Spain/Morocco 2011:
Day 7 - Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Spain/Morocco 2011: [Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 3 - At Sea] [Day 4 - Gibraltar] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Funchal, Portugal] [Day 7 - Tenerife, Canary Islands] [Day 8 - Arrecife, Canary Islands] [Day 9 - Agadir, Morocco] [Day 10 - Marrakech, Morocco] [Day 11 - Seville, Spain] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 14 - Andorra]

Friday, October 28, 2011: Hmmm, Tenerife looks like an ordinary island from a distance. Might be worth seeing, but probably not anything particularly interesting. Boy, were we wrong.

This was the morning that we discovered the sandwich-making section of the breakfast buffet, which made breakfast a much more pleasant experience from then on.
We had a full day tour ahead of us and we were off to see Mount Teide in the center of the island.
We started climbing immediately because we had a lot of altitude to gain, and before long, we were in the forest.
At this height, it is solid fog in the forest.
We starting to see blue skies above the clouds, ...
... and then nothing but blue.
It turned out that the clouds weren't gone -- they were just below us.
We stopped for a look at Mount Teide and swapped photographer duties with some of our tourmates.
It's a beautiful mountain and pretty obvious from its shape that it is a volcano. Our tour guide, Dominique, marveled at the weather, saying, "You are lucky because ze weazer yesterday eez not ze weazer today." The Bundlings weather luck, ladies and gentlemen -- it never fails us.
The view of the coast was pretty great from up here too.
At this point, we were out of the forest and in some bonafide lava terrain. Yeah, that was a slope of gravel that slides right into the clouds, as far as we could tell.
The road cut through a section of rock with an amazing array of different colors.
You can see it a little when the road doubled back, ...
... and even better here where you can see the layers of rock on either side of the road.
The high altitude and clear skies make this an ideal location for a group of observatories.
We were above the treeline, but there was plenty of tundra plant life around.
We had a short stop at a cafe called Restaurant de la Portillo, where we split a delicious bottle of Coca Cola Light and a cookie, no, make that dos cookies.
The roads in the national park were quite narrow, so when two tour buses had to pass, there were some tense moments and some serious driver-to-driver negotiations.
Check out this scenery! Mount Teide is located in the middle of a large caldera, and the landscape is surreal.
We drove along the base of Mount Teide, ...
... and looked up at the summit, accessible via cable car.
A short distance away are these amazing rock formations, ...
... and these, which we visited next.
How cool are these formations? Orchy was impressed.
This area of the caldera was used for some of the early scenes in "Planet of the Apes," but we watched it carefully when we returned and only spotted one shot of Charlton Heston sliding down some gravel.
It's very cool landscape, even if it lost out to Utah filming locations in the movie.

We got a panoramic shot of it, but it still can't contain it all.
We climbed the rocks with the masses of tourists, ...
... and surveyed the line of tour buses waiting for their passengers to return.
Further out on the observation walk, we got this shot of the rock formations with Mount Teide in the background.
Back in the bus, we admired the landscape on the way out of the caldera.
Admire it too.
There are lots of trails throughout the caldera, shown here marked by stones.
There are smaller volcano cones sprinkled around the area.
The landscape turned to shrubbery, ...
... then to forest, ...
... then to foggy outlines of trees.
This was an interesting rock formation.
Here's a section of forest that had been destroyed by a hurricane several years earlier.
As we descended into the town of Puerto de la Cruz, we passed tiny vineyards, ...
... elaborate porch gardens, ...
... bright yellow buildings teetering on the hill, ...
... exotic trees known as dragon trees, ...
... and tiny green spaces.
Our lunch stop was at a place called Pueblo Chico.
We had no idea what to expect, but our visit started here, ...
... then went here, ...
... and continued here.
It turned out to be a park containing lots of miniature scenes from throughout the Canary Islands, ...
... like this one, ...
... and this one. This white structure is on the waterfront and we got a photo of the real thing later in the day. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see it.
The scenes were highly detailed, ...
... with great details like this dog eating spilled pizzas from the pizza delivery scooter, ...
... and these skateboarders with one in mid-air.
We got a photo of this building later in the day as well. Scroll down to see it -- it's the third photo from the bottom.
This 3D model of the island helped put the size of Mount Teide and its caldera into perspective, ...
... and we were highly amused by this miniature model of Mount Teide itself.
Our destination was the onsite restaurant, ...
... where we were directed to this table of ten.
We started with rolls, bacon-wrapped plantains, and something round and pasty that we couldn't identify, followed by a garbanzo bean and ham dish, that Debbie graciously shared with Tom.
Next up were plain potatoes and chicken in a typical Canary Islands-style sauce, followed by vanilla ice cream and Spanish coffee for dessert.
After lunch, we walked through the lushly landscaped gardens back to the bus, ...
... passing this guy and several of his friends along the way.
Our next stop was the Orotava Botanic Garden, ...
... a magical place with beautiful plants and sights.
This unusual orchid was growing on a tree trunk, ...
... not far from this gigantic ficus tree.
The garden is a giant grid with paths throughout.
Cool plant.
Another cool plant.
This is one of the aforementioned dragon trees.
At the back of the garden, there was a tiny waterfall created by overflow from the water feature above it, so we climbed the steps to see it.
It was a gorgeous koi pond in a walled courtyard.
The real star of the show was this gigantic spider. We all had to get a nice closeup of him, so Tom chose to stand back, way back, while Debbie took this photo.
Here are the koi, which Debbie is always compelled to photograph.
Here's a beautiful tree in the corner.
We got one last artsy shot of the lily pads before we returned to the main garden.
These beautiful blooms belonged to the majestic Palo borracho, a native tree of Brazil and Argentina, according to the documentation. We saw this tree again in Seville, Spain, a few days later.
It was nice to see the occasional plant or tree that was marked as being a native of the Canary Islands.
This interesting dangling bloom begged to be photographed.
This fountain was near the entrance to the excellent rest rooms, which is always important to a successful tour.
We saw white mimosa blooms ...
... and coral-pink ones. So pretty and so unsuccessful in our garden at home.
These are two trees -- one with green fruit on the right, and one with pink fruit on the left. They are labeled, respectively, false mango and mango. Well-played, Mr. Gardener, well-played.
Beautiful anthurium blooms still look fake, even when they are clearly growing in an actual garden.
Here is some moss in Spain, also known as Spanish moss.
Finally, we headed back to the other side of the island to return to port, but got two more photos of typical Canarian architecture with both Spanish, ...
... and Moorish influences.
We passed the full size version of the conference center we had seen at Pueblo Chico ...
... and the beautiful Tenerife Auditorium.

It was a full day and we had another Canary Island to visit and a few to pass by, so we were off.

Day 8 >

Spain/Morocco 2011: [Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 3 - At Sea] [Day 4 - Gibraltar] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Funchal, Portugal] [Day 7 - Tenerife, Canary Islands] [Day 8 - Arrecife, Canary Islands] [Day 9 - Agadir, Morocco] [Day 10 - Marrakech, Morocco] [Day 11 - Seville, Spain] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 14 - Andorra] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy