Easter Processions in Santa Cruz de La Palma and Los Llanos

It’s Holy Week, and in this Catholic country, a lot of people take it very seriously. The bigger churches hold processions, which look very exotic to my English eyes. Do try to see at least one.   It’s not so much that they take the obviously-heavy statues along the street – most churches do that on the respective saint’s days. It’s the costumes. They remind me of the Klu Klux…

April 4, 2012
Read More >>

Ultrabike 2012

On Saturday April 6th, La Palma will host an extreme bike race called Ultrabike. Actually, there are two races, a short one of 34 km and a long one of 110 km. Both routes go through gorgeous scenery in the south of the island, and both involve lots of climbing. For example, the high point of the long ride is 1,575 m above sea-level, but the total climbs add up…

March 29, 2012
Read More >>

Ultrabike 2012

On Saturday April 6th, La Palma will host an extreme bike race called Ultrabike. Actually, there are two races, a short one of 34 km and a long one of 110 km. Both routes go through gorgeous scenery in the south of the island, and both involve lots of climbing. For example, the high point of the long ride is 1,575 m above sea-level, but the total climbs add up…

March 29, 2012
Read More >>

The Sardine’s Funeral in Santa Cruz de La Palma

Santa Cruz de La Palma’s funeral for the sardine is a comparatively quiet affair (note “comparatively” – I think more people went to the costume dance on Saturday). It was still fun. The procession started with two of the sardine’s widows (posh-looking transvestites) followed by the Batuka (serious percussion) and jugglers, a fire eaters and a man on stilts. Next came the sardine itself, hand-carried by about ten men in…

February 26, 2012
Read More >>

The Sardine

Most places in Spain end Carnival with a funeral for a sardine. It’s like being inside a Monty Python sketch, with the crowd dressed in black (some tarty, some elegant) and screeching with fake grief. “WAUUUGH! She’s dead!” The whole thing’s deliciously bonkers. This bizarre finale to Carnival was traditionally held on Ash Wednesday, but most places on La Palma hold it at the weekend, so people don’t have to…

February 24, 2012
Read More >>

La Palma’s Island Museum

The Island’s Museum is in the old convent of San Francisco. The building itself is lovely. It dates from the early 16th century; work started in 1508, just fifteen years after the Spanish conquest. (Forty years ago, it was the technical school, and my husband studied there. It certainly looks better than the concrete box I studied in.) The church is still a church, and the music school stands beside…

August 11, 2011
Read More >>