Wednesday, 16 May 2018

. . .and Onwards to Lanzarote.

Revisiting Lanzarote is Different Every Time.

Image of a map of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Lanzarote lies to the north of Fuerteventura which we visited last time. You can see it on the map lying to the east of all the islands that lie just off the west coast of Africa. Arrecife is its capital city. On our first visit, my husband took the opportunity of going on an excursion to the late artist's unique studio home in Taro de Tahiche. (No photographs available.)

César Manrique.

No writing about Lanzarote would be complete without a mention of César Manrique, a native of Lanzarote and a famous artist and architect, who had a huge influence of the development and design of the island for the tourist industry into what we see today. He had was instrumental in stopping the development of hi-rise buildings which is why the tall hotel in Arrecife is the only one on the island. It can be seen for miles around. All other buildings are low rise.

My husband took advantage of the excursion to the late artist’s unique studio home in Taro de Tahiche where the Fundación César Manrique is based. He [my husband] was full of the design.
‘He built his home using the bubbles that had formed in the lava flow by joining several these bubbles together using excavation tunnelling to form rooms for various uses. Basically,’ he recounted, ‘it is all underground.’
My husband has recalled this after ten years, so deep are his impressions.

Following this visit, the tour headed towards the village of Guatiza, and the Jardín de Cactus or Cactus Garden, which again was designed by César Manrique. When he came back to the hotel, my husband was full of the amazing sights of the many cacti which are grown there but not being a botanist didn’t memorize details. Therefore, he has little recall of that visit, unlike the former visit which is imprinted on his mind feeding as it did his deep interest in his engineering and discovery side.

Below are some images of Lanzarote taken on a later visit- copyright Rosalie Marsh
Image of a volcanic eruption in Timanfaya National Park. Lanzarote
Image of Los Hervideros, Needles of Rock. Lanzarote
Image of a tall hotel on Lanzarote. Arrecife

Image of tLa Cueva de los Verde, Lanzarote

Rosalie Marsh

Friday, 11 May 2018

It is Good to be Back - Let's Go to Fuerteventura.

Island tour of Fuerteventura.

Taking advantage of the Saga included Island Tour we looked forward to an interesting and informative day with an opportunity to learn more about the island.

Caleta de Fuste lies south of the capital, Puerto del Rosario, on the east coast. Travelling on a well-maintained road we headed to the sand dunes in the north-east of the island. The coach disgorged its passengers so that they could wander over the dunes and take photos. In the distance was a large hotel on the seashore. The coach was on a section of hard standing [tarmac]at the side of the road. The guide explained that many people came here to park up and sunbathe. The hard standing had been provided at the side of the road as many park their cars on the sand; the car wheels would then gradually sink into the soft, fine sand as the wind blows the sand against the wheels and the cars become stuck. There were two men who permanently patrolled the area to rescue stranded motorists.

Travelling northwards we could see the many clumps of vegetation in the sand. The flat sea shore was clearly visible as was the small Isla de Lobos which has a National Park. Eventually, as we neared Corralejo the island of Lanzarote came into view. Corralejo is very built up and the main tourist destination. Fuerteventura lies to the south of Lanzarote [they are both the closest to Africa of all the Canary Islands] and it is from Corralejo that the ferries ply back and forth the short distance between Fuerteventura and Playa Blanca on the southern shores of Lanzarote.

Turning away from the north coast, the terrain became more undulating. It appeared in stark contrast to the interior of the island of Lanzarote which we visited in the previous chapter. The earth was a glorious mix of colours from red through to green and brown as vegetation covered the sweeping fields on the mountainsides with palm trees lining the road. We were now heading down the western side of the island towards Betancuria which is almost on a parallel with Caleta de Fuste. On the way, we had a glimpse of Tindaya Mountain which was considered by the original inhabitants to be a sacred mountain.

Next stop - Down the switchback road to Betancuria and the GoatFarm. . .

Rosalie Marsh

Tuesday, 1 May 2018



Lying here resting after my operation, I am looking at the beautiful Spring view from my bedroom window.
The trees, swaying in the morning breeze, are showing off their new clothes. All of a sudden, with new life, their small budding leaves have burst forth to wipe out the starkness of the winter scene as they embrace Spring.

The trees, waving at me through the window, are set against an almost cloudless sky. Today is May Day - the 1st of May.

The gentleness of yellow daffodils has been replaced with the vibrancy and elegance of tulips surrounded by grape hyacinths or silver-leaved cinerias.

I can only reflect on the beauty of nature; a beauty that survives all the trials and tribulations of the modern world; a beauty  that transcends all the destruction wrought by man. A beauty and cycle of life that reasurres us that, at the end of the day, life goes on. Plants push up from the cold earth to greet the sun and rejoice as their flowers bud and bloom. Majestic mountains still watch over us silently, and trees withstand the cold and wind of winter as God takes his paintbrush to remind us what a wonderful world we live in.
You only have to travel down the A5 through Llangollen to Snowfonia to see a new painting every week. Better on a motorbike though!
We have to be thankful for our health and strength and take time to 'stop and stare' while we reflect on life itself and its meaning.

My current series of excerpts from Island Interludes had been rudely interrupted but thankfully and hopefully I will be posting again soon when I get to my desk.
Currently posting in a limited way from my smartphone.
Let us also be thankful for modern technology!