Friday, 20 January 2012

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain – Part 1 – Costa Adeje, Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos

I didn’t want to go to Canary Islands in the first place. I’ve always associated them with nothing but lying on the beach or at the swimming pool. How wrong was I. But let’s start from the beginning. How did it happen that I changed my mind and decided to go there?

Everything started at the beginning of 2011. We had our winter holidays planned in Egypt. We were to go on a Nile cruise and then spend a week near Hurghada. Nice, huh? Thought so too. Already prepared for the holidays, we were just waiting for the day to come. And suddenly, less than a week before our planned departure, the revolt started. We had information that cruises were suspended and we didn’t want to travel there in such uncertain times (although we knew somewhere deep down inside that nothing would happen to us as the tourist places were safe). That is why, when three days before the departure we got the offer to change the destination, we took it. Long story short, we chose Tenerife in March. 

When we first decided to change the destination, I sat down at home and searched for the information about Tenerife, as I honestly knew nothing about it. Boy, how shocked I was when I found out that there are so many things to do there. Of course, before we left for Tenerife, I have already planned everything we were to see there, booking all the necessary tickets or permit cards. 

But let’s move on to our journey. March was quite cold in Poland when we left, so we were really delighted to feel the warm sun on our faces when we finally landed. The flight took about 6 hours, but we managed to see Gibraltar, Marocco and three other Canary Islands from the air (Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura). The bus took us to our hotel – Esmeralda Playa (now they changed the name to Luabay or something like it… and the hotel looks a bit different – shocking what they can do in half a year…). The hotel was great. Located in Costa Adeje near Torviscas Playa. We could see the ocean from our room, well from the balcony really. The windows were on the eastern side, so we could see the sunrise every day. The food was really delicious and the stuff was great. Luca – you were amazing! So much positive energy!

The hotel was only a three minute walk from the shops, cafes, restaurants and, most importantly, from the beach. The view was breathtaking. From the restaurant, during supper, we could observe the marvelous sunsets behind La Gomera. From the beach we could see the summit of Teide, the volcano and the highest peak in Spain at the same time, all covered in snow. That was a bit freaky really. Lying in a bathing suit on a beach and observing snow… Or walking in flip flops on snow because it was that hot – yup, that happened there as well. 

Apart from lying on the beach and sunbathing, which we do not fancy that much (I get sunburnt very quickly due to my light skin colour), we decided to walk around the neighbourhood. It was so many choices. One day we took a walk north, by the coast of course. There are promenades facing up and down the island from the place where we stayed. In fact, Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje is a one big tourist centre. There are a couple of beaches there, with different sand colours, some black, some gray, some yellow and some almost white. Some beaches are totally rocky. On some, there is loads of grass and not that much sand. So there is some diversity in that matter. There are really loads of hotels there. In fact, the map that we got when we arrived did not include any street names, but only the hotel names. And it made it very easy to move around, as the hotels and their names were visible from a distance. So that was quite smart.

There is a great park in Costa Adeje (or is it Playa de Las Americas already? I still have no idea where the borders between these are) that we visited and that really worked for raising our adrenaline levels and made us feel like kids at the same time. It’s called Siam Park . It is quite new and quite well thought through. There are attractions both for adults and for kids. It gave me a chance to experience the high waves in a safe environment (well, we don’t have that high waves on the Baltic Sea). I loved the Dragon, although a couple of times I felt like I would fall off. But that made it even greater ;) In Giant you can choose from two ways – one of them is slow and you have to start pushing yourself with your hand which makes it annoying (the right one is slow. Or was, when we were there). The Snakes gives you 4 paths to choose from – two are totally dark (freaky, cause if the tiny little lights inside the tubes are broken you have no idea when the turn is and to which side), two are open, on three of them you can ride with somebody, one is only individual. They were pretty safe, not that fast, but yet we managed to fall off the lilo in the pools at the end ;) But hey, that’s just us ;) Mekong rapids is located on the side and you have to walk all the way up on the hot concrete without any shoes, so it’s quite challenging as well. But loads of fun, especially if you’re the lucky one to go backwards, so you can’t see the turns in advance but only the horror in your partner’s face ;) Tower of Power, their so-called biggest attraction – well… pretty amazing when you’re standing up there before the slide… the slide takes just 3 seconds, though. Not really worth the fuss… The Volcano – the ride was fun, we could see some illuminations inside, but that wasn’t what I’ve expected after watching the prospects on the web. Nagaracer was full of kids all the time, but that was fun to go… a couple of times. With your face first you take a race with others on a flat mat.  The Lost City is for kids, but looks amazing from the outside. Made me feel like paying a visit to the Flinstones ;) I really wanted to take a ride on Mai Thai River, but unfortunately it was being renovated while we were there, so no chance for that. The Wave Palace – waves up to 3 metres high. Great experience. And funny as well. We knew the “waves show” was about to start when we heard the gong. Then all the people lying on the beach, like mindless zombies, started moving towards the Wave Palace. Funny, really. Generally speaking, we spent there something like 5 hours and that was enough for one time for my husband. Well, I’m the crazy one in this relationship so I could stay longer. But I would love to get back there one day. I’m just waiting for our kid to get older (or taller) so that he could enjoy all that fun with us. 


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