Sunday, 3 January 2016

An Island Hop and Some Culture


Obviously missing being afloat for the last couple of weeks or so, we took a ferry ride from Lanzarote across to Fuerteventura to see our friend Manel.


It was great to see him again after almost a year. Half the day was spent catching up and chatting over some very strong coffee (!) and then …….


…… we took to the beach for a bit of sunshine and a paddle. From our previous visits to Fuerta we know how wonderful (and huge) the beaches can be and if you keep walking you do eventually find the sea!      We had a great day catching up with an old friend (well – he’s not that old really!) and it was good to see you looking so well Manel.

Back on Lanzarote, while Doug decided on a ‘beach day’  Les, Chris and James went on a three-centered culure tour.


Firstly, to the former home (and now a foundation centre) of the island artist and visionary Cesar Manrique.


The basis of the Manrique Foundation is the artist’s former home. A totally different concept in living with nature, the residence takes advantage of the natural volcanic features of the island. The courtyard is as unique and spectacular as everything else Manrique designed. The contrast between smooth white painted areas and the volcanic rock is startling and delightful.


Inside he makes use of the natural caves made by the lava flows and again, white painted surfaces contrast with volcanic rocks.


Each ‘room’ is lit by open skylights through which trees and plants reach up to sunlight.



Corridors between rooms are partially carved but make use of naturally occuring fisures in the rocks.

We spent a good couple of hours enjoying the Manrique Foundation. His home is quite unique and well worth a visit and there are galleries displaying art and sculpture including works by Picasso.


Our second visit was to an amazing cactus garden housed in a depression in the ground. Surrounded  by the most perfect dry-stone walling made from volcanic lava rock it houses a huge collection of cacti.


Many plants are very scultural and constrast well with the perfectly raked black Pyoclast.


Some plants are huge …….


…… some look very comforatble to sit on (!) ………..


…….. and some don’t look like plants at all!


The third and final port of call was Mirador del Sol. A spectacular viewpiont at the far end of the island.


High up on the sedimentary cliffs (not volcanic in this case) is the most wonderful veiw over to a small island. It’s interesting to be able to see a complete island and the way it was formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago. A huge area of sea around this end of Lanzarote and the island is now a marine conservation area. No fishing, no anchoring of boats – nothing is allowed to affect the sea bed.


Looking sraight down the cliffs is a sobering feeling!


It was a terrific day out – a lot learnt and much to think about!

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