What’s a Public Holiday like in the Real Tenerife?

Posted: December 11, 2008 in architecture, Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday the 8th December was a public holiday in Tenerife. Unlike the UK during a bank holiday Monday, the roads here were remarkably quiet. There were a number of things we had been planning to do and some of them were due to finish, so like last minute Charlies, we headed up to the lovely little town of Los Silos in Isla Baja to catch the final day of their storytelling festival.

Cool town, cool people, cool plaza

Cool town, cool people, cool plaza

The sun was shining when we arrived, so the town’s fairy tale church was looking its best. Los Silos is quite a bohemian little town and the plaza, where most of the tale-telling takes place, was filled with a mixture of trendy young residents and story tellers, performers and stallholders who wouldn’t have looked out of place at a hippy market in Goa.

It’s a lovely little intimate festival, where nothing particularly fancy, or spectacular takes place, but it exudes an engaging atmosphere and watching the kid’s face light up as a Jay Kay from Jamiroquai look-alike juggled and gurned is a reminder that people here (of all ages) still get pleasure from simple little things.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo

In the late afternoon we drove back to Puerto de la Cruz, arriving just as the funfair was starting to get busy, but we weren’t looking to have some fun at the fair; we were seeking a more tranquil experience. The Santo Domingo convent behind the town hall has been closed since we arrived in Puerto, but it’s recently opened its doors as an exhibition centre and Monday was the last day of a Bonsai exhibition. The convent with its pale cream walls was the perfect setting for the little trees and the combination of the beautifully balanced bonsais, soft Japanese background music and tranquil open courtyard was almost enough to make me get into the lotus position and engage in a bit of meditation. Unfortunately I don’t exactly know what the lotus position looks like so I had to settle for just looking at the exhibits.

After that it was a visit to the lovely old building of Casa Ventoso and the

Casa Ventoso

Casa Ventoso

search for the obligatory coprophiliac amongst the collection of belénes which were on display (okay, I know it’s childish, but it makes me smile – I admit to being guilty of having that British curse of enjoying ‘toilet humour’). The life size display in the courtyard was a bit amateur night (and slightly creepy), but the model villages in the adjoining rooms were excellent, with lighting and sound effects; blood red sunsets turned to starlit nights whilst oxen threshed wheat, men treaded grapes and my favourite figure was destined to stay, squatting in his outside loo (where the lockless door periodically swung open) until the 6th January. I love it.

I know it wouldn’t be everybody’s idea of what to do on a bank holiday, but we love the sheer diversity of the things that are constantly going on in Tenerife and the bonus ball? Unlike the men in the belénes, we didn’t need to spend a penny.

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