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Published: June 11th 2011
Once again we have returned to the Canary Islands. Of the seven islands, we still had two left to visit: La Palma and El Hierro. A return visit to Tenerife was also thrown in for good measure.
Tenerife rises out of the South Atlantic with its major volcano, Teide. The national park has great drives around the 12,083 foot volcano. The beach resorts are typical, crowded, congested with cars, and very commercial. The capital, Santa Cruz, has an impressive concert hall and a very cool swimming park designed by the Canary Island artist, Ce´sar Manrique.
Las Palmas is one of the steepest islands in the world in relation to its land mass. The views from the many cliffside roads were incredible. We were frequently above the clouds on the drives through the park. Some of the crater walls were over a mile high! The national parks were excellent with good roads and numerous hiking trails.
The smallest of the Canary Islands is El Hierro. It is not a major tourist destination, except for diving, and is very rural and undeveloped. 50,000 years ago a major earthquake caused a third of the island to fall into the ocean and
This man made beach on the north end of Tenerife was made with sand from the Sahara Desert.
form a large bay on its northwest coast. This is another island with high, winding, cliffside roads. The views are spectacular, but the drive is not for the faint-hearted. The cliffs drop straight down several hundred feet and there are NO guardrails. The island has over 500 volcanoes, beautiful pine and laurel forests, and extremely rugged lava fields that stretch down to the coast.
What amazes us most about the Canaries is the diversity among the seven islands. Each island is unique in some way and yet similar in their volcanic origin. The road system on all the islands is excellent. We have frequently seen road crews sweeping the fallen rocks and dirt off the mountain roads and also keeping the general highways clean. The people are so friendly and happy to have you visit their island.
Soon, we will be headed to Poland and to other destinations on the "Continent". We´re well and we´re having a fun time.
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