We ended up in Lanzarote by accident. A few years ago, we were supposed to go to Mexico for our honeymoon, but some pig in Mexico licked a small child and hence there forth, the swine flu was born. So, we faced the idea of continuing with our plans to go to Mexican airborne swine land, or just suck it up and stay close to home where the Spanish swine only eat acorns and prance like sweet magical unicorns on the prairies.
In the end, we decided to head to the Canary Islands, still hoping for that tropical, relaxed feel of a Mexican vacation.
So we arrived, hopped in our waiting car, and started driving to our hotel. I know you don’t know me, but I’m not exactly what you would call a sensitive person. Okay, we had to change our plans at the very last minute, but we were still going to a tropical destination, right? No problemo.
Yeah. So, during the long are trip to our hotel, I will admit that I had tears in my eyes. There was no tropical anything here, no greenery, no palm trees, no nothing. It was like we had landed on the moon – total darkness – total lava.
Now, I knew that the Canary Islands are volcanic islands, but so is Hawaii, right? Lanzarote is more like landing on the moon than visiting a tropical heaven. The whole island is black and barren, dotted with little white block houses that are all in the same style – little, white cubes with green (sometimes blue)shutters.
The style of the houses was designed by local architect, César Manrique, who worked with local government to regulate building codes so that all houses on the island were of a similar build and design and that absolutely no high rises would ever be built on the island in order to maintain the distinct look of the island.
César Marique died in a car accident twenty years ago, but his influence on the island is immense. It’s as if all of Lanzarote was his canvas – you can see him everywhere. If you visit, don’t miss a trip to the César Manrique Foundation.
When we finally arrived at the hotel, I let out a huge sigh of relief. Most of the beaches of the island are black and rocky, but ours was a man made beach and really spectacular. We went in April and we could lay out in the sun almost everyday, but the water was absolutely freezing!
Despite my initial reaction to the island, I have to tell you that it is one of the most unique places I’ve been. Lanzarote has a unique personality and beauty that you really won’t be able to find in many places. It’s an island to be explored and I highly recommend renting a car in order to explore everything this little wonder offers.
For the observant wino, Lanzarote doesn’t seem like it would be very vineyard friendly, but they make a pretty decent white wine called Malvasía. I was surprised to know that grapes can grow in the volcanic earth, but only white wines. The one red wine I tried was God awful.
There is also a famous lagoon on the island where Pedro Almodovar filmed “Los Abrazos Rotos” with Pepe Cruz.
Manrique Up, you big baby!
Although you will see César Manrique’s presence all throughout the island, you should make sure to visit his foundation and his house that has been turned into a museum. The house is a total trip. It’s kind of a mix of the playboy mansion, a volcanic bunker, and a seventies porno…
There is also a massive cactus garden on the island, also designed by Manrique. What did you say? Snoozefest? Well, just for that nasty remark, I’m going to punish you with photos of cacti.
One of the major attractions is, of course, the 300 volcanos that make up the island. Take a quick tour of the volcanic park, Timanafaya, where a bus will take you up to the top to see the inside of the volcano, the geyser, and the restaurant that, of course, cooks food with volcanic heat.
OMG! Crabs! I almost forgot the crabs! Lanzarote is the only place in the world with albino, blind baby crabs! You can find these rare little suckers in a place called Jameos del Agua. The giant lava bubbles that are Jameos Del Agua, were formed by a volcano called Monte de la Corona which erupted some 3.000 years ago.
What did you say? Snoozecity again? You’re a real jerk! So, just for that, here are some photos of little blind, albino crabs that not just any blog will show you…
So there you have it – our little emergency 301 re-direct (seo humor alert!)sent us to Lanzarote instead of Mexico. And it was one of the best “accidents” that could have happened to us.
Who else can say that they visited rare, blind, albino crabs on their honeymoon?