Tag Archives: Tenerife

2012 Travel in Review, Part 2

For the second half of my travelling adventure, I decided to include a transatlantic cruise that would also include crossing the equator.

Sao Paulo: I started the adventure in Sao Paulo. Nothing prepared me for the number of people, the traffic, or the language barriers! But, that is what makes travelling n adventure — learning to face new challenges and opportunities. In Sao Paulo, I stayed at the LimeTime Hostel, which was very close to the Metro and Ave. Paulista. Of course, my first day out, I turned the wrong way and got lost looking for the Metro and Ave. Paulista, but I finally started learning my way around — and using the Metro was a great help!  Want to do something different?  If you are up early on a Sunday — which can be difficult because there are so many cool bars in Sao Paulo — head to the Benedictine Monastery for 10 AM mass.  It is crowded, so unless you get there a little early, you may have to stand, but the singing is beautiful!

Casa de las Rosas
Casa de las Rosas
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Placa de Republica
Placa de Republica

Santos: There is a bus that takes you from Sao Paulo to the beaches of Santos.  It takes about 90 minutes and will stop right on the beach.  I took the bus to the cruise terminal to join my ship, RCI’s Vision of the Seas. There were a few of us on the bus — and we all got a little nervous, not knowing the exact route the driver was taking through Santos.  But we made it safely and got a mini-tour of Santos in the bargain.  The beaches are beautiful!

Beach at Santos
Beach at Santos

Rio: It was really nice sailing into Rio — I sat ion my balcony and took pictures from a view many people in the city would never see! I was also very fortunate to hook up with a small group of people to “see the sites” and had an amazing lunch at a Brazilian BBQ place.  I also had a moment of panic when I thought my group had left without me. I would love to spend more time here — preferably with someone and not on my own.

Cat on the beach in Rio
Cat on the beach in Rio
Rio Beaches
Rio Beaches
Vultures over Rio
Vulture flying over Rio
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Christ the Redemer
Christ the Redemer
Cat's photo at the tram
Waiting for the Tram
Sailing into Rio
Sailing into Rio

Salvador de Bahia: I loved the history and and experiences I had here in Salvador — and took one of my favorite pictures here as well.

Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Blessing
A Candoble Blessing

Crossing the Atlantic: I can say that I have not only sailed across the Atlantic, but I also sailed across the equator! This was 6 days of pure relaxation (when I wasn’t sick form a nasty cold).

Tenerife, Spain:  Our first port after 6 days — and I needed to get back into nature.  What a great place to experience the beauty of a volcano and this unique landscape. I want to go back and see more!

Rock formations near Teite Volcano
Rock formations near Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano

Funchal, Portugal: I had such a lovely day in Madeira — this is another place I want to return to and spend more time (and one of the reasons I cruise — get a “taste” of different places to decide where to return to!).

Funchal Market Monte tobaggan View from Monte Swan Tobaggan ride Funchal Cable

Lisbon, Portugal: I love Lisbon — great food,wine, entertainment and beautiful architecture — so much to take pictures of! I stayed at the Living Lounge Hostel — a wonderful spot in the heart of the city. I never seem to have enough time in Portugal!

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Tenerife, Canary Island

Before taking this cruise, all I knew about the Canary Islands was what was in books about the first sailors and discoverers — basically, not much at all.  However, after 6 days of not seeing land – land is what I wanted to see.  I wanted to experience nature in all its glory.  Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, can provide an amazing experience if you want to get close to nature.  I set out with several friends to see the Teite volcano which helped form and shape this island.  We basically went from sea level to over 3,000 feet in a little over an hour and a half.  Talk about feeling light headed! On the way, we learned some fascinating things about the local ecosystem and how the unique Canary pine trees help maintain the water supply of the island, their long needles collect the moisture from the trade winds and low clouds. We saw how quickly a clear day becomes cloudy then clear.

First view of Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano

We also saw the change in vegetation as we climbed up the hills to the area of the lava flows. From tall trees, to small bushes to a crater filled with rock formations of obsidian and crystals, we saw it all. Looming over this whole adventure was the top of the volcano – at first just peeking through the trees. Several of the rock formations have been given names based on what they seem to look like.  One looks like a first, while the most famous is called the “Finger of God.”  The grouping of rock formations was used in the movie the Ten Commandments when Moses is given the ten commandment tablets.

Rock formations near Teite Volcano
Rock formations near Teite Volcano

Another area filled with obsidian rocks was used at a background for the latest Clash of the Titans movie.  There is an “other worldliness feel” to this whole area.

On a more practical note, it was nice to be able to breathe this very fresh and clean air.

This island also has a stepped pyramid that intrigued discoverer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. He seemed to feel this was a connection between the Mayan and Egyptian pyramids. Other people seem to disagree because they have not been able to place the date as early as it should be if it is a link between these two civilizations. Regardless of the history, they are very intriging

There are black sand beaches, lovely towns, and beautiful people that combine to make this a great place to visit.

And there are also great sunsets!

Sunset
Sunset to a great day!