Picture this: you’re walking through a crowded market at the hottest part of the day. You have your slightly-bored children behind you, and you’re now looking for the fastest way back to your car to escape the crowds and the heat.
Then you look up and see a man, dressed in a red robe, screaming at passers-by. And then it hits you – his legs are folded underneath him and he’s floating about three feet in the air!
The barbecue pit at Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote has to be the ultimate barbecue experience – this stone well sits above a vent in the ground which cooks the meat on the grill. If you dare to look into the well, you might catch a dull red glow a few feet down.
The Cesar Manrique-designed insignia for the Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote.
Okay, I think the positioning of the tail looks a wee tad phallic if we’re honest, but the demon shows some of Manrique’s slightly primitive design style. As for the park itself, it takes up almost a quarter of Lanzarote, fields upon fields of lava and craters. If you’re lucky, you’ll see lines of camels walking through the rough ground, led by guides.
If living underground is your kind of thing, then Lanzarote seems to offer quite a few options. The Cueva de los Verdes is just one of them. The others? Jameos del Agua which is a short drive away and the wonderful home of Lanzarote-born artist César Manrique.
Here’s the funny thing about the Cueva de los Verdes – “Verdes” in Spanish means “green”. But as the guide will tell you, like the rest of the arrid island, there’s nothing green about the caves. The name actually comes from a farming family who used the volcanic cave as their home. Their name? Verde.
The kids pointing out one of César Manrique’s eye-catching wind sculptures. The entire island of Lanzarote is littered in these brightly-coloured and unique creations. You’ll find them mostly along the island’s roundabouts – nodding, bobbing and twirling in the notoriously high winds that Lanzarote attracts!
I took this shot from the garden of the Fundación César Manrique – it shows a volcano in the distance and the fields of lava that surround the building. It’s a reminder that the house and administrative buildings are built on top of five natural ‘bubbles’ that occur in the rock.
The name César Manrique is hard to escape on the island of Lanzarote – a prolific artist, Manrique is responsible for much of the artistic heritage on the island – from being the designer of the wonderfully primitive logo for the Timanfaya National Park to creating a spectacular home out of five interconnected volcanic bubbles under the ground.
The quaint all-white gatehouse at the bottom entrance to the Sands Beach resort. This is the gateway to the secluded little beach behind the resort – it’s also a cool little place to sit while the sun’s at its hottest!
This is another one of those circle photos I was telling you about. In this one, we put a beer mat in the middle of the table and framed it with the wicker that the table is made from.
Anyway, a little bit about the Sands Beach Resort: it’s a hotel complex with a collection of plazas at the back. We stayed there for a fortnight this year – there’s plenty of entertainment, including a “Buddy Club” for kids that runs for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. They’ve also got nightly entertainment in the form of the Buddy Club mini-disco and whatever cabaret act is booked for that night.
I took a bit of a fancy for pictures of circles during our holiday in Lanzarote – something I might continue now that I’m home. This one’s us looking down the barrel of the cannon outside the Castillo de San Gabriel in Arrecife.
Of course, Rachel decided to pop her face in at the very last minute, but I love how the inside of the cannon spirals downward toward the bottom.