Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the canary sings

After assuming the vice-presidency, John Adams told a story about two brothers.  One went to sea.  The other became vice-president.  Neither was heard from again.

Well, I have never been vice-president, but I have been at sea. For the past seven days.

We are now in Tenerife.  One of the Canary Islands.  Our first land fall.  We will then have two seas days, and stops at Majorca, Corsica, and Rome.

So far, these seven days at sea have been what I have come to expect from cruises.  Mediocre (and painfully abundant) food – with the excerption of some outstanding meals in the specialty restaurants.  Indifferent entertainment.  And plenty of time to either sit alone in the sun and read – or to develop old and new friendships.

If that sounds like my life in Melaque, you will not be far from the mark.  With one exception.  The sea.  For whatever reason, being surrounded by water on a giant ship offers its own therapy – for the psyche, if not the waistline.

This is my third trip to Tenerife.  In the past, I have visited the island’s star natural attraction – Mt. Teide.  The tallest mountain in Spain.

It is a magnificent place.  Like most volcanoes, you get a taste for how fiery mountains can remake the landscape.  But I come from a place where volcanoes created next to every vista.

This trip was different.  Roy suggested a tour of the various gardens of the island.  And it was a wise choice.  We both strongly dislike bus tours. but this one was fine – mainly because the bus was only half-populated.

To get to the three gardens we viewed, the bus took us through several of the villages on the north and west sides of the island.  The place is beautiful with its European towns, pocket-sized banana plantations, and vistas with steep hills slipping into some very rough surf.

I am always on the lookout for my next retirement home – and Tenerife may make the list.  It is beautiful.  Surrounded by water.  And has a strong cultural life.


Kim G said...

Rumor has it that the Canary Islands also have a terrific climate -- much like San Francisco, minus the fog.

Hope you have fun on the rest of your cruise.


Kim G

Boston, MA

Where someday we'd like to see the Canary Islands.

Nita said...

Sounds like you are enjoying your trip. Don't forget to give us now or later some descriptions of places you visit.


Tafreeburn said...

i wanted to go to the canary islands when we lived in sicily but never made it-someday. i have a big surprise though, we're moving to nagoya, japan this summer. just found out last week and we are really excited about it! don't have all the details yet. i'll bring you up to date when i do.

enjoy the rest of your trip, even if the food is mediocre.


Felipe Zapata said...

It would be a whale of a challenge driving the Escape to Tenerife.

I have never been on a cruise. Never had any appeal, and your description of this cruise reinforces my negative notion. To each his own, they say. Bon voyage for the rest of it.

Rusty said...

The Canary Islands are one of my favorite places on earth. Gran Canaria has astounding landscapes and vistas as well. Within an hour or so, you can drive from wide open sandy beaches into lovely mountainside villages like something in Italy, Spain or Portugal. All the services and goods you will ever need in the city, and all the peace and quiet in the countryside.

Greetings from Merida.... only a short hop in the car from the wide open seascape of the Gulf coast.

June Nery said...

 Sounds like a fun time! Looking forward to seeing some photos

Dan in NC said...

Hope you enjoy the rest of the Voyage Steve!
But I gotta ask: Dude, where did you find the lead picture in this blog? I love it! Technicolour cactus? or just a local cactus on acid? Far out!  
 Dan in NC

Kim G said...

Given how long it's been since you posted, I'm assuming you were elected Vice President at sea.

Hope it's going well.  Watch out for those secret meetings with oil companies.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where most of my favorite bloggers seem to have hit a bit of a dry spell here.

ANM said...

I think that Christopher Isherwood like Tenerife as well.  Are you following some sort of literary itinerary?


Steve Cotton said...

Trying to post on the road has turned out to be far more difficult than I thought it would be. But that is a post in itself.

Steve Cotton said...

Perhaps.  But certainly not a lifestyle journey.  Unless I am mistaken. 

Steve Cotton said...

The photograph is of a vine-like cactus on the trunk of a palm tree.  The colors are great, aren't they? 

Steve Cotton said...

More coming. 

Steve Cotton said...

I doubt I will leave Mexico for Tenerife.  But it was an interesting thought. 

Steve Cotton said...

You would dislike cruises.  I have no doubt.  Even I am getting a bit bored with them -- even though I love the sea days.  And I suspect you might like those. 

Steve Cotton said...

Congratulations on the Japan move.  When you have time, tell me more. 

Steve Cotton said...

Coming up. 

Steve Cotton said...

The weather in Tenerife has been great on each of my visits.  Not too cool.  Not too warm.  A veritable Goldilocks exoerience.