Photos of the Pirate Invasion

August 6, 2017

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but that was fun! I hadn’t expected nearly so many actors in such good costumes, so very well rehearsed. I hadn’t expected so many spectators either. The crowds made for a great atmosphere, but they also made it hard to get good photos, and it didn’t help that I was using my new camera so I had to think about what I was doing….

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Pirate’s Day Reenactment

In 1553 French pirates led by François LeClerc (known as Pata de Palo or wooden leg) attacked Santa Cruz de La Palma and took the whole town over. Then they refused to go until they were paid a huge ransom. The island council, in exile in Tazacorte, tried to raise the money and negotiate a lower price. Meanwhile, a group of goat herders from Garafía led by Baltasar Martín, came…

August 3, 2017
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Las Nieves

May 22, 2017

Las Nieves is a pretty hamlet, in the municipality of Santa Cruz, but about 2 km outside it as the crow flies. If you’re fairly fit, there’s a pretty (but rough and steep) footpath between the two. More importantly, Las Nieves has the most gorgeous church on the island. It’s also one of the oldest, dating from at least 1423 (they had missionaries here before the conquest in 1493). The…

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Easter Processions in Santa Cruz de La Palma and Los Llanos

April 9, 2017

It’s Holy Week, and in this Catholic country, a lot of people take it very seriously. The bigger churches hold processions, which look very exotic to my English eyes. Do try to see at least one.   It’s not so much that they take the obviously-heavy statues along the street – most churches do that on the respective saint’s days. It’s the costumes. They remind me of the Klu Klux…

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Chilean nitrate advertising sign

This famous Art Deco advert for Chilean nitrate has been standing at the beginning of the Calle Real since 1929. It was designed by López-Durán Lozano, who was a student of architecture at the time, although he went on to become a professor at the School of Architecture of Madrid. The tiles were made by the Valencian firm Ramon Castello. Chilean nitrate was a fertilizer made of sodium nitrate (NaNO3),…

March 21, 2017
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