Saturday, March 27, 2010

97 ~ Lunch Downtown

lunch 1 It seems that wherever you go here in the town there are more and more restaurants with outdoor tables springing up. I find it quite charming to see narrow back streets converted into individual dining rooms, set apart with coloured awnings, tablecloths, glistening glassware and chalkboard menus that make one stop and read what is being offered as the menu of the day.

lunch 2
As I walked down the narrow streets the other day I wondered if these tables really do fill with diners, considering the great number of restaurants I saw in just one small area of town. But I think the evening hours are more popular for dining with visitors on holiday, who come in from beach and pool, change and go out again for a spin around the town.

But it takes some clever arrangment of screens and partitions to turn a drab street corner into an intimate dining area.

lunch 3 And each one calls for attention with coordinated colour decor and daily menu specials.

lunch 4 Cafes specializing in pastry and ice creams as well as pizzerias and tapas bars are seen on every corner of this street. I hadn't been walking in this part of town for a while and was surprised at the number of new and renovated establishments.

lunch 5
lunch 6
lunch 7
And if heading down to the main plaza, Plaza del Charco, one will arrive at the main restaurant area of town, where there are many places from which to choose.

walking to plaza charco Near the Flower Stalls

down steps Steps in Calle Iriarte

near the harbour Near the Fishermens' Harbour

And a lunch in the plaza is hard to beat!
lunch in plaza
So thanks for your visit and I hope you will come by again.

¡Hasta la vista!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

96 ~ Photo of the Day

Bibi sleepsBibi in her own bed again

Our little Siamese Bibi was feeling poorly and had to go to the veterinary clinic for four days. She had a virus and fever and wasn't eating. Now back home, with fever gone and after a good breakfast she sleeps with her teddy in a ray of morning sunshine.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

95 ~ The Spanish Bocadillo

bocadillo de tortilla 2 Crusty Omelette Bocadillo
bocadillo de tortilla 1 Bocadillo de Tortilla

Anyone who has come to Spain has probably tried a bocadillo at one time or another.

A crusty fresh baguette split lengthwise, usually filled with ham or cheese, and without butter, mayonnaise or lettuce. If you've tried one in an airport you've probably found it a little dry, making it necessary to order as well a bottle of water or café con leche to help wash it down.

On the other hand you may have found a popular little cafe or bar that is known for serving good bocadillos, toasted on the grill or not, where you can be assured of a fresh crispy panecillo (bread roll) filled with soft jamón serrano (serrano ham), York ham or slices of golden cheese. Still without butter or mayonnaise unless you are somewhere that will add them to order. But toasted on the grill, and moistened with olive oil, the simple bocadillo is raised to another level.

I bought the one above one day while I was up in the town of La Orotava, while watching and taking photos of the annual making of the flower carpets of Corpus Christi. It was filled with a generous slice of Spanish omelette, the well-known potato and onion Tortilla Española and resulted in a meal in the hand, again needing a bottle of water to accompany it but ever so good.

Another favourite filling for bocadillos is soft spread fresh chorizo:

fresh chorizo
...a pork mixture seasoned with dried smoked red peppers and spread over bread, reminiscent of Mallorcan sobrassada, which we consumed in quantity while living in the Balearic Islands.

Here is a young lady with a basket of mini bocadillos which she is generously passing around during the celebrations of the Romeria de San Isidro Labrador, in La Orotava.

Romeria bread girl
And the contents of her basket: hard cooked eggs and bocadillos spread with chorizo.

mini bocadillos
And extra large bocadillos of chorizo are often used as part of the harvest decorations on the ox carts during this romeria celebration:

romeria attaching bread
And down in the town, bocadillos with added fillings can be seen stacked in bakery windows, in this case with lettuce and tomato along with the jamón serrano and cheese:

bocadillos in Cafe Columbus
Excuse me if I've made you hungry!

I'm off now to make myself a toasted ham and cheese butter, but with a good drizzle of olive oil!

So thanks for your visit and until next time...¡Hasta la vista!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

94 ~ Goats and The City

Well not such a big city ...however it does seem strange to see a herd of goats grazing next to an elegant hotel, a shopping centre and busy asphalted streets.

It's becoming more difficult for the goat herders to find waste ground with vegetation for their flocks as more urbanizations appear, replacing the open grazing areas with concrete and landscaped gardens.

goats and street
I ran into this bunch when I was leaving my gym class the other day. One of my fellow classmates said...."look a baby goat is running up the street"... as we were leaving the gym. So I ran out, pulling my little go-everywhere camera from my bag and saw the little goat was running to catch up with the rest of the herd....(or does one say 'flock' when referring to goats?).

(I checked out at this useful website....and find the collective noun can be herd or flock.)

goats & houses But here they have an ample supply of wild plants and weeds, thanks to the many rains we've been having over the winter and early spring. In the background you can see a volcanic mound, part of the local landscape.

goat closeup I do like their brass beaded collars with little bells. As I tried to get closeups of the goats they all seemed to turn away, giving me their rear view....but I managed to catch this one from the side.

I spoke to the goat herder, who told me he had one hundred goats and four dogs.

goat herder It's not always easy to handle such a number of animals, guiding them through the traffic to a grazing area.
I took some photos from my car one year when I found myself stopped in a 'goat jam'.

Our weather report predicts calima or warm winds from the east with Sahara dust suspended in the air for the next three days. That means some good sleeveless hot weather here. Time to wash winter blankets and hang them outside!

Thanks for your visit and ¡Hasta la vista!.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

93 ~ Homeless Dogs & Cats

There are so many homeless dogs on these islands, many are left by people who leave the island and can't take their pet with them, others are abandoned by hunters once they are deemed too old to be of use. And cats are also left to breed and become feral, living wherever they are able to find a few scraps of food.

It's sad and heartbreaking to see these defenseless animals left homeless. And it always seems to be up to a few kindhearted people to do their best to donate their time and money to relieve the situation.

A video from LIVE ARICO and their website.

Here's a link to the website of the Asociación Protectora de Animales del NorOeste de Tenerife (APANOT) and their shelter at Icod de Los Vinos.

And here is a video from K9, in south Tenerife:

Here's a link to Nikki's blog Tenerife Dogs and her new website.

And a link to the German APRAM shelter website, located in Tacoronte, Tenerife.

Thanks for visiting and ¡Hasta la vista!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

92 ~ Cactus Down

antonio up ladder
Our tallest cactus lost a couple of arms which fell down into the bouganvillea in one our recent wind storms and so we decided to cut it all down, as the weight of the remaining arms was dislodging the tiles of the garden shed. Our gardener Antonio came with two of his sons and a power saw to take it all down. He has five grown sons. Imagine!

Antonio up the ladder ties a cable around one arm.
After it's ripped off, they start on another one...look out!

rope tied


look out

sawing the arm
A lot of liquid squirts out as he saws it into pieces.

sawing closeup
He had to make many trips with the wheelbarrow to take it all away.

wheelbarrow As everything grows here at such a pace, the broken bougainvillea will soon be climbing back up and blooming again.

One nice surprise this morning was to see our first spikes of larkspur blooming. We have a lot of it and reseed more every year as it's such a welcome sign of spring and the purple ones look especially pretty!

blue larkspur

pink larkspur

As I write this the weather has changed and we have a soft rain. It's always needed here!

Thanks for the visit, and ¡Hasta la vista!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

91 ~ Downtown

San Telmo church Ermita de San Telmo

Walking along the seafront in Puerto de la Cruz one sees the little Chapel of San Telmo. Built in 1870 it is a quaint landmark built in Canary style on a viewpoint overlooking the sea.

san Telmo full view
I was walking around the other day on my way to a bookstore, going to pick up a book written by a lady of my acquaintance, and just newly in print. I'll be writing about that shortly.

Where there used to be camels in this plaza, known by those who remember it as la plaza de los camelos there is now a horse and buggy. The camels would be rented out to tourists for a short ride around the town. And as they lurched through the traffic with their double seats, camel bells clanging, they unceremoniously dropped their manure on the streets. I see that this carriage has been fitted out with a rear canvas sling to catch the droppings.

Walking a little farther along, near to the main church, is a street market displaying fruits and vegetables. I have always thought these carambolas were an interesting fruit, and must buy them more often. There are so many exotic, tropical fruits available here.

carambolas Carambolas or Star Fruit

There are wonderful locally grown tomatoes available here year round.

tomatoes And I bought a lovely butternut squash there.

Next door is a cafe popular for having a drink, watching people go by or just reading a newspaper.

man at cafe
Their raisin magdalenas are fresh and good, and go well with a cafe con leche.

Another cobblestone street with cafes and shops.

street and man
Calle La Hoya Calle La Hoya

Here is a cafe popular with British residents. They like to meet here on the main street for a drink and a chat when they are downtown.

cafe royal
Well I'm going back to my car and hope to see you again soon. Thanks for the visit and ¡hasta la vista!.



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