Lanzarote by car
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Thu 5 Nov 2015 07:46
We decided to take a hire car for two days in the end, to allow us to see something of the island as well as getting to a supermarket. The shopping was reasonably successful, although we had to visit a number of supermarkets to get everything we wanted, and we also went back to Arrecife so that we could get the bits needed to fit the solar panels and the radio from the chandlery there.
Having a car allowed us to see a different side of Lanzarote from the tourist resorts and bleak southern landscape. The northern part of the island is much greener, and there are some pretty towns. We particularly liked Haria, which is surrounded by palm trees due to the historic custom of planting palms when a child was born (one for a girl, but two for a boy!). We saw the wine region, where the vines are grown in depressions in the ground and protected by walls of black volcanic rock.
We took some high places: the Mirador del Rio, an old gun emplacement converted to a view point on the cliffs high over the island of La Graciosa, and the bus tour around the ‘Mountains of Fire’ the volcanic region in the middle of the island, where the rocks are still hot enough just below the surface to create steam and cook on. The tour was interesting, though the roads had Sarah with her eyes closed again - they were not built to take buses!
The best part was discovering the works of Cesar Manrique, an artist turned architect/town planner, who had a major effect on development on Lanzarote. The conversion of the Mirador del Rio was his work, and was lovely, but the building that used to be his house was stunning. The bottom level was built into 5 volcanic bubbles with different rooms connected by tunnels. It is impossible to give it justice in words, but well worth checking out on line or even visiting! It was immensely peaceful, even full of tourists.
Our radio equipment arrived on schedule - a very smooth process given the horror stories we had read of deliveries to the Canary Islands, so today we expect to say goodbye to Lanzarote, and move on to Fuertaventura.
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