San Martin

While most of Europe celebrates Remembrance Day, here it’s St. Martin’s Day – San Martin. (Spain was officially neutral in both world wars, so they don’t have a Remembrance Day). San Martin is traditionally when the chestnuts are ready to pick, and the new wine from the summer’s grape harvest is ready to drink. (Although with global warming, the chestnuts have been in the shops for weeks.) So most families…

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A quick visit to Santa Cruz

Cruise ships regularly call into Santa Cruz de La Palma, and I thought people might like suggestions on what to see while they’re here. Of course it might be useful to people staying elsewhere on the island, too. The Tourist Information Office is a distinctive glass building, right outside the entrance to the port, and the staff are very good. But it does tend to attract longish queues when a…

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Remembering the Dead on La Palma

Halloween isn’t much of a fiesta here, although it’s becoming more popular. All Saint’s Day is. Traditionally, it’s when people remember their dead. So they decorate the graves in the morning, and most cemeteries have a special mass. It’s fascinating to see, but please be sensitive. Some people may be recently bereaved and feeling fragile.

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Halloween

Halloween is not a traditional Spanish fiesta. Ten years ago, it was something the children learned about in English classes. But you know, kids love a chance to dress up, and they especially love an opportunity for legalised begging,(and I was just the same). Naturally they love the idea of Halloween, and so do the shop keepers (obviously). And slowly, Halloween is becoming more popular. Don’t be too surprised to…

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Mariana Arranz Exhibition

I rather like the current exhibition in the Calle Real, by Mariana Arranz. For one thing, the paintings are very varied, but I liked nearly all of them. For another, they’re rather cheap. The exhibition will be there until Friday. Do pop in if you’re in town.

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Lujan Crafts Shop

Traditional embroidery, Casa Lujan, Puntallana, La Palma There’s a shop of crafts from La Palma beside the museum at Casa Lujan in Puntallana. It sells things like traditional embroidery and ceramics. In the centre of the room, there’s a traditional loom, although they didn’t have any rugs for sale when I was there. (Palmeran rugs are made with a linen warp, and rag weft. If you order one, you generally…

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