Surprisingly, the Canary Islands are home to three of Spain's world heritage sites, with two of them on Tenerife (the island we we're now on). First up for us was the city of San Cristobal de la Laguna, a hill city about 30 minutes from the capital of Santa Cruz. It was the first Spanish colonial city founded in the Canaries (back in 1496), and was unusual since it was non-fortified. Its layout and design were based on Renaissance principles of town planning, and were used across the Americas for later Spanish colonial cities including Havana, Lima in Peru, Cartagena in Colombia, and San Juan de Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico.
So it was time to start exploring!
Our poor host's children were very disappointed, as we slept in thanks to our late night and long day of travel. By the time we got up, they were all gone to school! Jumped on a tram and headed up the hill to La Laguna and started filming.
It's a nice old town, lots of colourful buiidings and with a real Spanish colonial feel to it. A few fantastic religious buildings like a cathedral and a tower, and some nice large houses too. Other world heritage reviewers haven't been too enamoured with it, but we quite enjoyed our stop.
Had a late-ish lunch at a Spanish restaurant, then continued wandering. By mid-afternoon we were pretty done with both the video and the site, so we caught a tram back down the hill into the centre of Santa Cruz.
We'd hoped to see some of the waterfront, but it seems to mainly be a port city! Large container ships unloading, and oil rigs too which towered over the town! Though we did manage to find a unique building - the auditorium, which was a really uniquely shaped modern concert hall building, vaguely reminiscent of the Opera House. There was a bar here, so we had a drink, but since we had Schnitzel with us we had to sit in the blazing sunshine rather than one row back in the shade. Annoying!
Back home, where our host and the kids arrived just a few minutes after us. The kids aren't young - 13 and 9 - but it was still a bit awkward because they only spoke French and Spanish (the whole family is actually French). But they had a good play with Schnitzel and I had a chat with our host while Shandos napped.
Headed out around 8pm for dinner but surprisingly not much was around. Eventually we found a bar that was open and would tolerate Schnitzel outside (we'd forgotten how dog-unfriendly Spanish restaurants can be), so we grabbed some food and drinks there. Moving on again tomorrow!Read more