Give your wish list to Santa – Cruz

As my trips to Santa Cruz normally involve football and large quantities of Dorada, I took the chance today to nip up and see how the Tenerife capital is shaping up for Christmas. The bus station is a lot better these days and the bus drops you a short walk from Avenida Tres de Mayo, or if you drive, the car park below has been shown to be the cheapest in the capital.

First stop had to be the new Tres de Mayo Commercial Centre, since opening on November 29, traffic on Avenida Tres de Mayo has increased by 2,500 cars per day, a rise of 10 %. I expected the centre to be bigger, it’s on 3 floors and some locales are still empty and it didn’t really excite me but the designer clothes shops will no doubt please a lot of shoppers. The main thing I wanted to see was the Saturn electrical store, the German company has arrived on a storm after advertising hoardings screamed that “Tenerife is very expensive”. The huge, 25,000 square metre shop doesn’t go in for fancy lay outs, just row upon row of every thing you can imagine that needs power. The choice is amazing and there are some fantastic low prices on computers, cameras etc but it’s not just cheap gear, they go right the way up to top of the range goods.

Cutting back across the small modern plaza to El Corte Ingles, I enjoyed having a poke around on the 10 floors, once IÂ stopped drooling at the cakes and pastries just inside the entrance. I’m no expert but for me El Corte Ingles is still the Daddy.

Onward to Plaza de España, well as near as you can get with the remodelling still going on. TramThe tram system is very impressive and gives the city a modern, moving with the times, feel but I can see how they have had a few accidents. They do ring their bell as they come snaking around the tracks but the bell isn’t that loud and doesnt ping until it’s just about to squash you like a ripe tomato on the inlaid tracks.

Call me sentimantal but I couldn’t resist a look in at the Ayuntamiento (council) offices to see the large nativity scene they always do. Impressive and with a change of lighting to show night every few minutes, it is well worth a look and is free.

There is a large box for donations and this year the money goes to AHETE the local society for heomophilia sufferers.

The main shopping drag of Calle del Castillo, from Plaza de España to Plaza General Weyler was bustling as always and after a few coffees (honest) and tapas and a couple of more attempts to head butt a tram, I headed back down south.