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Old 04-02-2006, 04:07 AM   #27
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 18

Sent : Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:34 AM
Subject : Saturday part 3

Here are more pictures of the downtown area.

Flower arangements grow around the base of trees in the church courtyard

The view down another alleyway

Another view down a street in the shopping district

A garden area located downtown

Older houses, converted to shops and restaurants

The Burger King restaurant, in proper local architecture

Street entertainers, because they amused me so

A closer picture of the street performers taking a break

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Old 04-02-2006, 04:07 AM   #28
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 21

Sent : Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:40 AM
Subject : Saturday part 4

I completed the last of my souvenir shopping. So on my way back, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some croissants, some tea (10 bags for 32 Euro cents) and a bottle of Mahou Negra Cerveza Especial (a dark beer made in Madrid). The first picture here is the front of the shopping center where our grocery store is. The second and third pictures show how they sell milk in the stores here. Take a good look at that, 'cause it puzzled me. Yep, there's no refrigeration ... the cartons feature a vaccuum seal foil pack inside.

Our neighborhood shopping mall

Get your fresh ... er, carton ... of milk right here

Milk for sale - stacked in a flood display

When you're visiting an island formed by mountains rising out of the ocean due to volcanic action, you should expect your travel will be a bit of up and down. Let's look at returning to the hotel from the grocery store.


The view looking uphill from the grocery store

The first hint of steps ...

(continued)
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:08 AM   #29
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 22

Sent : Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:45 AM
Subject : Saturday part 5

Then we see another set of stairs,

and another set and then ...

another bunch of stairs and ...

what the heck? ... another bunch of stairs!

And still I continue on ...


(continued)
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:09 AM   #30
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 23

Sent : Saturday, February 11, 2006 12:02 PM
Subject : Saturday part 6


and finally, what do I see here? More STAIRS!

Well, at least I was close ... to MORE STAIRS!

Ah, finally, just a gentle grade up the hill ...

and I arrive at the hotel ... home, sweet home-away-from-home!

Thank goodness there's an elevator up to our room on the 4th floor!

And this is why I don't have to worry about the calories I take in while I'm on vacation. I'm definitely working them off!

Dad and I went back downtown tonight for supper. We ate at Maga Restaurante, where I had onion soup (yep, I've developed a taste for the stuff), Canarian salty potatos and chicken with Canarian hot sauce. Yum! Dad had the skewered beef.

On the way back I mentioned the e-mails I sent earlier today. He couldn't believe I'd done it and said there weren't really that many stairs. I said, "Well, let's count them." So I just started counting each set of steps, each of which is probably 6 to 10 steps. When I got to the 9th set, he said "I didn't realise there were that many. Now you're making me tired!" The final count, including the set of stairs leading up to our hotel lobby - 13 flights of stairs ... just in case anyone thought I was exagerating earlier. :-)

Tomorrow or Monday, Dad and I will go get our picture taken in front of the thousand year old Dragon tree, or "El Drago" as the locals call it.

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Old 04-02-2006, 04:10 AM   #31
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 24

Sent : Monday, February 13, 2006 4:42 PM
Subject : Sunday - part 1

Well, we've had a couple of lazy days. Except for a half day bus ride out to "El Drago," we've mostly just gone out to eat and sat around. So that's why I didn't write anything yesterday.

On Sunday, we decided to take a metro bus west to the city of Icod de Los Vinos to see the famous "El Drago." This means "The Dragon," and is the name of a 1000 year old tree that has become quite the tourist attraction.

We walked down to the bus station and while we were waiting for our bus, we are at El Pozo restaurant. As you can see from picture 1, this is another open air restaurant as is so popular here. I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and "chips" (french fries). It was fair, but inexpensive.

Dining under the open air canopy at El Pozo

Then we took got on the metro bus, route 363. Nearly the entire island is served by this bus system, but then the whole island is only about 2000 square kilometers total area. It took us 40 minutes (including stops) to get to Icod de Los Vinos. We walked uphill to the "Parque de El Drago" and bought our tickets. A little tourist train took us on a little tour of the town, then delivered us to entryway for El Drago.

A view up the hillside.

Notice that there are 3 roads wrapping around the hill at different levels, including a tunnel, plus the housed dotting the hillside. While we watched the clouds decended down the hillside.

The clouds rolled down

The clouds decended further

A view inside the park, as we neared the Dragon Tree

We walked in and were able to get very close to the legendary Dragon Tree. I've never seen any other living thing that is a thousand years old, but this tree was incredible. Yes, it is big, but it also looks good for it's age.

The red dot is me standing next to El Drago.

Yes, it the tree is so big that it seems like an opitcal illusion, but I AM directly parallel to the tree in that picture.

The Dragon Tree from another angle

Another view of the one thousand year old tree

We found out that it is much like a cactus it is a succulant, and it can go a long time without much water.

The best picture: a panoramic view of El Drago in all it's majesty

(continued)
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:10 AM   #32
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 25

Sent : Monday, February 13, 2006 4:55 PM
Subject : Sunday - part 2

Then we jumped back n the bus and headed back. Seeing the scenery from the bus gives you a better idea what it is like to live here as a local citizen. So much of what we've seen elsewhere here is framed and filtered for the tourists. But when you're riding the same municipal bus as the locals use, you get a better look at day to day life.

Real estate really is at a premium here. Just as in downtown Puerta de La Cruz where they stack the stores two and three layers high (including, often, an underground level), the farm land gets stacked up too. In this case, since the land rises fairly quickly from the coastline, there are a lot of hills. They farm on those hills by creating terraces up and down the slope ... a series of level plateaus held up by stone support walls. And they grow their crops on these shelves all the way up tbe hills. On the bus ride I got a closer look at some of these farms, including the ramps running from shelf to shelf to drive their tractors up

While I was unable to take clear pictures during most of the bus ride, I did snap one cool photo at a bus stop. This picture is of a plant we nicknamed "The Swan" for obvious reasons. I don't know what kind of plant it was, but it was interesting.

"The Swan"

When we got back to town, we decided it was time for some supper. So we stopped at Restaurante Compostelana Plaza (pic 2), another open air resturant. I had the lasagna (Yum!) and Dad had the Spaghetti Carbonara, which he said was quite good.

The Restaurante Compostelana Plaza

Next up - the last full day on the island, and some beautiful pictures of the shoreline.
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:11 AM   #33
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - 26

Sent : Monday, February 13, 2006 9:00 PM
Subject : Moday

Today was a do-nothing, enjoy-the-last-full-day-here kind of day. I went downtown and bought some last minute souvenirs and took a few last photos. I also took some beautiful pictures of the coastline. (The first three might make great wallpaper for a PC desktop!)

The wave swept bay and lava rocks at the center of the entertainment district

A closer view of the lava rocks

An even closer look at surf breaking on the black lava rocks

A unique seaside fountain

A Panoramic view of the Puerta de La Cruz hillside sloping to the ocean

Then Dad and I went down to the shoreline and ate supper at a beachside restaurant, sitting on a balcony overlooking the sea. While we watched and listened to waves crashing on the rocks below, we both enjoyed pork chops smothered in fresh creamed mushrooms. Hmmmm ... yummy! And to wash it down, we had a huge goblet
full of Dorada Cervesa, a popular local beer. It didn't taste like anything really special, but it was wet and it was beer ... and it was a really, really big goblet!

The restaurant we ate at is visibile in the arched windows located mid-upper-center in the photo

Our last close-up look at the ocean, colored by the sepia tones of night

Well, this is probably the last email of the trip. Tomorrow we check out of our room by 10:00 a.m., hang around the pool for a while and head off to the airport at 5:00 p.m. for our flight 2.5 hours later. Then we begin the 30+ hour marathon trip from Tenerife to Barcelona to Amsterdam to Chicago. Whew!

Fun fact: On Wednesay we leave Amsterdam at 10:40 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 12:25 p.m., just 1 hour and 45 minutes later. That's making good time, eh?

So, for the last time from Puerta de La Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain ... this is so long and see you soon!
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:14 AM   #34
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A TRIP TO TENERIFE - Afterword

As I said up front, this trip affected me in some profound and life-changing ways. I found that I really enjoyed the mental stimulation of making myself understood in another language. The clear ocean air and the exercise I got from climbing up and down the hillside were definitely good for my body. The good natured friendliness of the local population and the abundance of beauty and wonder everywhere I looked were definitely good for my spirit. I can tell you right now, that there are many other places in the world I would like to visit, but I WILL return some day to Tenerife. Heck, I could even see myself being very happy living there. Hmmmmmmm ....

I hope to have a link to post here to a 15 minute video tour of the Tenerife. This video gives you a dialog-free documentary style view of the islands, backed with some of the lovely music that is produced on Tenerife. It is my hope that this video will give you a small sense of how this island enchanted me so.

LINK TO VIDEO

This AVI video is compressed using the DIVX 5.2.1 codec. You can download the codec and a player here:

http://www.divx.com/divx/play/download/

I also wanted to include links for further information, if anyone is so inclined. Here they are.

LINKS

TOURISM

http://www.red2000.com/spain/canarias/

www.lanzarote.com

www.casabuenafortuna.com

www.pueblochico.com

www.loroparque.com

www.fiestacanariacarnaval.com

www.visanta-es.com

http://www.discoverlanzarote.com

http://www.bamjam.net/Canarias/Timanfaya.html


BOOKS

www.lanzarote-global.com

www.everest.es

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

THE END
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:25 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenet_2012
Damn, Ben.

That is going to take hours to go through.
Well, that's why I put this in the first post of this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lahnger
If you would like to just see the bullet-point highlights of the trip, I would recommend skipping to the pictures in posts #3, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 24 and 26
I don't expect or even want everyone to read every bit of it. In fact, I'm sure some people will read none of it and that's fine. Most will skim it and click on a few photos. That works for me. But a few will want details. And since I needed to publish some version of this here, and I'm going to need to do something similar for family members soon, I thought I'd publish it here and see how it looks.

Yes, it is big. This trip is one of the biggest things I've ever done in my life, and I had a blast. I just wanted to share that experience, as much as possible.

Now admit it ... you were just going to use those hours to watch South Park, right?
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:34 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lahnger
Now admit it ... you were just going to use those hours to watch South Park, right?
Yeah. In fact I'm watching season 6 now.

Got to love TViO.
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:30 AM   #37
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A lot of effort, thanks Ben.

But I missed some photos of local chicks ;-) Where did you post them?


*is waiting*
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:41 AM   #38
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omg omg omg that's great, i skimmed it because i'm at tech but i will surely definately read the tenerife parts more clearly sometime i can. i have been t here and it is great, i've been to three canary islands but not yet been to Lanzarote yet! I've been to Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Feutaventura(sp)! Feutaventura was my best ever holiday but the others were great too esp Tenerife! i love the volcano. me and my family went on a camel ride but i can't remember which canary island that was on but i know what your talking about,it's hard to stay on but it's funny.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:03 AM   #39
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wow... O.O

this reminds me of a 'friend' who went to Equador and sended me complete novels about what she was doing there (except for the naughty stuff... which was actually my only interest...). At her third e-mail I quit reading...

I obviously haven't read your story but I'm sure you had a lot of fun... ^_^
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:02 AM   #40
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Ben, this looks like an amazing trip!!
I read parts of it, but I'll definitely read it all when I've got time!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:06 AM   #41
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I best you had the best time ever! Maybe Canary Islands should me my next trip to in summer! Cheers mate!
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:57 PM   #42
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:19 AM   #43
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Glad to hear you had a nice time in Tenerife Ben. I go to Tenerife as often as I can, seeing as im half spanish and that's where my mums side of the family live. In my opinion it is an amazingly beautiful island and definatly worth the visit. I was pleased to see that you stayed towards the north of the island Ben, as the further south you go the more tacky it seems to become due to tourists taking over. But Tenerife is no where near the island it used to be a few years ago. All the roadworks and developments the goverment keep on inficting on the island is making it loose its beauty. I mean theyre treating it like its a proper country instead of the small island it actually is.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:53 AM   #44
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too many pics. NO BAD POST! BAD! *slaps nose*
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:02 PM   #45
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I know that they used to find mummies of the original inhabitants all of the time, but the Spanish destroyed a bunch of them. Did you see any in a museum while you were there?

If you have mentioned them and I missed it I'm sorry.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:09 PM   #46
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Thanks to everyone else for the compliments. I appreciate it. My time there was way too short, and the next time I go I'll have more time and full control of my itinerary.

Horrorgirl, we never did make it by a museum. In hindsight it seems like such an obvious thing to do, but there was only so much time ... so ...
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