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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Orvecame Norte Rally 2019

Get set for some breathtaking rally action on Saturday 23 March with the Orvecame Norte Rally 2019, now onto it's 35th edition. With the start this year in Los Realejos and one section each in that municipality, Santa Úrsula and La Guancha, La Orotava will host the last section (special-show of 1.8 km) in the area of 'La Playita'.

Videos: 34° Rallye Orvecame Norte 2018 | Rally Orvecame Norte 2018.

Tenerife Rally Calendar 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Sailor's Rice for Father's Day

Paella (Stock image)

Today, 19 March is Día del Padre (Father's Day) in many Spanish-speaking countries and La Laguna Ahora offer us this recipe for Arroz Marinero (Sailor's Rice). Whilst I suppose this could have been deemed suitable for the occasion because so many dads' hobby is fishing, I wonder if it's really because it contains beer?

Arroz Marinero para el Día del Padre 

This paella is very popular, especially when a large number of people gather, hence the quantities indicated; if you want to make a smaller amount, reduce the ingredients proportionally.


1 kilo of rice
½ kilo of seafood to taste
1 kilo of onions
2 heads of garlic
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 strands of saffron
2 beers
1 glass of white wine


Cook the seafood, reserving the water. Fry the onions, garlic, red and green peppers (all chopped), plus a little parsley, oregano and thyme and saffron. Add the beers and the white wine and bring to boil, then incorporate the seafood. Add the rice with water (for each kilo of rice, 2 liters of water in which the seafood was cooked) and leave it to simmer until it is dry the surface of the rice, but still moist beneath. Let it rest covered with aluminum foil.

Arroz Marinero para el Día del Padre

Image by EstudioWebDoce from Pixabay

Monday, March 18, 2019

Santa Cruz gives green light to Museum of History of The City in the Palacio de Carta

Palacio de Carta in the Plaza de la Candelaria, Santa Cruz

The City of Santa Cruz de Tenerife met on Monday to discuss in detail the project to create the first Museum of History of the City in the Palacio de Carta. This emblematic building, in the Plaza de la Candelaria in the heart of the city, was built between 1721 and 1752 for Matías Rodríguez Carta, who ordered the construction and then used it as his family residence. The building has since been the headquarters of the Civil Government, as well as of the Canary General Captaincy - not less than 19 General Captains have lived there - and even the headquarters of the Credit National Bank during the fifties. In recent years it had not been in use. It is now to be restored and will have a new life.

The Museum will show, via a journey through history, the most relevant events that have taken place since the foundation of the city, in 1494. With an interactive room on the ground floor, videos will introduce the visitor to aspects of the history and symbols of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, such as old Santa Cruz, through images; tourist routes with historical and cultural content; a virtual reality zone and, finally, a 360º visualisation the city.

There will be seating in the central space of the room to provide access to various immersive experiences emblematic to the city such as: the Carnival, the Recreation of La Gesta (the annual Reenactment of the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife the infamous assault, in 1797, launched against the city by Horatio Nelson), the Cruces de Mayo (Crosses of May) and of the Embarcación de la Virgen del Carmen.

The 360 degree virtual tour of the most important points of Santa Cruz, will include 15 selected areas of the city that stand out for their history or other noteworthy aspects.

The central courtyard of the Carta Palace will host a rest area with explanatory panels, while the floor will be completed with a reception space, a shop and the Tigre cannon exhibition (the cannon is currently in the The San Cristóbal Castle Interpretation Centre).

The second courtyard will be dedicated to information about the building itself, with a detailed account of the origin of the Palace, its construction, evolution, as well as the purposes and venues that it has housed over time.

In the mezzanine, the Museum will trace the chronicle of aboriginal world, before the fifteenth century, giving an account of the Guanche society that inhabited the Menceyato de Anaga that would encompass much of what is now the municipality of Santa Cruz.

Through different rooms, the trip will continue to the foundational period of the nucleus after the Castilian conquest, its evolution and growth throughout the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, until reaching the nineteenth, when Santa Cruz acquired a political prominence and social status both on the island and within the archipelago.

Finally, the historical tour will reach the contemporary era, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present.

The museum complex will also have an assembly hall properly equipped to schedule activities, conferences or workshops and with a maximum capacity of 40 places. There will also be two independent rooms designed to host temporary exhibitions.

The original clock of the Carta Palace will be integrated as an exhibition element accompanied by a description of its history and noteworthy characteristics.

El Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz da luz verde al proyecto de Museo de Historia de la ciudad en el Palacio de Carta

Photo: rene boulay [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Puccini's Turandot at the Sala Sinfónica del Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín

Sala Sinfónica del Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín

The Ópera de Tenerife and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra are bringing Puccini's Turandot to the Sala Sinfónica del Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín (pictured) this week with three performances; on Tuesday 19 March, Thursday 21 March and Saturday 23 March. At time of writing, there appear to be tickets still available here.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Final balance of Santa Cruz Carnival 2019

Fireworks at the end of Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

As fireworks said goodbye to the The Deep Sea carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife almost a week ago, it's time to look back at the events. Councillor for Fiestas, Gladis de León, said Monday that "Today, everyone says that Santa Cruz has the best carnival in the world". Having been at many of the main events myself, I absolutely don't disagree.

Whilst Rio may be bigger and Venice may have the edge on a certain type of glamour, you just can't beat Santa Cruz Carnival on it's accessibility; the opportunity to become part of carnival rather than just an onlooker; the atmosphere and friendliness.

Mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez isn't hiding his satisfaction with the Carnival either. In an interview, he says, "The night of Piñata Saturday showed that the [carnival in the] streets is our forte, that we are an unique Carnival, a Carnival of international proportions with something that nobody can ever copy: 400,000 people enjoying [themselves] on the street. That can not be copied, it has to be lived and it is a feeling of the people. Our people and their way of living the Carnival is what makes it great, different, safe and special."

We're still nodding our heads. My husband, who was a carnival virgin until this year, has said how he was impressed by Santa Cruz de Tenerife that, from the moment we arrived, felt like a city letting it's hair down and enjoying itself and not a festival that had merely been organised for the purposes of making money and ripping people off.

The distinction, of course, is that any festival in Britain will be organised by private companies, purely for profit and Santa Cruz Carnival is organised with the city council. They may well be, justly, keen to draw money into the city (this year's festivities generated revenue of 35 million euros for the city), but first and foremost it remains the local party for the people of the city. And as much as we'd like you to come an enjoy it too, we'd hate to see that ruined by too much tourism. The other distinction in Santa Cruz is the safety.

  • More than a million people attended the events of carnival, from the start of the contests to the Piñata Sunday
  • The absence of incidents of relevance during the development of Carnival on the street
  • Tista transported 706,000 passengers during the party and the tram to 258,000
  • In spite of the increase of public affluence with respect to previous editions, less solid waste was generated
  • Hotel occupancy in the city reached 100% during the two Saturdays of the party
  • The Carnival recorded up to 18 million interactions through official profiles on social networks

The Carnival of 2019 will go down in history as the most participatory to date, which together with the absence of relevant incidents from the point of view of security, shows this is a party as multitudinous as it is fun and friendly. The Juan Luis Guerra concert, organized together with Cadena Ser and which put the finishing touch to Piñata Saturday, broke attendance records, with an estimated influx of 400,000 people to the city that day.

The increase in traffic on the Carnival Facebook page stands out, as more than thirteen million people have seen some of their publications during the last two months; Nearly nine thousand new fans have registered and the videos have been played 1,513,154 times.

Traditional media

Some 10.3 million viewers watched the Gala for the Election of the Carnival Queen, broadcast live by Televisión Canaria and Televisión Española at some point.

Televisión Española also broadcast the Rhythm and Harmony contest, which was seen at some point by 2.9 million people, and recorded an average of 436,000 viewers.

The Main Parade was also broadcast by Televisión Canaria, which also made a special program on the occasion of the Daytime Carnival.

Hotels at full occupancy

The hotel occupancy data from Ashotel Tenerife reveal a 100 percent occupancy on Piñata Saturday and close to full during the first weekend of the carnival. The vice-president of Ashotel, Gabriel Wolgeschaffen, has been very satisfied with the results, which surpassed the forecast of 90 percent that was expected in the beginning.

Last year's occupation was 83 percent.

Hoteliers want Santa Cruz to be promoted as a City of Carnival all year round.

Between March 1 and 10, 21,200 cruise ship passengers arrived at the capital, such as the "AidaStella", which only on Saturday 9, Day Carnival, brought some 2,800 visitors.

Personally, the number of cruise ship passengers is a bit of wishful thinking. Yes, that number called into port during those dates, but I checked the schedules and there were only two ships, the AidaStella and the Black Watch on 5 March that were in at a time when passengers could have seen any of the carnival events. Someone please let the cruise companies, the port authorities and the council know that they're missing a trick here.

More people, less waste

In spite of the historical figures of affluence, the council registered a descent in the waste generated in relation to 2018 by about 83 tons. In particular, this year 444.7 tons of solid urban waste were collected, against the 528.3 tons of the last edition.

Some 36.7 tons of 'light packaging' were collected, which shows that the actions initiated in relation to recycling have begun to pay off. In 2018 only 930 kilos were collected. (I'll admit it, I had serious doubts over the ability of drunk people to separate their recycling!)

The cleaning operation resulted in 7,819 hours of work and the use of just over 3.3 million liters of water, practically all desalinated and 3,421 liters of chemical products used.

The municipal cleaning services deployed during the festivities, an extraordinary operation, integrated by more than 200 operators and fifty vehicles.

Yes, the streets did look this bad in the mornings, but it's a party. It's going to happen. It gets dealt with. Someone gets a job. For which, I reckon they need medals!

One negative: on the morning of Carnival Tuesday especially, after the big party the night before, the streets of Santa Cruz smelled like 100,000 tom cats had come in and marked their territory. It was rank! And I had survived the toilets at Knebworth Festival in 1979. Clearly 190 portaloos is not enough and we saw many people not using them.

Increase of passengers on public transport

Tenerife's public bus company TITSA, transported 706.606 passengers during Carnival 2019 on routes destined for the Interchange of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which represents 23.7% more travelers with respect to the last year's carnival.

On Saturday March 9, coinciding with the celebration of the second Daytime Carnival, 79,878 passengers used public transport, 28.6% more than in 2018.

This increase in the use of public transport affected all the routes that connect the capital with the main urban centers of the north and south of the island, as well as the metropolitan area. The company had reinforced the service with 262,000 additional seats and 562 additional drivers.

The operation of the service ran without major incidents thanks to the deployment of a special security service that included more than 40 agents distributed both in the buses and in the interchanges of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna.

The tram moved 258,855 people during the ten days of Carnival.

Safety and emergency 

The safety and emergency personnel who worked during the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, comprised of almost 1,500 people (compare that to the 13,020 police deployed at Notting Hill last year for only double the number of carnival-goers), has increased its level of coordination and work this year due to the expected increase in public. We felt that the number of police in Santa Cruz was appropriate: enough to make you feel safe, not so many as to make you feel that they were there to stop you having a good time.

The facilities of the Carnival Hospital (Red Cross First Aid Post) were attended by just 681 people, representing a 9% increase over the previous year. Despite this increase, the relationship between the number of people and the number of attentions remains in line with recent years. The number of people who were attended to due to alcohol consumption remains at almost 45 percent of the total. The second cause for which first aid was needed was for injuries resulting from falls or cuts from broken glass in the street.

The number of assaults decreased, by 3 percent, despite the greater number of people at the Carnival events.

National Police under their Operation Neptuno 2019, charged and fined 382 individuals for drug consumption and possession in a public area (yes, I smelt that in various places too), another five were charged with possession of a weapon, while seven were taken to police stations because they refused to identify themselves.

In comparison with previous years, the police are highlighting the relatively better public behaviour by carnival-goers.


The competitions, galas and parades, including the three Carnival Queen galas, were witnessed live by more than 320,000 people. The following are the most relevant data:
  • Friday 1 March - Opening Parade of Carnaval 2019. Participants: 10,000 Spectators: 87,000
  • Saturday 2 March - Rhythm and Harmony Comparsas. Participants: 1,000 Spectators: 52,000
  • Tuesday 5 March - Carnival Main Parade. Participants: 8,000 Spectators: 80,000
  • Wednesday 6 March - Burial of the Sardine. Participants: 30,000

To get a million people to come to 'my 10 day birthday party' (it was on the Tuesday, the main day of carnival and the reason we went this year) was quite an achievement. Thank goodness I didn't have to buy them a round! No idea how I will ever top that.

And then there's next year to look forward to: the dates for Carnival 2020 are here.

The video below packs all of the emotion of those ten days of carnival into 2.5 minutes. To achieve that the editing is nothing short of genius. Knowing I was there and saw most of these things in the flesh, makes my heart pound, takes my breath away, brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. Carnival gets under your skin and does that to you!

Vídeo resumen del Carnaval 2019

Carnival in Garachico 2019

Port in Garachico

Carnival in Garachico 2019 is taking place from the 1st to the 17th of March. If anything distinguishes this carnival, it is it's particular version of the burial of the sardine.

In Garachico the sardine is replaced by a figure called Sansusino. This grotesque being resembles the Lirio-Ferro fish (Alepisaurus ferox, we believe, commonly known as Susino) from the boats that came to Garachico from Madeira and Azores in the 14th century, and whose flavour did not enjoy popular appreciation. The solemn duel for the soul of Mr. Sansusino increasingly attracts more visitors to the town to witness this ancient tradition that the locals are keen to maintain.

Saturday 16 March - Coso del Carnaval (Main Parade) from 5 pm with the participation of the Comparsas, Batukadas, Murgas, Fanfarrias, Personalities of the Carnaval, Queens and Costumed Groups. From the Plaza Ramón Arocha to the old port. Followed by the Baile de Piñata with orchestras, Dorada Band, The Regueton Band and Guaracha from 7 pm.

Sunday 17 March - After kid's activities (the usual bouncy castles, face painting, etc.) from 3 pm, there's the Reception and Grand Duel of Sr. Sansusino at 6 pm, with the 'traditional pastry tasting of the Carnival.' From 8 pm is the Funeral and Cremation of Sr. Sansusino, with a solemn funeral procession through the streets of the town, followed by the cremation at the old port. Organisers request, "Please be dressed in the most rigorous mourning and with a mask to keep the traditional Carnival."


Image by LauraRinke from Pixabay

Friday, March 15, 2019

Carnival in Granadilla de Abona 2019

Carnaval de Cuba in Granadilla de Abona 2019

Granadilla is a large municipality and its carnival parties are to match, with events in different towns, both coastal or inland. Verbenas (dances), galas and performances, parades and horseback riding are all part of one of the most endearing carnivals of Tenerife. Carnival events in Granadilla start on Friday March 15 with the Opening Cavalcade from 7:00 pm along the Avenida Agua Dulce to the Plaza of Los Abrigos church. Saturday March 16 will be the Daytime Carnival, starting at 12:00 in the Plaza de El Médano. On Friday March 22, the queen will be chosen. On Saturday 23 March, the Gran Coso Apotheosis (Main Parade) of the Carnival runs through the streets of Granadilla town from 5:00 p.m. and, on Sunday 24 March, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the Burial of the Sardine will do likewise, to finish with the dance of 'widows and widowers'.


Silver Age Fair in Playa de las Américas

Centro Comercial Oasis (Oasis Shopping Centre)

The second edition of the Silver Age Fair is taking place today, Friday 15 March, and tomorrow, Saturday 16 March, between 11:00 and 21:00 hours, at the Centro Comercial Oasis (Oasis Shopping Centre) on the so-called Golden Mile; the Avenida Las Américas nº 9, Playa de las Américas, Arona. The II Silver Age Fair of Arona, they say, will offer to those of you (OK us) over 55 years of age complementary services for active aging!

The Silver Age Fair will have health and wellness, leisure, fashion and accessories, as well as finance and industry professionals; home, accessibility and safety, and technologies for health and independent active life. A multitude of activities and workshops that include pilates and yoga classes, blood pressure reading, a hearing systems information point, blood glucose and cholesterol. Exercises of memory, nutrition and healthy food, workshops of crafts and beauty advice, in addition to talks related to dental care.

It is also being seen an as opportunity to get to know more closely the demands of groups of older residents, both permanent and temporary, of foreign origin, with different cultures.

The second edition will have a stage in which different folklore, flamenco, comparsas and zumba classes will be performed and closing each day, a tribute to musical greats.

La II Silver Age Fair de Arona ofrecerá a los mayores de 55 años servicios complementarios para un envejecimiento activo

Los Gigantes Carnival Parade

As Los Gigantes Carnival 2019 is about to begin and runs from 15th to 23rd March 2019, here as a taster is coverage of last year's Carnival Main Parade in Los Gigantes.

Four candidates will battle it out for the title of Carnival Queen in Los Gigantes 2019 from 9:30 pm on Friday 15 March and four candidates will aspire to win the title of Junior Carnival Queen in Los Gigantes 2019 fro 5:30 pm on Saturday 16 March

We expect that the main parade will take place on Sunday 17 March.

Gran Coso Apoteósico del Carnaval de Los Gigantes 2018

Susana Conde Alba 1st Maid of Honour 2019

Susana Conde Alba 1st Maid of Honour 2019

Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

This is Susana Conde Alba, with a costume entitled “Bésame” (Kiss Me), designed by Santi Castro, representing Centro Comercial Añaza-Carrefour, who was 1st Maid of Honour.

Susana Conde Alba | Gala de la Reina | Carnaval S/C Tenerife 2019
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