Tenerife north – it’s a wrap for christmas

The sound of angelic voices, singing lottery numbers, floated out from all bars and restaurants, it was draw time for the El Gordo (the fat one) Spañish christmas lottery, and all eyes and ears were trained on the 4 hour television coverage of the draw. All this unfolded as I started a northern tour in Puerto de la Cruz, well I was overdue a visit and wanted to check out how christmas was shaping up.

The sea was lively at the Playa de Martianez as I headed down the hill from La Paz, and the sun was bursting through in style. The 2 sea front cafes were still awaiting demolition, under the law of the coast, but I settled on the terrace of the open one to survey the scene. I don’t think I have seen the front as busy before, tourists crammed on every seating spot and surfers enjoyed the breaking waves as a small group murdered a few tunes on the pan pipes. there is a new addition to the tourist scene, horse drawn carriage rides, a Calash, as they are called, took off with its load and did a quick tour of the city, arriving back around 20 minutes later as i finished my coffee. It’s quite a stylish new addition at 10 euros for a single passenger, 12€ for 2, 15€ for 3, and 18€ for 4.


Things change, people and places change, even my socks change now and then, and in the few months since my last visit the new fishermans workshop had taken form next to the tourist information office, tucked just off the shingle beach down Calle Las Lonjas. Puerto de la Cruz was looking resplendent with poinsetias in full red and yellow bloom and some subtle but effective christmas decorations. I love the white wire sculptures like these below at the foot of the church in Plaza de la Iglesia. Making my way to the bus station, i was unsurprised to see it still standing – just, after many more recent pronouncements that it would finally be demolished before it falls down. It’s getting really old, dirty and wobbly – mind you aren’t we all.

Puerto xmas

On to Santa Cruz and a chance to see the annual nativity scene in the government headquarters near the Plaza de España. I was a bit dissapointed to see it was condensed into one large display this year, rather than the usual sweeping landscape with shepherds, wise men etc, but it still looked good and it’s free to see with donations going to a local hearing charity, Funcasor.

Santa Cruz belen

The docks are always worth a nosey, and there was certainly a large crop of ships in port, from the Oriana cruise liner to the second oil platform to pull in over recent weeks. The 1,400 ton China built “Noble Hans Deul” has arrived riding piggy back on a barge called “Transporter” and will be in for repairs for a few days to come. Over in the car park area, a large stage had already gone up for the Christmas Day 10pm free concert by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, a fine tradition that attracts massive festive crowds.

So the preperation is almost over, and christmas is warming up in the wings. CD Tenerife gave their fans a lovely present on Sunday with a 2-1 away win at Alaves to send them into the festive break in 5th spot – maybe 2009 could be the year they get promoted back to the top league – we live in hope. Anyway this seems a good point to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to anyone reading this – I can’t wait to see what 2009 has in store.