Archive for November 7th, 2015
Looking Up And Down, To The Past, And To The Future In Santa Cruz

Sometimes you have to act on impulse, I had a plan for my latest visit to Santa Cruz but stepping out of the bus station the sheer sunny beauty of the day yanked at my arm to do something different. I’ve always intended to go up to the Mirador de Ifara to get some panoramic views of the Tenerife capital, and when better.

Subtle improvements were taking place at the Intercambiador, new bays were being created on the top floor and as I waited for the 912 Los Campitos bus opposite the tram terminus I noticed the indoor café had now spread beyond the glass with a few scattered tables complete with waiter service. My 20 minute frequency ride was a freebie on my bono ticket as I had recently got off another of their buses. After threading through the back streets the route rose steeply and a 30 minute ride overshot to the old, rural destination. I was looking for a formal mirador with a viewing platform but it’s much more casual than that. The driver dropped me on the main road back down and I found my own gaps in walls and fencing to admire the living map below me. There’s a lot of posh new housing in this area, the views and closeness to the big city must make it very expensive.

Taking the short walk down the winding road I was soon at Parque Garcia Sanabria, it had looked like a hemmed in square from up above but up close it charmed me as always with its mix of trees, flowers, and modern sculpture. Nearby was another long forgotten friend I needed to look up, Plaza de Los Patos has more ceramic tiles than your average DIY store, these are the type pieced together on walls for advertising but here they adorn 20 concrete benches and the central pond. It’s a pity the duck in the centre of the pond no longer squirts water and it’s hardly a puddle deep but the ornate frogs sit proud on the circular wall. I half expected a burst of Rupert and the Frog Chorus.


The port area always figures on my jaunts, there were no cruise ships in this time but a few heavy laden tankers lurked at the far end of the old loading area. Santa Cruz is still undergoing a big facelift, the Via Litoral coast road has been diverted through an underground tunnel and the bright modern design on the side wall caught my eye. Maybe it was a secret code or a mathematical formula, either way it cheers up what could be just dull concrete slabs. The marina was also getting a makeover, it’s startling how much difference some new tarmac paths and young palm trees can add a fresh feel.

The main purpose of my day out was to review the new touring exhibition from the Prado Museum in Madrid. More of that at a later date. The venue is the Caja Canarias bank HQ, they have held a series of high profile art shows, this one is free and on until 16 January 2016. While I was checking out the paintings I could hear music wafting through from their small theatre next door, it was an Afro Cuban Jazz Quartet, never let it be said that Tenerife lacks variety.

It was the opening day of the Exposaldo bargain sale at the Recinto Ferial hall so I had to pop in and see if anything tickled my wallet. With 180 stands the good people of Santa Cruz were keen to get in and entry was just one euro but what a crazy system. Visitors had to queue at the box office to pay their nugget and get a ticket before moving a few yards around the building to the entrance to have it checked on the way in. The queues at the box office were stretching back, I reckon quite a few people gave up. Once inside it was very busy laid out in blocks of rows with a large side section selling former hire cars. Goods included books, clothes, sports gear, toys, and even a sex boutique. The busiest of all seemed to be the Conforama home furnishings and electrical, the café area was doing a steady trade as well. If you read this in time the Exposaldo’s last day is Sunday 8 November and they are open 11 am to 9 pm.

That was about it for me, as always I still had more on my tick list but that’s just another excuse for a return visit. Even on my bus back to the south there were plenty of the distinctive orange and black bags from the Exposaldo. After a busy day I was looking forward to checking out the stock at The Victory and Zizzi’s Bar in Los Cristianos.