Christmas on Tenerife – Christmas Eve

Posted: January 7, 2009 in Life, Spain, Tenerife
Tags: , , , , , ,

Canarians like the Spanish head for home on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) for a big family meal. Subsequently everything shuts down early and the town is pretty much deserted apart from bars which cater predominantly for visitors. We’d debated whether to go out or not, but decided in the end to make the 3 kilometre walk (forget taxis or buses on Nochebuena) into Puerto de la Cruz to the Beehive Bar. It has become sort of traditional to spend Xmas Eve there. The music’s generally not what we would choose (usually stuck somewhere between 1975 and 1985) but it’s something of a sanctuary for anyone looking for somewhere with a bit of life on Christmas eve, so it attracts Scandinavians, Germans, Dutch, Belgians and all sorts as well as British.

The walk into Puerto de la Cruz was a bit of a surreal affair. There wasn’t another soul to be seen on the streets on the outskirts of the town, it was like the start to the movie ‘28 days later’.
It took us about 40 minutes to make the 3 kilometre trip and as we approached the Beehive our hearts dropped. Every year it seems to be the same song which welcomes us…Mambo no5. Visiting the Beehive on Christmas Eve can be a bit ‘Groundhog Day’, but the staff are very friendly and welcoming and it can be good fun…if you’ve consumed enough combinados to get you in the right frame of mind.
Thankfully ‘Mambo no5’ was just a blip in the matrix and Carlos, the personality barman, had actually put together some new sounds which strayed ever so briefly into the 21st century – he actually played some Scissor Sisters. However, when a ‘Killers’ track came on it was cut short… clearly still just a bit too modern for some patrons of the Beehive.

Adrian, Carlos (no, not Lee Evans) and Santi

Adrian, Carlos (no, not Lee Evans) and Santi

What I really enjoy about Christmas Eve in the Beehive are the Scandinavians. I love Scandinavian season on Tenerife. Generally speaking, they’re the nicest natured people going. Some of them also end up as the drunkest people in the Universe, but are smiley, happy people with it. Adrian, Carlos and Santi (the barmen) always hand out cotillons (party bags) and invariably the younger Scandinavian customers end up with two pointy hats on either side of their head which looks a bit like horns…hmmm, horned helmets and Scandinavians? Maybe there’s some subconscious predilection for that ‘Viking’ look that they just can’t kick. Saying that, Andy wasn’t much better, except she had turned our pointed hats into a ‘Madonna’ type bra (personally I think she should drink vodka combinadas more often). I would have posted a photo, but it didn’t get past the house censor!!!

At midnight, Adrian opened the Cava, the music changed to Latino, the Spanish started to arrive and things became a bit hazier all round. Somewhere in the wee small hours we self regulated and decided to head for home just as the town was just starting to liven up around 3.30 with young Canarian locals heading to the clubs to dance off their Nochebuena dinners.

En route we bumped into a Finnish musician from Helsinki with her young daughter who couldn’t find her hotel. As it was on our way we walked with her back to it. She was clearly quite an impulsive person, because when she heard we lived just outside Puerto, she announced that her and her daughter would come and stay with us for a year.

We ‘accidentally’ forgot to actually tell her exactly where we lived before we said ‘goodnight’ and headed for home at a brisk (more of a sprint), if slightly unsteady, pace in case she decided to follow us.


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