It’s our last port stop until after we cross the Atlantic. We’ll stop at Santa Cruz De Tenerife on the island of Tenerife. It’s one of the Canary Islands which are Spanish. It’s hard for me to keep track of all that!
We were up around 5 am after I had a terrible night sleeping. It might have been a combination of not enough water the day before (it was warm), sore legs and just because! We had coffee and I caught up on my journaling before heading to Taste when it opened for breakfast.
For breakfast we both tried something new from the daily specials. I had the waffle with bacon and poached eggs with hollandaise along with a toasted bagel with onion spread.
I enjoyed the special and will order it again. The onion spread was made by them putting finitely diced onion in the cream cheese; it wasn’t the philadelphia roasted onion cream cheese I was expecting. But still good.
Sister T. ordered the scrambled egg croissant sandwich.
She thought it was good except for the scrambled eggs serving was too large for it. We went back to the cabin to get ready to leave and left the ship shortly before 8 am.
We had booked an excursion with Spain Day Tours months before the cruise. Once off the ship we found a group of people waiting for the same excurions already. About five minutes later the guides arrived (there were two buses).. Once all the people had arrived, we were ready to go. At this port, it meant taking the free port shuttle bus outside the port and then getting on our tour mini bus but that worked fine.
Our group 17 (one reserved passenger was sick) so again we had free tours with Spain Day Tours; the perk for booking first and publicizing the tour via social media. Our tour guide was Elizabeth and the driver’s name was Jorge.
The first destination was the national park and namesake mountain Tiede. We had incredible views driving up and learned about the area and some history. I took a picture of these sculptures of a man and worman working along the way.
Right away we noticed this island was much greener than Lanzarote which was pretty barren except for landscaping.
La Esperanza pine forest
We stopped at an overlook top for our first photo op of Tiede.
We saw it virtually the rest of the tour until we wen3t own. :). We saw the entire valley below it to the sea.
Then we passed an area called tiramisu (at least by our guide)because of the unusual volcanic layers.
It was very pretty and we stopped here on the way back. After an hour, we stopped at a restaurant/bar for bathroom and refreshment break. She had told us about a local coffee specialty known as barraquito. It has four layers; coffee, frothed milk, condensed milk, liquor (small amount) and cinnamon to top. I ordered it along with a cream filled chocolate muffin.
That coffee was amazing! This all came to 4 euros.
Then we continued up and stopped next at the area she called Mars.
It was where the newer Clash of the Titans filmed the giant scorpion screen I guess.
Other movies made in the park include Barbarella and One Million Years B.C.
Roques de Garcia
Our next stop was at Roques de Garcia which was the top of our ascent. These are rock formations are in a large caldera from a collapsed volcano named Las Canadas.
They are amazingly scenic and beautiful as was the view from there.
This rock is known as Cinchado or Finger of God.
People are climbing up for a view; it was too rough for us to climb.
This plant only grows in the Canary Islands according to Elizabeth.
It reminded me of the one that is unique to Haleakala in Maui. She said they’re in the same family. This sculpture is outside the visitors center where bathroom access was one euro.
We left after one last look for me of Tiede among the rocks.
Then we headed down to our last stop.
It took an hour to get to La Laguna which was the capital for a couple of hundred years or so. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Unfortunately, we only had one hour free time here and we were quite hungry by this time (2:30 pm) so I didn’t do much exploring.
We walked a few blocks as Elizabeth gave us history and guidance on where to go.
One interesting building we passed is one of two functioning convents in the city still (originally there were 5). It is cloistered (with a beautiful huge wood door) and the balcony on top allowed the nuns to look out but no one to look in.
The old church has a newer facade (few centuries old) but has been in that spot since 11th century I believe.
The Main Street was very scenic. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go to the end and get a closer look at the tower.
We stopped at a cafeteria and bought a lite lunch/snack to tide us over until dinner. I ordered what I thought was sausage pizza and a Diet Coke.
It turned out to be tuna pizza but was good nevertheless. Sister T. had a ham and cheese sandwich with Sprite. Both entrees were heated before serving and cheap! I paid 3.65 and Sister T.’s was just 3 euros. Plus we had a bathroom and free,fast wifi for the time we were there.
We walked the route back to the square where our bus was waiting. The square where we parked was scenic as well.
It had a couple of sculpture monuments, a fountain and an amazing tree.
She called it the dragon tree. This last building was a private home when built but is now a city building.
Then we left for the ship at 3:30 arriving at 4 pm exactly; one half hour before all aboard. Close to the port is the opera house which is reminiscent of the style in Sidney.
It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The Epic was delayed first waiting for refueling and then waiting for the pilot so I was able to get a last photo of this beautiful and interesting Island.
We went to Shaker’s for a cocktail and both ordered the cucumber basil twist.
Then we decided to eat at O’Sheehans after looking at the main dining room menu. There we ordered another round. I went with a Moscow mule while Sister T. had a BBC and it was yummy.
I started with the soup of the day; parsnip soup. It was good and he brought me croutons to add to it. Sister T. started with the chopped salad. For entrees, I had the open faced turkey sandwich and she had the Irish stew which wasn’t really a stew but she said it was good.
I’m not a fan of the dessert menu here so went to the buffet and picked out coconut cheesecake to take to the room.
Although it looks great, I didn’t care for it. Sister T. liked hers although she noted it wasn’t a true cheesecake. After watching a couple of episodes of mad men, I was asleep by 9 pm.
STEPS TODAY: 9,959 for 3.3 miles
Below is today’s Freestyle Daily. Click on the image for the full PDF.