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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tenerife in Winter

Tenerife in Winter

For travel this winter, Sophie Butler in Travel Telegraph says, "A good option is the Canary Islands, where temperatures remain consistently pleasant through the winter months. Average daily temperatures in Tenerife and Gran Canaria are in the low 70s, with around six hours of sunshine a day and about six rainy days a month."

For the most part, I agree with her. However, whilst it CAN rain, especially between November and March, these rainy days are more likely to come in mere pairs and if it happens, there are still plenty of places to see and things to do other than the beach.

It is also true that accommodation - even the type we live in permanently - is not cut out for dealing with cooler days. Nevertheless, it will never be as cold as it would have been in the UK! Provided you pack long trousers (such as sweat pants) for lounging indoors and a medium weight sweater or cardigan style jacket, this will be enough.

You will want those anyway for your trip up a possibly snow-tipped Mount Teide.

This might sound silly, but some wooly socks are also a good idea for sitting around on winter evenings, on account of those tiled and marble floors we have everywhere.

The other antidote to this, of course, is simply to keep active! If you are cold and it is wet outside, repair to the nearest hotel with a gym, sauna or steam bath.

CCC profits up almost a quarter

Compania Cervecera de Canarias (CCC) has posted a healthy rise in operating profit. The Spanish brewer said yesterday (25 October) that operating profit for its fiscal year to 31 March leapt by 22% year-on-year to €17.7m (US$21.4m). (Via: Just-Drinks.com)

The Canarian beer company was founded in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1939 and began brewing the Dorada brand. In 1994, they merged with Sociedad Industrial Canaria (SICAL) of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, which was formerly the La Tropical brewery.

Some years ago, they also acquired the independent brewer of the Mas brand beer.

These beers are uniquely found in the Canary Islands, with Dorada continuing to be typical in Tenerife and Tropical the favorite in Gran Canaria.

Visitors really should try these lager beers instead of the imported ones. I find them to be smoother and less gassy than more familiar names, apart from which you will find their relative prices amusingly cheap and, your purchase helps the local community.

Image: Beemwej [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Columbus in The Canary Islands

Christopher Columbus illustration from Grand voyages (1596) by Theodor de Bry (1528-1598)

Christopher Columbus may have been born, in 1451, in the Italian port city of Genoa (which is also where many of Tenerife's early settlers hailed from), but his real origins remain a mystery. (More about alternative theories and new evidence for the location of Columbus' remains can be found here).

What is known is that on August 3, 1492, Columbus left from Palos, Spain and first sailed to the Canary Islands, where he re provisioned and made repairs (in Gran Canaria). He would also have seen Mount Teide on Tenerife erupt in 1492 on his way past the, at that time, as yet, unconquered island.

On September 6, 1492 he started the five week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean - from the island of La Gomera, where the date is a fiesta.

Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered the Western Hemisphere on October 12, 1492, although he continued to believe he had reached Asia until his death in 1506. He also believed the peaks of Cuba to be the Himalayas, which gives one a sense of just how lost he was. He never reached the United States where "Columbus Day" is celebrated. The holiday has also been celebrated here in Spain since 1958, as Día de la Hispanidad.

Controversy and Concubines

Columbus' later lover and mother of his second son Ferdinand, Beatriz Enriquez, should not be confused with the infamous Beatriz de Bobadilla - the widow of Hernán Peraza, Governor of La Gomera - who later married Alonso Fernández de Lugo, the conqueror of Tenerife, although popular legend, speculation and contemporary report suggest that Columbus may have been in love with this Beatriz too.
"Although La Gomera's most famous association is with Christopher Columbus, its most infamous is with the aristocratic Beatriz de Bobadilla, by reputation a vicious medieval nymphomaniac, and by all accounts - including a portrait in the Parador Nacional - a great beauty."

"Rumours of a liaison grew and on subsequent trips Columbus would add to the circumstantial evidence, interrupting both his 1493 and 1498 journeys on the island. In 1498 he was disappointed to find that Beatriz had married Alonso Fernández de Lugo, the conqueror of Tenerife, so that on his final 1502 voyage Columbus didn't even bother to weigh anchor in San Sebastián."

References:

  1. Christopher Columbus From Wikipedia
  2. Columbus Day Historical Perspectives
  3. Christopher Columbus NNDB
  4. Beatriz de Bobadilla on Destination Guides - La Gomera
  5. Columbus’ Rendezvous in La Gomera
  6. Columbus Links Page

Image via rawpixel.com
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