Partying is An Art Form In Santa Cruz

Never before has a TITSA bus journey been so quick but seemed to last so long. I like people, it’s great to hear their stories and experiences but yesterday on my early 110 bus to Santa Cruz I met my match.

Some old English gent from the West Country on holiday told me his life story, interspersed with great detail about the history of power stations, all the Johnny Foreigners he had met around the world, and his views on the political structure of the leading nations. Not having a pillow at hand to suffocate him, I smiled politely and nodded then ran off screaming once I bade farewell at Santa Cruz. Never mind I slackened my pace as I reached Calle Castillo and popped through to Plaza Chicharo.

Sunday 30th May is Dia de Canarias, the national holiday, and judging by the amount of scaffolding turning into staging, it’s going to be a big celebration. Plaza del Principe is hosting Santa Cruz, Identity and Tradition from 28 May to 31st. The sound system should be enough to blast seagulls off the rocks over in La Gomera, and the stage is already decorated with paintings of dancers in traditional dress. In part of the smaller plaza a stall was selling tickets for the big Alicia Keys concert on the dockside on Sunday 6 June, it should be a good antedote to Whitney Houstons no show.

Anyway down to business, I had decided to take a look around the Museo Municipal De Belles Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) just behind Plaza del Principe in Calle Jose Murphy, for another feature. I feel sorry for the Tenerife government and the local councils, they serve up some great art and culture but the galleries and museums I go to are never busy – maybe they know I am coming and dive out of the back door. This museum is FREE all the time, you can’t say fairer than that, the lower floor held two modern art displays with local lass Cristina Temes showing off some bright colourful still life studies and a few surprise extras. One small room contained a classroom scene, a circle of small chairs complete with tiny childrens shoes – unusual but quite hypnotic. In a dark room at the other end projected images on thin canvas were quite effective. I couldn’t make out if the loud rap music was part of the display or just the security guard trying to relieve her boredom.

I passed on upstairs pursued by my new shadow, and found a series of large wine red rooms showing huge traditional historic scenes of family banquets and stately homes. I was hopeless at art in school, even those books with numbers to follow looked like an explosion in a paint factory after I had been at them. Maybe that’s why I admire these grand works, they must take months of dedication to get all the subtle shades and character. the museum has a a large painting adorned room at the end with a piano on a stage, my shadow told me they have musical recitals a few times a year, quite a setting. Taking photos is frowned upon in the museum but I managed a few after telling my shadow that I had just seen Tom Cruise lowering himself down from the ceiling in the other room.

Re-emerging into the slightly cool Santa Cruz air, I was pleased with my visit and made a mental note to get inside the nearby Circulo de Amistad building (above) on a future trip, the doorman looked quite forboding, maybe I could distract him with a copy of Playboy –  or Playgirl – lets not be judgemental.  Frantic cleaning duties were taking place in the empty Plaza de España lake, looke like something special is planned for Sunday, I feel a return trip coming on. Heading back to the bus station I kept an eye out for my earlier bus friend, if he was on the bus, I would climb into the luggage rack. Thankfully it was all clear for my journey back to the south.