Thursday, September 8, 2016

Europe 2016: Trip Notes # 8

The day after the pick pocket issue and with the situation still on our mind, we were able to relax a little. It was a day at sea. Although we kept going over the incident and continued to ask the "Why me" question, we found time to get a massage, try different restaurants, sit by the pool and work on our blog.

Canary Islands

The follow two days were more than what was expected.

Offshore Platforms Repaired On This Island

Local Dance Group Welcomes Ship   

  Magnificent Concert Hall Is Near Ship

We had an opportunity to explore two Canary Islands. The islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Arrecife, Lanzarote) are volcanic in nature (much like our Hawaiian islands) yet, in their own way, still differing in terrain.

Notice The Black Sand Beaches Below

The towns have the same look or influence of old (and some new) Spanish and Portuguese towns

Typical Street   

Local Grocery Store 

Time For Services

Old Church
Silver For Altar Came From Colonial Mexico
Wooden Christ Carved In 1800's Belgium

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Walking down the island old, historical streets is always interesting. The building designs truly take us back into history.

 Someone Could Give A Speech On This Balcony

 Tourist Season - Not Too Many People

Government Official Lived Here


Pretty Patio

We had an opportunity to visit a winery and taste local tapas.

The crusty bottles of wine were more interesting than the wine tasting and tapas

Jerry found a pub offering many gins and vodkas that he did not know existed.

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These volcanic islands are more desert-like (such as Aruba) than the lush tropical islands that we would generally expect. 

Notice The White Homes. All Homes are White.

White Paint Reduces > 100 Degrees Heat In Summer - Keeps Warmth Inside During +/- 30 Degrees In Winter

Barren Terrain  

Hairpin Curves To Reach Village

Pretty Coastline

There is hardly any rain which necessitates a different approach to controlling water for every day requirements and for irrigating crops.

Lots of Lava Fields - Lots Of Rocks

Vineyards and other groups are protected from wind by using "fences" or walls made from rock. 

Lots Of Work Required To Built Rock Walls

Lava Dust / Dirt Is Placed Over Ground -- Used To Soak Up And Keep In Moisture  

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We Visited An Aloe Farm

Thick, Outer Sheath Removed Exposing Gel-like Substances

Natural, Cure-all Plant: Drink or Apply

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  Island Grotto Was Another Unexpected And Special Visit

We had an opportunity to visit a grotto. 
Not knowing what to expect, we had a unique opportunity to visit one of nature's wonders

Large Pool Of Water Reflecting Above Rock and Visitors

Another Natural Wonder Enhanced By Ethereal Music Played Throughout Grotto

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Guess What?

Jerry Should Have Purchased / Used Porto's $5 Gel Instead Of The $2 Variety. 

Would anyone like to guess how the Canary Islands got their name? It has nothing to do with the bird. "Canary" has its "roots" with "Canine." It has been said that years ago the local inhabitants raised and/or ate dogs - thus the name.

We learned that the original inhabitants may have been Berbers and Arabs from North Africa. Genetically, many Cubans that migrated to Miami may be linked to the original Canary inhabitants.

Also, there is another fascinating detail. Although considered a Spanish "territory" (the locals see themselves as a separate country), the Spanish spoken on the islands is much closer to the Mexican Spanish.

To add to this peculiarity, as close as the Canary Islands are to Spain, there are "common words" that have totally different meanings.

By the way, for those friends of ours that like trivia, Tenerife is where the two 747's (KLM and PAN AM) crashed into each other years ago.

Three Flags: European Union, Spain and Canary Islands

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