Driving Tenerife wk5

Monday, September 21, 2015
We continued to explore Puerto de la Cruz. 

Again Ken was wise and he directed us to an underground parking lot, actually quite close to the Ocean. The car keeps cooler and we do not have the inconvenience of driving around and around looking for a potential parking spot.

We started our walk around at Plaza De Europa which was finished or opened near the end of 1992. It consisted of a sturdy rock walls overlooking the pounding surf below. There is a smaller plaza that contains cannons from as far back as 1732. Once in that area you can overlook the main marina which is guarded by a breakwater. Plaza De Europa has wonderful little gardens with cactus as the main foliage. It was still quite morning cool when we were in this area.

We walked passed the Hotel Marquesa and could not resist going in and taking a look around. We found out it was built 1712 by an Irish merchant as his families home - Bernardo Valois Carew. This grand old lady had lots of wood on the interior including balconies, ceilings, stairs and doors. It was a beauty.

This time when we walked past the little park with a huge philodendron type plant in the middle we discovered the name. It is Doctor Victor Perez park and might have been there since 1900. From there it was on to Columbus Plaza and the beautiful, huge trees. People are sitting in sidewalk cafes surrounding and in the Plaza. The shade is a comfort because it is getting hot now as it is near noon.

Being the creatures of habit that we are we went back and enjoyed another wonderful veggie meal at El Lemon. Sitting by the open window we were able to get a real birds eye view of the people and dogs walking by.

We walked on to another area that in my description is like a long plaza or malecon. It is a very touristy area that leads to the main outside pool for the city. The black sand was our goal. Tenerife Playa (a Hotel) sidetracked us for awhile. Inside were the most amazing plants, flowers that I have actually never seen before - beautiful. There was a pool with a covered cafe outside with all those amazing flowers.

We did get to the black sand. Ken heard of the black sand of the Canary Islands when he was in elementary school. It was hot, however, because it was early afternoon. Our walk back along the malecon included stops for ice cream and for meringue cookies. We walked lots so we could afford the calories (maybe).

After our walk and drive home the pool was calling our name. It was a bit chilly because of being overcast for part of the day but it was worth the effort to cool of.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I chose to lay around and work on my Spanish in the morning.

I also did the wash and hung it out to dry. That seems like a more natural thing to do than it did when I first had to hang clothes out to dry. It is quite satisfying actually. I even did a bit of a clean up around here. Ken continued to need to rest. He is not feeling 100% but does think he is feeling better than before.

Ken got the map set up to go to San Cristobal de La Laguna and see the sights. It is a town, seems like a city, that has a long history. Many buildings, are therefore, very old and historic. The central area of the just over 150,000 populated city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. It was the ancient capital of the Canary Islands and it is connected to Santa Cruz by a tram line. Being home to the University of La Laguna (founded 1701) helps make it the cultural capital of the Canary Islands. Upon finding the heritage sights the city has nicely placed signs in several languages to tell about the building, park, etc. La Laguana sometimes is called the "Florence of the Canary Islands".  Some streets in this historic central area are mostly closed to traffic.

One of the first historic buildings that we came upon was the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Laguna or Catedral de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios and was completed in 1915. This Neoclassical and Neo-Gothic type church has the remains of Alonso Fernandez de Lugo inside, he being the conqueror of the island and founder of the city. Oddly enough it has a front that was built in 1820, that is why a mix of the two types of architecture. We were only on the outside.

Another building we saw was Casa de los Capitanes Generales y/o Alvarado-Bracamonte and is from the 1600's. The entrance way had bright Pueblo type tiles as wainscotting with past tiles on the floor. There was an interior courtyard full of greenery. The surrounding building was two stories high with many wooden railings, ceilings and posts. You can see what the weather has done to the stone posts holding up second story.  We went to the Casa del Corregidor also. We were only allowed in part of the building but what we saw was stunning. A glass roof over what once must have been a courtyard with many wooden touches. We were able to climb up the wooden staircase and look around at the wood trim, ceilings and floors upstairs. We needed to cool off and the Plaza Del Adelantado with all its huge trees was a great place to do so. We went across the street to Laguana Nivaria Hotel with its stained glass and its outside courtyard. I was impressed with how the glass roof was covered by a type of awning, similar to a Roman shade. I caught myself envying a couch in the lobby with wooden touches. We saw a smaller church called Caniita De San Miguel which looked very old.

Palacio de Nava certainly piqued our interest. This building combines Mannerist, Baroque and Neoclassical elements. It was closed so we did not get to go inside and experience the courtyard. Onward we came across Palacete Rodriguez e Azero which is now a restaurant, casino combination. It has been placed on a corner location and looks very stately. The interior was spectacular with stained glass, wood trim and colourful couches. I did sneak a few photos although after taking them we were told not to.

We were walking to the Plaza Del Cristo which houses the Mercado. It, however, was not open. We did were nuns had by praying and were now on their way from the church. We saw another old church Nuestra Senora de las Dolores which was founded as a hospital in 1515. I do believe it is now a library.

A black and white cat that was afraid of us held our interest for awhile at Iglesia y Ex-Convento de San Austin. It was founded in 1506 by Augustinina friers. The attached church will be restored after a fire many years ago. This building now hosts cultural events and is now housing several art shows. Again, the building is built around a beautiful courtyard. Some of the perhaps original frescos were still on the walls. In the stairway was a octagonal shaped, copper patina ceiling.

We found historic looking homes that were occupied along with a very charming children's playground. The big highlight in that area, however, was Iglesia de la Concipcion (San Cristobal de La Laguana) which was founded in 1511. It houses the largest bell on the Canaries. We could have climbed the bell tower to view the city but by this time we were quite tired from our sight seeing. A couple of cervezas were in order, more walking around, even a visit to a quilt shop. Then back home to rest, cool off in the pool and have a great supper.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Today was my final appointment at Clinica Avvril.

I have had physiotherapy on my right foot, my legs, my left knee and my left hip about twice a week for three weeks now. Wow, it has helped so much. I am very pleased with the progress that Marina has helped me achieve. She has made me feel so a ease in a strange county and with a different then my usual physiotherapist. We have talked about our countries and told each other mostly about their good points. We have discussed future plans and present. She has given me various treatments and always I have felt she was doing her best to assist my case and help me walk normally. I would recommend her highly as a health practitioner. I will miss our twice weekly visits. I guess I will even miss the treatments because even though they sometimes were uncomfortable those treatments helped make me happy and whole once more.

The office manager who spoke many languages asked the Doctor to write me up an English receipt. The office manager had to print up the receipt in Spanish, after all we are in Spain. Somehow I am sure that BC Med would not accept it unless it was in English. Odd, right! They have to use Google Translate or something similar.

The remainder of the day was spent relaxing, doing Spanish, etc. Massage, etc. really relaxes me and puts me into a state of tiredness. I never noticed that much before because I was always so tired from work, it just seemed like a continuation of total tiredness.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
The morning's adventure was a few block walk from our apartment.

I started the walk taking pictures of flowers and plants that were on our walk. The place we ventured to was Jardin Aclimatacion de la Orotava. It is a biological garden that was started long ago, about 1790. There was a minuscule entrance fee of about €3,00 per adult. It took us several hours to walk around the area and enjoy this fenced paradise in the midst of a city. As soon as we walked into the entrance gate we could feel the cool air from the multitude of tall shade trees. Our walk to the Jardin was not very shaded and the cool air was very noticeable.

This Jardin was one of those places where I wanted to just be taking pictures constantly. As I was taking one picture I would be distract by something else and want to take a picture of that tree or plant. I was so inspired and could picture many things in quilt format in the future. I definitely was not the only person feeling their muse awaken. The Garden was full of tourists with cameras. In some areas we had to take turns so we could capture the best shots. Everyone jovial and respectful of fellow photographers. 

This tropical paradise for trees and plants has varieties from around the world. From huge philodendron leaves overflowing the garden walls to palm trees reaching for the sky each plant played a role in making this a horticultural mecca for tropicals. At the far end of the Garden was a rectangular pond (like an infinity pool) with water features of waterlilies and cat tails. Ken captured pictures of red coloured dragon flies, just the ducks were missing. Part of the garden was surrounded by a very high, old, stone fence with a yellowish ting which fit in well with the greenery. Two of the most spectacular trees were Ficus macrophylla (Moraceae) from Austraila. One very spectacular specimen was covered in hanging wispy moss and other plants. Believe me, I am not botanist so do not know the names of some plants but this tree had the most amazing pinky, purple plants attached to it. The other tree was so huge and spread out. It sent out lengthy horizontal branches that sprouted more branches going down to the ground like roots. It was hard not to be most attracted to the colourful blooms, variated leaves or huge specimens of a certain plant.

In most cases there was an oval sign that was stuck in the ground giving the Latin and Spanish name for the plant and where it originated.

What a wonderfully inspirational, refreshing thing to do on a hot day. Then as if that was not enough, lucky us, we went out for lunch. An authentic Tenerife dish was what we ordered - Canarian style potatoes with mojo sauces (often used for meat and fish, too).The potatoes were smallish and boiled in their jackets. We then had little bowls with red and green sauce to spoon onto the potatoes. The green sauce is made of green pepper, coriander and other yummy items. The red sauce is made of small red peppers from La Palma (called pimienta picona) and paprika. I will be searching for recipes for mojo sauce and try to duplicate this tasty treat.

Friday, September 25, 2015
This is the earliest we have been up and at 'em for a long time, up just shortly after six.

At the set of Jason Bourne 5.

Not really a matter of wanting to get up that early we just woke-up so we took advantage of the situation. Our stretching, etc. comes first or else we seize up, got dressed and were out the door. We were out of here and on the road before eight o'clock, a miracle. Santa Cruz de la Tenerife was our destination.

As before the highway was in grid lock for part of the forty-five or so minute drive, so it took a bit longer than usual. We went to our favourite parking garage (total creatures of habit, I know) and walked to the usual hotel for their "to die for" breakfast buffet. It was impressive as ever. The cook is somewhat creative as she varies the dishes, for example, the Spanish tortilla or omelette had different veggies in it this time compared to last time. This time there was quiche    Lorraine, lots of fresh fruit and she had prepared some type of fish croquettes. There was the standard good fare of several types of eggs, the fried veggies (which was different than last time), chocolate croissants, exemplary expressos and large coffees, too (also many types of meat). I know I ate, too much but will unfortunately not be returning.

We walked over eight kilometres today in Santa Cruz, walking by parks, through plazas and on into stores. One huge old building we investigated had an art gallery near the entrance. The building was called, "Circulo De Amistad XII De Enero".  On the walls hung wonderful painted portraiture by Nazareth Hernandez. Hope he is ok with me showing you some of his exemplary work. We did not need to eat lunch for obvious reasons but kept hydrated and rested. It ended up being hot even though much of the day was cloudy.

After visiting the art gallery, art stores, pawn shops, computer stores, dollar type stores, etc. we happened upon the cordoned off set of the Jason Bourne 5 shoot. Wow, were we surprised because we thought all that ended last week. Hanging out to see Matt Damon was hot, literal 'cause of standing in the sun for over half an hour. Lots of crew, like crazy amount. We saw a repeat of a car driving scene with a greenish, blue Volkswagen bug. That was it, but it was worth it.

After our experience with Mr. Solar we decided we should return back to Puerto and to the pool. By the time we returned it was sunny in our little piece of Paradise. We met some people from Scotland. Yes, we did not have to ask as their accent gave it away. Cooling off in the perfect temperature pool was wonderful.

Meanwhile, back at the pool.

Saturday, September 26, 2015
I woke up remembering that I have to get up early for an appointment.

It was with a hairdresser who does not speak any English, scary, at least for me. As you know I have long hair and I am alway afraid it will either get dried out (worse than it already is), be changed to some awful colour, the bangs will be cut so short that I will look like a little kid or heaven forbid, they will cut too much off the length. Well now that I have revealed my hair fears to the world you know why I was reticent to go to the hairdresser and why I have not gone for so long.

Ken needed a morning walk and decided to walk me to the hairdresser. She was such a friendly, accommodating young lady my unfounded fears were put to rest. I believe her name was Yaui, I could be wrong. She got me a very foamy cappuccino and biscotti while she mixed up the colour. We had a great discussion about the colour topic but came to an agreement, I am sure she knows best. She worked very hard and long to get the colour perfect and it certainly was. The trim, again, she worked hard and long and gave me advise on how she felt it should be done. Somehow lost in translation was the fact I wanted my hair curly, nature but she straightened it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015
Tomorrow we will be moving on from our wonderful apartment in Tenerife.

I know that I am feeling rather reflective, thinking about the fun things we have done, and the great things that we have seen - the beautiful tropical plants and trees, the ocean pounding against the rock and black sand. It was great being able to have a car while we were on Tenerife. Ken was able to drive us around to different areas of the island so we could see the sights.
My foot and hip are also feeling so much better. The physiotherapy seem to have worked. We have both been able to get the needed rest that we required so badly. Traveling takes a lot of energy. 

Today was a day of sorting out our belongings and packing up everything we own that is with us.   Having been in Puerto Cruz for so long I had forgotten about some of the things I had packed up. It'll be interesting to wear some of the cooler weather clothing, but hope it isn't cold on mainland Spain. 

I was happy to be able to fit in one last swim.The pool has been so lovely with the sun shining through the water and the view of the hill in the background. 

In the evening, after a wonderful supper prepared in our own kitchen, we were able to go for a walk down to the Casablanca Hotel and to the Hotel Puerta de la Cruz. We still love this area of Tenerife and would certainly return if the opportunity presented itself. Once back at the apartment we settled on the deck for a little while and watch the full moon. Then is if we had planned it fireworks started up on the hill as if giving us a good-bye sendoff.

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