A quick visit to Santa Cruz

The famous balconies in Santa Cruz de La Palma
November 22, 2017

Cruise ships regularly call into Santa Cruz de La Palma, and I thought people might like suggestions on what to see while they’re here. Of course it might be useful to people staying elsewhere on the island, too. The Tourist Information Office is a distinctive glass building, right outside the entrance to the port, and the staff are very good. But it does tend to attract longish queues when a…

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A line on the sea

Roque Teneguía and a line on the sea
November 18, 2017

La Palma sits in the trade winds. Most days of the year we have a stiff breeze from the northwest. That creates most of the island’s climate: the wind hits the island at Barlovento (which means “windward”) and gets flows uphill. As it rises, it cools down and forms clouds. Sometimes it rains, and Barlovento is the wettest part of the island with a metre of rain per year. By…

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Baby pine trees

Looking straight down on Baby Canary pine trees , La Palma island
November 5, 2017

Now that it’s autumn, lots of baby Canary pine trees are growing on the road sides above about 1,200m. At first sight, you wouldn’t think they were baby Canary pine trees, because they’re such a different colour. The adults are dark green, almost bottle green, while the babies are this lovely pale bluey-green. Every time I see them, I want a dress this colour. And when you look down on…

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Manolo Blahnik

Whitney Port wearing Manolo Blahnik's 2009 design 'Tribeca'. Photo: David Shankbone
October 19, 2017

Manolo Blahnik’s Czech father met his mother on a stopover in Santa Cruz de la Palma. He continued his journey, but promised to come back. The unusual bit is that he did indeed come back and marry her, and they set up home just south of Santa Cruz on a banana plantation. “Our property had no neighbours apart from my grandfather’s house. It was just bananas, the sea and us……

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A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

September 20, 2017

I think this is a really good guide book to the observatory on La Palma, but you probably shouldn’t take too much notice of my opinion because I wrote it. On the other hand, the director of the biggest telescope in the world, Pedro Alvarez, likes it too. So do the directors of the William Herschel Telescope and telescopio Nazionale Galileo (the Italian). “A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: A…

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Corpus Christi tomorrow

June 14, 2017

  Tomorrow is Corpus Christi in Mazo. That is, they’ll be making the archways and carpets tonight, and most people will go and see them tomorrow, but they’ll stay up until Sunday night. Also on Sunday they’ll hold a special mass in the church at 11:30 followed by a procession around the archways. The full program is here (in Spanish). If you miss this, you can see some examples from…

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