The next day I decided to pay a visit to the dormant volcano, Teide. Located at the center of Tenerife, this volcano is a treat for researchers in the field of geology and biodiversity. I boarded a bus from Los Christianos, a city on the southern coast of Tenerife and set off towards the volcano. This road from the southern coast presents an ever-changing exciting collage of scenic geological vistas. At times the street was lined with multi-colored rocks and shrubs, while at other times it was lined with dense pine forests immersed in fog. Suddenly the bus entered a mountain pass. On emerging out of the pass, the main peak of Teide could be seen rising directly in the front.
|The road that goes towards Teide|
During the final stages of eruption, the region around the main peak sunk due to tectonic movements, which resulted in the formation of a massive crater nearly 16 km x 9 km in area. Large trees do not grow in this area. However, plants that thrive in arid area are abundant here. Because of its unique environment many endemic plants are found here. Teide White Broom, Teide Daisy and Teide Violet are some of the endemic plants found here. In spring, there is a riot bloom of plant life. A number of tourist throng here to have a look at the blooms. Since the eruption took place in phases, it has created many enchanting landscapes. Some regions resemble the lunar surface; other regions give one the impression of being on Mars. Teide and its surrounding area is protected by the Government of Spain as a national park. Besides, it has also been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
|The landscape around Teide|
|The bus stop at the base of Teide|
Winding itself along the curves through such an enchanting region the bus eventually reached the foot of the volcano. The foot of the volcano itself is at a height of 2350 meters. There is a cable car facility that takes you close to the summit. But even the cable car does not take you near the summit. The final 200 meters has to be climbed on foot. However, this ascent can only be done with a government licensed and recognized guide with prior booking and registration. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the ecology at the very top of the summit, there are limitations on its access. In December, these heights were covered in snow. Hence, the route leading from the cable car station to the top was closed. However, we were permitted to wander around in the surrounding areas. From the top, in a single glance, it was possible to see the entire Tenerife island, the surrounding azure sea as well as other islands of the Canary Island group. As luck would have it, the sky and the air was clear. So, after carrying out a bit of photography, I started on my way down the mountain.
|The view from the summit of Teide. The islands La Palma and La Gomera can be seen at a far distance|
The next day I had to change my hostel. Hence, that evening I spent in El Medano, and packed my belongings.
The next two days were planned to be spent on the North of the island. Accordingly, I embarked on my journey to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This is the largest and the capital city of Tenerife. Hence, shopping malls, theaters, expansive gardens, restaurants offering international cuisine and a glut of other modern amenities are found in abundance. The auditorium, located on the beach is famous for its unique architecture. Its design creates an impression of the Sydney Opera. After a leisurely evening stroll along the beach, I returned to the hostel.
For more pictures click here.