Wednesday 16 October 2013

Lanzarote - Cesar Manrique

I spent Oct 7 - 14 on Lanzarote, based in Puerto del Carmen, in the Canary Islands. Oh bliss! Everywhere on Lanzarote is the imprint of native artist-architect-environmentalist Cesar Manrique [1919-1992]. In the airport arrivals hall one is first greeted with the island's logo, designed by Manrique:

Aside from swimming with the fishes in the warm Atlantic, I did a few excursions including a South Island Tour to explore the volcano Timinfaya. The "fiery mountain" erupted 300 years ago for 6 years and completely devastated the island. Timinfaya National Park is a protected area so that the volcanic environment is seen and enjoyed in its purest possible form. Manrique also designed the logo for Timinfaya National Park which is seen on loads of tourist items. This is a metal piece on the wall of the restaurant on the volcano which he also designed.

This is the restaurant oven which uses the heat from the mountain depths (400 metres below) to cook food! It was hot in that room, but it smelled really good...

The tour bus traveled on a one-way route through Timinfaya with stunning (and often terrifying) views of craters, lava flows and volcanic debris. Outside of the national park, the tour continued to Las Salinas de Janubio (salt flats), El Golfo and Los Hervideros. The viewing points for Los Hervideros ("Boiling Pots") were designed by Manrique and are completely sympathetic with the landscape.

The boiling may refer to the ocean when the volcano erupted as the water certainly would have gotten very hot!

Or it may refer to the bubbling and crashing of the water against the shoreline and within hollow lava tubes.

Regardless of the origin of the name, it is something to see!

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