Archive for the ‘Tapas’ Category

Holiday in the Canary Islands

October 23, 2017

Sorry for the delay in posting blogs but we have no excuses except we’ve been too busy chilling out to write!

It’s not often that you can say that you are having a holiday, from your holiday, from your holiday, but we are!

We were picked up by taxi for our trip out to Stansted airport, Christine & Barry had already been picked up and it was our turn along with Alex & Ian. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time for our 4hour flight to the Island of Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, names not for the feathered variety of Canary but for dogs as the Latin word for dog is Canus……not that we have seen that many dogs either.

The Denny family all had seats together, with Roy, Alex and I in random seats scattered around the plane, not that we minded at all. I sat beside a lovely couple whom we sat quietly beside each other for the first part of the flight, however we struck up a great conversation in the second part of the flight and they filled me in on the ins and outs of life on Lanzarote. We were to later meet them again but that’s later in the week.

We landed late in the afternoon, the landscape is the first thing we noticed (after the heat) as the island is completely volcanic, as in, it is a barren scoria filled and lava flow landscape apart from the planted palm trees and cacti. The buildings in contrast, are all painted white, and all constructed from concrete.

We had two rental cars awaiting us at the airport and it wasn’t too long before we were on our way to the villa with Ian and Alex in charge of driving. The villa is well appointed and located in Costa Teguise which is about 15minutes north of Arecife Airport. The villa has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, laundry, lounge, kitchen and dining rooms and pool of course with bbq and pizza oven with outside dining area.

This is the pool at the rear of the villa

and yes, that is Alex Ian Christine & Barry looking over the fence from the path at the rear of the villa

And the view from the front door…looks desolate doesn’t it?

After settling in for the evening, we were soon all off for a good nights sleep.

The following day Ian, Barry & Christine went off to the aquarium whilst Roy, Alex and I went for a walk down to the local shopping and restaurant area to check things out. We saw some interesting sights including this one;

We did look up what this is all about, apparently one can join the club and you can go along buy what cannabis product you prefer and use it in the club in a booth. And no we didn’t go and check it out.

The weather was incredibly hot, with the daytime temperature sitting at about 35C, however, they were experiencing the Calima, a hot sand filled wind coming straight from the Sahara Desert which made the sky hazy, but kept the temperatures high and was apparently unusual for this time of the year.

We all met later in the afternoon back at the villa for a cooling swim before heading off into the town as there was supposed to be a market in the town square which we thought might be worth a look. We walked down into the town and found the market before settling down at a local bar to have a drink before finding somewhere to have dinner.

When in Spain, one must drink Sangria…

After a very pleasant dinner which included lots of local fish, it was then a leisurely stroll back to our villa.

The following day, Saturday, we decided to head into the hills where we knew that there were vineyards and to do a bit of wine tasting. Now they grow grapevines here quite differently to anywhere else we have encountered. For a start there is no soil as such, it’s all volcanic pebble like material, and to protect the vines from the wind the larger rocks are built up around the vine for shelter.

Some of the vines were grown along straight lines with the vines left to grow along the ground. But the higher we climbed, the landscape changed to resemble a moonscape. Over the years, local farmers have perfected an almost foolproof method for protecting the grapes. The plant is placed into the ground after the framer scrapes out a wide, shallow crater-like hole in the volcanic soil. Then, larger volcanic stones are balanced around the wind-facing edge of the crater, creating a low, semicircular barrier. The height of the makeshift wall and the depth of the the depression are important. The vine has to be able to soak in the sunshine without being hampered by shadows, and the hole has to be shallow enough that the plant is still getting nutrients and trapped water from the soil.Each vineyard has thousands of these holes and walls, each holding a single vine.

It is a sight to see.

We visited a number of bodegas (vineyards), one also held a museum which showed the development of wine over time on the island. We continued on and tried another couple of bodegas for wine tasting and some tapas, with the last one we visited proving to be the best. This was a very small family owned and run establishment, we were told by our lovely hostess Caroline, that her father was the 5th generation of his family to own the vineyard.

After ordering our drinks and tapas, Caroline told us that the goats cheese we were eating was made by her Mum, the tomatoes were grown by herself, and the wine made by the family. A lot of banter and good humour ensued, and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the sun with Caroline and her parents making us feel as though we were part of the family.

The bodega and the happy customers enjoying the hospitality.

the lovely tapas

with our new friend Caroline…..hi Caroline, if you are reading this, you made our day xx

We came away with a few of Caroline’s tomatoesand some of her mums delicious cheese, some wonderful memories having made some new friends.