Nelson and the Battle of Santa Cruz

On the 220th anniversary of the Gesta, which took place on July 25, 1797 the recreation of the battle, will once again be held in Santa Cruz on 21, 22 and 23 July 2017. It is organized by the Historical Cultural Association Gesta with the indispensable support of the City Council. To see what is in store click the link above or enjoy the tension in the recreation of last year’s battle in this video.

Posted in Living on Tenerife | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A day in Venice

A trip to Venice is something that has always captured my imagination but hearing how expensive it is, this seemed a good way to get a feel and see if it lived up to expectations.

Naturally, the whole place is pedestrianised, I can´t imagine in the maze of tiny streets squeezing in a car, let alone a coach!

Once there, what did we see? Of course, all the highlights.

A private boat took us down the Grand Canal and we eventually disembarked a short distance (4 bridges to be exact) from St Mark’s Square. It was then a guided walk to the heart of the city, St Mark’s Square. Lining the square are several historical sites. St. Mark’s Campanile (the bell tower on the corner) has a lift where from the top, you could, I imagine, get some great panoramic photos. Next, the Basilica di San Marco, probably the most famous church in Venice, but only visiting for a day meant giving these a miss as the queues to get in went on for miles. Instead, we took photos from the outside and vowed to return in spring or autumn.

St Mark’s Square is also home to a number of cafes, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee. It is one of those experiences you won´t forget, but with many tours starting at the piazza, it is always busy and therefore very expensive. We walked a couple of streets beyond the famous Piazza San Marco, to Ristorante Cantina Canaletto where a 2-course lunch including drinks cost just €15. Similarly if you hope to pick up a souvenir, walk a few streets from the square and you will find the same more reasonably priced.

No visit to Venice is complete without a trip on the canals and where there’s a canal, you’re likely to see a gondola. I was told it could cost upwards of €200, more if the gondolier sings! Yet somehow, our tour organiser managed to arrange a 30-minute trip for just €22 per person. What nobody warns you about though is the getting in and out. I’m not the most balanced person and as I wobbled back and forth, I had visions of grabbing whoever was next to me and taking us all overboard. Fortunately, with a long stride and just a bit of a tremble the feat was accomplished. I even managed to balance the gondolier on my head as you can see in the picture!

From the Grand Canal, we saw the Rialto Bridge, which has been there since 1181. This area is the centre for tourists and of course, you are standing on the bridge so the only way to get a photo is from a distance (or as I did – buy the postcard!).

Then the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, which connects to the palace dungeons. Casanova was the most famous person to cross the Bridge but the prison wasn´t to his liking and he escaped with help from a monk. Again, the amount of tourists at this spot can be a drawback to getting a decent picture, but if like us you wait until later in the day, you can, if lucky get a good un, especially if a gondola is passing underneath.

Final thoughts on Venice – It certainly has a lot going for it, lots of bridges, lots of canals and LOTS of people but it’s one of those places that’s touristy for a reason. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Check Queenie’s Daily Snippets for Tenerife news &  daily weather updates. 
Posted in Road Trips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A different kind of Romeria

Nago where we stayed in The Continental Hotel is at the northern most tip of Lake Garda. This end of the lake is dramatic with the Alps as a stunning backdrop. It’s not as well connected to Italy’s transport network as the southern lake towns, but it was June when Italy swelters under an eternal blue dome we weren´t planning to travel far. We spent time by the pool, and a nice touch was being able to bundle our towels into a complimentary beach bag.

Another nice touch was the man in the poolside kiosk regularly came around with slices of watermelon to cool us down. We were offered free lunch on our last day and although we should have been out of our room by 11.00, they let us stay until 6.00pm as we had a late transfer to the airport. The hotel and staff seemed seamlessly to just get everything right!

As a tourist resort, there isn’t much in Nago but it suited us. We wandered into the small historic centre and arrived at the plaza with its drinking fountain and the church of San Vigilio, which dates back to 1194. Once through its arches there are other buildings dating back to the 1400s. An old man sits there every day mending shoes and looks as old as the buildings that surround him. Following the road will take you to the ruins of Castel Penede and some Austrian fortifications (the only real nod to tourism, as it is now a restaurant). On both sides of the narrow cobbled streets, flowers cascade from pots and balconies.

We were fortunate that on Saturday night there was a demonstration by the bomberos in the plaza.

The crowds were out, music was playing and by Sunday the party was in full swing, majorettes paraded, bands played, there was mountains of free food and booze and while it was nothing remotely like a Canarian romerio. We danced to YMCA and La Bamba not very Italian either but it was fun to see how the locals lived and just as their Canarian counter-parts they made us foreigners feel very welcome.

From our hotel, the walk down to the lake at Torbole is by an old Roman road and takes about 25 minutes but seeing how exhausted the youngsters were after walking back we decided to wait for the free hotel shuttle bus for our return. The houses in Torbole are built around the harbour like an amphitheatre. The small town is very picturesque, flanked on one side by Casa Stefanelli with its arcades and on the other the customs house. It is pleasant to stroll among the winding streets with their tall buildings, or relax in waterfront squares around the harbour and indulge in that classic activity of sitting and watching the world go by. And before we realised we were halfway through our holiday…..

Check Queenie’s Daily Snippets for Tenerife news & for daily weather updates Everyone’s Favourite Blog
Posted in Road Trips | Tagged , | Leave a comment


I started making these chewy biscuits at home when my daughter was little I sometimes use dried fruit, sometimes add cereal like crushed cornflakes but they are always delicious.


50g butter
50g sugar
50g golden syrup
50g flour
25g dried cranberries or glacé cherries, finely chopped
50g candied peel, finely chopped
25g chopped nuts
200g plain chocolate


Preheat the oven to 180C.
You will need several baking trays covered with parchment as these little devils spread like crazy.
Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a small pan until melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, chopped fruit and nuts and stir well to mix.
Spoon teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to each of the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during cooking.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave to cool slightly before lifting onto a rack to cool completely.

Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, but don´t let the bowl touch the water. Breaking the chocolate into the bowl and melt. Once it has cooled slightly, spread over the flat base of each florentine and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Check Queenie’s Daily Snippets for Tenerife news & for daily weather updates 
Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bella Italia – around Lake Garda

I blame the dog sitter; she called round for coffee while animal sitting in the village and commented that we only had two holidays booked while last year we had five. The next day I was browsing the internet and thought, “she’s right”.

I didn´t want long haul as we are off to India soon, and it is a while since we have been to Italy which we both love, so that is where I started my search.

My first thought was the Amalfi coast it is years since we stayed in Ravello with Alfredo, Alessandro, and Rupert, and seeing programmes on TV, it has changed beyond recognition. The problem with that was four days in Sorrento. Now while it is nice I can´t kick my heels for four whole days. I looked at Tuscany but there seemed an awful lot of wine tasting and as we don´t drink – nuff said. Then I spotted 8 days in Lake Garda, taking in Venice and Verona, none of which we have visited. This was ideal 2 days travelling, 2 days relaxing and 4 days sightseeing.

We were met at Verona airport and taken to our hotel, The Continental in Nago, which is modern, spacious, and surrounded by tranquil gardens. The hotel runs gastronomic tours so naturally, the food was first class.

However, moving on, our first trip was along the romantic Gardesana, one of the most beautiful roads in Europe. The sun was bright as it bounced off the lake, and it was exceedingly hot, 38C. We stopped in some stunning towns, in Garda we visited a traditional Italian market, took a ferry across the lake to Gardone where the little piazza decorated with flowers, slopes down to the lake, and the water’s edge is lined with benches to relax while savouring extravagant ice creams.

Nevertheless, as gorgeous as it all was, the jewel in Lake Garda’s crown for me was Sirmione. It is on a narrow, peninsula, and cars are forbidden, so wandering through the dappled shady streets was enjoyable. Of course, this being Italy, there are churches, varying in age and size and also castles… the medieval Scaliger Castle complete with moat and swans, sits in the centre of town, and the views from every direction are superb.

By mid-afternoon, it was sweltering so we took a speedboat around the island to cool down. I expected it to be expensive but at just €10 each for half an hour, it was well worthwhile. From the boat, we managed to see the villa where Maria Callas lived, obviously one of her better choices in life.

Strolling around the hours slipped away and we headed back to base exhausted having thoroughly enjoyed our long day.


Check Queenie’s Daily Snippets for Tenerife news & for daily weather updates Everyone’s Favourite Blog
Posted in Road Trips | Tagged , , | 2 Comments