Polar Bears And Building Blocks In Santa Cruz

Let’s get one thing clear, I didn’t lose my beach camara during the festive celebrations, I sort of mislaid it, maybe it fell off the back of my beer scooter. Thankfully the sale season quickly followed so I headed for the Tenerife capital, Santa Cruz, to buy a new box brownie or something similar. Of course there are always other things going on to supplement my visits, this time a couple of exhibitions caught my attention.

Caja Canarias Fundacion is a charitable offshoot of the huge bank and the Espacio Cultural at their HQ in Plaza del Patriotismo has staged some wonderful exhibitions. Fernando Menis is a name familiar to me as I have seen many examples of this locally born architects work so I was glad to learn more about him. The free exhibition featured a full lowdown on his prolific output, original blueprints, and models of some of his most famous works. Plaza de España in Adeje town is a fine example as it compliments the splendour of the Barranco del Invierno below and makes a fabulous stage for concerts and the climax to Good Friday’s street theatre version of The Passion.

Magma Arts and Congress Centre next to Costa Adeje bus station is another famous example but I was surprised to see he had designed the Vigilia Park apartment complex in Puerto Santiago. I used to live around the corner and often used the rooftop pool, it looks a little tired these days but it was built in 1989. The big open air athletics track at Tincer outside Santa Cruz is another of Fernando’s as well as the bizarre converted water tank, El Tanque, now a cultural space in the centre of the capital. On an international stage Fernando and is company have delivered Spreebruke Pool which hangs out over the river Spree in Berlin, the Jordanki Cultural Centre in Torun, Poland, and the Hotel Resort Mystik in Switzerland, to name drop just a few. Take a bow that man, may your pencil never be blunt. You only have until 16 Januaary to check his work out.

Back in the main shopping street of Calle Castillo the sales crowds were ringing tills at a frantic rate. Many of the Christmas decorations were still up, maybe to encourage a feel good spending mood, but the nativity scenes were being dismantled, I saw a workman marching down the road with Bethlehem under his arm. It was good to see Santa Cruz bustling, several big cruise liners in port helped to swell the crowds. I stopped off for a coffee and doughnut at a snack bar and noticed they served milkshakes topped up with powdered body building supplement, I would have tried one but was worried I wouldn’t have the strength to lift the glass. Some of my usual stops had to be attended to, a walk around Parque Garcia Sanabria always inspires me, the flowers are always a picture and it’s always well looked after.

Time for another free exhibition, this one a two trailer homage to the Arctic Circle called El Artico Se Rompe (the Arctic is broken) parked up near the ferry port. It was good stuff, loads of sections about the history and future of the North Pole, the animals and people that live there, and the problems that have to be overcome. Lots of the displays are interactive and most are in a choice of languages including English. This rolling show is in town until 20 January and worth catching before it melts away.

A few more regular calls and a spot of food made for a busy day and as always sowed a few seeds in my mind for future visits. To top it all off I got a good deal for the new camera at El Corte Ingles and caught a direct 110 Titsa bus back that glided down the motorway for a speedy return home.