On the transatlantic cruise this November, I will revisit Tenerife, there is much more to see. In the meantime I thought I’d share my first impressions of this beautiful place.
Tenerife, is the largest of the Canary Islands, and according to our guide has a population of about 800,000 people.
The capital and major port is Santa Cruz, that is where we docked and spent the day touring. It is the major port of the island, and Santa Cruz has a population of about 220,000 residents.
It is bright, lively, there are beaches, high rises-at least high rises for a volcanic island-shops, gardens, restaurants along with many houses that have staircases that seem to climb up to infinity-a perfect venue for rest and relaxation. The climate and landscape are very diverse, and there are more things to see here than the other two islands I visited.
A short bus ride took us to the beautiful market, neatly laid out, one aisle after another offers produce, meat and sausages, cheeses, flowers, spices-you can stop for coffee and soak up the atmosphere. The items for sale seem never ending, and the aromas were divine, especially from the spice areas.
The next stop was the Archeological Museum that has impressive exhibits of the life and death of the Guanche society-the first inhabitants of the Canary Islands dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.
A fascinating exhibit that lists many of the plants found on the islands, reminiscent of the Audubon style, they were beautifully drawn and labeled and framed. There is a knob on each of the framed exhibits and when you pull on the knob you open a door, and it has a picture or drawing of the discoverer of the plant. Very neat indeed. This museum serves as a learning center for all the schools in the Canary Islands.
Our next stop was La Laguna, a World Heritage Site. Designated a site because of the buildings, the intrinsic layout of the city, its colorful and distinctive architecture and beautiful patios. Smaller than Santa Cruz, it is more intimate and somewhat less touristy.
We stopped and visited another market square, this one smaller and older, but equally charming. Then on to the Cathedral and a couple of the famous interior patios. We had a few minutes to shop and stop for coffee. I opted for the coffee and a wonderful local delicacy, fried bread that I swear had custard inside, it was soft, gooey and delicious.
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