With its unique collection of aboriginal mummies, archaeological finds, and focus on endemic flora and fauna, the Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueología is one of the premier museums on the Canary Islands. We made it one of our first stops in Santa Cruz.
Any exploration of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is likely to begin in the Plaza de España, an expansive open square near the ocean. At least, that's the first place we headed. We spent a wonderful Saturday morning hanging out in the plaza, and getting a feel for the capital city, which is in turns beautiful, garish, charming, and strange… and definitely has an atmosphere all its own.
Santa Cruz is the largest city on Tenerife, and joint-capital of the entire Canary Islands. The city lies in the northeastern quadrant of the island, at the base of the Anaga mountain range, and is the center of industry and tourism. We took an initial tour shortly after arriving.
The history of Tenerife is tied closely to that of the entire Canary Islands. This is the largest of the seven islands in the archipelago, and has assumed the cultural and political lead throughout the years. Let's take a quick look at the most important events in Tenerife's history.
We encountered gofio on our very first night in La Gomera, when the proprietress of Imada's lone restaurant set down a bowlful next to our soups. And we've encountered it every day since. Gofio is the most Canarian of foods, used in soups, breakfasts, desserts, main dishes, candies, and drinks. We suspect that some eat it by the spoonful. The people of the Canary Islands just can't seem to get enough. Tito from our local Gofio Mill…
Jürgen and I are definitive city guys. We met in Boston and lived for years in Berlin, before moving to Valencia. We ride bikes, use public transport, and don't even own a car. But for whatever reason, we wanted our stay in Tenerife to be more rural, so chose a house in a small village. Las Mercedes: are you ready to entertain us?
The Casa Lercaro is just one of many historic homes found in the old quarter of La Laguna, though it might be the largest. The palace was built in the late sixteenth century for a powerful family of commercial magnates from Genoa, and a visit to the museum is almost as fascinating for the tour of this ancient home, as it is for the exhibitions themselves.
The historic capital of the Canary Islands, San Cristóbal de La Laguna (more commonly shortened to La Laguna) is still considered to be the archipelago's cultural heart. We'd be spending a lot of time here during our 91 days on Tenerife, since our home village of Las Mercedes is just up the road, about five minutes by car.
We had a lot of fun hiking around La Gomera, but it was exhausting, and we were ready to get to the main destination of our 91 day adventure: Tenerife. We had rented a rural house for the duration of our stay, and were looking forward to settling down a little.
The capital of La Gomera, San Sebastián is home to around 30% of the island's population. As our ferry wasn't scheduled to leave for Tenerife until the late afternoon, we had an entire day to explore the town.
Our week on La Gomera had flown by, and the final hike was upon us. At least we wouldn't have to go far … our chosen route led directly past our cabin at the Casa del Chorro, up to the Mirador Abrante, and over the mountains to Agulo. Had we saved the best for last? Let's find out!
A town with a name like Vallehermoso ("Beautiful Valley") best be able to deliver the goods. We'd already spent the better part of a week on an isla hermosa, so expectations were high. And we weren't disappointed… at least by the town and its truly beautiful valley. But this wasn't our best hike, thanks to the overcast skies. While hiking on La Gomera, overcast skies are bad news, because if your trail takes you into the hills…