Canary Islands, Part 4

Many years ago when I lived in Vienna I was acquainted with a man named Luis Hernandez. At that time I was sharing an apartment with Eva Springer, and the two of them were dating. To collapse a decade's history, Eva and Luis are now married and living with their daughter in Tenerife, where he'e a hotel manager. Eva and the kid were visiting her parents near Vienna when E. and I visited, but Luis graciously offered to show us a bit of the island.

On the evening of day five, Luis met us in La Orotava, and drove us down to Puerto de la Cruz, where we had dinner.

Luis spend the night with his parents, who live nearby, and then met us again in the morning. We drove up through the clouds, not to the top of Teide, but close enough for a good view. (Tourists with time, money, and inclination can take a gondola to the top. Hikers with good boots, warm clothes, and lots of trail mix can also get to the top.)

Then Luis drove us down to San Cristóbal de la Laguna, another historic old Spanish city. Unlike La Orotava, its old town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, though both are similarly noteworthy. Unfortunately, the weather was damp, and we didn't see as much of La Laguna as we would have liked.

This former monastery, which has been given a new purpose as an art gallery, is typical of the architecture we saw.

Luis was an unerringly gracious host, and it was great to see him again.

One last thought about La Laguna. Luis needed to go back to work, and we spend the last part of the day on our own. We really got the impression that in La Laguna, at least, people speak Spanish. It's not La Gomera, where German is surprisingly common, or a resort city on Tenerife, where English is in the air. In La Laguna you have sufficiently escaped the crowds that you are actually in Spain. It would be a nice place to explore further.

On day seven we traveled back to the south of the island to catch a flight back to the cold, dark, snowy north.

For anyone who can't get enough, here is a slideshow of more photos from our trip to the Canary Islands.


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