The ferry timetable to Gran Canaria didn’t work out for me as I had some shopping to do to keep this blog up and running ( plug adapter and data credit etc) and the later crossings wouldn’t have given me time to complete the first stage. So I had another city day here in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
A big seemingly prosperous city it is too. I had found a cheap room between the bus station and the ferry port in an area near the cultural hotspots.
The first thing that I saw, and heard, was a gleaming red Ferrari throttling past as I stepped out to explore.
Just across the road from the hotel was T.E.A. Tenerife Exposition de Artes a huge modern building housing galleries theatre cinema cafe and the finest 24ht library I’ve ever come across with 1000’s of books, periodicals, movies and music and acres of desked study space.
On my way to the port to get my ticket for tomorrow I admired the amount of space given over to undisturbed street art and graffiti. Just a small selection here.
Even the municipal hoarding around building work at the port was covered in colourful artistic expression.
A very enlightened approach that other cities should adopt. In the book shop at the TEA there had been lots of books on street art, the bulk of it Spanish.
On my return I visited the Museo de La Naturaleza y El Hombre set in 3 stories of a fine old building with a contemporary remodelling. The geographical displays really helped me put my experiences of the different islands into perspective and to understand why they are so varied. A lot of it is to do with their vastly different ages as they erupted into existence from the Canaries hot spot beneath the sea floor. From Fuerteventura in the east 20 million yrs ago to El Hierro in the west only 1.2 million yrs ago they have been weathering and there age accounts for the widening of the ravines.
I learnt how the trade winds bring the low lying humid clouds between 500 and 1500 mt and deposit about 700 litres a square mt. I’m not sure how that compared with western Ireland but I can attest to its wetness. I was able to identify more of the trees I’d been hiking through in that damp cloud forest. Hollies, arbutus,viburnum,prunus Lusitanica, wild olive, tamarix, willows and others.
There was also a vast collection of animal exhibits and although not a huge variety of mammals have made it out here, butterflies and moths have.
One of the things that struck me in the Hombre sections was the connections between the Guanche , the Berber related original inhabitants, and the ancient Irish.
They lived in ,and built for spiritual purposes , similar circular stone constructions and along with Galicia, Portugal and the Moroccan high atlas used similar decorative symbols.
There were some fairly macabre displays of Guanche skulls that looked a bit like a Damien Hirst piece
After all of that it was time for some refreshment at the cafe in the Tenerife Auditorium, another presumably very expensive project designed by … Oops what’s his name… Calatrava ? He has a trademark arch thing going on and I think he did a bridge over the Liffey in Dublin.
So hopefully I’m all set for my final island tomorrow at 8.30.
And in the meantime I have about half a GB of data credit that runs out at midnight so I might try watching a bit of TV.