Islands of the eternal spring: Ilhas Canárias

Travel, Uncategorized

On the very first day of Spring edition 2017 I would like to dedicate some space of Lusofonetica to a place where spring lasts 24/7, 365/6 days per year.

It is not a secret that for people based in the Central/Northern Europe the winter seems to last forever and that one of the most popular getaway destinations are the Canary Islands. Since I have moved to Berlin in 2014, I have already visited  Fuerteventura and Lanzarote and would like to share some of my best photo shots and memories.


Canary Islands are the Norternmost islands out of the archipelago, which makes them accessible within less than 5 hours of flight from mainland Europe. They are located in between the other Macaronesia islands: Northernmost Madeira and Porto Santo, Westernmost Azores and Southernmost Cabo Verde. They are the only one where Spanish is spoken though! While Fuerteventura is more flat, offering vast white-sand beaches, Lanzarote is a smaller yet more diverse island in terms of its volcanic landscape.

Some of my Fuerteventura’s favourites include the beaches close to the town of Corralejo and it’s Dunes Park, and more remote village of El Cotillo with cosy, white houses by the portline.

On the Southern shore there is a vast coast of surfers’ paradise Playa Jandia. One can easily test the beaches for longer than a week, or drive inland to enjoy the Martian landscape of the deserts and volcanic hills.

Lanzarote offer similarly stunning beaches, and surfer spots like Caleta de Famara yet it’s worth mentioning that it’s more of a dramatic landscape with stronger winds and waves’ impact.

Some of my top picks of the Southern part of Lanzarote include the rocky Playa El Golfo and the volcanic Parque Nacional de Timanfaya.

The biggest town of Lanzarote – Arrecife is very pleasant and beautifully designed, inspited by various artists that influenced the island.

To the North of Arrecife, some interesting spots include Jardin de Cactus, or a surprisingly secluded community of El Charco de la Feliz.

The art pieces one cannot miss is the Monumento al Campesino or expositions of the Fundación Cesar Manrique or the inland town of Teguise. From the architectural point of view it’s worth visiting Omar Shariff’s house and enjoy the 360 degree view of the island (if you are a nervous driver like I am and can’t climb up the Mirador del Rio!).

Escaping the winter means also trying the local cuisine – some of my highlighted restaurants include ‘Sol y luna’ in the romantic town of Punta Mujeres and ‘La Tabla’ in downtown Arrecife, offering modern tapas and great selections of local wines.

Similarly like in Fuerteventura, the Southern part of Lanzarote offers endless beaches of Costa de Papagayo nearby a very pleasant town of Playa Blanca.

And like Madeira, Canary Islands are an interesting location to visit around the carnival, where local festivities take place.

Both Fuerteventura and Lanzarote can be visited during one stay, as there as various ferries connecting these two islands, but I enjoyed greatly coming back to Canary Islands and escaping the winter. I hope soon I will have an occasion to discover the remaining islands!

 

 

 

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Carnaval na Ilha

Travel

Em fevereiro tem carnaval… not only in Brazil! The cultural heritage between Portugal and Brazil is not only a matter of centuries – long colonial, complex relationship but also a matter of nostalgia and, once again, saudade.

So this year for a very short winter break, I pointed the Madeira Island as a destination. As it was known to me as the best place to spend the carnival outside of Rio de Janeiro or Salvador de Bahia (oh well, let’s not enter into the discussion which one is better…), I had to live the experience. And I was not disappointed, actually it surpassed greatly my expectations.

Madeira Island, a part of the autonomous overseas territory of Portugal is situated in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, and its archipelago consists also of the paradise-beach Porto Santo Island and Deserted Islands, which have no residents, as the name suggests. It is famous for its all-year long mild microclimate oscillating around 20-25 Celcius degrees and variety of flora and fauna. It is true that within one day one can experience 4 seasons, go to the beach, hike in the mountains or simply breathe the unbelievably clear air with flowery scents.

The carnival though is a special day for the Madeirenses, the inhabitants of the island. Just to mention that this island was for a long time a strategic location for the overseas travels and during the centuries it gathered not only Portuguese descendents, but also Brazilian and Venezuelan. They are very proud of their autonomous status and they also developed a very specific sotaque so to say. For the Saturday parade it takes much effort to prepare the samba groups costumes, sambadromos, choreography and what not! This year’s (2014) topic was the Sparkling Carnival and indeed, after a few hours of participating in the parade show, my eyes were wide shut/open with amazement. You can experience some of it having a look at the video attached. More happy and flowery posts about Madeira tbc!

Wiki:

carnaval na ilha – carnival on the island

“Em fevereiro tem carnaval” – “we have carnival in February” a famous phrase from the popular song “Pais Tropical” (“Tropical country”) telling the numberless advantages of life in Brazil

sotaque – accent

sambadromo – a place, normally a platform to show the performances of the samba schools during the carnival time