This and that. That there is.

Category: Travel

Tenerife – some industrial photography

Like the architecture, industrial photography has its own subset of rules and takes time and practice to perfect. Unlike the nature photography, industrial photography is often dominated by geometry and straight lines that demand respectful place in the frame. On the other hand, the interplay of light and shadow can be interesting. Zooming in reveals hidden perspectives, and the absence of people (or their presence) can augment the message. Here, just a few of my photos taken in Tenerife, not too far from the auditorium.

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Tenerife – Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín

I’ve grown up among the great big socialist buildings, grey and practical. No material to waste, no unnecessary decoration. In return for living in high rise grey buildings, we had big and nice parks, so it wasn’t all that bad. Yet I always felt like the art does not belong to living quarters, it was confined to few exemplary public buildings and monuments to the Revolution. This is how it looked like thirty years in the past when I was but a boy who still did not understand how the world revolved.

Oh, we weren’t shut off from the outside information like less lucky socialist states were, in fact we had a reasonably free flow of information in and out. It’s just that the society felt like what we were doing was the right thing: austere, practical, no-nonsense things, with a little leeway for hedonism.

This is why I like this building: it screams of material spent into designing something that isn’t necessarily practical, but eye-catching for sure.

Just look at that arch! So much concrete wasted just to create this visually stunning piece of architecture! And that tip, the tip that requires care and maintenance, or it might fall off and kill someone down there!

As far as concert halls go, this auditorium has everything: it’s interesting inside out (alas I have made no photos of the interior), it sits on the waterfront (cue the sound of waves) and acts as an orientation point for tourists. The wave crest, the biggest part, is 58m high at its peak.

It is difficult to make too bad photo of this building.


The back of the auditorium is turned towards the ocean, with the plaza protruding much into the waterfront. This huge open space with its dark patchy floor is in stark contrast with the white-ish hues of the building. Seen from this side, the building doesn’t seem as spectacular: it looks like it could be another industrial building, one of so many utilitarian solutions for processing and storage of things planted by the industrious hand not too far from here. Yet it feeds the souls, not the industry.

Fittingly, the breakwater extending from the plaza into the sea has been artfully transformed from a grey sum of stone blocks into a memento to famous artists. Its temporary nature (as the paint can’t withstand unceasing salt, water and wind for long) is the very seed for the next generation of art that will grow on the memory of the previous.

Whodoneit? These people.

Oh, and if I left the impression I’ve been living in a grey box-shaped hell and have seen no other colour until I dug a tunnel to Austria, this is our national theatre:

photo by Diego Delso

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Tenerife – let’s make the trees comfortable

I’m changing my travel posts: instead of doling out one photo at the time as it was effective on G+ (and led me to over 39.000 followers at the peak of my popularity there – sadly, I never reached 40K), I will group several photos in one post. I’ll try to keep the posts relatively short, yet still interesting and informative. Since I am known for my prolific writing (“over the top”, “really going into details”, and “please, make it stop!”), I think a few photos per post should be the good measure.

Today, we learn that on Tenerife, there live some nice people who care about the nature so much, they crochet the tree trunks to save them from cold and make them feel happy.

I guess that they’re old ladies or something like that – though, in this time of political correctness I should think they’re all nice gender-irrelevant, age-non-discriminated, education-appropriate and politically-whatever_they_want_to_be people of religion they might or might not have, liking pets they do or do not own, and with the help of their own descendants who might or might not have been in existence at the time the crochet was made.

Allow me to digress: Erwin Schrödinger would be deligthed if he could live and teach in our days.


The truth is, it was all about the art project “Urban knitting”, where artists and other nice people took upon crocheting colorful t-shirts (does it stand for “trunk shirt”?) for 41 trees that live among humans in the urban areas of the nature.

At the time we went there, the art initiative was nearing completion. The interesting thing, just like the market mentioned in my previous post, is that it was the community who took upon itself everything from organisation to funding, and the city was all too happy to give a helping hand and a little nudge here and there.

I like how they made those trees feel loved, and the urban areas more vivid and happier as a side-effect, how about you?

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Tenerife 7

The inside of the market is full of small shops offering variety of goods. At the moment we were visiting the place, there weren’t too many people around, but it still felt busy. It isn’t that big; it is relatively small, well laid-out and colourful – and nicely clean. There are benches, a sunny middle part and stores in shade. There’s a lower level, too. Places to buy and consume food and drinks. Flowers. It surely does beat visiting a big grocery store any time! This is a place you simply have to visit, if not to buy something then to mingle among the locals and chat, why not?!?!

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Tenerife 6

La Recova de Tenerife is not an ancient market. It was opened in 1943. and was thriving for several decades, when the introduction of big merchants and, later on, big retailers significantly undermined the popularity of the place. After it was nearly abandoned by the city officials, it reinvented itself as a self-managing co-operative. The city gave the green light and ever since then the market is living its life, not nearly as bustling and important as in the beginnings, yet important to local population. To prove itself as more than a simple place for grocery shopping, La Recova is holding night markets every few months, with music and fun and partying and merry people all around.

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Tenerife 5

Barranco de Santos is a dry riverbed going straight through the urban centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It was dry at the time I took the picture, but you might have guessed that it is prone to flash flooding due to the hefty width of its channel. While the riverbed is usually dry, the hydrology and the geology of the area makes it susceptible to flash floods. Back in 2010. at the time of severe weather folowed by flash floods and land slides, Barranco de Santos was full to the brim. Tenerife might be the island of eternal spring, but it is still surrounded by an ocean: if you happen to visit it on a stormy day, you’d be in for a very interesting experience – unless you’re hiking somewhere in the open; I mean, you’ll likely survive that, and that, too, will be a lifetime experience. If you happen to avoid flash floods, land slides, rocks falling off of cliffs and sea waves that lick the roofs of the houses.

Jokes aside, it is always dangerous to brave the severe weather anywhere: listen to the local forecast and avoid travel in severe weather conditions. Let the Barranco de Santos riverbed stay dry and the sky sunny while you’re enjoying the island. 🙂

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Tenerife 4

Now, I might have gotten my references mixed up, but this one should be a statue erected at the time of Franco’s regime. 

Francisco Franco was a dictator who ruled Spain for four decades and saw a victory in the Spanish Civil War of 1936. (in no small part thanks to the aid from Hitler, who used the war to train his Luftwaffe pilots, and Mussolini who, well, wanted some glory)

The civil war being a bloody affair, it is no wonder that nations don’t like to talk about it. Therefore, we will skip that story, the only point here is that it was from Tenerife that Franco planned his coup. 

There’s a general disagreement on what to do with pieces of art originating in that time (there’s a law passed in 2007. condemning the regime, and art historians are somewhat divided on what to do with the works of art); I’m no art historian or art expert, I’m not a Spaniard and can’t say a thing about all of this, yet I somehow feel that art, no matter the context, should be preserved – not for the politics, but for the history. 

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Tenerife 3

What strikes me here is the mild climate creating a perpetual spring. The winter months are relatively warm, with night temperatures rarely going below a two-digit number and the summer months are hot, but there’s the ocean breeze that makes the life more than bearable. Walking this street in Santa Cruz de Tenerife I felt the calmness of a community that knows how to work and how to enjoy life. 

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Tenerife 2

The volcanic nature of Tenerife is easy to recognise: human settlements are either hugging the coast or lean against the steep slopes. Mount Teide, with its peak Pico del Teide at a remarkable height of 3718m above sea level dominates the island. It is an active volcano, yet it hasn’t even coughed for more than hundred years now. What we see on this picture, though, is not the volcano: the capital city Santa Cruz de Tenerife is safely away from the volcano.  Notice how the buildings are cramped together near the shore, avoiding the steep slopes but partially embracing them.  

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Since Google announced eventual shutting down of G+ where I’ve spent years with my travel blog, I’ve exiled myself to this place. I am going to post in parallel to both G+ and this travel blog for as long as the service exists (should be a couple more weeks, I guess). I do hope that some of my >38.000 followers on G+ will bookmark this site and continue enjoying the photos. 

For those who are new, I will post both simple photos without a comment and those with elaborate if not lengthy descriptions, fun facts or some trivia related to the picture. 

I will try to keep my good tradition of making people vote for the next destination; I find it interesting and my readers like it, too. Yet, to start the transition I am not offering any choice but the small collection of pics from Tenerife, a series that has been waiting in queue for quite some time. 

For those who did not follow my G+ posts, I will collect and re-post all of them here eventually. 

Also, I am thinking about trying out Patreon in a sensible way: some of my future posts might be visible to my patrons first, but I do promise that all travel content will be available to non-patrons after some time delay. 

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