Nativity Scenes

Christmas trees are a newish thing here, although probably most houses have one now. The main traditional decoration is nativity scenes. Some just show the stable, but some public ones are so elaborate that they include the whole village, and it’s always a Canarian village. Obviously that’s historically inaccurate, but no more so than all the English nativity scenes where Mary and Jesus are blond. This one was on display…

December 6, 2013
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Where’s the village gone?

Tourists sometimes go nuts trying to find the village of Breña Baja, or Fuencaliente. There’s a really simple reason why they can’t find them. They don’t exist. Breña Baja and Fuencaliente are municipalities, and their town halls are in the villages of San Jose and Los Canarios, respectively. It like driving all over the south east of England, looking for the town of Sussex. The map shows the 14 municipalities…

November 25, 2013
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Ship building in Santa Cruz de La Palma

Santa Cruz used to be the third biggest port in the Spanish empire, after Cadiz and Antwerp. So perhaps it’s not surprising that it also Santa Cruz used to be the third biggest port in the Spanish empire, after Cadiz and Antwerp. So perhaps it’s not surprising that it also used to be quite a big shipyard. Some 90 ships were built there between 1809 and 1948. In fact I…

November 5, 2013
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Astrophotography talk

On Wednesday night in Santa Cruz there will be a talk on astrophotography by Babak Tafreshi and Christoph Malin (two of the most prestigious astrophotographers in the world). They’re on La Palma to teach at Astromaster LA PALMA 2013, an advanced course on image processing and landscape photography timelapse and night which will be held in Los Cancajos this week, between July 26 and September 30. The talk will take…

September 24, 2013
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Book Day

It’s World Book Day, the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and Cervantes’s death. And as usual, La Palma is celebrating. There will be kiosks selling books all along the Calle Real in Santa Cruz (the main street, parallel to the sea front). I’m happy to say that a couple of them have my own book. The Cabildo (island government) will be leaving books scattered over the island for anyone to pick…

April 23, 2013
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Art Exhibitions

There are at least two art exhibitions well worth a visit in Santa Cruz de La Palma at the moment. Jorge Beda and Merche Martin Morillo have a retrospective exhibition a the College of Architects (on the Calle real or the sea front, just north of the Placeta). Amazingly, some of the paintings are just 30€. They’re open from Monday to Frieday, 10:30am – 1 pm and 6 pm-8:30 pm…

March 26, 2013
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