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Tahiche and Teguise on Lanzarote in the Canaries

In the port city of Arrecife, on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, we visited three very different venues: Tari de Tahiche that houses the work of Cesar Manrique, Teguise, and the piracy fort that overlooks this small city.

Cesar Manrique is known world wide for his contemporary art manifested as paintings, sculpture, murals, and architecture integrated into and adapted to various natural environments. We were able to view a collection of his works housed in Tari de Tahiche. The site was actually his very impressive home that he remodeled into a museum prior to his death in 1992.

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Not only did Manrique build the two-story house on a lava flow from volcanic eruptions (that took place between 1730 and 1736); but also, he literally carved out the basement/lower level from five very large natural volcanic bubbles or lava caves. These bubbles are connected by means of small passageways (painted in black and white) that were bored into the lava flow. The cave in the center of the lower level includes a pool with a free-form stone bridge from one side to the other, a small dance floor, built-in cushioned benches and more, all decorated with abundant plant life.

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 The upper level contains large picture windows that provide panoramic views of volcanic lava. Also included are terraces, gardens, and many of Manrique’s work including paintings, wood pieces, and other materials.

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Actually, neither description nor photographs can do justice to the building and surrounding environment designed as a home to be lived in, not as a museum to be visited. It simply has to be experienced.

Next stop was the fortress of Santa Barbara that dates back to the middle 1400’s, when it was built as a defensive watchtower against pirate attacks that plagued Lanzarote during that time. Today, the fortification has been turned into the Piracy Museum that focuses on the “study of piracy in Teguise and international piracy in the Canary Islands.” The fort has a commanding view over the city of Teguise out to the Atlantic ocean.

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The city of Teguise also provided a feast for our eyes, with so many pieces to photograph that were reminiscent of cities long ago.

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Historic Windows and Doors of Las Palmas

The last two Canary Islands we visited are Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. Each is similar to the others, but also different. Nearly half of those who live in the Canary Islands reside in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria, making this city the fifth most populous in Spain.

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Las Palmas enjoys a mild climate year round, making this destination pleasant to both live in and visit, attracting millions of tourists each year. One of the sights we enjoyed seeing was the Cathedral of Santa Ana. Gothic, Renaissance, and Neoclassic architectural styles are all present in the current design.

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  The church is located in the historic district that provided us with many opportunities to photograph the different details of the historic buildings.

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La Laguna to Lunar Landscapes

Leaving the port of Santa Cruz on Tenerife Island in the Canaries, we walked fifteen minutes along the tree-lined promenade to catch the tram that whisked us up the mountain to the historic city of La Laguna. The city dates from 1500 and its original layout has remained intact since its construction and it has been a model for many cities in the New World.

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Iglesia de Concepcion tower across from tram station.

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We found the old city to be a picturesque locale to spend a Sunday afternoon exploring.

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Tenerife8 Dragon Tree

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Museum of the Arts that features beautiful architectural details

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Tenerife17 Casino de La Laguna founded in 1899

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La Laguna City Hall

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Tree clothes for winter

Steeple bells

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Neighborhood streets

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Our view of the port as we returned to the ship.

Barb opted to visit the countryside.Tenerife is the largest of the seven islands in the Canaries, drawing about five million tourists each year. The island was created volcanically, and is home to the world’s third largest volcano, El Teide, which is 12,270 feet high. This volcano’s most recent eruption was in 1909.

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The foothills of Mt. Teide contain areas covered by pine trees.

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The terrain in other areas appeared as lunarscapes 

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As well as rocks and valleys

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Much of the volcanic rock we saw was surprisingly colorful: black lava, red, and green rocks of various sizes and textures, through which the road was cut.

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An extensive multi-national research facility, located near the top of Mount Teide, is used to study volcanoes and volcanic activity in this area and elsewhere. Through the use of electronic equipment and satellites, researchers have learned to predict volcano eruptions by measuring temperature changes and seismic activity.