Santa Cruz In The Palm Of My Hand

You know it’s been a good day when you wake up with a strange nobbly citrus fruit in your pocket. Well it was a bit of a mixed up Sunday as I caught up with a non football visit to Santa Cruz.

It had to be an early start, which is fine by me as I got to see the sun stir itself and bathe Tenerife in its magnificent glow. From the twinkle of the sea to the shadow receding over Guimar it was shaping up for another belter of a day. My 110 direct Titsa bus to the capital was in such a perky mood it arrived in 45 minutes so with time in hand I had a mooch around and noticed the tram has a great new offer, 12 euros a week unlimited travel in the capital area for under 26 year olds. Damm those young people with their pop music and long hair – actually good luck to them, it’s just another reason I wish I was still young.

The Sunday market was in full swing just along from the bus station so I had a look around, it seemed to have spread out into more side roads since I last called in, maybe a sign of the tough times with people looking for cheaper goods. They really did have everything you could ever need, and lots of things you couldn’t imagine anyone wanting. With enough time frittered away I was off to my main call, the Palmetum botanic gardens built on a large landfill site and bristling with 1,400 different species of plants including an amazing collection of palm trees from around the world. I will post an in depth review soon but it was fantastic, great plants and new views over Santa Cruz plus plenty of dragon flies and a free guided tour for our party of 40 plus people. The strange citrus fruit was from some samples given to us from an Australian tree, Morinda Citrifolia,  we were assured they were edible but one I tried tasted very sour so my new nobbly friend can sit on my balcony for a few days before I taste again.

The two hours flew by, there was even a couple from California (hubby was a published expert on palm trees) who had booked the tour to coincide with their cruise ship docking in Santa Cruz. I wandered off to check out the port but apart from the giant cruise ship it was relatively quiet, the new lay out of Via Litoral does make it much easier to get into the heart of the city, on Friday 8 November the free Tenerife 40 Pop & Dance show will take place on the new public zone. Sunday is normally a quieter day in Santa Cruz but despite most shops being shut, the cafes around the lower end of Calle Castillo were buzzing and I also spotted several well wrapped sculptures, well they were too big to be cufflinks, ready for their unveiling, they are by Henry Moore the great British artist, I hope to show you the revealed masterpieces next week.

I had a good wander around, popping into Parque Garcia Sanabria and then clocking the ornate centre piece at Plaza Weyler, it looked good after last years scrub up. Heading down Calle Castillo I noticed a few shops had changed hands again and also spotted an interesting contrast of new and old in a few of the lower end buildings. I’m often stopped in my tracks by a surprise visual slap to my senses and a nice bit of graffiti art caught my eye in a side road. I’m guessing there’s a bit of a naughty nudge nudge moment going on and if you look closer you can see the traffic sign stand has also been painted to blend in.

Well that was about it for me, as always the visit left me with more reasons to call again and chase up some more bizarre points of interest. One last tweak of my curiosity came at the bus station when I noticed an emergency vending machine, I could understand plasters, ointments, and even condoms but couldn’t see why anyone would be desperate for the kiddies wash kit that included two yellow rubber ducks.