Thursday, November 4, 2010
Have we landed on the Moon?
Fields of cattle dropped dead from the vapors, piles and piles of dead fish lined the beaches, what had been fertile land was wiped out. All in all, 12 villages were completely destroyed and 15 villages were buried under sand and volcanic ash. Yet the King of Spain at the time, Phillip V, issued a decree that forbid the people of Lanzarote to leave the island under threat of the death penalty. What a guy.
And now, here I am on Lanzarote (Lanz-zor-rot-tay), the Canary Island that has gained huge popularity with Europeans on holiday.
This island is amazing in its geographic and cosmetic symmetry. The Volcanoes set a landscape, but the island’s human touch didn’t happen by accident, it happened with the help of an artist named Cesar Manrique, making it famous for being different than all the other Canary Islands. They are Volcanic but this island did “city planning and zoning” with the help of this artist, to fit itself around nature.
After our tour, it was noted that the “geyser” was simply a man with a bucket of water who poured it down one of the hot spots next to the restaurant and quickly moved away as the water shot out as a steam induced water spout. This would please the crowd gathered taking photos, we thought it was a funny sideshow.
Regardless, we had to try the food. A half chicken later, we agreed that it was incredibly well cooked and flavorful. However, getting a volcano into your back yard would be a huge undertaking, so this method is a bit unpractical. The other interesting part of this building was the use of metal along the flooring. This was connected to the earth’s heat under the building and heated the entire building.
From there we made our way to the look out point at the Northernmost side of the island that overlooked their sister island of La Graciosa. From here we could clearly see where we had sailed. I glared at the two looming rock/tiny islands that we had passed in the dark. I was on watch and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because one looked like a cargo ship that had no lights turned on. This made no sense to me but I didn’t run down stairs to check the navigation charts and see they were clearly marked. By boat, they looked as if being a few degrees off I could have hit them. Now looking down at the miles and miles of sea I could see the distance was greater than I imagined. All that worry for an optical illusion.
Next we made our way to the archetect’s home which is now a museum, this was so incredible that I’m saving the photos for the next post.
A stop at a large grocery store in the Island’s capital city, Arrecife, making use of rarely having a car (and are used to lugging heavy items long distances) we took advantage of this one-day transportation. Home to the sail boat, neatly tied to the dock, a full day of seeing and learning about this island.
I can’t imagine living here for the two years that the priest did before he had permission to leave. Waiting and watching the mountains explode, or new ones appearing out of the earth.
And now, what was his nightmare is beauty for the rest of us to enjoy.
Posted by Edee Dalke at 3:22 PM