Clouds Over the Canaries


BAIT AND SWITCH! Those were my indignant words this morning when I swept back the  hotel-room curtains and saw thick cloud cover. After yesterday’s gloating, here and on Facebook, about the fine weather I was enjoying here in Lanzarote, today was a different story. It even rained a bit. I felt sorry for the sun-seekers who converge here from all over Europe; I, at least, am not on vacation.

Above: A cactus-covered ‘lawn’ near Guatiza



Above: The Manrique-designed Jardin de Cactus, a bowl-shaped amphitheatre carved out of a former quarry and filled with 10,000 species of cacti

I proceeded with my day’s program, visiting sites associated with Lanzarote’s man of myth, Cesar Manrique (1912-1992), a multi-disciplinary genius who transformed the island with his designs for everything from monumental engineering projects to kinetic sculptures found along the highway.

Below: A cactus gallery





I found those game Europeans queuing up to visit the cactus garden; Jameos del Agua, the underground lava caves Manrique masterminded as a tourist attraction, below; and the spectacular viewpoint called Mirador del Rio that is the reward for navigating a cliffside road of hairpin turns.


Along the road between these attractions, I got to experience the interior of the island.

Below, the predominant white-and-green color scheme of Lanzarote’s houses


The town of Haria, below, reminded me we’re near Morocco. In a valley, it’s a lush oasis compared to the arid south coast.


Below, Haria’s town hall; a sleepy street corner; and the restaurant where I found a very late lunch, after everyone else had gone.




Below, the lunch: a salad with tuna, prawns, egg, avocado, cukes, carrots, white asparagus, olive, tomato, pepper, and chunks of honeydew melon. There was melon in my salad yesterday, too; it works!


Lanzarote’s ‘wrinkled’ potatoes with two types of mojo, one with paprika and one with coriander.


Below, the restaurant at the lookout on the northern tip of the island, with Manrique’s kinetic sculpture hanging above.


The restaurant and lookout are carved into the ubiquitous lava rock.


Below, the sweeping view they come for: the neighboring island of Grasiosa, and the lava as it must have looked flowing to the sea.


Imagine it on a sunny day. Tomorrow’s my last full day on the island, and I’m holding out hope.

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here:
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3 Responses to Clouds Over the Canaries

  1. Barbara says:

    So sorry the weather’s not cooperating, but I’m loving your pictures! Great cactuses. Don’t tell me you took all those w/ iPhone??

  2. cara says:

    Yep – all iPhone photos! The camera on the 4S is superb. By the way, the sun came out again on Friday. This island is growing on me…

  3. Joe Kunkel says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous place! I love the cacti and kinetic sculpture!

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