Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Lanzarote, part one - settling in.


This is a photoblog of our visit to Lanzarote, to give anyone thinking of going there, an idea of what the island is like.

You can see my other photoblogs;

Fuerteventura HERE
Gran Canaria HERE
Madeira (2 visits) HERE and HERE
Majorca (2 visits) HERE and HERE
Skiathos (Greece) HERE
Gran Canaria 2018 HERE

We decided, as we hadn't been to this island before, we would choose it as the destination for our winter holiday. We knew it was volcanic, and we also knew some people considered it very bleak, but as we'd enjoyed Fuerteventura so much last year, decided to give it a go.

We asked for, and got, a totally useless window seat on the outward flight, as all we saw on the way were clouds. I still got excited at the thought of flying though, Sue & I LOVE it.

Someone did ask me if the recent disappearance of flight MH370 had unnerved us – not in the slightest!
Flying was, and is, STILL one of the safest ways to travel.

Even just clouds can be lovely – this strange cloud was visible for quite a while.
It probably has a ‘proper’ name, but a rose, etc etc.

The first time we DID see any land clearly, it was Lanzarote! It looked nice and warm down there, and the pilot said it was 22C at the airport.
Getting REALLY excited now

 The only really ugly building we saw on the island – this monstrosity of a hotel is at Costa Teguise.
Luckily, we were staying in Playa Blanca, where most of the development is two stories.
An artist, philanthropist and activist named Cesar Manrique was responsible for a lot of good work in the development of the island.
More of him later.

Welcome – Lanzarote airport. Understated, & designed to be just so.
It is a model airport (no, I don’t mean tiny), and aims to be as environmentally friendly as is possible.

A short (30 minute) coach trip brought us to our lovely hotel, recently fully re-vamped and made into an adult only hotel.
The Sentido White Suites; Click HERE for website, is impressive on first sight, with an imposing frontage, and situated just five minutes walk from the beach on a quiet road.

Bucks fizz on arrival, and cases carried to our room – good start!

It was 1:00pm, lots of time to settle in before exploring.

Trumpeted as a ‘boutique hotel’, it certainly gave a feel of luxury, and FLUFFY SLIPPERS AND DRESSING GOWNS (if only I wore one)

 That headboard is a bit erotic {:-0
The bed was six feet square, and SO comfortable.
(ok, ok - I added the text)

  Lovely bathroom too.

Nice lounge and patio, overlooking the pool area and well-tended gardens.

Nice touch, real too, not plastic (although it looks like it is).

A bit cloudy today LOL!

Time to do what we always do on the first day or two – explore our locale.
As in some of the other Canaries we’ve visited, promenades feature heavily, and this one was really long.

We LOVE to walk these prom’s, so today we began.
We turned right, and just let our feet go. We would just see how far we could get in the time we had, taking notes of places to re-visit while we were there

As it had been a while since breakfast, we stopped off at one of the small cafes on the front. We shared an octopus salad, which was delicious!
A refreshing cocktail made the perfect accompaniment.
The local beach, Playa Dorada, was just over that wall, those rocks you see are a breakwater to form a very good snorkeling and swimming beach.
The fish (I saw at least a dozen species while snorkeling later in the week)) are attracted to their shelter.

Each side of the bay has an ‘arm’ like this, quite aesthetic and fitting perfectly, as they had used the local lava rock. In SOME areas on the island, notably harbours, but not exclusively, they have used very ugly concrete blocks. Why, I have NO idea.

 A panorama of the beach area. There are several other beaches, but this is our ‘local’.
(Click on this, or any, photo for a larger version).

Again, more of the ubiquitous rock-balancing, which we’ve seen so much of in the Canaries (and on Majorca too).

Sue loves to look in rock pools, me too! When we investigated some on the foreshore, we saw these beautiful flower-like shells.

 And this little guy was hiding away in one of the vacant ones.

Whichever way you looked, you were reminded that this island was the result of past volcanic action.
The backdrop was so often the extinct giants.

We noticed this early on – there was LOTS of this heavy chain fencing. It was quite a feature, and we thought it looked great. It was obvious from the start that a hell of a lot of thought had gone into the way things had been done, and were still being done, on Lanzarote.
It felt ‘right’.

Every so often a statue or a sculpture, maybe even just a cacti feature, was there to draw your eye.
Always SOMETHING that made Lanzarote feel like it was loved by those who built, and are continuing to build it

Another constant were the ferries to and from nearby Fuerteventura. This huge one went and came on the hour.
There were smaller ones too that plied between the two islands.

We walked as far as the light would allow, then watched this perfect sunset to end our first lovely day on this paradise island.
We were running out of time, also we were getting tired as we'd had a very early start. We had got as far as the harbour and Playa Flamingo. So far, so good. We liked what we saw, and were eager to see more but dinner and an early night beckoned.

Time to go back to our hotel and sample the food, which we had heard was also good.
Great, as we were starving!