Flags Galore

Garafía's flag
June 27, 2018

  You see a lot of flags on La Palma. Most English visitors will recognise the flags of Spain and the European Union. But the Canary Islands are an autonomous region within Spain, and they have their own flag too. You see it a lot, especially around May 30th, which is Canary Day. And then each island has its own flag. Here’s the flag of La Palma: And as if…

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Imposing Gateways

June 15, 2018

 In the 17th century, landowners in La Palma got rich on sugar cane. These rich families used to leave the heat of Santa Cruz de la Palma and spend the summer on their country estates, particularly in Breña Baja and Breña Alta. The houses are still private, but in some cases the gateway is clearly visible from the road. It’s a social symbol of wealth and power. These old families…

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El Llanito Sardine

There’s one sardine’s funeral left, at El Llanito in Breña Baja, this Saturday at 9pm. It’s a much smaller sardine, as you can see here, but it’s usually great fun. Sadly I will probably miss it, because I won’t be on the island. (I say “probably” because the weather forecast isn’t good and they might postpone it.)   You won’t be able to park in the village unless you go…

March 17, 2017
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The Convent of the Holy Trinity in Breña Alta

March 9, 2017

The Cistercian convent of the Holy Trinity at Buenavista in Breña Alta is surprisingly new. It was founded in 1946, and it’s the only closed order on the island. I was surprised to find out that there are only ten nuns who live there. The convent has a small shop. I first went there about ten years ago, in search of a rosary made of dragon-tree seeds, for a Catholic…

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Concepción

April 26, 2016

Concepción is a headland on the boundary between Santa Cruz de la Palma and Breña Alta. The top is at 400m, and the sheer cliff down to the beach is about 300 ft (100 m ) high, which is about the size of a mature California redwood tree, or a Saturn V moon rocket. These days it’s got a tunnel drilled through it, but until 1917, the only way to…

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Twin Dragon Trees in Breña Alta

Twin dragon trees (Dracaena draco), Breña Alta These trees stand in Breña Alta, just off the minor road which winds over the central ridge to El Paso. They grow so close together that it’s hard to tell where on trunk ends and the other begins. Of course there’s a legend associated with the trees. Two brothers lived nearby, and were very close, but they fell in love with the same…

March 26, 2016
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