What I Came to This Island For

Roque Nublo (Clouded Rock, Rock in the Clouds) is the famous volcanic rock on Gran Canaria. It is 80 m (262 ft) tall, and its top is 1,813 m (5,948 ft) above sea level. It is the second highest peak of the island after Pico de las Nieves, and a famous landmark.

This is a glorious hiking area (as you could see from earlier posts, we made a couple of walks here), and several years ago we did the main trail up to the peak. I totally fell in love with the nature here, so we saved this hike for the last day.

The pictures speak for themselves – but we took the car very early in the morning, before sunrise, because the narrow, winding roads will have you driving for a couple of hours to get to the starting point.

We were among the first to start walking, and that was the idea. Later in the day there will be more people coming. And…what do you think they do, the first thing… when they have reached the top…?

The island in the ocean behind is Tenerife with the majestic volcano Teide on display.

This year we made the trek around Roque Nublo as well – to see its beauty from every direction. Look closely at the first pictures, and you will see a person in red standing in the sun below the peak.

 

Is he not beautiful! Worth visiting – and returning to.

 

 

Canary Pearls

Montaña de Arucas on the north coast of Gran Canaria boasts a view of the town as well as almost the whole island. An early morning view from up there is not bad. The church (Not a cathedral!) San Juan is a real beauty. From the narrow streets its spires look almost unreal.

We continued our roadtrip to some northern pearls, Teror and Firgas.

Teror is the religious heart of the island, and every year, September 8, pilgrims come here from the whole of Gran Canaria. They all come because of Nuestra Señora del Pino, their patron saint.

The church, with the same name, was built in the 18th century in Moorish and baroque style. Very special.

Some of the 16th century houses along the street. Many famous for their skillfully carved balconies.

After a slow and meditative walk through Teror, we headed for Firgas. Mineral water con gas, was my first thought – but the small town is also known for Paseo de Gran Canaria with its cascading water and tiled benches decorated with landscapes and historical symbols of Gran Canaria. On the walls – city arms.

A closer look at the cascades in the header!

If you walk further up the stone steps, above Plaza de San Roque, you will find tiled maps of the largest 7 islands in the archipelago. A geography lesson well worth a visit!

 

Lost – and Found

On our way in the early morning for another mountain hike – we suddenly came upon this strange settlement. A set of caves with real doors and windows. Dogs barking and people up and on the move.

Guanches? Strictly speaking, the Guanches were the indigenous peoples of Tenerife, but  the name came to be applied to the indigenous populations of all the seven Canary Islands, those of Tenerife being the most important or powerful.

Guanches refer to the aboriginal Berber inhabitants of the Canary Islands, and it is believed that they migrated to the archipelago around 1000 BC or perhaps earlier.

The population probably lived in relative isolation up to the 14th century, but after the Spanish conquest of the Canaries they were (almost totally) ethnically and culturally absorbed by Spanish settlers.

A bit touristy this settlement…and yes, soon a bus arrived with camera people swarming out…But, on the other side of the road, people were, for real, living in caves. Nobody looked that way…And if you look closely at the header picture, you will find the dog standing there – the one I used for Abandoned or Alone in Cee’s B&W challenge.

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Well, when we continued driving towards the mountains, we realized we were lost – this was a dead end road –  and not at all the road leading to our planned hike….But, instead we had found these interesting caves!

They day was turning into evening, so we had to return to our apartment. Again passing this strange wind mill. Why do you build one right in the factory- and shopping ghetto?

 

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Abandoned or Alone

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Abandoned or Alone

Hiking the mountains of Gran Canaria, I saw this dog standing in an old shed. He sounded abandoned, but I guess he was only left alone there while his master was working elsewhere.

The sound of a raven echoes – and there he was, high up on a rock, with a splendid view of his domains. I tried to zoom him in, but he was perched very high up.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

My first thought about depth is involving water – so I chose that angle. For other angles, click here.