This past weekend, my roommate Alia, my friend Chris who was visiting from home, and I went to the island of Tenerife, located in the Canary Islands (in the Atlantic Ocean, and coincidentally not really anywhere near Spain). The entire trip was a ¨blast in a glass¨ and insanely different from the day-to-day Spanish routine in Madrid. Here´s the breakdown of our 48 hours in the Canaries.
– Lodging: In typical European-travel fashion, we waited til the last minute to book our lodging. We ended up at the lovely Hacienda del Sol, where we had our own apartment with a kitchen, living room, and deck for a grand total of 105 euros. While the clientele was shifted heavily toward the overweight German tourist variety, the hotel pool, direct sunlight, and views of volcanic mountains made us instant fans. For those familiar with it, it sort of reminded me of San Diego´s Catamaran hotel.
– Playa de las Ámericas: While most weekend trips for us consist of cramming as much sight-seeing as possible into a two-night stint, our goal in Tenerife was more sun-based. We spent time at the black sand beaches of the Playa de las Ámericas. We felt like we were in a mix between Catalina Island´s Avalon, Hawaii, and Germany (due to the insane number of tourists and prevalence of ¨das boot.¨)
-English breakfasts galore. While we were technically still in Spain, we heard minimal Spanish. The signs at the Reina Sofia airport (Tenerife´s southern airport) were in German first, English second, and Spanish third. British food, accents, and pubs pervaded the Playa de las Ámericas ¨culture.¨ While this trip was not culturally enlightening in the way others may have been, it was relaxing, fun, and different from any place I´ve been before.
-Finally, some travel tips (take these for what you will).
1. A 6 am flight out of Madrid´s Barajas airport is a perfect excuse to pull an all-nighter. (They metro doesn´t start running in time, so why go to bed when you have to take a cab at 4:30?) I would like to brag that my first all-nighter ever was for this (entirely non-academic) reason. So fun.
2. If you pull said all-nighter and then try to ¨nap¨ at 7 pm, you will wake up at 11pm completely disoriented.
3. McDonald´s free wifi can be a lifesaver, especially when you experience internet withdrawal.
4. Ryanair´s self-congratulatory horns at the end of ¨yet another on-time flight¨ post touch-down never get less annoying. Especially since they over estimate the flight time in order to literally toot their own horns.
5. ALWAYS try the local beer, even when your friends make fun of you for it.
One measure of a successful weekend? Adding inside-jokes to the repertoire. Mission accomplished for sure.