The Beach Crackled Like Rice Crispies!

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June 4th 2010
Published: June 4th 2010
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Our flight to the Canary Islands left from Geneva, Switzerland. It was a beautiful day and the train went so near to Interlaken, that we could hear Lake Brienz calling our names. Spending the afternoon on the Lake seemed so much better than spending the afternoon in Geneva.

Early the next morning we were off to the airport and on the flight to Gran Canary, for a one day visit before continuing to the island of La Gomera. From the plane, La Gomera is a mass of rugged ravines, steep cliffs, and endless carved terraces. While it is a small island, only 15 miles across at the widest point, traveling anywhere on the island entails scenic, cliff side, winding roads and getting to your destination takes more time than would be anticipated. But that was never a problem with so much natural beauty surrounding us.

Most of the beaches are covered in black sand or black rocks. The rock beaches are called "shingle" beaches and when the surf goes out the beach crackles and sounds just like Rice Crispies. It was a new beach aspect that we quite enjoyed.

For us, the highlight of the island was Garajonay National Park. It´s a cloud forest of ancient Laurel and Heath trees that coveres 10% of the island. Before the last ice age a similar forest covered the Mediterranean areas of Europe. Today, this is one of the few remaining Laurel forests in the world. The constant trade winds, blowing over the high elevations in the park, create clouds of mist which provide enough moisture to support such a green and lush forest. The trees are covered in moss and lichens, while ferns and mosses cover the forest floor. The highest peak in the park is 5649 feet. It was a magical and ancient looking forest with many well marked trails of various lengths and difficulties.

Valle del Gran Rey (Valley of the Great King) was one of the beautiful valleys that laid between 2 steep ravines and stretched down to the beach. This was the main tourist area, but still had the typical terracing along the sides to the ravines. Most of the ravines have extensive terracing to provide areas for farming. In some villages the crops, especially the banana plantations, tumbled down the hillsides and reached all the way to the surf.

We were fortunate to be in La Gomera on Canaries Day. This was a celebration of their national foods, handicrafts, music, and traditions. The wonderful couple that owned our hotel had Canary Island delicacies and wine for the guests. Many of their friends and family were there and we were entertained with singing and music for 4 hours that afternoon. It was a very special and memorable day of travel.

Nothing on this island was a disappointment!! It is at the top of my list for the best of the Canary Islands.

We have now moved on to Lanzarote and are presently on Fuerteventura (Strong Adventure). This small, undeveloped island has the best Internet service that we have found (including any in Germany). So, the blogs will be coming fast and furious while we are here. I´ll try to get all caught up before we head to Bulgaria on Tue.

Additional photos below
Photos: 35, Displayed: 24


Valle del Gran  ReyValle del Gran  Rey
Valle del Gran Rey

The Valley of the Kings was where the Guanche kings once lived. Now, it´s the main tourist area.
One of Cesar Manrique´s unique architect designs.One of Cesar Manrique´s unique architect designs.
One of Cesar Manrique´s unique architect designs.

This is a restaurant (now closed) overlooking Valle del Gran Rey. There will be more explanation about Cesar Manrique in the Lanzarote blog.
Valle del  Gran ReyValle del  Gran Rey
Valle del Gran Rey

Our home while on La Gomera.
Hiking in Garajonay National ParkHiking in Garajonay National Park
Hiking in Garajonay National Park

This is an ancient Laurel forest. It is on of the largest natural Laurel forests and one of the few remaining in the world.

4th June 2010

Oh my gosh, your photos are fantastic and I really enjoyed your post! The falls on Lake Brienz are stunning! My blog is looking for travel photos, reviews, etc, to share. If you have the time, check it out at, or email me at Continued fun on your travels! Heather :)
7th June 2010

As always, your photos are a treat...I loved the falls photo and the Laurel forest looked like something straight out of the Lord of the Rings..did you spy Frodo hanging around? :) Miss you and and enjoy the rest of your trip Hugs Jody
7th June 2010

As usual, your blog makes travel sound intriguing and fascinating all in one. What a trip you both are having--for the hundredth time!

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