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Monday, 2 May 2011

Tenerife - My holiday home

Flowers grow wildly here, creating a colorful tapestry on the edges of the road; the dividers on the express highway have different shades of green dotted with colorful specks of tiny flowers. One side of the motorway runs parallel to the bluish sea while other side slopes upwards towards the green and brown hills. I have lived in the North of the island of Tenerife for ten years, and during those years all I have dreamt about is to come back to Mumbai, I could never adopt that place, although I cannot deny that it is one of most beautiful cities in the world but still, Mumbai has a special place in my heart and staying in any other part of the world does not hold my fascination. Whenever I had expressed my desire to my guest of moving back to Mumbai, they would always lecture me about my foolishness and implore me to change my mind and live comfortably there forever, but I just couldn’t. I found my peace only when I moved back to Mumbai.

Tenerife is now my holiday home and I visit it whenever I need to relax.

The day I reach the island, I take a walk down the street where my brother owns a store. People are very friendly here and I have known them for many years. Whenever they see me, they come out from their shops to have a friendly chat with me, they try to talk to me in broken English and I in broken Spanish, its fun when some of them will even cross the road from the other side of the road to just plant a peck on my cheeks and a big warm hug, a great feeling! yeah!

This is a small town called Icod de Los Vinos, My brother has a tourist business very close to 1000-years-old tree called ‘Drago Millinario’ (a dragon tree). Just opposite my shop is a plaza which has beautiful plants and trees with the botanical name printed under each tree. There is a small church and also a small cafeteria where they sell cortado, a strong coffee. During my regular walks in this plaza, I am always fascinated by this tree.

While in Mumbai, I suffer the most during the month of May, when not even the AC  can bring me any solace and it is during such moments that I miss Tenerife the most, its’ mild, spring climate with an average temperature of 20degrees centigrade throughout the year. Outside my balcony in Spain, I can see the mount Teide on one side that rises to more than three thousand meters and remains snow-covered for most part of the year and on other side of my house are the grapes and cabbage plantations that slope down gradually towards the ocean. Every evening I watch beautiful sunsets behind my kitchen windows, inbetween my daily chores of cooking and washing dishes.

Tenerife is the city of siestas and fiestas. Our shop opens at 9am then closes for snooze and lunch from 1pm to 5pm and then work a bit more, the day is done by 8pm. This sleepy town comes alive only during festivals which occur throughout the year. Spanish people just need a reason to celebrate, to dress up in their traditional clothes, carry their musical instruments, sing their folk song and dance till late nights.

Tenerife has more than 30 different festivals with Carnivals being the biggest event. The streets come alive during carnival season which lasts for more than 20 days, moving from one pueblo to another within the island. There are parades on the streets, with children and adults, all in festive mood enjoying during the selection of carnival queen in every suburb, drinking, dancing and partying at every lane. Another big festival that we all look forward to is Reye, when people go crazy shopping, and children are made to believe that three wise men had dropped their gifts for them on their way to bless baby Jesus. It fall on 5th of January and the business that we do on these days can cover our yearly expenses. Besides these there are many more festivals like Corpus Christi, when the streets are decorated with colorful sands and flowers creating a carpets on the road, San Andres, when every slope is occupied with youngsters sliding down on wooden planks, ´Dia de Candelaria´ when pilgrims all over Tenerife walk or trek to a shrine of Virgin Mary at Candelaria and many more festivals celebrated in different suburbs of the city. Cristo de calvario is the festival celebrated in my pueblo.

When in Tenerife, I would enjoy the most when my family would visit me. Many evenings we would walk down Puerto de la Cruz, near the portside and have hot chocolate, Sometimes I would take them to Santa Cruz de Tenerife for shopping and sight seeing and sometimes to South of Tenerife to enjoy the marine sports and night life.

There are many places of interest where one can enjoy with family and friends all day. Many holidays, we would get together in a bigger group and spend all day at the beach or at the park.

Yes, we did have fun and life was good. But then I wasn’t born there, so for me Tenerife will always be a holiday home.

How to get there:

Spain’s national airlines ‘IBERIA’ have regular services to Tenerife. Charter services are also available, any reputed agent can advice you. There are two airports in Tenerife. ‘Los Rodeos in the North and ‘Reina Sophia’ in the south of the island. Frequent buses ply from airport to different parts of the island. Tenerife is also linked to the other six Canary Islands by jetfoil services.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice photos and adventure too. It would be great to take tenerife luxury holidays and experience the lovely place.


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