Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tenerife - Spring Break 2010

Hola! In our effort to escape the cold winter we decided on the Canary Islands - specifically the Island of Tenerife - for Spring Break this year. It was certainly warmer than Zurich but overcast/hazy quite a bit. Nonetheless, we got some fun pictures and had a relaxing family vacation.

Tenerife (largest island of the Canarias) is part of Spain and located in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa, just West of West Sahara & Morocco. The islands are volcanic and Tenerife boasts the 3rd largest volcano in the world from it's base, El Teide at 3,718 m (almost 13,000 ft above sea level). So, for the family who loves to spend their Hawaiian time in Kona (on the Big Island - home to Mauna Kea (tallest at approx. 4200m) & Mauna Loa (next at about 4080m)), it was great. It was interesting (at least to me) that much of the "volcanic vocabulary" from Hawaii has been adopted in other volcanic regions - they use the Hawaiian language for various lava flows and formations in Tenerife as well.

Another piece of trivia you may or may not care about - Tenerife's name is derived from the words for mountain & snow/white and Mauna Kea also means "white mountain." Did you also know that Mauna Kea is also considered the "tallest mountain in the world" when measured from it's base? It's taller than Mt. Everest (8840 m)! Think about how deep the ocean floor is there - over half the mountain is under water. This is how my brain works - lot's of sporadic info. that I will spill upon unsuspecting individuals in a dry and lecture-type fashion - a curse.

OK - enough of the geography lessons. The girls took plenty of pictures themselves:

El Teide - you can drive around the entire mountain but we opted for half :).

The mountain cliff range known as Los Gigantes:

El Teide seen from the Northern tip of the island - we stayed in the South. From the road we were on in the picture below, you would turn one corner and see one side of the island, turn the next corner and see the otherside - pretty awesome (and narrow - one lane - but very well maintained mountain road with solid barriers :) !).

View from the mountain road above Santa Cruz de Tenerife:

Playa las Teresitas:

This beach was made by importing approx. 4 million bags of sand in from the Sahara Desert. Needless to say, it was very fine and soft and the girls LOVED it. Most of Tenerife's beaches are a bit rougher - pebbles, black sand - the southern beaches are softer/lighter. We went along the black sand beach in El Medano as well - lots of crabs and stranded jellyfish to interest us on a cold, windy day.

But Playa las Teresitas was huge - a mostly sunny day - and warm. And very southern European.......

Plenty of time to play in the pool at the hotel as well:

And have fun at the nearby waterpark, AcquaLand:

The food was OK - not the same as some of our other trips when we can't get enough. We did enjoy this restaurant in Playa las Americas/Los Cristianos: girls loved the bolognese and Bart & I enjoyed paella.

On a superficial note: I'm glad the wind is blowing my hair above. It was humid there and my hair was a puffball all week unless I managed to tame it into a ponytail - yes, sometimes even a ponytail can be unmanageable. I got ready for church Sunday morning on our return and was so pleased to see my hair return to normal. Because I like looking "normal" in pictures - is that possible on vacations?

More later - have some fun pic's from the Jungle Park and more of the Volcano. Adios!


Susan said...

I'm so impatient, I've been checking here several times a day since your return, looking for vacation photos! Hooray, I found some today - as usual, you have great pics of the girls - but I was wondering why none of you! Well, your last few lines answered that question :-) Thanks for the post.

MOM E said...

Yes, I too have been waiting for vacation pics...after looking at the first two I thought for a minute you could have been in Nevada... Very interesting terrain overall and the waterslides look soooo cool. And I like your hair fluffy.

Olson Family said...

Mooooommmmmmmm! You're very prejudiced :) and the fluffy hair was fine in the 80's but oh, frizz is just not fashionable. HaHa

Makila said...

I love the pics! Especially the one of Bart and the girls...love them snuggled in close to their daddy.