. Steph smiled, told you, that is a biodynamic wine, which means the winemaker made it without any common manipulations such as acidity adjustments or yeast additions. I was now hooked and tried another; it was also good but the sort of wine I would want with a meal. The first was what I would call a ‘social wine’ the type you can sip while having long conversations as the sun goes down with a group of friends.

Microsoft Word - wine bottleWe didn´t stay long, perhaps an hour but several people at the tasting looked set for the day! The tastings are held most weeks sometimes these are for ‘professionals’ as much of the company business is with hotels and restaurants. Steph will let me know when the next general public one is scheduled, so I can let friends know.

Jim and I wandered into the shop area and admired the selection of goods, not just wine (in pretty bottles) but cheeses, meats, salts, and sweets. All those ‘special’ things that are hard to find for friends you care about.

So did I achieve my brief, Oh Yes! I came home with some oils and vinegars, three bottles of wine and a bottle of Caraballas for when I feel like indulging myself. We will certainly be going back to Prestigio y Tradicion and once you have bought, you are entitled to a discount on whatever you buy next time, which isn´t expensive to start with.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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Virgen del Carmen the fishermen’s saint

Culture is part of the identity of a place, and nowhere more so than Tenerife. Almost on a weekly basis you will find somewhere on the island, festivals and pilgrimages, bustling with cheerful people and activities that enrich your days, making them more fruitful and memorable.

So it is in the tourist resort of Los Cristianos, times may change, but one thing is constant, on the first Sunday of September the “Virgen del Carmen” the patron saint of fishermen and sailors is honoured.

The fiesta starts to build up at least a week prior to the main day with various activities including sporting competitions, foam parties, dances and a fairground, There is something for everyone. (this year 2015 it starts on 26th August and runs through to 7th September – Full programme HERE)

On the evening of the first Sunday of September after Mass, the image of the Virgin and St. Joseph make their way from the church to the beach. Hundreds of residents and visitors follow the procession.

Once at the harbour, the Bishop of the Diocese blesses them before they are placed on board a brightly decorated boat for a trip around the harbour to Palm Mar. Dozens of boats all sounding their sirens accompany the Virgin.

On the return from their short voyage there are prayers and singing at an alter set up by the old pier and the formal part of the celebration ends with a fireworks display across the bay.

When the fireworks finish that is when the real party starts. The Canary music is changed to a mixture of Spanish and English pop. Along with local people, holiday-makers and tourists, enjoy the Fiesta del Carmen.  They may not understand the religious sub-text but they enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere provided by one of the most unique and beautiful events in the south of Tenerife.

Few people know that in 2005 a stone statue of the Virgin was submerged in the bay of Los Cristianos. The sculpture made from local stone is about 1.5m and weighs around 700kg and  is by Juan Carlos Martin.  It was lowered 40m into the sea near a point known as Cueva Juanito and it is there to keep those who pass over her in their sailing vessels safe. There is also a small replica on the esplanade to the side of the old pier.

Virgen del Carmen, located in the port Los Cristianos, Arona. Sculpture by Juan Carlos Martin – image art discover

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

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Annual Artisan Fair in Vilaflor

Close to where I live, is the picturesque mountain village of Vilaflor. It is the highest village in Spain and from the southern resorts, it is an easy journey. By taking the TF28 from Los Cristianos and following the signs first for Arona and then Vilaflor, you will arrive in around 30 minute. If you continue the route will take you on to Parque Nacional del Teide, the most visited attraction on the island.

However, I digress, Vilaflor is a nice place to visit at any time of the year, it is surrounded by mountains and pine forests, the scenery is breathtaking, the air is pure and clear and the flower lined streets and plazas are generally quiet. Except of course when there is a craft fair.

On the 29th of August, Vilaflor will hold its Annual Artisan Fair. This is a great event if you want to learn about Canarian culture. You can find out about making lace, baskets and wood-carvings and while checking out the craft scene, you can also sample a selection of traditional foods.

It is a popular event and gets busy despite it being held at 3,800 feet so make sure you arrive early. It starts at 10.00 and continues until 7.00. Just as well, it is still light at that time in the evening as some may find driving down the mountainside a little hairy. :-)

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For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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Tom Jones in Tenerife

Over the past few years, Tenerife has attracted some of the biggest names in show business. I have to say that at one time, if I had heard that Tom Jones was coming to the island I would have shrugged my shoulders and not been terribly impressed.

/ Tom Jones 2015 Tour

/ Tom Jones 2015 Tour

When young I was never a fan of the virulent leather-clad hulk who has sung all types of popular music including syrupy standards like Green Green Grass of Home. However as the years have progressed he stopped dyeing his hair and I watched a BBC4 programme that featured what was then his new ‘Praise & Blame’ album. I was both surprised and bowled over.

His follow up album ‘Spirit in the Room’, is essentially a covers album and includes songs by Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and Richard Thompson amongst others but like the previous gospel-influenced album it has the depth to match his deep, rich voice. So it has taken a while but I’ve finally become a fan.

I also feel proud that Sir Tom has chosen Tenerife as one of just two concerts taking place this summer in Spain to present his album.  It shows we can pull out all the stops when necessary.

So for one night only on the 28th August at the Recinto Ferial his adoring fans, who have hopefully over the years gained a little decorum, will not throw their knickers on stage, but will sing along to strains of Delilah and perhaps (fingers crossed) also to Tower of Song at this historic event.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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Alcatraz Island

Having arrived in San Francisco one of our first stops after being swept away by the Golden Gate Bridge, was another famous attraction Alcatraz Island. Some will be familiar with it from the many movies it has featured in and for housing notorious criminals like Al Capone, and Robert Stroud (aka The Birdman of Alcatraz). This wasn’t my first time to ‘The Rock’ as it’s often know, but it took many years to get me back inside the prison 

We arrived at Pier 33, even getting an early ferry, there was a long queue of people discussing how, if they were prisoners, they would escape. After all it doesn´t look that far from shore.

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The short ferry ride takes only 15 minutes, can be choppy, and if the fog is over the bay, the outline of the prison looks eerie. As we were approaching, we had the full imposing view. The imagery of the watchtower proved a bit intimidating but we couldn’t wait to start exploring.

Using the audio tour you can take your time and immerse yourself in the surroundings. It’s included in the price of your ticket and prisoners and prison officers narrate it.

As you step into the cells, you are instantly met with the past. Prisoners’ clothes, books, games, even shaving foam discarded where they lay as the prisoners left. Each cell evokes an uncanny, almost sinister atmosphere. We stepped into a solitary confinement cell, I couldn’t stay in there more than a few seconds. It was unnerving your imagination comes to life in such a confined space.

According to the audio guide, only prisoners who consistently behaved could go outside and enjoy the recreation area and a brief sense of freedom. The space wasn’t big but I imagine the prisoners found it extremely pleasant, especially the views of the city. On the other hand, is that another form of punishment, so near and yet misleadingly far?

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We met Prisoner 1259, Kate bought his book, and had a photo taken. He appeared a sweet old man, but that is now, in the past he wouldn’t have been so kindly.

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If you are expecting some sort of theme park, you are going to be disappointed. It’s eerie, dreary and depressing but in a strange way fascinating and that’s probably what is so surprising, Alcatraz lives up to its dark reputation – a MUST visit!

If you are doing the trip, I would advise you book tickets in advance as they sell out very quickly. Ours were all pre-booked as part of our package but those who arrived on the day were being turned away. The wait time was over two weeks. It will probably be worse in peak season.

 

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

 

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Next Week in Tenerife 22nd to end August 2015

Goymar Fest heavy metal festival bringing together some of the best local and regional bands  (When Saturday 22 August Where Puertito de Guimar – 2pm to 2am)

Outdoor Cinema with a screening of the film “Losing the North”, with the actor Julian Lopez, who will be in charge of presenting the film. (When 22nd August, Where Playa de San Juan)

Black Roque Trail with a distance of 15 km in one of the most charming areas on the island. (When: 23 August Where: Anaga  INFO HERE)

Neo will close the Sansofé 2015 and will be joined by a large team musicians, singers, dancers, and showgirls the concert will be led by Kevin Leon.(When 29th August, Where Plaza El Medano)

Subida de los cestos y bollos Traditionally, unmarried girls of the neighborhood, dressed in costume, wear on their heads buns, surrounded by colorful ribbons and sugar figurines.  There is no lack of good local wine and Canarian music. (When:August 29 Where: Barrio de Santa Barbara, Icod)

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Bavarian Week – The great Beer Festival is the highlight of the week and offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the party and the German culture (When: 29 August Where: Puerto de la Cruz)

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10K Ocean Cross a race that will cross one of the most emblematic places in the municipality of Adeje, with a circuit that alternates asphalt, sand and one of the more colorful promenades of the island. The sunset, the swell, the arrival of the full moon will witness this challenge! (When 29th August, Where Plaza del Duque)

XXIX Bestialón of Tejina, once again this popular sporting event that combines swimming, cycling and running. (When August 29. Where: La Laguna)

Romería de San Agustín en Arafo The festival  puts an end to celebrations that began in late July. The pilgrimage is a typical Canarian party with ox carts, carousing and folk groups, and residents and visitors dressed in costume and share good Canarian food  (When: August 29 Where: Arafo)

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Nivaria Philharmonic Concert, conducted by the renowned director Ferran Ferrer will present a new work (When 30th August at 13.00 Where Auditorium Juan Carlos I in Arafo)

Corazones de Tejina  one of the most amazing traditional festive events of the summer. The residents produced huge hearts, over fifteen meters high and decorated with flowers and fruits, (When: From August 30 to September 1 Where: Tejina)

This weeks music scene includes

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For other ideas and dates of things to do throughout August check HERE

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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A Residents Los Cristianos

I think I can safely say that all Tenerife blogs will have suggested places that if you are on holiday in Los Cristianos you should try to visit.  These will include Las Vistas beach, the Sunday market and the seafront walkway or to give it it’s posh name the esplanade. However, what about the areas that are important or ‘must haves‘ for those of us who live here.

Not many tourists visit, or even know where the Cultural Centre is, yet for many locals it’s the hub of the town. It is a meeting point for both cultural and leisure activities. There are painting and photography exhibitions by well-known as well as local artists. It is where discussions take place and feelings are aired. Tourists as well as residents can use the library that not only has a good selection of books but you can also pop in and catch up with the daily news.  To the side of the building is where the police keep all the lost property that has been handed in.  I sometimes wonder if holiday-makers realise they should look here before assuming items have been stolen.

Behind the culture centre is perhaps one of my favourite places, the auditorium. It is large, modern, with a first class sound system and above all the seats are very comfortable. Every week there are performances. Whether you are looking for variety shows, jazz, gospel dance or rock n roll you will find it at the Auditorio Infanta Leonor, alongside Canarian folk and music  from different parts of the world. Tickets are always reasonably prices; you can see a top notch show often for under €20.

The Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen is in the middle of town in Plaza de Los Cristianos. I’m not religious but I do like to visit this church especially when there is a fiesta as most involve a religious figure so the church will feature usually at the beginning of such an event. I also probably feel an affinity to it as it was blessed on my birthday, 23rd December. And of course whenever we are on the island on New Year’s Eve this is where we swig our cava and munch our grapes before heading off to watch the firework displays.

As well as the “El Puerto Viejo” (Old Quay) that was built in 1909 and where today stages are erected for outdoor events, there is the new harbour from where the ferries run to the other islands. I like this area as you can still see the original Los Cristianos before tourism crept in.

There are two beaches. The first is next to the harbour and this is really a ‘locals’ beach. It is here you will find the crowds gather on the feast of San Juan to build their fires and burn their wishes. This is where you will find the games of volleyball and gymnastics for the elderly, while the more famous Playa de Las Vistas, is left for the visitors to enjoy.

town beach

Everyone who visits Playa de los Cristianos recognises the beautiful esplanade, and many will have noticed the sculpture “La Pescadera”, in honour of all those women who in the old days lived off the fish they sold at the market. Another representative element to the sea-faring locals are the ‘Los Cetáceos’ – sculptures of the mammals found off our coastline. There is also one hidden sculpture, 40m under the sea, a statue of the Virgen del Carmen. She is there to keep those who pass over her safe. The only indication of this is a small replica on the esplanade to the side of the old pier.

The last image above is from my good friend Dermot O’Kelly who brings his family to the island for their holidays.

And of course the boat located by the harbour is a symbol of the sea-faring settlement that Los Cristianos was, and still is.

There is one place I haven’t been and will hopefully never have to visit that is Juzgados de Arona, the law courts a modern building in Los Cristianos.  They say for every good there is a bad but compared to all the good in Los Cristianos, one no so good isn’t half bad.

JUZGADOS ARONA EP 499.jpg

 

Images courtesy arona.org

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