Canary Islands: Transatlantic Cruise Part Two

Fall 2016, I took a transatlantic turnaround cruise with three fellow writers. We ended the cruise in Orlando, Florida and Hogwarts. We started the cruise by spending two days in Barcelona which I talked about in part one. In this post, I’ll skip the first few days of the cruise on the Norwegian Epic ship. I’ll devote one post to the sea days. The ship stopped at two ports before ending the cruise in Orlando.

Oct / Nov 2016 Cruise Day Four: variable temps, Canary Islands

img_3339Realized this morning that I’d lost the battle with the cold. Couldn’t cancel the excursion as this was a key reason for taking this cruise. In my current YA novel and the one I’m toiling over this cruise, the characters make a stop on Tenerife.

K and I took the scenic drive and Mt Teide excursion, about a three hour tour. Weather varied from pleasant 70s at the port to chilly at the higher elevations. While in good condition, the road was narrow for our large, luxury bus nearly full. Looking straight down cliffs was unnerving.

The Canary Islands are part of Spain and we landed on the largest island. The people of Tenerife speak a Spanish dialect closer to South American because of immigration from there and Cuba. Traffic was slow out of Santa Cruz. Part way up, we drove through a pine forest. As we drew closer to the volcano, the landscape grew bleaker, more lunar. We stopped at Papillon, a lovely cafe, and our only toilet stop of the trip. The hot tea wasn’t enough to warm us so we crammed ourselves into the tiny gift shop till the break was over.

We did pull over for pictures of the coastline and Mt Teide, before we arrived at a caldera with interesting rock formations and our closest approach to the mountain as shown in the photo to the left.

We had a good view of an observatory where they study the sun. Not surprising that Tenerife is a popular place to film movies and documentaries that are set on Mars.

On our return, our guide talked about jobs on the island. The best are in tourism. Engineers are paid a measly $1500 per month, so most go to Spain or other locations for tech jobs.

I had a good soup for lunch, and headed for bed at 2:30. No writing today.

Trip report respectfully submitted by, Michelle K

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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