Weather 5th February 2016 – Los Cristianos/Las Americas

It is a glorious morning, not a cloud in the sky, no breeze to talk of and 18°C.  Hope it warms up a little because once the electrician has been and gone I want to try out my new sun loungers on my posh newly tiled patio. 

Tenerife Blogs

I thought most of yesterday was on the cool side.  I guess temperatures averaged around 20°C with the odd hot spike now and again, but as we were shopping for a lot of the time it didn’t really bother us.  We just needed to stay calm while waiting to be served in Wortons. I don’t understand how it can be so complicated.  I just walk around, decide which washing machine I want, point to it, yes it’s in stock, arrange delivery and pay.  Job done in 5 minutes unlike the couple in front who were faffing around for half an hour and still faffing even when they reached the till.

The following images are for Las Vistas Beach in the south of the island and Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island and are taken from the webcam yesterday at 12.00, 3.00 and 5.00. These times are approximate and are at whatever is the nearest before or after the hour. You can check this  LINK and it will give you 72 hours of what has been/is happening should you wish to see.  You can also watch the time-lapse webcam for the previous day.

Las Vistas Beach – between Los Cristianos and Las Americas

Why not Step Through the Looking Glass and read the  Red Queen Musings
Posted in Daily Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The first carnival parade in Puerto de la Cruz

Six magnificent chariots, invented with exquisite imagination, groups playing percussion instruments and singing Canary Island folk songs, and ladies and gentlemen dressed like seventeenth century aristocrats mounted on a brigade of horses sailed passively along the dusty lanes and into the cobbled streets of the old port. It was the beginnings of what was to become a tradition and it happened just over a century ago.

It was February 1910 and almost every inhabitant in the busy trading port watched in amazement and delight as a brilliant spectacle of two thousand participants from all over the Orotava valley took part in what was the first ever carnival parade to be held in Puerto de la Cruz. It was the birth of what has become a famous, colourful, noisy, joyous, popular, carnival festival, blemished perhaps these days by the inevitable crudity which seems to be demanded by modern times.

Most of those who led the parade were members of wealthy families in the Orotava Valley and a good number were from the British and other foreign communities. The initiative came from the recently constituted Tourism Committee and the owner of a local newspaper called Arautápala, a well-travelled gentleman who had witnessed a similar event at Nice on the French Riviera.

The six chariots, one of which was designed by local artist and photographer, Marcos Baeza, comprised one of Columbus’s ships, a Viking longboat manned by members of the British community, a Zeppelin airship with an elegant crew of German residents, a Swiss country scene, a local tray of fruit and vegetables and another one depicting a colourful basket of local flowers.

The chariots representing ships almost certainly stemmed from the original Roman carnivals. After all, whether modern carnival revellers wish to believe it or not, the word carnival owes its origins to the satirical parades in ancient Rome when Bacchus, the God of Wine, permitted disguises to hide immoral public exhibition and when the God’s personal priest led the parade on a ship mounted upon wheels. His vessel was called the carrus navalis, the naval chariot, from which the word “carnaval” derives. Of course the devotion of man to wear disguises possibly originates in ancient Egypt, Greece or even Japan. But it was the flamboyant and inventive Venetian Italians who introduced masks to hide faces, not just as a source of amusement but also to avoid recognition and punishment whilst committing a vengeful crime, participating in a conspiracy or being carnally unfaithful.

The parade in 1910 took the British Vikings, the German Zeppelin, the Spanish caravel and the rest of the magnificent procession along the Calle Valois, up the hill as far as the magnificent Taoro Hotel and then down again to the main square in the heart of the town. Not one of these foreign residents and friends could possibly have imagined that in just four year they would be battling against one another from other kinds of grey, armoured vessels in bloody war. Yet it was there at the square where a great battle took place as participants and onlookers had the most tremendous fun bombing each other with flowers and petals. This too became a tradition. But the party didn’t end there. Although the Spanish Civil War and its hungry aftermath dampened such celebrations, and carnivals were virtually forbidden during the earlier years of the Franco dictatorship, the splendid ball at the Taoro Hotel on the eve of the carnival parade became a yearly event. This dance actually took over from private functions because prior to that first carnival parade of 1910 wealthy families in Tenerife, as in Spain and France, had traditionally celebrated fancy dress dances in their own grand houses. It was only after the Orotava Valley began to attract the first foreign and especially British travellers towards the end of the 19th century that businessmen realised that an annual public carnival would help bring a new form of lucrative tourism to Puerto de la Cruz. Indeed it did and if we can learn from history and the elegance of old ways perhaps Puerto’s carnival could once more help the town revive its once booming upmarket tourism industry.

By John Reid Young, author of  “The Skipping Verger and Other Tales”
For more info on Tenerife read the Red Queen Musings everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog
Posted in News and Views | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Were legendary lovers really mother and son?

Spain’s celebrated real life romantic tragedy has often been compared to the more famous Romeo and Juliet but now a Spanish historian has claimed that the childhood sweethearts from the city of Teruel might not be quite what they seem.

They were supposed to be the star-crossed lovers Diego Marcilla and Isabel Segura, who were forbidden to marry by their families and died from broken hearts when she was forced to marry another. According to legend the pair died in the 13th century but were finally laid to rest together two centuries later after their mummified bodies were discovered in the crypt.

But Spanish historian Fernando López Rajadel has revealed that the bodies in fact have come from a family crypt and therefore were most likely to be mother and son.

The Spanish historian, who specializes in the Middle Ages, believes that the story is nothing but fiction, forming part of a “severely butchered” codex, dating to the 15th century and stored in the Library of Catalonia, that describes the history of the Marcilla family. A councillor in Teruel, Yagüe de Salas, copied out the codex at the beginning of the 17th century and, according to López, noted that the exhumed female body had “wide hips” from having borne children.

But the claims have not gone down well with the Lovers of Teruel Foundation:

“It is impossible,” a spokesman told The Local, “all the data points to the pair being the same age, around 18 or 19 years old.”

“Carbon dating has taken place,” the spokesman added, but conceded that there was still no confirmation that the mummified bodies were Diego Marcilla and Isabel Segura. Carbon dating, which took place in 2004, proved that the bodies were those of a man and woman who died at the beginning of the 13th century. However, López, who is about to publish a reconstruction of the original Library of Catalonia manuscript, believes that if a more detailed analysis was carried out, “they would discover that the woman was the mother and therefore was not Isabel de Segura,” he told Spanish daily ABC.

The accepted story of the Lovers of Teruel is that Diego Marcilla came to claim his bride after six years away to make his fortune, but just hours earlier, Isabel de Segura had been forced by her wealthy family to marry another man. Diego promptly died of a broken heart and Isabel dropped down dead beside his corpse.

The story of the lovers captured the imagination of the town, whose inhabitants called for the couple to be buried next to each other. In 1560, their bodies were exhumed and placed side by side, in a tomb that includes lids bearing the sculptures of the “lovers”, their hands outstretched and almost touching, but not quite, due to the fact that the church forbade hand holding as Isabel was a married woman.

The city of Teruel has turned the legend to their advantage, classing itself as “the city of love” on its tourism website and holding a medieval festival on the lovers’ honour every February 14th.   The Local

For more info on Tenerife read the Red Queen Musings everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog
Posted in News and Views | Tagged , | 2 Comments