Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Day - Día de Navidad

Teide with snow

Many locals and tourists alike visit Mount Teide on Christmas Day - which is likely to be snow-capped at this time of year - that it is almost a ritual. The trip - only an hour or so's drive - is a real "Christmas experience", passing through the Canary pine forests, seeing the vast number of wild poinsettias & other natural Christmas decorations en route.

You can just stay in the resort and have a "traditional Christmas dinner" at one of the many bars and restaurants catering to the mainly British trade, but it seems such a shame to do that, when you have all this natural, real Christmas stuff on the doorstep.

Wrap up in a jacket, but if you get cold, call into one of the mountain's bars for churros con chocolate ... that's hot chocolate with sort of donut things. Provided you are not the day's designated driver, you might also like to try a Lumumba, which is hot chocolate and brandy. Be warned though, this is pretty lethal stuff at high altitude.

Just an hour or so later, you could be back on the beach, enjoying the average 22-26º C (71-79º F) year-round temperatures.

Where else in the world can you do all of this on Christmas Day?

Christmas Lunch

Whilst you can get a traditional British-style Christmas Lunch in the resorts, don't expect there to be a Christmas menu at the few Canarian restaurants you may find open. Many will close, except those in areas where they expect there to be any number of tourists. In homes, rabbit was the traditional fayre, a Canarian staple, but the quantity of turkey being sold in supermarkets has risen sharply in the last couple of years.

One year, before their commercial arrival, two turkeys were acquired, having been brought up in someone's mother's back yard. I'm not really keen on personally knowing my dinner in life and thought it poetic justice when the chap who had been given the job of ...  presented his finger, all bandaged, after the unfortunate bird had put up a bit of resistance.

For most locals, Christmas Day is a recovery day from the celebrations of Christmas Eve.