Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Puerto de la Cruz

Posted: April 6, 2009 in art, Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s always been known as Tenerife’s sophisticated resort and yet I know a few people who think that Puerto de la Cruz is populated almost exclusively by third age British and German holidaymakers and there’s not much nightlife. I even know of one very well known guide book which describes the bustling Plaza del Charco as “…filled with cafes and (mostly elderly) tourists pottering around…” (It wasn’t ‘Going Native in Tenerife’ – we know better)

Hardly conjures up an image of sophistication does it? However anyone visiting the other weekend would have been left in no doubt as to why the town has earned its monicker. The streets were filled with ultra trendy visitors and residents enjoying the beautifully bizarre street art festival Mueca 2009.

Were off to see El Mago...

"We're off to see El Mago..."

Andy covered the Saturday night proceedings in her blog ‘Mueca 2009’. The festival continued until lunchtime on Sunday when we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of bed in the hope that the high wire walk across the harbour, which was cancelled on the Saturday night, would have been rescheduled.

No chance. Sunday started as a bitch of a day weather wise. Skies were grey and there was a near constant drizzle. But we persevered and headed to Puerto’s harbour area. Whereas the town had been buzzing the previous night, on Sunday morning it felt like a wet, winter weekend in Blackpool. The artistic hairdressers sheltered beneath their little canopy looking dejected as we passed them on the way to see if the main performance of the day, El Mundo Oz, was still taking place. A few die-hards and their hopeful kids had taken their ‘wet’ seats outside the town hall and waited hopefully.

It didn’t look promising as the drizzle turned to actual rain and a sea (well given the numbers a large pool might be more accurate) of umbrellas opened. But god bless them, the performers announced gamely that despite the weather, the show would go on.

From the moment a slightly wet Dorothy holding a very floppy Toto started singing “Somewhere over the rainbow…” (in Spanish), I found myself transported back to being an excited kid again. As the storm (good bit of realistic character acting by Puerto’s weather I have to say) transported Dorothy to Oz I was completely caught up in the story.

I just thought Id try something different for a change...

"I just thought I'd try something different for a change..."

By the time Dot had met up with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion and they were gaily singing and dancing their way along the Yellow Brick Road (big yellow circles on the concrete) their enthusiasm seemed to have a profound effect on the weather. The sun broke free of the clouds bringing crowds of people out of the woodwork. As Dot bade her emotional farewells to her motley mates, the sky was as bright as the smiles on the faces of the kids in the audience and I found I had to wipe a tear from the corner of my eye.
With the sun shining, the town was transformed and the streets were buzzing again. At the harbour, the ‘Artistic Hairdressers’ were in full flow and some of their ‘victims’ added a surreal element to the spectators.

Oh, and yes there were elderly tourists pottering about, but the difference is that some of our elderly tourists were sporting luminescent Mohican hairdos…I guess that’s the sort of thing which explains why Puerto de la Cruz is considered Tenerife’s sophisticated resort?


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