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23 July 2024
Alan Morris at Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

Today I woke up in the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife & went on a coach tour of the Island.

Tenerife, Spain.

I had never been to Tenerife before & wanted to see as much as possible of some of the fantastic natural wonders whilst there. I had pre-booked a 7½-hour excursion today that was supposed to take me to Teide National Park but the tour was cancelled, & so was the replacement tour I booked. I did go on another tour with Rosa to visit various places in Tenerife, & I had a fantastic day with her.

I was up early for my escorted tour & got a coffee at the Palatino Grand Bar on the ship before leaving to join the coach. I am always early for events & today was no exception, I was on the coach at least 20 minutes before we were due to leave. I was beginning to think Rosa had changed her mind about the trip but then I saw her leave the ship & walk towards the coach.

We sat at the front of the coach & had a good view of everything as we passed through Tenerife towards Puerto de la Cruz. Our tour guide on the coach was very good & told us many interesting facts about the island, its people & history. Our first stop of the day was a short drive from the cruise terminal in Santa Cruz. 

House of Balconies.

We walked through parts of La Oratava & our guide pointed out & told us about the area we were passing through. We stopped at the Town Hall, where, they were already beginning to put up their Christmas Nativity Scene. We then continued walking up through the steep streets of La Oratava to the "House of Balconies", which was originally built in 1632.

The walk through the town was very nice, if a little steep in places but Rosa stayed with me rather than racing on ahead & we both went into the House of Balconies. Inside there was a very narrow spiral staircase up to the next floor. I did not take the stairs up & walked into the beautiful courtyard whilst Rosa went upstairs to look around. She soon joined me in the courtyard & as I was saying to her that the building reminded me of something straight out of the Pirates of The Caribbean films, I realised that apart from the noise of the caged birds singing in the courtyard, there was also piped music being played, which was the soundtrack from Pirates of The Caribbean.

When we left the house we walked up the hill a short way to see Mount Teide rising in the distance. I walked back down the hill & around the side of the building opposite the "House of Balconies", the "House of Eladia Machado". From a viewpoint at the back of this building, there was a great view over the sea below us & up towards Mount Teide in the distance. When everybody had finished looking around we walked back to our coach & continued to our next stop, La Orotava Botanical Gardens.

View photos from La Oratava & the House of Balconies.

La Orotava Botanical Gardens.

We were dropped off at the Botanical Gardens in La Orotava & given only 40 minutes to walk around the beautiful gardens. Rosa & I walked around the gardens & were both surprised by the diversity of the plants there. It seemed the majority of the plants, or at least those that we saw, were not native to the island.  They had been there for many years & I wondered what the people who had planted them would make of the plants in the garden now.

As we left the gardens to get back on the coach I turned to talk to Rosa & was surprised to see a snake coming towards me out of the undergrowth at the same level as my head. I was quite startled because it had appeared on my blindside & I dodged backwards out of its way. It remained very still & I reached for my phone to take a picture of it. It was as I steadied myself & took a photo that I realised it was a stick, not a snake. Luckily Rosa wasn't behind me & didn't see me jump out of its way, if you ever meet Rosa, please don't tell her that I was frightened by a stick.

We then all got back on the coach to drive to our last stop, Puerto de la Cruz.

View photos from La Orotava Botanical Gardens.

Puerto de la Cruz.

We were dropped off close to the beach in Puerto de la Cruz & given an hour to walk around before we had to leave. Rosa & I walked towards the Salt baths on the beachfront. They looked really good & I would loved to have spent time relaxing in the warm salt pools but there was a queue of people waiting to go in as the pools were full up.

We continued down towards the beautiful beach where we stopped to admire the waves crashing on the beach & watch the surfers catching the waves & riding them in towards the pebble beach. The black sand looked fantastic & we stood taking photos & videos for a short time before we moved on.

We found a small place, the Cafetería La Coronela, opposite the Playa de Martiánez, where we stopped for a drink. Unfortunately, Rosa´s Spanish wasn't quite good enough to be understood by the waiter. Whilst she did get a bottle of water, the waiter brought me a mint, Mai Tai cocktail. As we didn't have time to explain the error I drank the cocktail & after a short time admiring the beach & the surfers we returned to the coach.

Whilst we were on the coach the tour guide counted up the number of people on the coach & realised we had too many people onboard. A man had got on our coach by mistake & was asked to leave before we could continue. Wherever he was supposed to be going & with whomever he was travelling with, I hope he found his way back to them & to the cruise ship he had left this morning.

View photos from Puerto de la Cruz.

The tour guide was brilliant on the journey back to the ship & continually gave us information about the things we were passing. Did you know that each banana plant only produces fruit once & then dies off? When questioned about this he explained to us that each plant produces new fruit-bearing stalks each year. It is these that grow & produce fruit the following year & that it just looks like the original plant stalk is producing fruit. Or as he explained it, it is the offspring, the children, nieces & nephews of the original plant that grow & have baby bananas the following year.

Back onboard the Costa Favolosa.

I enjoyed my trip today & gave the tour guide a tip as we left the coach & headed back onboard the Costa Favolosa. Once onboard, Rosa & I went back to our cabins. I had a shower & after a short rest went down to the restaurant for dinner. For my dinner tonight I had a seafood salad followed by potato soup. My main course was something called veal ossobuco with mushroom sauce, saffron rice & gremolata of fresh herbs & lemon. It seemed like a posh name for veal but it tasted fantastic & I loved it. Because I had walked so much today when the waiter asked what dessert I wanted I ordered all three & had Hazelnut mousse, chocolate mousse with coffee cream, chocolate, hazelnut & grand Marnier ganache, followed by milk chocolate mousse cake topped with whipped cream.

After dinner, I went to the theatre with Rosa & Ann & watched the dance act from the 5th floor. I didn't like the view from the higher balcony position & will probably go back to the lower levels with Gail, Mal, Dwight & Tessa tomorrow. After the show, we went to the Moliere bar on deck 5 to meet with Gail. The first two songs played were quite good but after that, the DJ ruined the songs from the 90´s by remixing them into his version of dance music & ruined the show for me. Halfway through the show Rosa went back to her cabin & left the rest of us in the bar. After the show, Ann & I went to the small bar next door to get a drink & then went to the piano bar until it closed before going back to our cabins. 

View today's menu from the Costa Favolosa.

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