26 May 2012, Gail’s trip log

Tenerife, Canary Islands. Alarm went off at 615 and Dan was still in bed! Amazing. He got up and went for breakfast, just as mine was delivered. Took some beautiful sunrise photos as we were getting into port and docked. Our day long tour was the first one out – we had to be down there at 815 and were on the bus and on our way by 830. What a fantastic day we had. Weather was spectacular. We never even wore the sweatshirts we took. We drove through town and headed to the mountains, to the Las Canadas National Park – where we got unbelievably up close and personal with the 12,000 + foot volcano – Mt. Teide. We climbed up a winding road, through several micro-climates, even going a few miles through the clouds until we got on top of the semi-permanent cloud layer and it was beautiful and sunny. We stopped for a couple of photo ops on the way up. We stopped at a café just outside the park for a “comfort stop” opportunity to buy coffee, snacks, postcards, and Dan’s hat for only four euros, before continuing on up a very harrowing road (but at least it was paved), across a saddle between two volcanic caldera and to a point where we had an unbelievable vista and some incredible volcanic rocks and lava fields. We had seen a lot and this was really special – a lot like Hawai’I in many ways, yet different. Our guide was great and gave us lots of good information. We headed back down, stopping a couple of times for more photo ops of unique flowers and so on. We came down a different way into Puerto de la Cruz, a seaside resort town with great charm. I was really glad when we got back there at 115 and made a dash for the potty. Anyway, had a wonderful lunch of local food – chicken, potatoes and pumpkin soup in an interesting “theme park” featuring over 240 miniature replicas of all of the towns and buildings around the island. We took lots of pictures. Back on the bus we headed for our last stop – a small but beautiful orchid garden that has been there for over 200 years. Famous guests of the house that owns the garden have included Agatha Christie, who was so charmed and intrigued that set one of her stories in that garden in Puerto de la Cruz. It was very charming. There were actually flowers all over the island. We really liked the whole day – great tour. We got back to the ship about ½ hour ahead of the sail away at 500. Didn’t see a whole lot of the city – but got some pictures of key items – like iconic opera house by Spanish architect – interesting, but not like Sydney. Buffet for dinner tonight. We had such a big, late lunch we didn’t need much. Sea day tomorrow, then 3 tour days in a row. Time is getting short – will have to start packing soon.

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