Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tenerife

That's the place with the British sun! Truly! It follows British Summer Time even when clearly it does not need to save any daylight.
To be honest, the island looks pretty bad from the sky. I was expecting a tropical island. My bad. It's not a tropical island. It's a volcanic island. It only grows shrubs and bushes, and not beautiful palm trees. But once you land and are transported off the highways, you will go into a tourist haven and the world is transformed. Luxurious resorts full of innovatively designed pools overlooking the sea with the mountains behind you, beautiful golden sand beaches with sunbeds in the sand and jet skies in the sea, and tonnes of seafood. That's Tenerife for you.

We took the first flight out of London and it's a rather long flight so we landed around half past ten. We made our way to our hotel through a network of buses. We couldn't check-in immediately so we thought we can take some time to get there and get a view of the place. As you can imagine most of it was barren lands and construction of new resorts (or abandoned?). But we loved our hotel/resort the moment we saw it.   A lovely large room and a little balcony with two sun beds and a beautiful view. Like this one.

The resort was beautiful, the rooms big and the service immaculate. We were welcomed warmly and the reception was always there to help. That's Vincci Plantacion del Sur for you, in case you have come here looking for a recommendation.

After settling down and a long bath, we went looking for some lunch. We couldn't really find any restaurants anywhere until we realised they are all hidden inside these resorts. We had some lunch at another fancy resort sitting next to the pool where a lot of people were swimming but really making no noise, like they were almost just floating and drifting slowly. It felt like the world just slowed down. We decided to go to the beach, just lie down on the sand with our kindles.
The island is very hilly so it's actually a little tiring to walk around too much. May be that's why most people rent cars. We went to a nice restaurant for dinner which has a beautiful view with the sea and the setting sun. Food was not that great, may be because it's an Italian restaurant on a Spanish island. To be honest, the lunch wasn't remarkable either. I'll tell you when it is.

The next day too we actually did nothing. We just walked around, lay by the pool, went to a spa circuit with a jacuzzi and a sauna. You have understand, it is important for me to mention we did nothing. K and I are not used to doing nothing. We hadn't planned at all for the trip apart from booking flights and hotel and buying some summer clothes. We did go out for dinner to summer Asian place, only because trip advisor said it was good. It just about al right. I'm not really good at reviewing restaurants, am I?

On Saturday we were determined to do something at least. Turns out you need to book in advance so we couldn't go to the mountain top of Mt Teide, which is a highly recommended thing to do. Since we missed out let me tell you. There is a cable car that takes you to the top. There is a tour that helps you hike halfway to the top and then star gaze. There is another service that let's to hike halfway to the top, star gaze and then take a night trip on the cable car.  And we missed all of that.
Next, we tried to hire a moped and drive around the island, which is a also a highly recommended thing to do generally in a car. But our Indian licences don't get us vehicles for hire apparently. 

Luckily, we saw a leaflet on electric bikes that we missed out on in Windermere two weeks earlier and we hired them. Must say, the best discovery of the year! I would recommend this more than any other powered vehicle. They are almost like scooters but not really. The silver lining is that you can't take a moped on the promenade at the beach but you can take electric bikes. So we cycled along the beach to see views like this.

And had lunch in Playa de la Americas which was a Spanish tapas lunch at one of those little shacks overlooking the sea - calamari, sangria that kind of a thing. After coming back to the room tired (well not really because the motor did all the up hills for us), we spent an hour at the jacuzzi, this time in the one under the sun with the pools and the sea in front of us and the resort and the mountains behind us - a holiday like it should be. Later we had dinner at a Spanish tapas place at the resort. The food was really good as tapas tends to be. We ordered some chicken wings, prawns, a mini burger and three fruit juice shots. Portions were very filling. I ordered some strongly minty to drink that felt like I was having undiluted pudeen hara so that was left unfinished. For dessert we had crème brulé which turned out to be three types of them one of which had coffee in it. It was amazing and a lot even for two people. See I do mention the food when it counts.

The next day, after a long breakfast by the pool, we checked out of the hotel and headed towards Submarine Safari, the only thing we managed to find tickets for. It was the cutest submarine painted yellow and looked like a toy, like this

If you can't scuba dive yourself, this is the next decent thing. You can go down in a submarine and watch a scuba diver attract an angel ray. It was truly an unbelievable experience. May be next time I must do something about this scuba diving.
After the submarine experience, we still had some time left on our hands before we needed to be at the airport. So we went to a beach closer to the airport called El Medano. We ate some more authentic Spanish food at one of those beach shacks (which invariably have really good food) and then just lay on the beach pretending like we never have to leave. But then we took a cab a little too soon may be to catch our flight, well not too soon, but then you don't want to leave the sun and the sea of 25 degrees to return to the darkness and the rain of 10 degrees.



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