The Canary Islands:  Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Arrecife, Lanzarote

2023 HAL World Cruise

Sunday-Monday, April 2-3, 2023

First, let’s address the name of these Islands.  It has absolutely no avian connotation!!!  None!!!  Nada!!!  Not an iota!!!  It comes from the island of Gran Canaria and is very, very canine!!!  It was Pliny the Elder who once called it an island of “vast multitudes of dogs of very large size.”  The people are called “Canarians.”    

Another interesting factoid:  the Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, only 62 miles off the western coast of Africa; but they are a part of Europe because, since 1982, they have been an Autonomous Community of Spain.  As such, they are the southernmost region of Spain and the largest and most populous archipelago of Macaronesia. Yes, Macaronesia!!!  We never heard of it either; but guess what, according to Wikipedia, “Macaronesia is a collection of four volcanic archipelagos (the Canary, Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde archipelagos) in the North Atlantic, off the coasts of Africa and Europe.  Each archipelago is made up several Atlantic Oceanic Islands which are formed by seamounts on the ocean floor whose peaks have risen above the ocean’s surface.  Who knew?!?!

Well, now we do!!!

So, here is more info:  there are 7 major Canary Islands (Tenerife, Lanzarote, La Palma, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, El Hierro, and Fuerteventura) along with many, many other smaller islands, and islets.  So far, your Roving Raconteurs have visited 3 of them; some more than once or twice!!!  We have always enjoyed the sightseeing; the local wine; the shopping; and the food.  Our favorite hangout is the little lake, El Charco de San Gines, in Arrecife, on the island of Lanzarote where the restaurants ringing the lake are all al fresco with compelling water views; the shopping is nearby; and the sightseeing includes a fort, artwork and lots of shopping!!!.  Our favorite restaurant is on the Island of Gran Canaria:  the Canteras Playa Fisch Grill at Playa Canteras outside La Palmas.  We did not visit Gran Canaria this time, but we’ll look forward to returning before too long.

Can you tell we are very happy to be here?!?  We were able to walk the streets without getting sand or rocks in our shoes (a regular expectation we had all over Africa!!!)  We had a good time being back in one of our favorite places!!!

Here are some photos in Santa Cruz de Tenerife:

We pulled into Santa Cruz early in the morning on Sunday, April 2nd. It is Palm Sunday. It’s sunny and warm. We are anticipating a wonderful day!!!
We could see the tents on shore and knew celebrations for the Easter Season were in full swing!!!
We were told to follow the blue line into town. We most cerainly did!!!
Reaching the end of the blue line, we headed for the Plaza de Espana. Our destination was the outdoor fair where we planned to shop the vendor stalls.
We came upon the music first…..
…..then the festival food tents…..
… about the 5-man brass band parade!!!…..
…..the children’s entertainment…..
…..the clowns…..
…..and even mini-floats wending their way through the pedestrian streets!!!…..
…..and then, we arrived at the little lake at the center of Plaza de Espana!!! This lovely area sits atop the ruins of the old fort–Castillo de San Cristobal.
This fortification was built in 1575. Then in 1928, demolished to construct the Plaza de Espana. When the plaza was remodeled in 2006, the ruins were unearthed and an underground museum created. How cool is that!!! But we digress……
… we continued, we finally came upon vendors…..
…..many, many vendors…..
We even found the obligatory photo op!!!! And after awaiting our turn…..
…..and after all the day’s activity, it was time for a break!!! We stopped-in at the Atlantis Restaurant & Café for refreshment.
These folks were ready for a very busy day!!!
Roger ordered the local brew, Dorado Especial; Sandy opted for Sangria. Both were quite nice!!!
Roger usually tries to sample the local brew on tap. He is seldom disappointed!!!
After a little more city-sightseeing,…..
…..we searched for a pleasant spot to have lunch.
…..and that’s when we found El Lateral 27!!!
We ordered the Iberian meat platter…
…..which was fabulous!!!…..
…..and the addition of a Canarian cheese platter made it even better!!!
The Dorada beer for Roger and the Emina Reudo Verdejo 2021 wine for Sandy topped it all off!!!
We have found a new “favorite”!!! El Lateral 27 is now our favorite restaurant on Tenerife!!! How fitting. On our latest trip we discovered a new favorite…..
…..and on our first visit to the Canary Islands in 2011, we found our favorite restaurant on Gran Canaria outside Las Palmas: the Canteras Playa Fisch Grill!!! Obviously we have a taste for the cuisine of the Canary Islands!!!

Now, lets move on to Arrecife, Lanzarote:

Following Santa Cruz, Tenerife we docked in Arrecife, Lanzarote the next day. Shuttle buses were on hand to take us into town.
The shuttle stop is now at the new marina. It is further away from the shuttle stop we remember in the past. We know change happens; but this is really an inconvenient spot for passengers who just want to get into town.!!!
It’s a pretty long walk just to the lagoon. Those in walkers must have a hard time!!!
On the walk you pass the Museo de Historia de Arrecife. It is the former St. Gabriel’s Castle Fortress, built in 1576. What you see here is called the Bridge of Balls and joins the mainland to the Fortress’ islet.
What a unique museum!!!
This is the Charco de San Gines, a small lagoon in the center of town. The larger boats here are fishing boats and those smaller craft are used to get from shore to the fishing boat!!!
Back in the day, the buildings along the lagoon were the fishermen’s homes. Today, they are mostly restaurants!!! And really great restaurants at that! This is our favorite dining venue on Lanzarote!!!
All the restaurants look great. Today, we stopped at Cala for pasta and wine.
From this view at the lagoon, you can see the church, the roads leading further into town, and the start of the shopping area.
Iglesia de San Gines is the lovely local church.
Going down this street takes you to the shopping area.
We had a nice day in Arrecife!!!

Next, we are heading back to Africa—Morocco to be specific!!!

Our next post will tell you about Agadir, Casablanca, and Tangier, Morocco.

Join us as the adventure continues!!!

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