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Monday, March 30, 2009

How many miles from the UK & Ireland to Tenerife?

A question that people often ask, is "How far is Tenerife from the UK?" The distance between London, England and the capital of the island of Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is approximately 1,800 miles or 2,897 kilometres, "as the crow flies". But we haven't seen many crows on holiday, so here are the distances between the main UK & Irish airports offering direct flights to Tenerife:

Flights from England to Tenerife
Birmingham (BHX) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1849 miles (2976 kilometres)
Blackpool (BLK) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1904 miles (3064 kilometres)
Bournemouth (BOH) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1748 miles (2813 kilometres)
Bristol (BRS) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1764 miles (2839 kilometres)
Doncaster Sheffield (DSA) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1926 miles (3100 kilometres)
Durham Tees (MME) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1979 miles (3184 kilometres)
East Midlands (EMA) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1881 miles (3027 kilometres)
Leeds Bradford (LBA) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1936 miles (3116 kilometres)
Liverpool (LPL) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1880 miles (3026 kilometres)
London Luton (LTN) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1846 miles (2971 kilometres)
London Gatwick (LGW) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1809 miles (2911 kilometres)
London Gatwick (LGW) - Tenerife North (TFN) - 1775 miles (2857 kilometres)
London Stansted (STN) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1861 miles (2995 kilometres)
Manchester (MAN) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1893 miles (3046 kilometres)
Newcastle (NCL) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 2007 miles (3230 kilometres)
Source: Great Circle Mapper and Metric Conversions Via: Yahoo Answers.

Flights from Scotland to Tenerife
The distance to Tenerife from Scottish airports will be a wee bit further:
Aberdeen (ABZ) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 2132 miles (3431 kilometres)
Edinburgh (EDI) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 2034 miles (3273 kilometres)
Glasgow (GLA) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 2013 miles (3240 kilometres)
Prestwick (PIK) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1988 miles (3199 kilometres)

Flights from Wales to Tenerife
Cardiff (CWL) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1752 miles (2820 kilometres)

Flights from Northern Ireland to Tenerife
Belfast (BFS) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1909 miles (3072 kilometres)

Flights from Eire to Tenerife
Cork (ORK) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1695 miles (2727 kilometres)
Dublin (DUB) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1828 miles (2941 kilometres)
Shannon (SNN) - Tenerife South (TFS) - 1746 miles (2810 kilometres)

We were quite amused by World Airport Codes who not only quote the distance between London Gatwick (LGW) and Tenerife South (TFS), but also estimate how long it would take in various types of aircraft. (The flight to Tenerife from any UK location is around 4 hours, a bit more from the north and Scotland.)

It's a pity the Boeing 747 or Airbus A340 are not operated on the route, because the estimate is that they'd cut the time down to 3 hours and 12 minutes.

However, be glad your holiday flight isn't in a Cessna SkyHawk, as they estimate the journey time from Gatwick to Tenerife in one of those as 12 hours and 46 minutes. Does that include fuel stops at every post, I wonder?

But, the pace of life in Tenerife is leisurely, so why rush to get here?
If you follow the walking directions (see map) provided by Google - well they don't do flying routes (do, please, heed the warning that walking directions are in beta and may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths, especially on the bits over water!) - your mileage increases to 2208 (3553 km) and it'll only take you about 12 days 2 hours!

View Larger Map

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A complete idiots guide to Tenerife

Tenerife's elephants at the Loro Parque. Photo: Gerald England.

From research carried out by The Association for British Travel Agents (ABTA) and Thomas Cook, The Telegraph this week has compiled a list (via Anorak and Boing Boing) of 20 ridiculous complaints made by holidaymakers (obviously, this is a companion guide to their 20 stupid questions asked by tourists.) Stories like this make me want to crawl into a hole or apologise profusely for being British, but it helps one to understand why people have some pretty weird perceptions about Tenerife, when you discover that this is the way some folk's brains work (well, using the terms "brain" and "work" loosely.)

So, for those who still harbour misconceptions, here are answers to just some of people's stupid questions, as they apply to Tenerife:
Lots of the sand in Tenerife is black. It's not yellow (except the imported bits) and it's not white. It's black and this doesn't mean it's dirty. It may still be too sandy for some people, but the colour is a bonus, designed so you can clearly see the grains in your egg sandwiches (paraphrasing TV presenter Juliet Morris on a visit to Puerto de la Cruz.)

You'll generally have to leave the resort to see too many (Canarian) Spanish people in Tenerife! It only takes about 4 hours to fly back to the UK (depending which airport) from Tenerife, about the same amount of time as it took to get there. And, if it makes you feel better, it will take the Americans much longer, because it's their turn to cross the pond. (Air Europa will be flying direct from Tenerife south to Miami USA in the spring, using the Airbus 330 with a flying time of eight and a half hours, it is thought.)

You'll need swimming trunks (or cozzies) and towels at water parks, because the water in Tenerife is still wet. (We only pretend that the rain isn't.)

Ray Ban sunglasses bought from street vendors in Tenerife are still fake.

Al Campo, La Villa Shopping Centre in La Orotava

Shopkeepers are often still lazy (!) and take siestas in towns and cities like La Laguna and Santa Cruz, but have no fear they're far too keen to take your money in the big shopping malls or the resorts to slack off at these times.

Putting a 3,718 meter / 12,200 foot volcano in Los Rodeos flight path was not the cause of the 1977 disaster.

There's no lake at La Laguna (it means lagoon, or lake), nowadays, but you can find man-made lakes at Erjos where you can go bird watching. But the Teide National Park was not man-made! And all of the caves and galleries are underground. Get used to seeing topless, bottomless and totally naked sunbathers. As well as naked male hikers.

Unlike Wales, Tenerife is not closed in winter, because it's Eternally Spring all year round.

The mosquitos still bite in Tenerife and, while it's not considered a risk area for humans (for neither malaria nor West Nile virus), for those of you who live on the island and have pets, it IS inside a risk area for heartworm. Don't worry, there won't be fish in the sea for long, if the authorities get their way and contaminate it with their industrial port in Granadilla.

They don't turn the mist off in the island's Laurisilva cloud forests, ever.

Scottish shortbread on sale in Al Campo, La Villa.

They do sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts in Tenerife, as well as Bourbons, many other brands you'll recognize and whole racks of Scottish shortbread, for some unknown reason. (Ironically, their own - French - brand English Breakfast Tea is the nicest I've had anywhere in the world.) Try the local home made biscuits too though.

There are a LOT of hills and some dodgy pavement surfaces in Tenerife, so you might not want to wear high heels, unless you're a bloke at Carnaval, of course, when doing so is pretty obligatory.

Queuing is a whole lot different, more relaxed and casual, in Tenerife, but if it's being done outside, you'll still find that there's no air conditioning!

To get from one Canary Island to another, you should catch the same type of bus as you might to get from the Orkney Islands to the Shetland Islands!

Mojo sauce spread over Canarian wrinkly potatoes

If you don't like spicy food at all, you're in luck in Tenerife, because the locals seem to be scared stiff of it too. Just steer clear of the red mojo sauce - which is the one exception.

People (women, mostly) get pregnant in Tenerife in much the same way as they do anywhere else in the world and still just as unexpectedly, but if you stay on the island to have the baby, you'll find the level of care far exceeds what one would expect in the UK.

Sorry, we don't have any information about Samantha Fox' boobs either, but apparently we do have some data concerning Jennifer Lopez' bum.

A Playa is not where the Gangstas live in Tenerife. Actually, scratch that!

And, finally if you're a man of a sensitive nature, coming to Tenerife for your honeymoon, you'll be relieved to know that the elephants pictured above are the only ones we know of in Tenerife (the topiary trio can be found at the Loro Parque) and, hopefully, that's as aroused as they'll ever get. (Photo by Gerald England of Hyde Daily Photo.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Santa Cruz Carnaval 2009 Roundup


With Carnaval, in Santa Cruz at least, having ended (sniff) yesterday for 2009 (no doubt sequins will be being sewn on costumes and dances rehearsed shortly for 2010), we bring you a roundup from this year's events, mostly illustrated ...

Many many more photos here of Carnaval Queen, Ana María Tavarez Mata.

Carnaval kicked off with the Cabalgata Anunciadora (photos) on the evening of Friday, February 20th. Around 5,000 people participated and more than 70,000 packed the streets of Santa Cruz to see the multicolor display.

On Shrove Tuesday, February 24th, 5,000 people took part in the main parade of Carnaval in Santa Cruz, with an estimated 120,000 spectators lining the streets to see the parade that started shortly after 4 p.m. Here's a collection of magnificent photos of the Coso Apoteosis (Main Parade) 2009. Near the end of the parade are the Carnival Floats 2009, every one of them a work of art.

This 11 minute video of highlights from the main parade - Rudy y Ruymán who present it: two Tenerife lads who are "famous" for, er, I dunno, something to do with TV contests, seem REALLY keen on pointing the camera at themselves, but because of that, not despite it, they take you right into the parade at street level and that makes you feel like you're part of it rather than just watching.

On Wednesday, February 25th, Santa Cruz celebrated the traditional funeral for it's sardine, attended by thousands of "widows, nuns and curates". The paper-mâché and cardboard figure of the fish, a work carried out by Luis Eduardo Fierro, measured 5.5 meters long and 3 meters high. The note says that the town hall wanted to underline the fact that no plastic was used in the construction, to reduce the damage that burning it would cause to the ozone layer.

200,000 people (getting close to the quarter of a million at Tenerife Carnaval's Guinness World Record feat in 1987) turned up for the daytime carnaval concerts on Saturday, February 28th to see Craig David, amongst others.

More video: motion The Canarian Desynchronised Swimming Team! :)

Reports from the Carnaval Hospital ...

red_plaster Say this year, at least 598 people (goodness knows why they didn't say "about 600") were attended at the Carnaval Hospital (the field hospital put up each year), which, when you consider that there were; 70,000 people attending the opening parade on Friday, February 20th; around 40,000 for the Dance Carnaval night on Monday, February 23rd; at least 120,000 for the main parade on Shrove Tuesday and as many as 200,000 on Saturday, 600 is a very small number.

And, no surprises here, the principal causes for "hospital admission" (more like needing first aid) were alcohol and drug intoxications in 293 of the cases.

During the daytime Carnaval de Día, only 20 people needed medical assistance, only one of those owing to alcohol. The number of people needing attention on the last night of carnaval, however, doubled this year from 66 in 2008 at 132 in 2009. Of those; 62 adults and 9 minors were drunk or high; 19 people fell over, 13 had common ailments and only 20 had anything to do with aggression. On any ordinary Saturday night in any British town, there would be many more!

It's tempting to be cynical and assume they're just not reporting the whole truth, but remember I've been amongst these celebrations enough times to know - and I've gone alone, a woman, at night and not felt under any threat.

As Islandmomma says, of the Santa Cruz Carnaval, "It is remarkable for its good nature and lack of crime. Of course, there is crime, but nothing like the level you might expect of that you hear of in other places." We hear that!

Operatives from the town hall collected 218 tons of rubbish in the first few days of the Carnaval - Santa Cruz would never cope with fortnightly collections!

Carnaval celebrations elsewhere in Tenerife ...

3317804278_7b878f8157 Jose Mesa shows us how they saw off the sardine in Güímar with La Burras (The Female Donkeys.)

This street theatre event was apparently started in 1992 to attract the crowds back to the Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine) and draws upon traditions related to witchcraft and the belief that witches can transform themselves into donkeys to be able to carry out their spells. Of course.

As in all good witchcraft stories, the witches are eventually condemned to the bonfire - this time along with the unfortunate sardine - on the orders of the Bishop, who arrived with the Inquisition.

As Tenerife Matters say, "Sounds like a typical Friday night in Güímar then."

In Puerto de la Cruz, Going Native at Tenerife Carnaval means:

"When a giant sardine with long blond hair and fluttering false eyelashes starts bearing down on you it means one of two things - it's time to give up the alcohol, or it's the surreal Burial of the Sardine which is a major part of Carnaval across Tenerife."

If you missed any of this, I should start thinking about booking for next year.

Image titles: 1. Reina del Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2009, 2. Not available, 3. CABALGATA CARNAVAL SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE 2009, 4. Not available, 5. Not available, 6. Not available, 7. DSC_0376, 8. DSC_0390_01, 9. DSC_0397_01, 10. Not available, 11. Not available, 12. Entre guiris, nativos y demás..., 13. Not available, 14. Fuegos Carnaval de Día Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2009, 15. _N014913, 16. Clásicos en el parque.

Ladies Night for working women in Tenerife

ladies_night What better way could there be to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day - coming up on Sunday, March 8th to bring political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide - than with a Ladies Night?

With male strippers.

Now either you're going to think this has all the sensitivity and political correctness of, say, serving pork sausages on a Bar Mitzvah buffet, or you'll think it's poetic justice that the boys flaunt their "exploited" bodies for a change.

If you're of the latter persuasion, then get down to the El Faro Chill Art Bar, C.C. Costa Torviscas. Loc. 79. Torviscas Bajo, 38660 Adeje, on Saturday, March 7th, at 11 p.m. FREE entry. Via: Gabriel at Blog-Tenerife.

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