Friday, 25 April 2014

Lanzarote, part seven - Puerto Calero & the Cesar Manrique foundation


An early start today, as we HAD planned to go to Timanfaya National park, BUT it was very windy and visibility was not good. We were actually on our way there, when we changed our minds, turned the car around and headed for a small fishing village & port called Puerto Calero. Sue’s sister had told us about this little gem, and said we’d love it – and we did!
This is the super sailing boat sculpture on the traffic island.

I REALLY wanted to have my photo taken leaning out of it with the rest of the crew.

Flowers are amazing, but there’s something about a cactus flower that is even more so.
The colours and delicate softness of this bloom was beautiful.

We parked up in one of the plentiful spaces (free) and set off down the tiled promenade,
the style of which we had now become so used to seeing.
Lined with lovely palms, a very warm sun was now overhead.

We forsook the harbour immediately, wanting to get up on the cliff tops.
There is a path of sorts, but it’s rough underfoot. Visibility was quite good, this is looking back to the small harbour

You can see the faint path here, winding up and over the headland.
Very barren, with no vegetation to speak of, except for some greenery on the shoreline.

All around, volcanic peaks peeped at us.

After having our fill of the wild side, we returned to the port and explored the back streets.
Notice the intricate metal wall sculptures. There were many of these.
This walk is lined on one side with very expensive (‘names’) shops, a few of which were closed.
A sign of the times? It amazed us that somewhere so small could support so many expensive outlets?

How lovely is this?
Not JUST the sculpture, but the design of the wall.
A wall is just a wall, yes?
No.

It was market day, and it was bustling with people.
Lots of the stalls were the same ones we’d seen in Playa Blanca, so we imagined they 'did the rounds' of all the markets on the island.

The port-side walk. Again, lots of thought here. Look at those rocks around the palm bases.
They could just have planted the palms ‘as is’, but no – they added that final flourish that excels.

Look at THIS – WOOD you believe it?
Lots of people were taking pictures of this wooden bike, and the girl owner said she was used to it.

Another Manrique – this man was just awesome!

A picture of the sculpture in the roof on the Mirador Del Rio.
We settled in a small cafe by the market for a coffee. The sun was warm, and we felt relaxed.

We reluctantly left Puerto Calero, but also with excitement as we were now on our way to see the Cesar Manrique foundation, the first house he lived in, which is now the home of the Manrique museum, or foundation.
Look at the sky now – a magnificent backdrop to the magnificent gates of the house Manrique owned.

You can visit their site and read all about it here; http://www.cesarmanrique.com/fundacion_i.htm

What a view, obviously deliberately chosen by Manrique for its dramatic effect.
The little metal lamp thing, or sculpture, was a feature of the entire gardens.

Also in the entrance was another of Manrique’s mobiles.
Click here to see it working in the wind;

The house is built sympathetically into the actual volcanic bubbles, you had to descend into it.

The garden, complete with plant harbours built out of the volcanic rocks.
This idea was taken from the wine regions, who use this technique to protect the vines from the ever-present wind.

Typical Manrique precise symmetry and alignment.

A ‘room’ in the house – white against black rock, with a fire-red splash of furniture.
You just stare in wonder at the man’s brilliance, you really do.
The wooden seat around the palm looks all the richer for being amongst the simplicity.

Now that’s what I CALL a BBQ!! (Full set of tools hanging up).

Another fabulous room.
Although a tireless worker in his art and political beliefs (in fact, in ALL facets of his life), Manrique also loved his relaxation time. That was VERY obvious, the more you saw of his private side.
Although not what you’d call lucky in love, his wife died prematurely in 1963, and he had no children. He was surprisingly gregarious, and hosted many parties, where he was often photographed with a pretty woman (or women) on his arm(s).
The garden pool – makes your average pond look a bit sick, doesn't it?
Why would you perch a volcanic trough on a plinth??

BECAUSE IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!

The garden, note the ubiquitous chain I’ve referred to before?

A set of hanging anchors.

.....to be continued – you’ve not seen the view from the window yet

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