Tag Archives: Santa Cruz

Canary Islands, La Palma

This is my first visit to a Canary Island and I’d been told it is one of (if not the) prettiest. I was a little sceptical but my expectations were exceeded. I had a lovely day here.

Up for an early start I realised I was now in the Northern hemisphere Spring rather than the Brazilian rain forest or the Caribbean but by 9.30am it was lovely and warm – so what they say about the climate here is true. Very temperate all year round.

My first sight of land this morning.

First stop was Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente – a national park of great beauty up a windy road – that takes you to one of the highest points of this volcanic island in the east. Stunning scenery and a chance to walk after a lot of laziness during the Atlantic crossing. Last eruption was in 1971 but it’s still active. The north of this island is about 1.5 million years old but the south is just 500,000 years due to it only coming into existence following more recent (relatively!) eruptions.

Then we headed back towards the east and stopped at a small farm where they gave us some local jams and hot sauces to try plus the local wine (not bad at all). That amazing tree is a dragon tree.

Then we had a quick visit to the Church of the Virgin of the Snow which is their most famous church here.

And a scenic drive back into the capital – Santa Cruz de la Palma

Not only were the scenic parts of La Palma lovely so was the small town of Santa Cruz which runs one street in from the waterfront. The buildings along the sea have old balconies that are carefully looked after and a brand new man made beach for the local and visitors to enjoy.

And the main road in town – O’Daly Street was an enjoyable place for a wander and some shopping and why are there two doors to number 12? The ship below is a life size replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship that he sails to America on – think I will stick with Seabourn.

Really liked it here. Want to come back. Maybe December. Will wait to decide and check out the others over next few days.

Spain, Seville – sidebars. The Santa Cruz (Jewish Quarter) old town; the Juderia de Sevilla; Flamenco and The “Mushroom”; Marie Louisa Park

Seville is a special place to wander around so this post is some of the places I’ve seen outside and in on my wanderings.

Firstly the old town or Jewish Quarter or Santa Cruz as it is known is the place to hang out day and night for lovely narrow lanes, tapas bars and people watching.

I visited the Museo de Juderia which i stumbled on in this area as my family have Spanish Jewish origins. It is a tiny place and a bit pricy to get in but for those interested in this topic, worth a visit. I especially liked reading about this lady who had a mysterious story as you can see and then they tell you three different versions of what she really did – you will have to visit to find out what they are. She is a very arresting looking woman

I always do an open topped bus tour at the start of a visit to a new place (sorry Emma!) – it helps me get my bearings and figure out where I want to go back to for a closer look. Below is a selection of monuments along the way.

A much more recent monument is the Mushroom for obvious reasons. A bit like Federation Square in Melbourne it violently split opinion when it opened but also like Fed Square people seem to have become used to it. I think it is pretty cool – especially at night.

In Seville the two traditional things to do are visit a bullfight and a flamenco. I restricted my bullfight viewing to the outside of the massive bullring but I did enjoy an evening of flamenco – that is to say the dancing is amazing but I do not like the songs that go with it – too screechlike for me after the nice tones of Fado in Portugal. But to watch those feet move at the speed they do is something that has to be seen to be believed. And yes that is Mozart below – think he must have lived in or liked Seville? Well who wouldn’t?

I am staying near the stunning Maria Louisa Park – and I walk through it every day ato get into town – perfect start to the day. I am also obsessed with jacaranda trees which are in full bloom at the moment.