Friday, August 5, 2011

Timanfaya National Park - Lanzarote, Spain

My idea of the Canary Islands and the reality of them didn't really match up. Not sure why, but I was picturing lush, tropical green islands and that's not the case at all. Lanzarote is a volcanic island and a relatively young one so the terrain is rocky and dark. Still beautiful and interesting to look at, just not what I had pictured. It reminded me of the first time we went to the big island in Hawaii - much of that same lava rock terrain is seen in Lanzarote.

To get a good understanding of this, we visited Timanfaya National Park, which includes a bus tour and a stop at the restaurant that cooks it's food over an open steam vent from the volcano (which is no longer active, but still really hot).  We arrived to a very long line of cars and almost decided to leave, but instead pulled out our books and enjoyed the fact that we could sit in the car with the windows open and catch a nice cool breeze. Here are a few photos from the wait.

We finally got to the front of the line and headed up the hills to the restaurant where we then boarded a bus that drives you through the park. Imagine riding the steep, winding narrow roads (complete with sheer drop off on one side) in a big huge tour bus! Let's just say we made sure to tip the driver when we got off. :) Here are a few photos from the trip - unfortunately through the bus windows.

After our bus tour, we returned to the restaurant for a 'demonstration' of the power and heat of the steam vents under ground. In the first photo, you'll see one of the guides pouring a bucket of cold water into one of the vents causing a geyser (which they pronounced geezer, which we thought pretty funny). The next photo is the cooking grill for the restaurant, which is simply set over one of the open steam vents of the volcano. How's that for energy saving? :)

1 comment:

  1. Cool post! Makes me miss Hawai'i. Glad you guys enjoyed it!