Strolling In The Parks Of Puerto De La Cruz

Was I getting a history lesson, botany class, or a grounding in landscape gardening? All were gratefully accepted as Parque Taoro in Puerto de la Cruz drew me up from the busy Carretera Jardin road below.

A crescendo of low stepped paths huddled around pools and water falls as they gently parted the green curtain of flora. It was to be a double pleasure as the circular galleries emerged above the tree line for great views of the north coast of Tenerife. Ceramic tiles showed glimpses of history and customs via the Guanches, the original inhabitants of Tenerife.

Big clearings with palm islands in ornate lakes vied for attention as Cuban born poet, Dulce Maria Loynaz, an adopted daughter of Tenerife, looked on with pride. Awarding myself a rest and a coffee at the Taoro Terrace Restaurant And Bar, I was in good company as people kicked back to enjoy the views or the shade.

Moving on past the abandoned former casino to the more modern, and groomed layout of Parque de La Sortija, I could see a lot of care and styling had gone into the huge leisure space. Neat paths, sport zones, even a large excercise zone for dogs, and a big feature was made of the intrusions of volcanic lava in wild twisting patterns. Gnarled ancient tree roots flexed their muscles in a proud show of age, and the meandering and split level walks allowed for plenty of secluded spots to take the sin or indulge in some light excercise.

Living in the shadow of the up market Jardin Tropical just up the road hasnĀ“t bothered these parks. Its all free and open from 10 am to 8 pm apart from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when its late opening to 10 pm.