Sunday, 16 August 2015

Expanded Tourism in Tenerife

The five-day holiday/performance in Tenerife is now done and dusted and what an interesting time it was! Here it is in 12 images. 

We saw layer upon layer of people, history and culture piled up high in well-organised chaos. We saw beautiful contradictions and embarrassing scars.

We saw a tough core behind the beautiful appearance of this island. We saw plants growing wild that could blow your head in two.

We became attuned to the pervasive imagery of indigenous Canarians. We heard about the time before the Spanish arrived and conquered, we heard about the dream of regaining independence.

We teamed up with the young travel company Anaga Experience. We were their guinea pigs, their friends and their photographers. We got to see up close how a travel company in Tenerife operates in practice.

We walked up and down Santa Cruz de Tenerife; we tried getting lost, retracing our steps and rediscovering indistinguishable corners that seemed to take us to other cities: to Beirut to Xiamen, to somewhere always just around the corner.

We spent a day in Los Christianos, the surreal British resort where beers are just one euro  and the only news is Mr Murdoch's.

We explored what a beach and bar holiday really is: we bathed in the warm water, grilled ourselves on the beach, sat amongst lads from Sheffield taking their alcoholic breakfasts and we set the country, our country, to rights.

We drove up and down the island letting the men from the hills be our guides.

We made friends with local cats, were invited to take them home and look after them. They shared some of their secrets.

We created our own shared history, language and shorthand. McDonalds could take us to the church, to America, to Dostoyevsky or simply down to the black sand beaches.

We ascended a volcano by moonlight, saw the dawn break over the clouds, made performances  on lava flows, became dizzy through lack of oxygen and breathed sulphurous air on a deserted crater high in the sky.

And yes, we most definitely got some sun. Expanded Tourism 101 was a great way to understand more about the island and the forces that shape it. The question I now have is, where to go for Expanded Tourism 102? Suggestions very welcome! 

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