The Devil in Tijarafe

La Palma has several fiestas where the devil appears. He’ll visit Tijarafe in the early hours of September 8th for the annual fiesta del diabolo. This is the night of Wednesday to Thursday It starts off like most fiestas. The village centre is off the main road, and on the way in, you pass the usual mobile bars, blasting out music at full volume. In the main square, higher up,…

September 3, 2011
Read More >>

The William Herschel Telescope

The William Herschel Telescope at sunset. The William Herschel Telescope was for many years the biggest and best optical telescope in Europe (until GranTeCan opened in 2009).  The main mirror is 4.2 m across (165″, or 13′ 9″) which astronomers call “a good light bucket”. It’s rather old as world-class telescopes go, since it opened in 1987, but it still produced excellent science. In fact data from the WHT has…

August 27, 2011
Read More >>

La Zarza Rock Carvings

One of the best archaeological sites on La Palma is La Zarza and La Zarzita, in Garafía. You have to walk, but it’s a beautiful stroll through woods of heather and bayberry trees. Yes, heather is a tree here – see the top photo. The whole walk takes about an hour, and first bit of the path is the steepest. It’s clearly signposted. You reach La Zarza first. Here there…

August 15, 2011
Read More >>

The Red House

The Red House, Mazo La Palma’s embroidery museum is upstairs in the Red House in Mazo. (I’ll write about that in my next post.) Downstairs is a museum about the fiesta of Corpus Christi in Mazo. If you’re on La Palma for June 3rd next year, for goodness’ sake go and see it. If not, I strongly recommend the museum. Some of the things used to make the Corpus Christi…

August 11, 2011
Read More >>

The Silk Museum

La Palma has a long history of silk production, going back to the 16th century. In fact, at one time, silk was made in all the Canary Islands, but since the 19th century, El Paso, in the centre of La Palma, is the only place which still produces it. They use an old fashioned, labour-intensive technique, the only place in Europe which still does so. You can see most of…

August 11, 2011
Read More >>

The Molino Museum

A collection of old weights As well as the workshop making replica ceramics, the windmill at Mazo houses a small museum. Entry is free, but there are a couple of places you can make a donation. Upstairs is mostly a collection of old tools: an old Singer sewing machine, combs for flax, knife grinders, braziers… Oil lamps … the millers glasses, shepherd’s poles, long handled pallets for putting bread in…

August 11, 2011
Read More >>