The Other Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are one of the most popular places to visit either winter or summer. Our wonderful climate and constant mild temperature together with almost guaranteed sunshine make them a magnet for people from all over Europe.

There are eight islands, if we include the tiny La Graciosa, next to Lanzarote, and some are more famous than others these are, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. However, you shouldn´t discount the others, particularly if you enjoy nature and beautiful scenic views.

The following are in no particular order and each has its own individual charms to offer the discerning tourist.

Fuerteventura

Perhaps the next best known is Fuerteventura. With no forests and a rugged and wild coastline, it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, where until relatively recently goats outnumbered residents 🙂  Fuerteventura means strong wind, and it is true that the island is in the path of the trade winds, which makes it ideal for water sports fans.

If you are a beach lover, this is the place for you. There are endless miles of white sand. Sea conditions vary from beach to beach; some are suitable for surfers, others, provide safe bathing for all the family.  Away from the tourist resorts, Fuerteventura is more relaxed than some of the other Islands, making it ideal for those who prefer a quieter life.

Image Hello Canary Islands

Image Hello Canary Islands

La Palma

Quieter and less affected by tourism than the other islands, La Palma is not known as “La Isla Bonita” (The Beautiful Island) for nothing. Its unsurpassed beauty includes incredible landscapes, and star-filled skies. At its centre is La Caldera one of the oldest National Parks in Spain and ideal for a day’s hiking.

The capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma isn´t the busiest of towns, but it is still delightful to wander down the narrow cobbled streets and admire the old colonial buildings with their wooden balconies.

La Gomera

The second smallest of the Canary Islands, La Gomera is an hour by ferry from Tenerife. The land is rugged, and high cliffs fall away into impressive ravines. El Garajonay national park is one of the most impressive in Spain and the whole island is a hiker’s paradise.

The inhabitants of La Gomera continue to practice the whistling language El Silbo, and schools have introduced it to keep it alive. It is a unique form of communication from years ago and which since 2009 has been added to UNESCO’s list of conservation-worthy cultural assets.

El Hierro

Nicknamed the “Meridian Island” El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands, and possible the most unknown. It has been by-passed by mainstream tourism and is a great place to relax and chill out. Not only is it the smallest island but here you can find the smallest hotel in the world. Hotel Puntagrande

The island isn´t renowned for its beaches, the coast is rugged and harsh, with inaccessible cliffs soaring 3000 feet up to the sky, and wonderful natural bays. But for those seeking outdoor pursuits there are spectacular walking routes, paragliding, and the crystal clear waters and stunning marine life, attract scuba divers.

Valverde the capital, also called the city in the clouds, is little more than a delightful village. It has no high-rise buildings and very little traffic, an enchanting place.

Image El Hierro Tourism

Image El Hierro Tourism

Whether you want to admire the mountains or glittering black beaches, gaze in awe as the powerful Atlantic waves crash against the coast, wander through enchanted forests, or by idyllic bays, a holiday in the Canary Islands offers an unforgettable experience.

For news updates  check Queenies Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Short drive around North Tenerife

If you plan to travel to Tenerife, my advice would be to rent a car as it gives you the opportunity to explore the island at your own pace.

Let’s suppose you have hired a car and are staying in the northern tourist resort of Puerto de la Cruz. The following route can easily be undertaken in a few hours, of course, the actual time depends on the number of times you want to stop rest and take pictures.

After parking by the harbour take a pleasant walk from the old fishing pier to Playa Martiánez stopping along the way to enjoy a coffee at one of the terraces that line the promenade overlooking the sea.

Image Con reservalia-online

Image Con reservalia-online

Our next destination is La Orotava to visit the main attractions of the Church of La Concepción, Casa de Los Balcones, La Casa Lercaro, and the Victoria Gardens.

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1-victoria-gdns

From here take the TF-5 motorway towards Icod de Los Vinos, but I would recommend taking a slight detour on the way stopping at the Mirador de la Corona to appreciate the views of the beautiful coastline of the municipality.

mirador-de-la-corona-730x329

We are now heading for what is known as “Isla Baja”. A must, as it is one of the most representative symbols of Tenerife, is the Millennial Drago in the historic centre of Icod. A tree that is reputedly among the oldest in the world. You can pay to visit the park; however, I always recommend seeing it from the Plaza Andrés de Lorenzo Cáceres.

At lunchtime, why not visit one of the fish restaurants in Garachico I particularly like Casa Gaspar always very welcoming. Then continue wandering through the small seaside town admiring the unique architecture and the impressive natural pools at La Caletón formed by the lava flow.

If you continue touring, you can reach the hamlet of Masca. You won’t be disappointed, it is an incredibly wonderful place nestled in a magnificent landscape where time seems to have stood still.

Now we only have to return to our starting point after having enjoyed just a small taste of what Tenerife has to offer. The island is one of those places that once you start to explore you realise you want to come back time after time to continue discovering more magical places.

 

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Boobs are not Everything

Yesterday I went to the Ocean View Bar at the Comodoro Hotel to collect a book that had been left there for me by Alan Rigby. A few of you will know Alan as I have published a couple of his delicious recipes. We had been planning to grab a coffee while he was in Tenerife on holiday, but after losing my internet, we had no way of contacting each other until I was back online. By then he had returned to the UK but left said book at the hotel.

It was written by his wife Shirley who I don´t know and it is about her experience of having breast cancer, not once but twice.

It is only a little book, you can read it in an hour or so, but what I particularly liked about it was the reality.

From page one you could relate to how this woman was feeling, the thoughts that went through her head. You were walking in her shoes, seeing the illness through her eyes, saying, I would think that, yes that would worry me, OMG could I be so strong …. So that’s what the treatment feels like.

When Shirley cried at losing her hair, you cried with her, particularly when she explained how it made her husband cry. I made a face as she fought her way through the smokers receiving treatment in the doorway of the cancer hospital and I smiled at her positivity.

I have so far not had cancer and hopefully will never get it, but I would recommend this book to anyone who has. It is so reassuring to hear everything explained in simple straightforward language rather than have to plough through the medical terminology on the internet. (I know you should really only listen to your consultant, but everyone likes to have a nosey around the internet to find out what is in store).

Shirley has only had a few copies of this valuable little book printed but if anyone wants a copy then please let Shirley or Alan Rigby know by clicking the links that will take you to their Facebook accounts. Alternatively, if you are reading this purely on my blog and not on Facebook, then let me know if you would like a copy and I will pass on the message.

For news updates  check Queenies Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Yum yum – Trdelník

Just before we lost our internet, I noticed on Facebook that a couple we met while in Thailand were recently on holiday in Prague. As readers of this blog know, I love Prague and before I retired, work meant I visited regularly. So having seen Amanda’s comment that they had arrived safely I had to tell her whatever else she did she must try Trdelník.

As any visitor to the Czech Republic knows, you quickly become familiar with trdelník. You find it on every street corner, being made in shops or stalls, particularly in the tourist areas. They are a staple at Christmas and Easter markets, in fact, any large public event will invariably have at least one trdelník stand, and you will probably wonder ‘what the heck’ they are selling.

I first tried them at an Easter Market in the Old Town Square. I was enjoying watching the children’s choirs, dance groups, folk bands and other performances while wandering around the stalls and I spotted a woman doing something strange. She was rolling dough into thin strips, and winding them around a stick called a “trdlo”. The pastry is covered with sugar and cooked, over open coals until cooked golden brown and the sugar caramelized. While hot, the pastry is rolled in trays containing a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts before being served.

Children and those with a sweet tooth can choose to fill the pastry rings with chocolate or ice cream. I munched mine as the locals recommend ‘just as they are’ and on a cool day in Prague they go perfectly with mulled wine.

Image from internet

For  news updates  check Queenies Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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On 28th March, we lost our internet and it still wasn´t back the following morning. We gave up, did our shopping, and finally during the afternoon, had to phone Telefonica. Anyone who has done this knows how awful that can be, but we eventually got through and at 7.00pm, they sent an engineer to the house, as they could not find a fault on the line. He looked at our router and everything was flashing the way it should, except the ADSL light. He checked our landline that was working fine. After wandered into the village and checking the central telecoms box he finally returned saying ‘You don´t get your internet through Movistar’. We said we get our calls through UK Telecom but thought our internet came through Movistar/Telefonica. He shook his head and said ‘you have been cut of by your supplier – not us’.

It was now too late to phone anyone, so shortly after 9.00am the following day I phoned UK Telecom to find out why we had been disconnected. The German man who answered the phone spoke perfect English and I told him the problem. He agreed you have your line through us and are in credit but not your internet. I read him a letter from early 2012 offering us ADSL and he confirmed that was correct but we had never taken up the offer. If we had, our monthly bill would have been something in the region of €40 but they only take €25 as and when needed. Therefore, I was not paying them. As Telefonica said I was not paying them either, it would seem that for the past 5 years I have had free internet, and suddenly someone, somewhere realised and snip!

I asked UK Telecom to increase my payments and provide us with internet access, which they were happy to do, but the paperwork necessary to get it could take up to 4 weeks, it used to be 3 weeks but with all the extra fibre-optic work!!

So how do you live without the internet? It makes you realise just how dependent on it we are. No access to phone numbers, (I don´t use a mobile) no email, no newspapers and no telly. The most upsetting thing was being unable to wish my friend Carol, Happy Birthday and meet Alan to share his wife’s book on her experience of cancer.

The upside is all the jobs that were being put off because they were a bit boring are now completed, the ironing doesn’t hang around for more than a couple of hours and we have watched lots of DVDs we haven´t seen for years.

Once online, the first job is making paper copies of all those important phone numbers.

 

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