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The Big Spanish Fiesta Yesterday

posted by: canarybird on 07.16.2008 at 10:23 am in Cooking Forum

Yesterday, July 15, was one of the main summer local fiestas here in Puerto de la Cruz.
The day when the fishermen honour their patrons, the Virgen del Carmen and San Telmo.

It's an amazing spectacle of emotion, tears, splashing water, horns, music and exultation.
As the procession nears the water the crowds sing and clap and music from a loudspeaker nearly drowns out the sound of splashing.

The crowd downtown yesterday.

After a religious church ceremony, the fishermen carry the statues of their patrons on their shoulders down to the edge of the water at the fishermens' harbour, and place them on little decorated boats for a sail around the bay. The local people and especially the younger Canarians are waiting in the water, where they begin splashing and shouting at a fever pitch. The fishermen, and especially the ones carrying the effigies are dressed in white with blue sailor collars. Their emotions and those of the people in the crowd begin to surface and tears flow as their Virgen is taken down to bless the waters on which they will sail during the coming year.

The bearers carrying the statue of the Virgen del Carmen.

I was considering going down there with a camera to record the event but was cautioned that it would be safer to stay and watch it on TV as anyone in the town was automatically drenched with water pistols and buckets of water, as it was a hot day and after all, it was a fiesta of water. So I stayed home, avoiding the crowds and extreme heat and just took a couple of images from the TV.

Images of the Virgen del Carmen (left) and San Telmo (right) being carried on the shoulders of the fishermen.

Watch the little video of last year's event on You Tube.....this unbelievable fiesta is the same every year!
Best seen full screen, by a click at the bottom right corner of the image.

A Tenerife English website explanation of the fiesta

Here's a good Video from last year's event.

And here's an excellent photo slideshow also from last year, photographed by Luis Miguel Parra and seen on his PBase website.

One important event which I'm sorry I missed as I didn't know about it ....also in July (I'll go next year) is the annual bathing of the goats!

The local goat herders, following an old custom, bring their goats down to this same harbour and push them in the water for their annual bath!

Apparently quite a site as the reluctant goats are coaxed into the sea!

Here's a humorous report with photos.



clipped on: 07.22.2008 at 06:47 pm    last updated on: 07.22.2008 at 06:47 pm

Dream Island or Wouldn't You Like to Be There?

posted by: canarybird on 04.20.2008 at 07:57 am in Cooking Forum

I just found the most beautiful website about the neighbouring Canary Island of La Gomera, written by a German journalist who lives there. Stunning photos and slideshows with majestic views of this steep volcanic island covered in exotic palm trees and breathtaking views.
His photos are truly magnificent. Take a look at this. And here is a page to dream on. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Who needs modern gadgets and kitchen machines. Isn't this the real paradise?
Look at his house and dream. I love the pic of the orange hammock and the outdoor living area. Simple and tasteful.
The large photo at the bottom is the view from his terrace.
It makes me want to move over to this next island LOL!

Go to his slideshows for a breathtaking experience with music. (Click on thumbnails).
His Berg in Wolken slideshow shows a mountain in the mist...and enchanting piano.

And another page of his photo galeries from this beautiful island.

He has a live webcam located in the Valley of the Great King (Valle del Gran Rey) which is a most beautiful view.

Well that is how I've spent the whole of my Sunday morning. LOL.
I'm entranced by the beauty of these islands and am glad to find such a treasure on the web.
I know I'll be looking at all these wonderful photos again later today.

Have a good Sunday!


Here is a link that might be useful: Website Homepage in English


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:37 pm    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:37 pm

A Fishy Tale

posted by: canarybird on 02.03.2008 at 06:44 pm in Cooking Forum

Last Thursday (January 31) my friend Anne and I planned a morning of shopping followed by a lunch at one of the typical no frills village restaurants which abound here on this island. To find such a place one has to take a drive, either up into the hills or up or down the seacoast. As she and I both love to try new places, especially the ones which have freshy caught seafood, we made our way south down the coast, and in less than half an hour we arrived at a small village on the sea which had several interesting little fish restaurants.

The day was sunny with a strong wind whipping up the waves over the black volcanic rocks. We chose a place across the street from the crashing waves called The Sotano (The Basement) but we sat in the main room and from there, looking out the door, we felt we were on a boat as the view was of the sea coming in towards us.

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In these typical places, before sitting down at a table, it is customary to go up to the front counter where the fresh fish and shellfish are on display and there choose what will be your dinner. The fish we contemplated were parrotfish (vieja) and dorado (mahi-mahi). Much to my surprise I discovered after checking the latin name of dorado (coryphaena hippurus) that it is the mahi-mahi that has been mentioned so often on the forum. No wonder it is so well liked! The dorado had been caught that morning just a few kilometers away. Both Anne and I chose one of those and ordered the usual accompaniments of salad and wrinkled potatoes with mojo and red wine.

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No frills....a paper tablecloth and the bread served in a basket together with the cutlery. What was amusing was the lack of a cruet set on the table, but rather, a whole liter of olive oil was placed beside a container of vinegar. Just shows how the locals love their olive oil! I was getting ready for a really good lunch and more and more people were coming in and ordering their fish. The kitchen was busy and steaming plates passed us by on their way down to the lower dining room, the sotano.

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After the bread, wine and salad had been served, came the potatoes.....papas arrugadas with their two mojos, red and green and then came the fish.....with head and tail on. I was always a little disconcerted when presented with the whole thing! I was never very good at dissecting a fish, even though I took some of that in Biology 101 and tend to buy my fish already cleaned and filleted at the market. However with some determination I gave the fish a good slice somewhere around the neck area (do fish have necks?), removed the head and put it on a side plate, and then made another slice somewhere around the lower off with the tail. The fish was delicious! And after working my way down that one side I was able to reach the bone and lift it carefully away to reach the white meat on the other side.

It is often the custom here.....and especially true when out with take the after-dinner coffee in another place, usually a bar or cafe, rather than in the restaurant where one has just dined. So we took a short walk along the seawall to an outdoor cafe which was alongside the municipal swimming pool. We sat in the sun and had two cafe cortados. On the little tables were menus for their assorted tapas. My favourite ensaladilla (Russian Salad) figured there at the top of the list, as did small tuna and fish tapas and other potato snacks.

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Well that was a lovely way to end a trip to the mall. The fresh sea air, sunshine and sound of the waves was a real treat.
I'll bring Wolf here definitely as it's less than half an hour from our home. He doesn't care for long drives so this is perfect.

Anne and I have already decided where we're going for our next outing. It will be a little farther down the coast to a beach and small fishing harbour called Playa San Marcos, where there are more quaint little restaurants right on the beach.


Here is a link that might be useful: Slideshow & 3 Short Videos of Sea with Sound


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:58 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:58 am

Let's Go For A Walk!

posted by: canarybird on 03.16.2008 at 07:20 pm in Cooking Forum

On March 12, last Wednesday morning I went with my friend Anne down into the picturesque town where we live for a walk and lunch. We had some things to do so I parked in a shopping centre and we walked through some of the main parts of town. There were many tourists and holidaymakers strolling though the streets, and as it was a warm day, they were dressed for summer.

We stopped for a coffee (cafe con leche) and a fresh raisin magdalena in a little cafe near the main church plaza. Groups of mainland Spanish schoolchildren here on Easter holiday passed by as we sat there. Then we continued, stopping for a look inside the Hotel Monopol, which for over 25 years has decorated its front steps daily with fresh hibiscus flowers. Inside in the central atrium is the wintergarden filled with hanging plants and potted palms. I know this place well as I was with a group presenting fashion shows in the evenings there years ago.

Walking down to the main Plaza del Charco, we passed the Cafe Columbus and their bakery with an outdoor sandwich window selling bocadillos and bread with mett (raw ground meat). We then walked past the fishermen's harbour and over to the old customs house, now converted to the main Tourist Office and Canary crafts shop.

We then went for lunch in Casa Miranda, an old Canary house dating from 1730 converted to a restaurant with many rooms. Elegant dining upstairs, a tapas restaurant downstairs and a wine bodega among some of the rooms. We stopped at the tapas bar and each chose ensaladilla Rusa (Russian salad)...a delicious potato, pea, carrot & tuna salad found in nearly every tapas bar and some gambas al ajillo (sizzling garlic prawns) with little warm bread rolls, red house wine and water. It was a really enjoyable lunch and not expensive.

Then we continued up past the Ayuntamiento (city hall) to the seawall of San Telmo which overlooks the main seafront of Puerto de la Cruz. There, along with the many tourists, we watched the waves crashing in over the black volcanic rocks.....almost hypnotic and very relaxing to stand there and listen to the sea and feel the spray. After some time we walked back over to Calle La Hoya from where we began and after looking in a few more shop windows and at the street bazaars, we returned to the car. I felt as though I'd been away somewhere on holiday......seeing so many beautiful flowers and watching the sea was a nice change from my daily routine and I must do that more often!

Here is the link to the 100 photos in the album.
There is a slideshow option at top right on the first page if you would care to use it.

You may see why I love Tenerife and the Canary Islands!



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:30 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:58 am

Quaint Town Visit, Garden & Lunch with Anne (pics)

posted by: canarybird on 04.06.2008 at 09:48 am in Cooking Forum


On April 2 my friend Anne and I went up into the hills to the town of La Orotava to visit an old and beautiful cultural building,
the Liceo de Taoro, which is surrounded by terraced gardens and fountains and which has a lovely restaurant where neither Anne nor I had been before. To our disappointment, both the building and the restaurant were closed that day. So we walked around the formal gardens. We passed one beautiful example of dasylirion acrotrichum, a plant of the agave family which looks like one of those fibre optic lamps....sprays of fine green swordlike leaves tipped with a miniature flower on a thick snaking trunk.

There were several young gardeners there working so I started chatting with them and asked how they kept their roses and hydrangea so healthy and the leaves so beautifully clean. One reason I know is that the garden is at a higher level than where we live, and the plants thrive in the cooler air. So I was told they use a wettable sulphur on the leaves to discourage both pests and fungus on roses and an NPK fertilizer of 20-10-10. The double quantity of nitrogen explains the dark green of the leaves. One of the young men climbed like a monkey to the top of an iron gate to clean a flower pot poised at the top. His friend suggested I take a photo of him, which I did.

After we had looked around, Anne and I walked down the narrow street to a restaurant where we had been before. Upstairs was a typical Canary wooden balcony, decorated with a dry palm leaf left from Palm Sunday. It's a Spanish custom to attach the palm leaf to one's balcony in this way. There were also pots of orchids on the balcony. But first we looked in shop windows across the street at the display of white First Communion clothes on display. I believe it's customary for young Spanish Catholic children to have their First Communion in the month of May. The children will be dressed in their finest clothing, the boys often in white sailor suits, the girls in long white dresses. Here in the shop window there are silk short pants, satin blouses, white shoes and accessories on display.

Anne crossed the street to the little old bakery and restaurant where Wolf used to buy his favourite crispy hazlenut meringue cakes. The owner opened the door for her and as we entered we looked around at the 90 year old display cases and then passed through a narrow door to a dim hallway which opened out to a small dining room. But we wanted to have our lunch on the outdoor patio so we passed through the unusual walkway, lined with glass cases full of cakes, past the kitchen and a group of pastry chefs and cooks dressed all in their white gear. We came outside to the patio where the bananas were still growing and passed the handwashing basin, conveniently placed out in the open on the wall of the dining room. There were small groups of other diners there even though it was past 3pm.

We both ordered their 3-course set menu of the day which included bread, wine and water and cost barely over $10 each. There was a choice of the soup, so Anne chose watercress potage and I took a butternut cream. The main entree was thin slices of roastbeef in gravy with chips, salad and a few vegetables followed by an apple strudel with whipped cream. It was all simple food and good value for money. The location was as charming as I remember it from the last time I was here, which was a few years ago.

Before leaving we spoke to one of the pastry chefs about the crunchy hazlenut meringue cake that Wolfram used to buy and she said, apart from that it was also her favourite cake, that they still make it and also in smaller individual cakes, called "tambores" or drums. So as we left the dining area we paused to speak to the young man in attendance in the front bakery and he said that he had some. So I bought two to take home to Wolfram and Anne bought one for herself. I was surprised to see that the bakery shelves were also well stocked with liquor bottles! LOL. There were a couple of tables in chairs there so I imagine the locals must stop in here for a coffee, cake and brandy after a meal.

So we walked back through the narrow cobblestones streets, through the lovely Plaza de la Constitucion, the bandstand and more gardens before making our way back to the car. That was a nice day.
I hope we can do it again soon and do the tour of the Liceo before Anne goes back to England in a couple of weeks.

More photos in the album on this link.

If you'd like to look at the rest of the photos of that day, please let me know if you recognize the name of the mauve rounded flowering bush (photos 12 & 13). It's familiar but I just can't remember what it is. LOL. :-)



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:57 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:57 am

How To Create Clickable Thumbnail Photos

posted by: canarybird on 05.22.2007 at 01:47 pm in Cooking Forum

I know many would find it convenient to be able to post smaller photos that can be opened or not with a click of the mouse.
For some reason it's not easy to find simple instructions on the web.
So I wrote this tutorial and hope that anyone who wishes to try creating their own clickable thumbs will find this easy to use.
If you find any mistakes....please let me know, so I can excuse myself and try to correct them LOL!

It's convenient to use Word Pad when constructing a line of code so that you can copy and paste the whole line into a forum message box once you have it put together.

Step 1:

Open Word Pad and type in the following:

Note there are only 2 spaces in this is between the "a" and the "href" and the other is between "img" and "src".

Minimize Word Pad while you go online to your photo hosting site.

Upload your photo to your photo hosting site and open it to full size on your screen.
Highlight, right click and copy the locator address (URL)as usual from either the top of the screen in the address line, or from a convenient box which your photo host may provide for you under each photo.
Copy a line which begins with "http" and ends with "jpg" as in the example here:

Step 2:

Go back to Word Pad and paste that line into the first part of the line of code you wrote in step 1, inserting it between the two quotes.
The first part of your code line should now look something like this:

Step 3:

Back on your photo site, find the small thumbnail version of the photo you just uploaded.

Put your cursor over that small thumbnail and right click. A dropdown menu appears.

Step 4:

Right click on "Properties" which is the last option of that menu:

On the Properties menu, under "Image Properties" you see the heading "Location",
followed by a long address ending in "jpg". This is the URL (locator address) of your
THUMBNAIL photo, that is, the smaller version of the large photo you just uploaded.
You will use this address in the second half of the code you typed in Step 1 :

Step 5:

Highlight and copy this line:

...and paste it into the second half of the line of code you typed in Step 1, putting it between the two quotes:

Your finished line of code should now look similar to this:

Remember that there are still only TWO SPACES in the whole line, as mentioned in Step 1.

You now have a line of HTML which will produce a small thumbnail photo which, when clicked, will open up into
a large version of the same photo. So you're ready to copy and paste the whole line into a forum message box.

Be sure and use the "Preview" function below the message box to check that everything is working.
If you have problems, check to see if you have put extra spaces in the line, or if you have left off a quote or put a bracket
facing the wrong way.

Okay now I'll try it out....

Yipee it worked!



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:56 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:57 am

Sand Carpet Paintings and YouTube

posted by: canarybird on 07.06.2007 at 06:47 pm in Cooking Forum

I finally finished sorting and organizing my photos of the June 14th Sand Carpet paintings of Corpus Christi which are made every year up in the town of La Orotava not far from where we live. I've made a video of the photos, with a local male folk group singing in the background and uploaded it to YouTube. The quality is never as good as one hopes but it's my first video upload to that site and from now on I'll be using fullsize highres photos, hoping they'll be a little clearer. :-)

Here are some of the festival queens in their beautiful white mantillas walking in the procession, and a view of the procession assembling in the plaza on the night of the celebration. (These are taken from the TV.)

As well, I've uploaded the same photos.....much larger and clearer to a little slideshow on my PBase site. So I'll put the links below.

The sand carpets are a tradition in several parts of the world. Buddhist monks have been here to see how they are done in the town of La Orotava. There are families here which pass on the customs from one generation to the other. The sketches are made first in chalk onto the floor of the city hall plaza and the drawings are filled in by drizzling natural coloured volcanic sands onto the sketches. There's no artificial paint or glues used to make the pictures, which have traditionally been religious in nature.

This year there was a change and the photo theme was immigration and solidarity. The Canary Island shores are host to the daily arrivals of "cayucos" or little wooden boats arriving from Africa with would-be immigrants who are desperate to leave their poverty and arrive in Europe via these islands, the closest link to a new life and just 200 kms away.

Sadly many of these boats capsize or become buffeted by tides and hundreds of people drown or arrive in such lamentable condition that the coast guard and Red Cross are rescuing survivors on a daily basis. The sand pictures show these African faces as well as those of the families anxiously waiting at home for news of their loved ones.

Once the carpet paintings are finished, they are on display until the big day of the church procession of Corpus Christi which slowly walks through the narrow streets, treading on first the flower petal carpets and then assembling in the city hall plaza, walking on the sand paintings which are swept away the next day.

Included in the religious procession ....(more photos of that when I post the Flower Carpet pictures).....are the local dignitaries, members of city council, religious leaders, festival queens, children who have just made first communion and many other members of brotherhoods of the church and town organizations.

Here are a couple of links to local English news, one is the English Tenerife newspaper and the other is a weblog, both giving more explanation and background to these festivities.

Secret Tenerife website in English.

Tenerife News local English newspaper.

Here's the link to the slideshow of larger photos. Pause slideshow is with spacebar.

And here is the link to my YouTube sound & video presentation. Volume control is under the screen.

Hope you enjoy them! Thanks for watching and have a good weekend.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:56 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:56 am

The Romeria: Oxcarts, Costumes & Music

posted by: canarybird on 06.22.2007 at 06:22 pm in Cooking Forum

On June 17th the town of La Orotava on the Island of Tenerife held the annual procession of farmers and field laborers, known as the Romeria de San Isidro Labrador y Santa Maria de la Cabeza. This is an old tradition dating from the 2nd half of the 17th century and although it is celebrated worldwide and in the other Canary Islands, the procession of La Orotava is known as one of the best, being very well organized and attended with great enthusiasm by the local townsfolk. In the narrow streets, the townhouse balconies are draped with shawls, carpets and colourful banners

and the sidewalks are lined with folding chairs for spectators in anticipation of the long procession to come.

Although I had attended other romerias in past years, I had never seen the one held in La Orotava, a beautiful old town located ten minutes away by car from our home. So after I had a conversation with our gardener, Antonio, a local man, he offered to drive me on June 17th, the day of the Romeria, to the countryside assembly area high above the town where for two hours before the procession began to wend its way down into the town I could watch and photograph the preparations. There were over 87 "carretas" or little covered wagons being assembled into their places in the parade, each with its pair of oxen tied to a wall or waiting patiently with a keeper.

The participants were dressed in their traditional costumes, the "trajes de mago", formerly the dress of of the country folk. Each town has a distinctive colour or pattern in their dress. The black embroidered vests corresponded to the town of La Laguna, whereas the bright red vests signified the wearer was from La Orotava.

Once the procession begins to move, the strict dress code prohibits the participants from wearing watches, sunglasses or other modern adornments which are not in harmony with the traditional costume. These items are removed and tucked away while passing the inspection and control stand.

Each of the carretas or carts is profusely decorated with the fruits of the earth and country kitchen: bunches of bananas, large carrots, giant loaves of bread of all shapes, flowers, wheat stalks, grapes and barrels of wine.
Mounted outside on the rear of the cart is a working brazier or grill, in styles which show the imagination and building capabilities of the cart owner.

Even at 11 am when I arrived many of the braziers were lit and sausages, pork chops or kebabs were already sizzling away. The interiors of the carts were fitted with benches or seats where family members could sit. In some cases a grandparent or child was already eating a small bocadillo (baguette sandwich) or sipping a drink of wine or water.

The rest of the interior space was typically loaded with guitars, baskets of hardboiled eggs, bread rolls, fruit, potatoes for grilling, bananas and other food items which were meant to be consumed not only by family members in the ensuing 8 or so hours that it took for the procession to reach its end but also for passing out to the crowd of bystanders lining the streets. I was offered pieces of hot sausages and small bocadillos spread with chorizo.

Reaching out to me from a high cart, a young boy passed me down a hardboiled egg. One thing I didn't get to taste was the wine which was also beginning to flow. One interesting accessory to the traje de magos costume was a small wineglass in a leather holder worn on a string around the necks of the participants. Great idea I always have your own wineglass ready for any offers from a passing wine barrel.

I took a couple of point and shoot digital cameras and several memory cards and spare batteries. I was hoping to make candid street photos as discreetly as possible, where both the camera and I were unnoticed. And I also wanted to use the QT movie capabilities of the little cameras to make a few clips of the music and dancing. There was ample opportunity to make use of a videocamera as the musical groups (called "rondallas" in Spanish) gathered and began to rehearse as the 1 pm time to begin the parade drew near. Here the girl in the centre is playing a stringed instrument called a banduria, whose sound is an integral part of Canary music.

Unfortunately that's just when I found I'd completely exhausted all my memory cards and batteries in both cameras. I did manage to record a few seconds each of a couple of musical groups though.

I walked down to the beginning of the procession once it started to move and saw the wooden flute and drum groups near the beginning, following the colourful streamers of the maypole where dancers weaved in and out around the pole while heading the procession. There were even a couple of camels but I didn't get to photograph them.

After that I caught a taxi home. It was such an enjoyable experience that I intend to repeat it again next year. But I'll be sure and take enough memory cards, batteries and maybe even a new little video camera to ensure that I don't miss anything next time.

Link to the 100+ photos of my album is below at the bottom.

Here are links to 5 small snippets of Quick Time video I managed to take with my digicams. Although they are sharp and clear on my computer, the quality somehow suffers once they are uploaded to Webshots. The are better when played a 2nd time.

Video One

Video Two

Video Three

Video Four

Video Five


Here is a link that might be useful: Photo Album of Romeria San Isidro


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:55 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:55 am

Our Drive up to the Volcano

posted by: canarybird on 06.11.2007 at 09:31 am in Cooking Forum

On June 1st I convinced Wolf that it was time we took a drive up to the higher regions of this island. The Teide volcano, at a height of 3218 meters (10,559 feet) is the third largest volcano on earth and looms up over all the local landscapes. The area around the volcano (the caldera), called Las Caadas del Teide is preserved as a national park where there is a cable car which travels up the side of the volcano and a government hotel, one of the chain of National Paradores. It used to be possible for ardent hikers to climb right up to the summit of the crater (my brother did it once) where the ground is hot and the air is thin. But it has since been prohibited for the sake of preserving the delicate environment and plant life.

As this island is shaped roughly like a pyramid, there are curiously many microclimates which one passes through on a drive up to the caldera of the volcano. Here near sea level where we live, we see palm trees and bougainvilla.....a subtropical environment. But only a few meters higher the vegetation changes, and as one climbs we reach a pine forest where we are soon above the clouds and looking down on what is known here as "the sea of clouds".

At this level there is a trout farm located at a place called Aguamansa. The fish are for sale and can be seen on the menus of local restaurants. Above the pine forest we come to a sub alpine zone with low scrub vegetation and the beginnings of lava rock and volcanic sands. One famous area is a group of large rocks called the Roques de Garcia and one of particular interest is called the Cinchado rock. Another aim of photographers and tourists is to catch sight and photos of the red Tajinaste flower (Echium Wildpretii) which is native to the Teide. It grows up to 3 meters (9 ft) high, is a biennial and flowers at this time, in the early summer. I took many photos of these. The fantastic lunar landscape of lava rock and sand has been the location for the filming of more than one science fiction movie.

We stopped for lunch at one of the little restaurants high above the clouds. The air was deliciously clear and fresh and the sky was an intense blue. It must be very healthy to live up at this altitude. The clearness of the Canary Island skies is protected by law against light pollution. One reason why Europe's most prestigious telescopes have been built here and on the neighbouring island of La Palma is because they share, along with Hawaii, an especially clear atmosphere for astronomical studies.

Getting back to our trip....we unfortunately missed seeing the great panorama of yellow flowers which I discovered later when talking to friends, is seen on another route leading up to Las Caadas. There are several approaches to the summit and perhaps within a few days we may be able to repeat the trip using the other route. It was a long and tiring drive as it is a constant winding road, but I'm sure glad that this time I have a car with automatic transmission, power steering and air conditioning....none of which I had in my old car the last times I drove this run. LOL. There is so much to see and do needs to go out driving every day! I just love it.

Below is the link to my PBase photo album.


Here is a link that might be useful: Driving up the Volcano in Tenerife


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:55 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:55 am

Window Shopping - pics

posted by: canarybird on 05.29.2007 at 03:53 pm in Cooking Forum

I took some photos of our neighbourhood yesterday morning while on my way to the bakery for our bread rolls. The best time to browse the shop windows is when the shops are still closed and it's too early to go in and buy something. LOL. A good way to save money!

....morning sun on a boulevard flanked by Canary palms (phoenix canariensis) I'll take a couple of those in the middle please, the ones with sunflower seeds cake thanks but it does look good! summer clothes in the German boutique.
I love the blues & greens in those wispy paisley blouses and that pretty green jacket made of some feather-light material.
....I love gazing in the window of this store at the beautiful turquoise jewellery and especially at the selection of opals, one of my favourite stones.
....this shop is so expensive that I've never even set foot inside.
But I do like looking at the beautiful clothes.....which all look a little too small to me LOL!
....oh that's a cute outfit! Needs a good strong tan to go with that bright orange though.
.....Mmmm a sporty summer white with a nice belt. Those pants still look a little too small to fit me though. :-(
.....Oh I adore this little chiffon wrap-around skirt. It's beautiful! I'll take the jewellery too!
....the antique shop. I could spend a whole day in there!
....the city garden dept. has sent some workers to trim the palm branches. They do this with a long handled serrated knife.
Unfortunately doing it this way leaves those ugly stumpy bits that you see in the middle. It takes another tool to hack or saw those away so the trunks are as smooth as that section at the very bottom.
.....Closeup of the little serrated tool as it cuts.
Time to go back home and make breakfast and coffee!

Wednesday is a holiday..."Dia de Canarias" celebrated in the Canary Islands as a heritage day. There may be some interesting events with folks in their local costumes. I'll keep my eyes open.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:54 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:54 am

Night Blooming Beauties....3 of them (pics)

posted by: canarybird on 09.06.2006 at 08:37 am in Cooking Forum

As I walked through our back gate this morning on my way to the bakery for some fresh bread, I glanced up and saw that the epiphyllum which grows over our exterior wall had produced three beautiful blooms - each one over half a foot wide.

As these bloom in the night, they were already beginning to close (and die) with the morning light so I ran back into the house and got my camera. I never remember exactly which epiphyllum these are, as there are so many, but it's similar to the Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum Oxypetalum), another night bloomer.

Here's an earlier pic of another flower on the same plant, again taken just as the flower was closing:

It pays to always have a camera in a pocket as one can never know what unexpected beauty is just around a corner.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:53 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:53 am

The Orchid Garden

posted by: canarybird on 09.29.2006 at 07:26 am in Cooking Forum

Last Tuesday I joined some friends attending a charity lunch sponsored by the club "Friends of Tenerife" at
a known local private garden which is open to the public on most days....the "Orchid Garden". (Photo of entrance.)
There were about 60 people present - nearly all were local English residents who gather from time to time to attend charity luncheons or dinners at some interesting local restaurant or historical site where food can be served.
Revenue collected from the dinners and raffles goes to local charities, such as hospitals or homes for disabled children.

It was a very warm day - definitely a straw hat day - an item which the English ladies and gents wore with elegance. I didn't wear one but just brought my fan which I needed as even sitting under a parasol, I found it hot. I had just been to my Pilates class and so I arrived together with our instructor Deborah (L), who is a physiotherapist and Margaret(R), another lady in my class.
Here they are at the entrance as we went inside.

We were greeted inside by Wendy(R), another lady from our class who is also a club member.

I didn't take photos of the food at the buffet since we were talking so much - and since we were sitting at the table furthest from the food, we didn't hear the dinner call. By the time we got to the food after everyone else had been there, it wasn't so photogenic LOL.
(But I've put pics of my food plates over on Discussions.)

We were entertained by Angelo from Rome who sang to us beautifully in Italian, Spanish and English.
Here he is again serenading us as he stands under the blue plumbago.

I had only a few minutes afterwards to have a quick look at a few of the highlights in the garden, but I only scratched the surface. It was the wrong time of day for photography. The sun was harsh and colours were washed out. However here are a few glimpses of this beautiful site:

The Orchid Bower

Orchids 1

Orchids 2

Long view of orchid bower

Orchids 3

Orchids 4

Orchids 5

Plumeria Alba - white frangipani

White Stephanotis

Koi Pond

Entrance plants, musa etc.

Pampas Grass & Flamboyant

Long View & Fountain

Bonsai Garden & Humboldt bust

The Aviary

The Estate House

I'll be going back there very soon for an early morning visit to see the whole garden and taking some more photos, this time with a lady friend who has volunteered to help me carry my tripod and notebooks.
If I get any pics that are especially good, I'll come back here and post them. :-)



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:52 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:53 am

Strelitzia in Our Garden Today (pics)

posted by: canarybird on 09.23.2006 at 08:45 pm in Cooking Forum

This is the time of the year when they are so spectacular. We have several clumps of them growing but we have to remember to go out and appreciate them when the flowers are fresh, so I was out in our garden with my camera this morning.

Strelitzia Reginae - Bird of Paradise Flower. Family: Musaceae

The little palm tree alongside has also just had a new inflorescence unfold. A lovely spray of pink strings of pearls.
Here's one large spray just bursting out of the encasing pod in June of this year.

They are beautiful when the pink strings of new seeds are seen together with the older seeds which have turned red.

The botanical name of this little tree originally from Australia is Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana.
The English name is Piccabeen Palm.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:52 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:52 am

Farmers' Market & Lunch

posted by: canarybird on 11.11.2006 at 03:47 pm in Cooking Forum

Yesterday I met my friend Anne who has just arrived back from her summer/fall stay in England. I picked her up as well as another lady friend and we went to the main city farmers' market, a supermarket and a frozen food store. Had a great time shopping around and we managed to fill my car with food. I was thrilled to find that the frozen food shop ....(amazing place) had pork spareribs - not salted pork - from the Spanish mainland, an unbelievable selection of fish, meats, frozen berries and fruit mixes. I'm definitely going back there again. I bought spareribs which we'll have for Sunday dinner.

We hadn't planned on having lunch together so I took the girls home and as it was late, Wolf and I decided to walk up the street and try out a pretty little place which has just reopened - a small Andaluz-style cafe with German ownership which advertised homemade lentil soup with wieners. It was pleasant there and although we had to wait for the food to heat, the lentils were good.

Here's the photos together in a small album......I'll be posting pics of the market fruit & veg tomorrow. The mangoes were heavenly! The market women were handing out lovely slices for us to taste at each juicy....we all bought some!


Here is a link that might be useful: Farmers' Market & Lunch


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:51 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:51 am

Just Before Sundown

posted by: canarybird on 02.25.2006 at 02:07 pm in Cooking Forum

Just had to run and get my camera after I opened our front door and saw the lovely light shining through the leaves as the sun was sinking down on the horizon, shortly before 7 pm today.
The osteospermum daisies in the foreground were already folding up their petals for the night.

This is the same view I have from my kitchen window. So with a view like this (and better when all roses are blooming) I can never really complain too much about my funny little kitchen can I.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:49 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:49 am

Adding Text to Photos in PAINT (pics)

posted by: canarybird on 06.14.2006 at 06:32 am in Cooking Forum

Before you start, be sure the photo you want to use has been resized to the desired size.
If you need help with that I can post other text I have about resizing in Irfanview.

With the PAINT program opened on your screen begin:

1. Action: Left click on FILE - then OPEN
Result: Opens browser window. Browse to desired photo.

2. Action: L.Click on desired photo then OPEN.
Result: Photo opens in Paint workspace.

3. Choose the text option by clicking on the large 'A' at left and then your choice of a solid text box behind your lettering (upper icon) or a transparent box as illustrated here (lower icon).

4. Action: L.Click on photo where you wish text to begin.
Result: Dotted line box appears with cursor at top left corner.

5. Stretch box to fit desired size by pulling on tiny blue dots on all 4 sides when double arrow appears as cursor is passed over blue dots.

6. Action: With cursor inside text box, right click and choose 'text toolbar' from the menu that just dropped down.
Result: Text toolbar appears at top of screen - (seen in photo 7).

7. Choose font and size, bold, italic or underline from text toolbar at top and then text colour from palette at screen bottom left.

8. Type in text. You can correct with back arrow and 'Undo' from the edit menu at top of screen.

9. When done, L.Click outside of text box and dotted lines of box will disappear.

10. L.Click FILE - then SAVE AS and save your photo with a filename different from the original.

I don't think anyone will have a problem with this but if something isn't clear, please ask :-).



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:47 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:47 am

Out For a Walk (pic)

posted by: canarybird on 06.01.2006 at 09:39 am in Cooking Forum

I traded in my white cotton touristic hat for a little straw that I bought in Canada last year as it's cooler. But I know I still look rather goofy while out walking around. Still, this African sun is hot and one needs to keep the head covered, and I really don't care how I appear to people on the street. So this is my comfortable walking gear.
I don't use that camera though, but rather the little Olympus 8 megapixel Stylus 800 which fits nicely into any pocket or purse.

Part of my weight loss programme involves exercising, preferably taking brisk walks (pant, pant) so as I always carry one little camera with me, I pause now and then to record the sights along the way. Here's the link to a little album of snapshots I've put together of streets and vegetation, the views over the Atlantic and some shops, the entrance to the botanical garden and the taxi drivers pushing their cars up to the next slot in the taxi rank (saves gas not to turn on the engine.) The pink oleander is just beautiful at this time of the year.

I hope you enjoy another glimpse of our Canary Island paradise.


Here is a link that might be useful: Walking Around Tenerife


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:47 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:47 am

Goat Herd Traffic Jam !

posted by: canarybird on 03.22.2006 at 05:29 pm in Cooking Forum

Yesterday we drove a little way out of town up a hill towards a village which had a furniture shop we wanted to visit. On the way back we ran into one of the common sights here in Canary Islands - a herd of goats on the highway.
Free Image Hosting at

Goat herds still have the right of way, as is logical as it must be difficult trying to control that crowd of animals and move them safely through traffic to their grazing areas.

As I was driving I had to ask Wolf to quickly grab my little camera from my handbag and pass it to me. With left hand on the steering wheel and my right hand snapping photos as best as I could, I got the following series of pics through the dusty and reflective windshield. There were two goatherders and two herding dogs.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7 Finally taking an exit path off the road.

As you can see, the weather has been lovely.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:45 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:46 am

Another Lunch at the San Diego Stables

posted by: canarybird on 03.30.2006 at 05:16 pm in Cooking Forum

Yesterday my friend Anne and I went with her cousin visiting from England back to that lovely old stable garden restaurant - La Cuadra de San Diego.
Free Image Hosting at We sat outside on the back garden patio and had a lovely lunch. The food there is exquisite, all is homemade including desserts and wine, and the setting is quiet and beautiful. (You can see their big wine storage vat in photo 6 below.)

As is customary here, the house invites to a tiny taste of their gofio (Canary food - ground toasted maize mixed with broth) which comes with a dab of red sauce. This pic from our previous visit and there were 3 of these yesterday

Free Image Hosting at We started with that beautiful and addicting spinach salad, with pine nuts, bacon, raisins and a dressing that contains among other things orange juice, balsamic and a good olive oil.

Free Image Hosting at Then we shared a mixed salad.

Free Image Hosting at And crusty rolls, along with a liter of their homemade red wine.

Free Image Hosting at As my main dish I chose the chopped Pork Tenderloin en Crote with sauce. Heavenly !
I'd had this last time and had to try it again as I liked it so much.

The others chose a mixed grilled kebab and an eggplant casserole. I didn't take photos of their food.

Then we started on the desserts !

Free Image Hosting at Anne chose chocolate fondant with Crme Anglaise. Oooohhh - talk about molten lava cakes.....there was chocolate sauce oozing out of the centre and the Crme Anglaise was soooo good !

Free Image Hosting at Anne's cousin chose Caramelized Pears with Toffee. Another good looking and tasting dish.

Free Image Hosting at I had to try their Lemon Tart Mara Victoria. The drizzle of lemon sauce at the side tasted like limoncello.
Mmmmm it was so good !

After having coffees, we walked around this old estate and looked at their vineyard which faces the sea.

The next six photos were also taken yesterday but are posted on another server. (Use back button to return.)

Photo 1 - Another view of the restaurant patio and giant dragon tree.

Photo 2 - View of their vineyard, the ocean and a row of amaryllis bulbs beginning to bloom.

Photo 3 - A closer look at the grapevines.

Photo 4 - Garden view with a wall covered in red-flowered Euphorbia Millii, also know as Euphorbia Splendens.

Photo 5 - Another glimpse of their beautiful garden.

Photo 6 - Here you see part of the house and the giant silver wine vat.

After seeing the photos Wolf is convinced that he'd like
to go there now as well !



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:45 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:45 am

Market Day in Tacoronte

posted by: canarybird on 04.18.2006 at 09:08 am in Cooking Forum

I've posted a few pics on the WTD thread but wanted to put the album link here with a few more pics of the excursion last Saturday I made with my friend Anne. We made a quick visit to the local English library and I made some photos of the inside and the grounds.

Anne at the library

Then we drove up the coast to one of the local farmers' Saturday market in the village of Tacoronte. There I bought some green beans, herbs, country bread and locally made honey vinegar. The market was near to closing time so I got a parking space right near the door. Some of the stall sellers were packing up their goods but we did some good shopping and both came out the door laden.

Green Bean Lady. Those were good beans - we had them with our turkey dinner !

Honey Vinegar

We drove further to a seaside town where bathers and fishermen line the water's edge. Across the street from the shore are fish restaurants where we stopped to dine. Food pics on the WFD thread #189 and in the album link below.

We passed beautiful green hills and palm trees, so I had to jump out of the car and take a few more photos.

Here's the album link to the 23 photos I took of the day.
It will probably be our last outing until the fall as Anne goes back to England next Saturday. :-(


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Photos


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:44 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:44 am

Last Lunch With Anne - April 22

posted by: canarybird on 05.07.2006 at 08:04 am in Cooking Forum

Just before my friend Anne returned to England for her half yearly stay at her English home, we went to a little restaurant that had been taken over by new owners a few months ago. We'd heard that it was very good and at the same time inexpensive, small, quiet and with plenty of parking. It was also a 5 minute drive from our house. We decided to try it on our last 'ladies day out' since Wolf always prefers that Anne and I do the trial run on new restaurants, so I can come back home and report to him.
This one is a gem, so I'll definitely be taking him there one day soon!

We started with hot bread rolls and ali oli, Anne then had a chicken soup, next we shared breaded asparagus stuffed with shrimp (lovely fennel garnish,) and finished with a kebab of beef tenderloin medallions in mushroom sauce. Definitely a pre-diet meal! (When I think of all the - choke - calories it's no wonder I have to pay for it now LOL). But was soooo goood! I'm putting some of the pics over on the WFD thread and all twenty of them on the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Twenty Pics of Lovely Lunch


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:43 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:43 am

Up the Mountain and Lunch with Anne

posted by: canarybird on 01.10.2006 at 09:12 pm in Cooking Forum

My English friend Anne and I went out for a drive in her car on Friday Jan 6th, which was the Epiphany holiday here. Although it was dull and cloudy, we decided to head up the mountain a bit to the higher little narrow village roads for some views over the valley where we live on the northwest coast of Tenerife. Being a holiday we knew there would be many people dining out, as is the custom here.

We drove first to the pretty coastal town of El Sauzal where we stopped at a viewpoint overlooking the sea and then passed by the central plaza where the night before there had been the grand pageant of the Nativity and Three Kings which is enacted in front of the church and which has become quite a spectacular island attraction using actors and real camels to portray the January 5th arrival of the Three Kings from the orient.

Later we stopped at a little tasca or family restaurant just a few meters away from another busier restaurant. Judging by the number of cars parked in front on the very steep hill we decided to take the more modest of the two places. So Anne parked her little Renault Clio beside a clump of prickly pear cactus and we got out.

The menu board outside offered the usual Canary dishes:
cherne fish, garbanzos, goat, rabbit, wrinkled salt potatoes and their standard menu. We went inside and chose a little corner table. With the new Spanish anti-smoking laws in force since Jan 1st, smokers were required to sit outside on the patio. It was pretty out there and they were obviously expecting to fill the tables with previously arranged groups. But we thought it might be a bit cool so we went back inside where I took pics of the flan and dessert puddings through the glass of the cooler before we sat down.

We both ordered their chicken noodle soup - which always comes with a mint leaf floating on top. Our main course was a garlic crusted fillet steak (solomillo) served on the same French dinner plates that I have at home ! The steaks were to die for. We hardly needed a knife to cut them. And the garlic flavour was done just right. The wine jug was crusted with frost as it is often the custom here in restaurants to put the empty wine jugs in the freezer so that when they are filled with red wine, it is slightly chilled. I had some of their flan for dessert - it was very good.
We finished with small espressos.

When we came out the sun was shining. I forgot to change my camera setting from indoor closeups to outdoor but got a few overly bright pics of the view over the coast and the prickly pears that abound on the hillsides. We drove home into the sun with the volcano Teide looming up ahead.

Dear Wolf had said he didn't want me to fuss over him and leave him food prepared before I went out, but he waited after all for me to come home and prepare him a late but hot dinner so he was happy. He always prefers to stay home rather than go on driving adventures with Anne and I LOL.

Here's the link to the photo album of 47 pics.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:42 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:42 am

What's Blooming Today - Roses !

posted by: canarybird on 01.21.2006 at 12:26 pm in Cooking Forum

It's been a magnificent warm and sunny day today with a cloudless blue sky since early morning.
So I decided I'd better get out and take a few photos seeing as things are bursting into flower after some heavy rains we had last week.

I started walking out in the street with my camera over my shoulder attached to a tripod as I wanted to take some good zoomed shots of the mountain, now covered in a thick blanket of snow. I also took a few photos of some bougainvilla on an old stone wall. Afterwards I came back into our garden and took pics of things that were blooming: white iris, white iceberg roses, red and pink roses, mauve petrea, aloe and jade plants.

Such great variety of plants to choose from including some enormous cactus which I'll leave for another day.

So I've put these 15 photos taken this morning into a little album at the link below.
I hope you'll enjoy seeing some Tenerife sunshine and flowers on this mid-January day.

Link to Album.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:41 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:41 am

Market Day, Chicken Grill & Beach

posted by: canarybird on 01.29.2006 at 10:31 am in Cooking Forum

Last Friday Anne and I had another day out with lunch. It had rained heavily in the morning but when I picked her up at 12:30 it had stopped, so we decided to go to the local farmers' market and see what interesting produce there was. I needed a few things and as the market building is no longer openair but has a roof I thought it would be a nice place to start our day without the risk of getting wet.

I took plenty of photos of the produce which included some unusual fruits and vegetables, including (gasp) persimmons. You will see why I wait to get to Canada before buying corn on the cob. Also notice how meat here is by no means displayed sliced and ready in those tidy trays that one sees in North America. And heaven forbid if you need a label on the meat to try and figure out what animal it came from LOL ! One certainly doesn't see those lovely standing rib roasts, rolled roasts or even spare ribs all prepared and looking lovely under glass.

After I had filled so many bags I could hardly carry them we went back to the car and headed up to a popular restaurant known for its grilled meats and chicken. Always filled with local folks this place makes one of the best stewed chickpea (garbanzos) dishes in town. Meats are cooked on a eucalyptus wood fired grill, the same as at another place where we love to eat. Getting out of the car, one immediately notices the aromatic smoke of the burning eucalyptus coming from the chimney. The scent is a delicious invitation to follow your nose and go inside to dine. Here's Anne by the entrance. Los Asadores means 'The Roasters'. I used to go there when it was still quite new about 1975 when diners sat on rough benches. Since then they have put in wooden chairs and curtains lol. I'm posting the photos of the food we had over on the What's For Dinner thread.

Afterwards Anne suggested we go for a walk along the beach at Punta Brava for a whiff of sea air. She was playing tennis at 5 pm so it would just be for a short visit. I took photos there of the stormy sea and the black volcanic sand. It was too damp everywhere for a visit to a garden centre as I'd planned earlier.

Too bad these aren't sunny photos this time. Forty pics in all. Have a nice visit ! Album link is below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Market, Lunch & Beach Jan.27th


clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:40 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:40 am

Hilltop Restaurant & Bodega Tour

posted by: Canarybird on 11.26.2005 at 12:08 pm in Cooking Forum

Last Wednesday we went with our friend to one of our favourite restaurants where we often go on special occasions such as birthdays or meals out with visiting friends. We also wanted to reserve a table for the next day for our lady friend who had invited us to a coffee and cake afternoon at the same place.

This is a complex of five restaurants constructed on the site of an old hilltop monastery, totally renovated by a German family and very popular with the local Canary folks as well as visiting holidaymakers. To get seats for dinner at New Year's I understand you have to reserve a year ahead of time ! Must be a great view of all the fireworks that are set off in the valley below on New Year's Eve.

After lunch and on the way to our car, we had a look into the new Bodega (wine cellar) which is quite charming.
Free Image Hosting at I imagine it's a fun place to sit and nibble while tasting new wines with a group of friends.

Here's the link to the album of 25 photos.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:38 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:38 am

Christmas in Tenerife

posted by: Canarybird on 12.17.2005 at 12:57 pm in Cooking Forum

I was downtown yesterday and did a little strolling around the central plaza area of our town - Puerto de la Cruz - with my camera. Lots of pointsettias everywhere as well as Christmas decorations. It was a beautiful sunny day, as you can see by the folks sitting on benches and wearing shorts.

I will have to go back and take some more as well as evening pics of the lights. They say the main church plaza and gardens are beautiful - more red and white pointsettias and I'm sure a huge tree. I just didn't have time yesterday.

Here's the link to the album.



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:36 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:36 am

Beautiful Vancouver Island - Akiko's Garden

posted by: Canarybird on 08.03.2005 at 12:54 am in Cooking Forum

I've been busy and away from the forum as on holiday I don't want to spend much time sitting on the computer when there's so much to see and do here. But I do love to take pics in my daughter's garden as well as that of her neighbour, Akiko.

I don't have any photo tweaking tools here on Michelle's computer other than a basic resize and crop, or Irfanview which does a few simple things, but I have put together a few of my photos from Akiko's garden into a little album on pbase. I love to try and capture some impressions of the wilderness garden she has carved out of a dense forest which reaches right up to her back steps, where deer are more often seen than neighbours' dogs and cats. The toys belong to her granddaughter Ellie who is lucky to be able to play in such a natural garden.

Akiko's Garden



clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 04:34 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 04:34 am