Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Movies on Tenerife – Clash of the Titans

When I heard that Clash of the Titans was being remade on Tenerife, I feared that it might be a second rate remake of a fun, but second rate film. Not so, looking at the big guns from the movie world involved, this remake could easily out shine the original and put out the word to the movie industry that Tenerife is a fantastic location for movies.

Having fun with Greek Mythology this time are British acting gods, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. Joining them are Danny Huston (currently the baddie in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Mads Mikkelson (he who spanked James Bond’s buttocks and worse in Casino Royale). Relative unknown Sam Worthington (although his role in the Terminator 4 movie: Salvation may change all that) plays Perseus, the hero at the whim of the gods. The Incredible Hulk director, Louis Leterrier is at the helm.

Principle photography started in England on 27th April and we’ll keep you updated on Tenerife Matters regarding progress and when Zeus et al are due to descend for their epic Clash of The Titans on Tenerife soil.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Fiestas on Tenerife – Beñesmen 09; Go Guanche in San Juan de la Rambla

This is a brand new fiesta (cos, let’s face it, we don’t really have enough in the north yet; there are still a few days left when people actually have to work. Not that I’m complaining; I love them), so I don’t know what to expect, but it sounds as though it could be interesting and fun.

Instead of the traditional Romería, with Beñesmen 09, the Ayuntamiento in San Juan de la Rambla are going for a Guanche themed fiesta.

Events are going to be based on the life and customs of Tenerife’s indigenous people. There’s going to be the election of a fiesta king and queen, but this time it’s called the election of the Mencey and Beñesmer. Other Guanche goings on include the re-enactment of the appearance of the Virgen de Candelaria, a bit of fighting, traditional Guanche sports; mummification, a sacrifice of a man and a woman (okay I may have mistranslated that, but I’m definitely going, just in case) and lots of goats and Guanche food (don’t expect cordon bleu sophistication - this is a primitive race we’re talking about) before the party gets spoiled by the arrival of the conquistadors and the Catholic Church (boo hiss).

Could be something different.

Location: San Juan de la Rambla

Date: 9th May

Times: From 15.30 to 21.00. Events start at the Lavaderos de La Vera and move to their conclusion at the Recinto Ferial de Los Canarios

Fiestas on Tenerife – FLYPA 2009

A great add-on to the fiestas of the cross, the international paragliding festival is a spectacular aerial extravaganza and great fun. Hard hats are recommended at the ‘futuro Parque Marítimo’ in Puerto de la Cruz (i.e. the car park at the harbour) and Playa Socorro in Los Realejos as it literally rains men (and women) from the skies. Be careful if parking at the car park in Puerto. Last year I nearly ran over a paraglider who almost landed on the bonnet of the car…it’s not really good form to kill one of the participants.

However it’s not all about paragliding; with concerts, beach parties and air displays from the Spanish Air Army, the holiday weekend is jam packed with activities.

If it’s anything like last year’s event, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend.

Dates: It starts on the 29th April, but public events are from 30th April – 3rd May

Main events and times:

30th April
10:00 – 18:30: Paragliding and paramotor tandem
12:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and BASE jump).
13:00: Aerial exhibition of the Ala 46 F–18 planes patrol of the Spanish Aerial Army.
17:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and BASE jump).
1st May
10:00 – 18:30: Paragliding and paramotor tandem flights.
12:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and BASE jump).
13:00: Sardinada: Big sardine grill-fest on El Socorro Beach.
17:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and BASE jump).
21:00: 1st FLYPA’09 Concert. 40 Principales Party in Los Realejos

2nd May
10:00 – 18:30: Paragliding and paramotor tandem flights
12:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and BASE jump).
13:00: Aerial show of the Parachuting Acrobatics Patrol of the Spanish Army (PAPEA) and BASE jump from the aircraft. Landing in El Socorro Beach.
19:30: Big Paella and 2nd FLYPA’09 Concert. Afterwards, performance of the Epsylon Group in El Socorro Beach.
22:00: Paramotor night show. Lights and surprises (don’t know what the hell that means).

3rd May
10:00 – 18:30: Paragliding and paramotor tandem flights
12:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and BASE jump).
13:00: Aerial exhibition of the Ala 46 F –18 plane of the Spanish Aerial Army set up in The Canaries. BASE jump from the aircraft. Landing in El Socorro Beach.
17:00: Take off and show of the professional teams (acrobatics, paramotor and base jump).
20:30: Canarian Dinner and Pyrotechnic show on the Fiestas of the Cross Day in Los Realejos.

There are more details on the official website here.

Fiestas on Tenerife – the Big Bang, Fireworks & Fiestas of the Cross, Los Realejos

There’s only one place to be on the eve of 3rd May and that’s in Los Realejos for the biggest firework display on the island…in fact it’s the biggest display on any island. Claimed to be the longest display in Europe (it does last 3 hours – not that there are fireworks lighting up the sky the whole time), it is spectacular and usually a showcase for some amazing new pyrotechnics.

Before the display, it’s worth wandering the streets and having a look at the elaborately dressed crosses; it might feel odd, but it’s the done thing to stroll into people’s houses to admire their personal displays.

Location: The sky above Los Realejos. The small town square is quite a good viewpoint.

Date: 3rd May

Time: Due to start around 21.00, but that’s Tenerife time, so expect a wee bit of waiting.

Tip: Wear a jacket; it’s a bit on the nippy side in Los Realejos alto at this time of year.

Fiestas on Tenerife – Romería San Marcos in Tegueste

In a wonderful example of responsible goverment, Puerto de la Cruz Ayuntamiento are putting on 4 special buses to encourage people to not drive to the popular Romería San Marcos in Tegueste.

The buses leave from Calle Santo Domingo in Puerto at midday and will make the return journey from Tegueste at 22.00, 23.00, 23.30 & midnight.

The only downside is that they are for young portuenses, so I don’t think I’ll be allowed on…bugger.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Concerts on Tenerife – Tensamba

May is the month to go Brazilian on Tenerife; before you misunderstand I said ‘go’ Brazilian, not get a Brazilian; although with the temperatures heating up and more beach time beckoning it might not be a bad idea.

Santa Cruz, La Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava and El Sauzal are all set to sizzle to the hot sound of that samba beat when the Festival of Brazilian Music bumps up the temperature a couple of notches.

Artists, Dates & Venues:

Adriana Calconhotto – 3 rd May, Teatro Leal, La Laguna at 21.00
Hamilton de Holanda & Marcos Suzano – 9th May, Teatro Leal, La Laguna, 21.00
Paulinho Lêmos – 13th May, Casino de Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, 21.00
Noche Brasileña – 15th May, Balcón del Valle, La Orotava, 21.00
Maria Rita – 16th May, Auditorio de Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, 21.00
Alessandro Penezzi – 23rd May, Auditorio de El Sauzal, El Sauzal, 21.00
Batucada & Casuarina performance – 24th May, outside Casa Aduana, Puerto de la Cruz, 16.00
Fiestas Tensamba – 7th May, Txola, La Laguna, 22.00

Tickets: Through the Tensamba website

Fiestas on Tenerife – The May Fiestas in Santa Cruz

The bigger towns and cities on Tenerife don’t just have fiestas lasting a couple of days; they have fiestas which last for a whole month. Santa Cruz was founded on 3rd May 1494 which is as good an excuse as any for holding a month-long party to celebrate.

During this month of flowers, highlights include the election of a fiesta queen, the traditional ‘Baile de Magos’ (literally ‘Dance of the Magicians’, but on Tenerife, mago is a term used for country people), procession of the cross which the city was name after, concerts, sports events, floral exhibitions and all sorts amounting to a jam packed programme of over 260 hours of events:

Timetable: See full programme here (IN SPANISH)

Exhibitions on Tenerife – Traditional Canarian Food Fair in Los Cristianos

Anyone in the south of Tenerife who isn’t familiar with traditional Canarian cuisine should pop into the Cultural Centre in Los Cristianos over the weekend. The centre is one of the best of its kind on the island and always seems to have something interesting going on. This weekend it’s a Canarian food fair with an exhibition of the basic ingredients used by Canarios since the days of the Guanche and the conquest.

You can’t say you’ve ‘Gone Native’ (shameless plug there) until you’ve tried some gofio cakes, the island’s award winning smoked goat’s cheeses, or its unique honeys…and there are local wines to quaff as well, so go along and eat drink and be merry.

Location: Cultural Centre, Los Cristianos

25th & 26th April

11.00 to 20.00

Exhibitions on Tenerife – Antique and Classic Cars

Playa de las Américas is going for a record this weekend with an attempt to organise a gathering of the biggest collection of antique and classic cars in the Canary Islands.

As well as beauties from Tenerife, organizers are expecting at least 45 cars from Gran Canaria, 23 from La Palma and 5 from La Gomera – no mention of El Hierro (I’m not sure the automobile has reached there yet).

A display of spruced up old dames on the esplanade in front of the Hotel Conquistador sounds like something a bit different for Playa de las Américas…on the other hand…

Hotel Conquistador

Sunday, 26th April

Time: From 10.00

Fiestas on Tenerife - The 2nd Festival Folclórico Verodal

Fancy a knees up Tinerfeño style? The old southern town of Arona plays host to the 2nd Verodal folklore festival. Groups from La Orotava, La Palma and Arona are putting on a show of the type of singing and dancing enjoyed in traditional towns across the Canary Islands during fiestas. Very different from the bright lights and tribute acts in the municipality’s tourist mecca of Playa de las Américas on the coast.

Plaza de Iglesia, Arona

25th April

Time: 21.00

Entry: Free

Saturday, 18 April 2009

English Language Cinema on Tenerife – State of Play

Mix a heavyweight cast (Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren) with a trustworthy director (Kevin Macdonald - Last King of Scotland) and take your ingredients from the hit BBC series of the same name and you’ve got an almost guaranteed winner. Thriller aficionados aren’t likely to be disappointed with this engrossing tale of a reporter (Russell Crowe) investigating the suspicious death of the aide of a US congressman (Ben Affleck) who also happens to be an old friend. Murky dealings and political shenanigans ensue.

After the fluff of the last couple of weeks, it’s nice to have something you can get your teeth into.

Cinema: CineGranSur, Costa Adeje

Date and Times: 17th to 23rd April (Extended until 14th May), 17.15 daily

Tickets: €6

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Fiestas on Tenerife – Romería de San Marcos Evangelista

Tegueste, the town with no coastline and an obsession with boats is about to celebrate big time during its fiestas in honour of San Marcos Evangalista which run from 17th April to 3rd May.

The main events include the folklore concert, ‘el festivel 7 islas’ in Plaza San Marcos on Friday, 24th April; the firework display on the 25th April; exhibition of romería floats on 27th April and the ‘Baile de Magos’ on the 30th April.

The highlight of the festivities is the romería on Sunday 26th April from 13.00. It’s supposed to be one of the most important of its kind in the Canary Islands (but then they always say that). I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that there’ll be loads of animals, guys and gals dressed in traditional costumes, more animals, free food and wine and…boats. As always great fun is guaranteed.

Place: Plaza San Marcos and surrounding streets, Tegueste

Dates: From 17th April to 3rd May

Agenda: see full pdf agenda (in Spanish) here

Spring on Tenerife – A Blooming Good Time

Parque García Sanabria rewards visitors with a floral feast for the eyes at any time of the year, but the added attraction of an exhibition of flowers and plants in the park and at the end of April cranks up its breathtaking beauty levels another notch of two.

If you haven’t seen this fantastic park yet, you’re really missing out on one of Tenerife’s gems.

Place: Parque García Sanabria, Santa Cruz

Dates: 26th April to 4th May

Exhibitions on Tenerife – Blubber Bots

Before anyone gets excited, this isn’t an exhibition of photographs taken on Tenerife’s nudist beaches. It’s an interactive display of a strange and wonderful world of friendly A.I. helium filled robots – Blubber Bots, created by New York born artist Jed Berk, which float around making whale sounds and are attracted by light, sound, colours, heat and…mobile phones.

Sounds freaky and definitely worth a look.

Venue: Teatro del Círculo de Bellas Artes, Santa Cruz

Dates: 3rd April to 9th May

Thursday, 9 April 2009

English Language Cinema on Tenerife - Marley and Me

Anyone who’s serious about their movies knows that the worst time for decent films is Easter and Christmas when cinema screens are usually filled with offerings with as much substance as candy floss.

Not only do you get a lightweight movie at GranSur this weekend, but you get one which was already screened a couple of weeks ago. YAWN!

Cinema: CineGranSur, Costa Adeje

Date and Times: 8th to 16th April, 15.30 daily

Tickets: €6

Monday, 6 April 2009

Disney on Ice in Tenerife

Remember that song, ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come”? Well that day is nearly here. Disney on Ice is back in La Laguna this month with a spectacular icebound production featuring Sleepy Beauty, Snow White and her seven vertically challenged friends as well as Disney stalwarts Mickey and Minnie and a host of others.

Venue: Pabellón Insular de Tenerife "Santiago Martín", Calle Mercedes, Los Majuelos, La Laguna

Dates and Times: Friday 17th April, 18:00; Saturday 18th April - 12:00,16:00 &19:30; Sunday 19th April, 12:00,16:00 & 19:30; Monday 20th April, 20:30; Tuesday 21st April, 20:30

Tickets: Adults €22-€4 ; children €18 -€40. On sale through El Corte Ingles

Sunday, 5 April 2009

English Language Cinema on Tenerife – Bedtime Stories

One for the kids this week with this lightweight Disney tale of hotel janitor, Adam Sandler (he just doesn’t do it for me) whose fantastical stories, made up for the benefit of his nephew and niece, start to come true.

The kids will probably enjoy it.

Venue: GranSur C.C., Costa Adeje

Screenings: Daily 15.30 & 17.15 from 3rd April to 7th April

Tickets: €6

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Festival in Tenerife – The VII Antique & Baroque Music Festival

I love all sorts of good music, but I’d be lying if I said I’d pencilled in any of the concerts during the Puerto de la Cruz VII Festival of Antique and Baroque Music which is taking place between now and the 12th April.
However, when a rather beautiful woman wearing a low cut bustier who looked as though she’d time travelled a couple of centuries leaned towards me and placed a flyer for the festival in my hand I suddenly found the idea of checking it out a lot more interesting.

One week street theatre, the next classical concerts...there's a reason that Puerto de la Cruz is known as Tenerife's sophisticated resort.


2nd April: Reyes Bartlett Choir, Iglesia de la Peña, 21.12, €10
6th April: Magios Ensemble (3 centuries of Spanish music), Castillo San Felipe, 20.30, €20
7th April: Ensemble Barroco (Instrumental music from the 17th century), Castillo San Felipe, 20.30, €10
11th April: Martina Warecka, Mark Peters, Eugène Michelangeli-‘Adventures in Italy’, Castillo San Felipe, 20.30, €20
12th April: ‘La Trulla de Bozes’ – Various, Castillo San Felipe, 20.30, €20

Easter in Tenerife – Semana Santa in La Laguna

Although celebrations for Semana Santa involves masses and processions in towns across Tenerife between the end of March and Easter weekend, the ones to look out for are the ‘Magna’ and ‘Silent’ processions in La Laguna; two of the most evocative sights that you are likely to witness on Tenerife.

Clearly much of this is connected with the shock of seeing brotherhoods wearing a costume which is normally associated with intolerance; however, La Laguna’s atmospheric streets, barefooted hooded monks in chains and the deafening silence which accompanies brotherhood after brotherhood as they parade through the old streets sends an unforgettable shiver down the spine.

Place: La Laguna old town

Date: Friday 10th April

Time: The Magna procession leaves the Iglesia de la Concepción at 17.00, the Silent procession sets off begins at 21.30

Easter in Tenerife – Semana Santa in Adeje

Semana Santa is a serious religious event on Tenerife and there are some emotional masses and processions taking place over the next 10 days, especially on Viernes Santo (Good Friday).

Many towns celebrate Semana Santa, but in Adeje (the old town not the coastal version) the way the town celebrates Good Friday is a bit more of a Cecil B. De Mille epic than other places when almost the whole town takes part in a spirited re-enactment of the Passion of Christ.

I realise something like this isn’t going to be on most tourists’ holiday agenda, but for those who do like to experience the real Tenerife, Adeje is within easy reach of anyone visiting or staying in the south and this example of community spirit is what Tenerife is really all about…it’s also really interesting as well, honest.

Place: Calle Grande, Adeje

Date: 10th April

Time: From midday onwards