Beyond Barcelona

Barcelona is quite rightly recognised as Catalonia’s capital with its grand architecture and beautiful coastline but what lies beyond. What does Catalonia have to offer? Why do Jim and I keep returning? Apart from the airfares being cheap, there is the astounding scenery – you couldn’t find anywhere more breath-taking than the Pyrenees Mountains.

Credit : Peregrine Adventures

We love the colourful buildings of Girona, the quirkiness of Dali’s Púbol, the friendly people, particularly in the tiny mountain villages where life steps back in time. And….

Good grub. Good doesn’t even begin to describe the local food that is surprisingly underrated. We are always hearing ‘eat authentic’ so we try, it is usually possible if you stick to the small family restaurants where meals are like those grandma made and often at prices grandma would have paid.

The region is famous for many things. Because of its location, seafood is high on the list, as are vegetables such as tomatoes, red peppers, aubergines, mushrooms and artichokes although not a favourite of mine.

On this visit, we were too late in the year for calçots, which I love, those long green onions that they barbeque then dunk in bowls of romesco sauce made from almonds, olive oil and red peppers.

Credit : Restaurant Sol Ric

Credit : Restaurant Sol Ric

It makes no difference where you eat you will always be given a slice of pa amb tomàquet; bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled with oil and salt. A true Catalan staple often served with butifarra a spiced sausage, however my favourite is with a slice of jamón perched on top.

Breakfasts were simple, coffee and bread, called coca encrusted with sugar and pine nut or soletilla and churros to be dunked in hot chocolate. Who could possibly resist – not me.

For lunch, we snacked on fresh-from-the-oven empanadas filled with tuna or beef and vegetables, tortilla and a soft, goat’s cheese served with honey and nuts.

And when it finally got to dinner time we feasted on Escudella a stew made with meat, beans, potatoes, cabbage and pasta or lamb roasted with garlic simple but magical. Of course, on every menu was crema catalane, similar to crème brulee, but I only had room for this once.

Food (3)

So what did I bring home from this trip apart from a very full and satisfied stomach? Well, truth be told, so much MORE of me!

For more on Tenerife including daily weather read Queenie’s Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Life’s a Beach – A guide to lesser known Tenerife beaches – Part 2

 El Médano to Abades

As mentioned previously not all beach-goers want to follow the herd, some are solitude seekers. I have previously discussed the lesser-known beaches close to the southern resorts and I am now continuing to move further east covering the area between El Médano and Abades for those who are happy to travel a little to find their moment in the sun away from the crowds?

El Medano has a string of beaches that most have heard of even if they haven´t visited. The town, once a typical Canarian fishing village has become a popular seaside resort yet the beaches are rarely crowded and you will always find a place to put your towel.

Playa La Tejita

A quite, unspoilt, natural beach beside the Montaña Roja Nature Reserve. It is a kilometer long and runs parallel to the main road that connects Los Abrigos to El Médano. The constant wind makes it a popular choice with water sport enthusiasts who practice their skills. From the beach you can follow the path to the top of Red Moutain where the views are stunning.There is a car park and a nearby campsite with showers and cafeteria.

Playa El Médano

The longest beach on the island, a two kilometre stretch of fine golden sand. Half of this beach is in the town and is backed by restaurants, shops, and cafes where you can have a drink and enjoy the day, and on a weekend there is a market with craft stalls. The other half of the beach is the ideal place for windsurfing.

Playa Chica

Mainly locals use the small patch of sand in this cove next to the small pier where you will always find anglers trying their luck and colourful boats bobbing on the waves.

Playa del Confital

This is one of only a few beaches in Tenerife you can enjoy with your dog. The grey sands not only attract pet lovers, but due to the force of the waves at certain times of the year, it is popular with surfers.

Playa de La Jaquita


A mixture of light brown sand and rocks form a small bay where you can be sheltered from the waves. You can park on the road close by and because of its proximity to the hotel locals and tourists mix happily together.

Playa Cha Siveria

Also known as La Mareta beach this could be your ideal choice if you are seeking tranquility without the crowds. The sand is fine but grey and there are no facilities except in the small village of La Maretas

Playa La Pelada

La Pelada is a secluded beach very popular with naturists. The waves can be wild and the sand is volcanic but if you seek solitude this is where it can be found.

Playa de Tajao

Tajao beach is an idyllic place to spend the day sunbathing and swimming, then round it off with an excellent meal in one of the village’s famous fish restaurants. You can park next to the beach or in one of the nearby streets. 

Playa de Los Abriguitos


Located in the village of Abadas, Los Abriguitos consists of fine volcanic sand and its waters are usually calm and suitable for the whole family. There is plenty of parking and in the village plaza you will find a supermarket, restaurant and a couple of cafes.

This part of coast is a popular diving area so a common sight is to see divers practising or people snorkelling close to the waters edge. After the beach, and across a path, you’ll reach Playa Cardones, smaller and nearly always empty, as many people are not aware of this little cove.

Playa Grande – El Poris

Some say this is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. I wouldn’t argue and it is IMO the best in Arico. Next to the town of El Poris, it has golden sand and calm clear waters. You can see the wind farms in the near distance that may give you a hint that it can be a windy spot. Probably the reason there are few tourists but on a calm day it is worth a visit.

Playa de Las Eras

If you are looking for peace this beach is the ideal place to spend a quiet day. Unknown by tourists the only occupants are locals who will visit at the end of a hard day’s work. The sea is usually very calm so taking a dip in the crystal clear waters is a pleasure. At the back of the beach, there is a small promenade where you can sit in the shade watching the sea, or read a book.

Playa Los Roques de Fasnia and Playa Abrigo

playa abrigo

Not one but two beaches, you can spend the day on the tiny gravel beach soaking up the sun while listening to the waves beat against the Roques de Fasnia. At the opposite side of the village is Playa Abrigo a large sandy beach. Despite being located at the edge of the village, there are rarely many people which is perfect if you are in search of tranquillity.

So that’s it for this week, I will shortly finish the southern coast of the island by visiting the beaches between Guimar and Candelaria.

Some images belong to me, others are courtesy Turismo Tenerife.

For more on Tenerife including daily weather read Queenie’s Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Chocolate and Pear Pudding

I have mentioned several times that I always buy the large bags of apples and/or pears then keep them in the freezer for when I want to make a pudding, pie or cake.

Yesterday was just such an occasion – stumped for something sweet (you all know that OH has to have a pudding every day or he feels he is being neglected) I took two pears from the freezer and a jar of chocolate spread from the cupboard.

2 tbsp Chocolate spread
2 pears sliced into wedges
45g butter
45g brown sugar
1 egg
80g plain flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease an ovenproof dish.

Arrange pears in an ovenproof dish and dollop the chocolate over the top, spread as best you can but it is a bit gooey, however it will melt once in the oven.


Cream together butter and sugar, add the egg, and beat. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mix and add the vanilla extract. Stir in enough milk until the mixture resembles thick cream.DSC07174

Pour onto pears and bake 35 minutes or until golden brown



Serve with cream or ice-cream.

For weather & news on Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets everyones favourite Tenerife Blog
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A short break before winter sets in

I’m not normally so organised as to be planning in April what I will be doing six months on, but having arrived home from 3 days in Barcelona I was straight on the internet to book another short break. Okay we were going to America in May/June but the thought of nothing else planned for the rest of the year left me down. As it turned out, I came up with a bargain. Return flights, a week’s car hire and a week’s accommodation for two people only €450 almost as cheap as staying at home!

Now some scoff when I say I don´t mind travelling on the cheap, I just love visiting places, and personally, can´t see any sense in paying a fortune for a hotel when all I am going to use it for is to sleep. Providing it is in a good location, the bed is clean and comfortable and there is lashings of hot water after a long days travel it suits. I mostly choose chains like Ibis and they really take some beating on price and quality.

For this visit, we wanted to retrace our steps to a few places. I particularly wanted to go back to Girona. We both wanted to spend more than one day in Colliour and I know it sounds pathetic but when we were last in Carcassonne, we bought a wall plaque for the garden and I wanted more! That was the basic route set, however, if we did a bit of a dogs-leg, on the return journey we could include Tarragona, where we spent our honeymoon, over 45 years ago.

The majority of our trip was going to be in Catalonia as we Brits say, but being in Spain perhaps we should say Cataluña, or even Catalunya in Catalán. To the untrained ear, they all sound the same so if you have to say it just mumble. Catalán is also the language spoken but they also speak the Spanish we learnt in school (if really pushed). Not that any of it is of use to us being rubbish at languages but someone reading this might find that snipped of information useful.


Although technically this area is part of Spain, the people believe it is a different country and who am I to disagree. In fact the weekend we arrived home from our trip the Catalan people went to the polls to vote for their independence.

I particularly like the region as it’s close to the French border so you can easily take the best from each depending whether you are looking for pretty pueblos, meandering rivers, mountains or beaches.

I won’t cover old ground in Girona other than to say we meandered up the twisting streets, down by the river, through arches and alleyways, around the colourful buildings and almost crawled up the never-ending steps to the gothic cathedral, I adore this city. We did though manage to see areas we had missed on our previous visit such as the Jewish quarter, the fascinating Museu d’Història dels Jueus, in a 15th-century synagogue and the Museu del Cinema, with its collection of props including Johnny Depp’s scissor hands and Dustin Hoffman’s sequinned dress from Tootsie.

For such a small city, there is an abundance of decent accommodation, we stayed at the Ibis a short walk on the outskirts of town but exceptionally cheap and with the most comfortable beds imaginable at the end of a long days sightseeing.

For more on Tenerife including daily weather read Queenie’s Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Life’s a Beach – A guide to choosing your perfect Tenerife beach

I received a message from someone who had read my blog about the popular southern beaches. While they enjoyed it, they wanted to know if I could give information about some of the lesser-known beaches.

The more I thought, the more I realised this isn’t the subject of just one blog, but several. I will start in the west of the island and travel east, leaving out the beaches in the tourist areas as these can be found in the popular beaches blog. But what about the hidden gems, the shy beaches, where are they?

Playa de San Juan

There are two beaches in the quiet resort of San Juan, the natural black sand beach next to the harbour used mainly by locals and a relatively new greyish-gold beach which tourists seem to prefer. Along the promenade that backs this beach is an old restored lime kiln dating from the 19th Century. There are several restaurants both along the seafront and in the quiet streets of the town.

Playa Abama

This golden sand beach may look as if it belongs to the luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotel but it is accessible to all. It is located on a beautiful bay that is sheltered from the wind. As a guest of the hotel you can take the cable car down, otherwise it is around 30 minutes to walk from the parking area.

Playa Méndez

Located in Alcalá this tiny, sheltered volcanic rock cove is a stone’s throw from the town square with its bars and restaurants however there are never many people, of late they seem to prefer the new beaches at the opposite end of town.

Playa de la Jaquita

This black sand beach is one of the recently created trio in the village of Alcalá. There are rock pools for safe bathing and the seafront has nice stainless steel, and wooden walkway as well as artistically designed benches to rest while watch the waves crash on the shore.

Ignoring Playa de Ajabo in Callao Salvaje, as everyone now seems to know all about it let’s continue on to…

Playa del Puertito


Over the years, more people have discovered my Shirley Valentine beach in Armeñime. It is popular with divers who enjoy seeing the sea turtles that swim in the crystal clear waters.

Those staying in La Caleta may have noticed along the seafront that it has become a ritual for visitors to build stone towers like small works of art.

 La caleta

La Puntilla y Punta

In the heart of the fishing village of La Caleta, there is a rocky bathing area few visitors use, as it looks as if it belongs to the surrounding houses, but you are free to take a dip if the urge takes you.

Bypassing all of the well-known beaches of Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, continue further east.

Playa Palm Mar

The rocky beach at Palm Mar is part of the nature reserve and a popular place with anglers. At the opposite end, a rather posh beach club has been opened with their own piece of sand and Balinese beds to lounge in while watching the sun go down over the southern resorts.

San Blas

The closest Golf del Sur comes to having a beach is at San Blas, which is located outside the prestigious Sandos hotel and within walking distance of Los Abrigos.

Playa las Galletas

Again two beaches both natural.  The first is next to the harbour and ideal for swimming as there are no waves. It has a special charm with the small boats bobbing on the tide.  At one end are the stalls where the freshly caught fish is cleaned and sold. You’ll also find plenty of seagulls, looking for a feast on the remains of the fish.The second is backed by some great fish restaurants, where you will be spoilt for choice.

Yellow Mountain Beach

Although sand is scarce, this beach is popular with the folks of Costa del Silencio as it is walking distance from Ten Bel and close to Flicks Bar. A short distance around the coast is another beach where naturists like to gather.

As a blogger, I have to thank the person making the enquiry, sometimes it is hard to think of things that may interest readers, however I now have three articles, the next El Medano to Abades will be published shortly.

Images with my logo belong to me, others are taken from Turismo Tenerife.
For more on Tenerife including daily weather read Queenie’s Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Home-made Lemon Biscuits

I much prefer homemade biscuits to bought biscuits and these are very easy and perhaps one of my favourites. They are small, perhaps two bites but not a mouthful (well not the size of my mouth)

3oz butter, softened
1½oz sugar
4oz plain flour,
1 lemon, finely grated zest only
1–2 tbsp. demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.

To make the biscuit place the butter, sugar, and flour into a bowl and mix until a soft dough is formed.

Then knead the lemon zest and demerara sugar into the dough.

Roll into a long sausage shape (about 20cm/8in long) I pop onto a sandwich bag which stops the dough sticking but keeps the worktop clean.

DSC07040Cut into approx. 20 even slices. Arrange on a baking tray, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.


For weather & news updates  check Queenies Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  


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Things to do in Tenerife in October 2015

Things begin to cool down a little with the arrival of autumn. This month, the average temperature for the south of the island, if last year’s records are to be believed, should be around 28°C with a high of 36°C and after sunset 22°C. In the north, the figures for last year were 23°C average with a high of 30°C and after dark it was as low as 12°C although the average was 16°C. During the so called ‘winter’ months weather and temperature can vary greatly depending on whether you are in the north or the south of the island, in the summer there is hardly any noticeable difference other than more clouds in the north.


There’s always something going on in Tenerife, add to this the beaches, excursions sports and outdoor pursuits plus local events, with their traditional and unusual activities there is something to captivate all ages and all tastes.

Pilgrimage of Adeje – The pilgrimage puts the finishing touch to the festivities, bursting with folklore, gastronomy and colour. The carts, shepherds with their flocks, folk groups and pilgrims come from around the island to parade along the Calle Grande inviting everyone to dance, sing and enjoy the Canarian cuisine and fine wines. (When: October 18 Where: Adeje)


Starting 2nd October and Every Friday at the Auditorio de Tenerife

‘Cultural Autumn’ CajaCanarias Foundation proposes a new programme for October and November. You can enjoy concerts of world music or jazz with important national and international artists, children’s activities, meetings with contemporary thinkers and talks on current issues. (When: October and November Where: Espacio Cultural CajaCanarias, Santa Cruz Tickets HERE

The Keroxen Festival is one of the cultural encounters with more weight and personality than most. International figures and national artists of avant-garde and contemporary music, offer every Friday during October and early November a number of interesting concerts. Confirmed guests for 2015 are Tim Hecker, Maurice Louca, Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP, Disrupt, Scotch Bonnet, Fumaça Preta, Girl Band, Chancha Via Circuito, Miquel Serra, Niche Elche, aka Kiki Hitomi Yellow Mouse or Pumuky etc. (When : October 2 to November 13 Where : El Tanque Cultural Space, Santa Cruz )

VI Subida Las Aguilas (Rise of the eagles) (When 10.00am 4th October, Where departure from the Plaza Reyes Catolicos to Las Aguilas Hotel).

Victor Ullate Ballet – presents a mixed program including Jaleos and Après Toi (When 9th October, Where Teatro Guimerá – Santa Cruz)

XXIII Encuentro Salto del Pastor Canario – Tenerife Traditions (When 9th – 12th October, Wherre San Andres)


Gran Combo of Puerto Rico is possibly the most important orchestra in the world of salsa, and will be in Tenerife this October. More than two hours to dance and enjoy the best classical salsa and the most influential band of all time. (When: October 10 Where: Parking Marine Park, Santa Cruz)

La Librea – Based on the Battle of Lepanto which occurred in 1571 MORE INFORMATION (When, 10th October, Where Valle de Guerra)

Tenerife Entertainment Awards the entertainment event of the year! Check out more at (When 11th October, Where Castillo San Miguel)

IV Aguere Music Festival (When 17th October, Where Espacio Cultural Aguere)

Sand Art – Borja Gonzalez presents a multidisciplinary show that combines sand art, circus, live music, puppets and speed painting (When October 18th, 12.00 Where Teatro Leal – La Laguna

Mozart’s Marriage  of Figaro (When October 22 – 25th Where Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz

VI Open Fotosub Tenerife Güímar a major event in which underwater cameras photographers from all over Spain and Europe participate. (When October 23 – November 8. Entries close on 21 October.)  More info and registration HERE

Tenerife Blue Trail, a test that is already a reference for trail runners. This edition also part of the Ultra Spain Cup Mountain Races in five different categories adapted to different levels and conditions of the participants.(When: Bib Collection, October 22 – 23rd from 10:30 to 20:00h from Recinto Ferial de Tenerife – Race 24 October Where – info at

Feboda 2015 – for 3 days, visitors can see everything they could possibly want for a wedding celebration (When 23 –  25th October, Where Recinto Ferial de Tenerife)


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)

Illusion_Website banner3

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

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. 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 Draconids
October 21-22, 2015 Orionids
November 4-5, 2015 South Taurids
November 12-13, 2015 North Taurids
November 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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Beauty in Abandoned and Neglected Structures

While checking my inbox I noticed a comment asking, “Do you know the ghost town of Abades in Tenerife?” Of course they were not really referring to ghosts (or perhaps they were) but I took it to mean the strange, abandoned buildings overlooking Abadas – and Tenerife, like most places, has its fair share and many are sadly in danger of being forgotten.

The one most people know is referred to above. It was originally designed as a leper colony towards the end of the Spanish Civil War. With the progression of medicine, it was never used for the sick and slowly deteriorated until the 1960s when it was used by the military for a short while. It is only as you get close you realise it is made up of over 40 buildings including a hospital, a school and houses as well as a church. This is the most visible but unsurprising as Catholicism was hugely important in the Franco regime and probably the reason why the cross on the church it is so large.

Casa Fuset / Casa Franco

High on a ridge in the Anaga Mountains surrounded by thick laurel forest is another abandoned building, this time a house. Its official name is Casa Fuset but I suppose because of the relationship between the owner Don Benito, whose daughter married General Franco’s friend and administrator Lorenzo Martinez Fuset it is known as Casa Franco. The house was built in the early 1940s and it is believed Franco stayed there on several occasions. It was in good condition until the 1980’s when it started to decline and now it is only a matter of time until it is forgotten forever.

/ Melchor Padilla

Hacienda La Gorvorana

Located in Los Realejos La Gorvorana, was once a proud landmark in north Tenerife. Built by Francisco Gorvolán who accompanied Fernandez Lugo in the conquest of Tenerife, it is now abandoned and in an advanced state of ruin. This once beautiful 17th Century property has been vandalized and robbed by trespassers who have destroyed everything in this historic building

El Semaforo de Igueste

On an outcrop of land, overlooking the sea at Igueste is the derelict El Semaforo (semaphore station). It was built in the late 1880s for Lloyds of London and was run by the Spanish Government until it closed in 1971. Its purpose was to signal the activity of ships in the area by a system of flags displayed from the tall mast. The employees also reported the weather conditions at sea. In 1979, the building was abandoned and as it is completely open, it rapidly declined. It is such a lovely building in its stunning location, it would be a tragedy to lose it, but no doubt, that is what is going to happen.


 The Old Pumping Station Gordejuela

There is an abandoned industrial plant near Los Realejos called Gordejuela. The five floors of stunning architecture are part of our industrial heritage as this is the first pumping station in Tenerife and was built by a British company, Hamilton’s in 1903. Today, all that remains on the top of the cliff is a ruin and a winding staircase.  Sadly this once beautiful building is slowly being demolished by the battering of the wind and weather.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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Barrier Free Tourism in Tenerife – or is it?

Having several friends who have limited mobility, I am proud of what Tenerife has to offer. Not just through the council’s Barrier Free Guide but by the practical step they have taken in providing ramps along the seafront in the southern resorts. Looking through the eyes of the able bodied they look perfect, but is what I see also acceptable to a person in a mobility scooter or wheelchair. Are these areas really accessible to everyone?

The seafront Los Cristianos

I mentioned this to a friend who uses a wheelchair and we spent some time discussing the good, the bad and the ugly and the outcome was interesting.

She has never had the nerve to use the ramp above. Apart from it looking like a ski slope and just as slippery, it has bumps in the middle. I can only imagine that the force of gravity would scoot a wheelchair, let alone someone pushing, to the bottom quicker than a downhill racer. Add to that the slope is approximately 2′ 4″ wide, and the average wheelchair is 2′ 2″ wide. Obviously these were not designed for women because we all know women are terrible drivers!  Joking aside this sort of ramp was originally for the delivery of goods but at one time was the only access available for the disabled.

Despite the last ramp in the images above needing some new tiles it seemed OK to me. However, when pushing a wheelchair, it was easy to miss the kerb, and the person pushing could end up in the wheelchair users lap! Then there are the areas that to my untrained eye look perfect with long ramps, lifts and escalators, yet even here, all is not quite as it seems. In one shopping centre, the sign by the escalator says no pushchairs, does that mean wheelchairs too?

Of course, it is not all bad news; the beautiful Las Vistas beach allows the disabled visitor a chance to enjoy the beach with its easy access ramps, good boardwalks, adapted changing rooms as well as wheelchairs with huge ‘beach-ball’ type wheels for getting people down to the sea and hoists to help them in and out of the water. The seafront from Los Cristianos to almost Puerto Colon is relatively flat for several miles and exactly what is called for as can be judged by the amount of mobility traffic that passes by each day. The old established shops are often hard to get into for the disabled but the new shopping centres have thought things through and these really are ‘accessible to all’

So whilst I have been made aware that Tenerife may not be perfect it is one of the better holiday destinations when it comes to accommodating disabled people. As I mentioned recently on my other Tenerife blog  ” Tenerife is the second most visited destination, after Florida, for people with reduced mobility, with thousands of visitors every year” …..

(Photos of Las Vistas facilities courtesy of Turismo de Tenerife)
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The Garden of Hesperides

Having written about Lost City of Atlantis and it’s connection to the Canary Islands, I have been asked if I know of any other legends associated with Tenerife.  After a bit of research I have found the following that sound as if they could be,  but whether or not it is based in Tenerife it is still a bloody good tale.

The Garden of the Hesperides (Sir Frederic Leighton, 1892)

In ancient times the Greek scholars told tales of the Garden of Hesperides.  They needed to place this mythical land beyond their known world and as they already knew the Iberian Peninsula they said it was some wonderful islands in the Atlantic Ocean, a tranquil place of perpetual paradise, a Garden of Eden, found beyond the ocean at the edge of sunset, in the extreme west where the weather was always mild and golden apples grew on the trees. The Canary Islands seem to fit the description.

The garden was inhabited by Egle, Eritia and Aretusa the daughters of Atlas, the titan who held up the sky on his shoulders.  The nymphs work was to tend a very special apple tree in the garden whose fruit would bestow immortality on anyone who ate it.  Of course there was a catch.

Legend has it that Hercules, the greatest hero of ancient times, (think Hugh Jackman / Brad Pitt and Tobey McGuire) had to complete 12 tasks (The Twelve Labours of Hercules). One of these was to go to the end of the world and bring back three of the apples from the Garden of Hesperides.  He travelled through the world killing giants and seeking the garden’s location.  In gratitude for freeing Prometheus, he was told what to expect in the garden…. And here’s the catch. The tree was not only tended by the Hesperides but there was an even bigger problem – a hundred-headed dragon, named Ladon  was coiled around the trunk and if you did manage to get past him, plucking the apples would bring instant death to any mortal.

In order to obtain the apples, Hercules convinced Atlas, who was immortal, to steal them, while he stayed to hold up the sky until Atlas returned.  Because Atlas was tired of holding up the sky he agreed, as his intention was to leave Hercules with the burden upon his shoulders.  It was easy for Atlas to enter the garden as the dragon knew him, he took the apples and returned to Hercules; however giants are not too bright and Hercules managed to pass the burden back and had it away on his toes with the apples.

Taken from Tenerife Tourism website where original idea came from

Now could it be the fierce, hundred-headed, fire-breathing dragon is based on descriptions of Teide erupting?  Perhaps, stranger things have been believed.

According to the legend, the blood from the slain dragon flowed over the garden and where it fell a dragon tree grew. Dragon trees are endemic to the islands, the sap is bright red and they can live for hundreds of years and the branches look like heads supported by a thick trunk. The most famous and longest surviving of this species is known as the thousand-year-old Dragon Tree in Icod de los Vinos in the north of Tenerife which has become a very popular tourist attraction.

And did the garden lose the golden apples forever? No! They were given to the goddess Athena, who gave them back to the Hesperides, so anyone who lives in Tenerife, has an apple tree in their garden, remember the old proverb if you eats an apple a day it may not just keep the doctor away – you could also live for ever.

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

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