Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top 5 Spots in Tenerife: La Ortava and Hotel Mencey

3. La Ortava
A charming old town in the valley above Puerto de la Cruz. In my memory, it was green and lush, but in reality it's a small village populated by ancient buildings and nice locals. The Casa de los Balcones is a popular tourist spot to pick up local lace and your own little balcony. We walked up and down the hilly streets, and discovered two stunning public gardens and a nice coffee shop. We also watched fancy-dressed wedding guests entering an old church. The bride, I'm sorry to report, was very, very late.
View Down a Twisty Street in La Ortava

The Famous Tourist Trap - Casa de los Balcones 

Jardin Victoria With Quite a View!

4. Hotel Mencey and Parque Garcia Sanabria
In Santa Cruz, the small city we used as home base, we stretched our budget a little to stay at the historic Hotel Mencey. It was a comfortable, well-maintained hotel in a great location. I love a hotel will a lot of common spaces to relax in, and this one had a bunch, all with beautiful views. And there were turtles!

Just across the street is the Parque Garcia Sanabria, a green oasis in the middle of a thriving little city. It's filled with little lanes for meandering (or jogging), sculptures and fountains, two little cafes. We walked through this park as we entered and exited downtown Santa Cruz, where most of the shops and restaurants are, and it was a pleasant little calm in the bustle of Santa Cruz.

The View from Our Room's Balcony

An Interior Courtyard at the Mencey
A Path at the Park

There's a Big Floral Clock at the Bottom of the Park.

5. Playa Las Teresitas
There are other beaches on this island that are probably more beautiful and boast better views out into the open sea, but Las Teresitas holds a little bit of magic for me. This was the beach I was taken to as a baby and where I toddled, topless, with my mom and sister. I tell people it's the beach I learned to walk on -- but my Mom swears that's likely not true. Anyway, it's a good tale. And this crescent-shaped beach pops up occasionally in my dreams. I wadded into the cool water and just tried to memorize all that was around me to give my next dream more detail.

The Sand on this Beach Was Imported From The Sahara Desert!
Anyway, not many Americans visit these beautiful islands and they are really worth the long trip down there -- even if you don't have relatives to take you out to dinner.

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