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The Final Post — A Thank You to Everyone

I arrived back in the US at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, and it felt great to be back in the land of the free and home of the brave.  I will miss Las Palmas but as Dorothy once said, “there’s no place like home.”  I welcomed myself back to the States with a nice hearty Chick-fil-a lunch.  It tasted like freedom.

My time in Las Palmas was amazing.  I saw amazing things, met incredible people, and learned so much.

There are many people I need to thank who made this trip possible.  First, I want to thank Mrs. Maria Gimenez, who is in charge of the Global Internship Program at UGA Law.  Without her work in organizing this program, I would not have had this opportunity of a lifetime.

Second, I have to thank Saturia, Inés, Natascha, and Ousseynou for welcoming me with open arms.  They made me feel at home.  They were incredibly patient with me helping me along with my Spanish as well as teaching me new things about what was to me a foreign system of law.  Their kindness, patience, and friendship was much appreciated and I look forward to keeping in contact with them in the future.

Third, I have to thank my family.  They have supported me as I continue to follow my goal of one day working in international law.  Without their help and support, none of this would have been possible.

So, all in all, this was a helluva trip.  I’m going to miss Las Palmas, but I look forward to seeing what’s in store for me next…

Hasta luego!

Days 77-82 — The Home Stretch

It is now Monday August 5th and my time has nearly come to an end here in Las Palmas.  

I took advantage of my final weekend by spending time at the beach but mainly playing basketball.  I had heard of some courts about a 20-25 min walk south along the beach, so I decided to set out and look for them.  They were tucked in behind a playground in the Cicer zone of Playa de las Canteras near the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium.

I spent Friday and Saturday playing ball for 3 hours each day.  It was well organized in the sense of allowing everyone an equal chance to play.  People kept an eye out for who showed up and who wanted to play and made sure the proper order was kept.  

Because there was a fair amount of people waiting, the 4v4 games were played either to 5, 6, or 7 points.  Score was kept by 1s and 2s.  On Friday I played in the more competitive games and held my own picking and choosing my spots when to step up.  On Saturday, it was a bit less competitive with some younger kids mixing in with older kids like me.

I’m not a huge fan of playing outside though so it was difficult to shoot because 1) I hadn’t practiced in awhile and 2) a basketball court near the beach is going to be affected by the wind.  So, I worked on my inside game and outhustled everyone getting rebounds like I was Dennis Rodman.

Other than the basketball games, I spent a little bit of time on the beach and enjoyed soaking up some sun on the beach.

My next blog post will be my last post.  I will close things once I get back and settled in Charlotte.  

Until next time! Hasta luego!  Here are some pictures from the final weekend.

Days 72-76 — The Spanish Train Derailment and The Spanair Crash

Background

On July 24th, a high-speed train in Spain derailed resulting in the death of 79 of the 218 passengers with the rest of the passengers having experienced some sort of injury.  Everyone was hurt physically, emotionally, and mentally—the passengers, the conductor, the victims’ families, the government, and the royal family.  

Facts

More news continues to be disseminated daily, but this is what we know so far.  The train was far exceeding the maximum allowable speed for the curve where the accident occurred.  The train reached speeds of 190km/hr (118mph) before breaking at the curve at a speed of approximately 153km/hr (95mph) and the maximum allowed speed on the curve was 80km/hr (50mph).

Garzón—The Conductor

Today, the judge and other investigation officials listened to the black box of what was happening at the time of the crash.  The conductor, Francisco José Garzón Amo, was on the phone with Renfre (the Spanish gov’t train operators) to discuss the path to the destination.

Garzón describes his error as a lapse in concentration.  He has been quoted questioning why he is still alive, and he has stated that he feels so bad that he wishes he was dead.

Garzón so far is the only one who has been charged with a crime.  He has been charged with 79 counts of homicide by professional recklessness (a specific kind of crime in Spain) as well as numerous other counts that caused injuries to others.

Next Steps of Investigation

The investigation has only just begun, and there are still numerous things that need to be investigated.  Two of the main things are the ERTMS-compliant signaling and the AFSA signaling system.  The ERTMS system is a more technologically advanced system on high speed tracks.  The system is designed to slow or stop a train that is ignoring signals or exceeding speed limits.  The ASFA system is older (from 1970) and is more associated with low-speed trains and conventional train tracks.  This system warns drivers if they are exceeding speed limits but will not automatically slow or stop a speeding train.  

An issue with the accident at hand is that at the curve where the derailment occurred, the new high-speed line merges with a low-speed train track.  So, the investigators will have to determine the effectiveness of the placement of the systems and whether they functioned properly.

Comparisons with the Spanair Crash

My main project this summer was to develop a presentation regarding the Spanair Flight 5022 crash that occurred in Madrid in 2008.  For various facts and more information on the crash, here is a link to its Wikipedia page  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanair_Flight_5022.  After reading the decisions of the Spanish courts in regards to the crash, I, as well as the media, couldn’t help but think of the train derailment without the context of Spanair.

The initial ruling in Spanish courts charged and convicted two Spanair mechanics for the deaths of the victims of the crash.  However on appeal, the two mechanics were absolved and cleared of the charges because there was not a direct enough connection between the conduct of the mechanics in removing a certain device and the deaths of the passengers.

Some of the reasons included that the removed device was not a part of the Minimum Equipment List, there was no proven direct connection between the removal of the RAT sensor and the failure of power to the TOWS warning system to indicate the flaps and slats of the plane were not set right, there were other indicators the pilots failed to notice regarding the improper position of the flaps and slats, there was a delay in the first response to the crash due to the airport, and there was not enough proof that it was the crash that caused the deaths and not due to another reason such as the delay in response or the result of the stream where the plane crashed that may have caused drownings in regards to some passengers.  This gives you an idea of the various other factors in between the conduct of the mechanics and the final result of the crash.

In the train derailment case, on first glance, there does not appear to be as many other potential factors to absolve Garzón of his charges.  He was driving, he liked to drive fast, and he was distracted at the time of the crash.  In Spanair, no one was charged with a crime in the crash, BUT, the pilots of the plane were killed in the crash and there was no chance to try them criminally.  I believe, as well as other commentators, that if they had survived, they would have been the ones to receive criminal charges as a result of their lapses of concentration.

CONCLUSION

Garzón survived the crash, and he will have to live knowing the gravity of his lapse in judgment and concentration.  There do not seem to be any other causes of the crash other than his conduct.  

On that note though, only 1 week has gone by and the investigation will likely last for at least a year or two.  The Spainair crash investigation took three years THEN the court case started.  The appeals court decision in the Spanair case was not handed down until this past December.

It will be long time until Garzón goes to court but in the meantime I don’t think he has a good chance of avoiding these charges.

Days 65-71 — Days 69-70 — Trips to the Spanish Courts

First, last Saturday I believe it was I planned on walking to a beach that was a little further away, but the weather wasn’t great enough for the walk to be worth it.  Instead, I hung out near the area closest to me.  It was cool though because the tide was further out than I had seen before.  So, I spent about an hour just walking around and exploring.

The next adventure I had involved going to the Spanish criminal courts on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday, it was a day that involved a lot of sitting around and waiting.  Two cases were suspended for various reasons so there was nothing happening and I couldn’t go in and sit in on another case because the case had either already started or there wasn’t another going on.  What was nice though was when I first entered the courtroom, I was introduced to the “fiscal,” or the state prosecutor, and he would strike up a conversation with me in between the cases to make sure I understood what was going on.

A little about the design of the courtroom, You walked in and it wasn’t huge. But, this was a courtroom for smaller criminal matters.  Straight in front of you was the bench where the accused criminal would sit.  He faced the judge who sat in the middle.  Looking from the perspective of the criminal, immediately to the right of the judge is the legal secretary who types things into the computer.  Further on the right is the fiscal/prosecutor.  He is not sitting in line with the judge though rather the desk comes back perpendicular so the prosecutor can look directly at the defense lawyer.  This image will give you a vague idea at least of what I’m trying to describe.

Wednesday was a more exciting day with more action.  I saw many more things and interacted with more people.  I really had the opportunity to practice listening to EVERYONE speak really fast.

 There were two other Spanish students there who were watching cases too.  One of the cases early on in the day was suspended because someone didn’t show up.  So, there was essentially an hour break.  The judge invited us back into her office to talk about various law stuff and to get to know us.  She continued to chat with us as she took her smoke break in her office.  She was curious about the American criminal system, since she is a criminal judge, and she was asking me a lot of questions.  It was difficult to answer them because first, she was speaking in Spanish, and second, I’ve only had 1 semester of criminal law. I explained to her though to the best of my abilities about more or less how criminal investigations are handled and how people become judges and state prosecutors in the US.  While in the office I also learned of the difficult process to become a Spanish judge.  There is a judge exam that takes YEARS to study for.  The judge has to be familiar with nearly all of the numerous codes in Spanish law.  It sounded like this judge exam was even more of a beast than the Bar exam here in the States.

So, some of the cases I heard on the day were interesting. One case involved one man getting hurt, but there was conflicting testimony.  The victim who said he got hurt by the accused man said that the accused yelled the words “you son of a bitch” to his wife who was in the car.  The wife said she couldn’t hear the accused say this because her window was up.  The victim, further away from the accused, driving the car testified that he couldn’t hear the man but he read his lips.  Apparently then he got out, and the two men started grabbing ahold of each other.  After this point, the testimonies are too conflicting with one man saying the accused knocked him down while the accused saying he walked away and the other guy must have just hit his head later.  There was a third party witness saying he did not see the victim fall down at any point during their grappling match.

Another case was Skyped in.  A Spanish man was in Norway (I couldn’t figure out why) and there was a dispute on how another guy got hurt and whether the Spanish guy in Norway was responsible.  The spanish norway dude was apparently waiting to catch a taxi when the victim (who was quite drunk) approached him.  Words were said, there was a brief fight, someone got hurt.  The problem is the victim was admittedly drunk and the facts of the case are very unclear.

There were two other cases and two or three others where deals were made, so there was nothing to see.

At the end of the day, we were given a behind the scenes tour by the “auxilaria.” She was like a helper in the courtroom who would bring people in and out when needed, transfer the papers needing to be signed between the parties, and make sure the recordings of the proceedings were functioning properly.  We (myself and the other students) saw where the courts archive the old and new files and the office of the specific court we spent the day in.  We spoke for a bit with the auxiliaria and the secretary.

Overall, I have now had more access to Spanish courts than I have American courts.  I have absurdly high expectations of what to expect in terms of access next time I try to go and sit in on an American proceeding.   I enjoyed the day and got accustomed a little bit more to the speed of the Spanish language.

Hasta luego!

Day 61-64 — Updates — A Spanish Haircut and More on Spanish TV Shows and Movies

Things are still going well here.  Here’s a few things that have gone on in the past week.

Haircut

Last Friday, I needed a haircut.  I was a little worried at first about navigating the landscape of a “Peluquería” (Barbershop/salon) as I was afraid the peluquero/a may landscape my head as a result of miscommunication.  Fortunately, things worked out well.

My first task was to find a place.  I set out on my journey after eating lunch in a local bar. I walked out of the restaurant, looked to the left, and there was a haircut place. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!  So, I walked over there and the doors were closed, BUT, there were people chillin in there.  The guy who ran the place came to the door and unlocked it, and I told him I would like a haircut.  He told me to come back in two hours.  After a little miscommunication, he learned that I was American, and I learned that he was a French-speaking Belgian.  I practiced a little French (which was REAL rusty) with him for a few minutes and then went back home only to return to the peluquería later in the afternoon.

When I returned, I was taken right away and I primarily interacted with a nice older Chilean lady who was cutting my hair.  At first she asked what kind of style I wanted and she handed me a book with fashion models with really fancy haircuts.  She told me to choose, and I was just like, “I’m a simple guy.  Just wanna keep things básico.”  She was cool with that.  We conversed about what I was doing here, how she got to the Canary Islands etc.  At the end, my hair was a little on the short side but ultimately, I still looked fresh so the lady did buen trabajo.

Moreover, IT ONLY COST 5 EUROS.  Gimme one of these haircuts all day! AND, she washed my hair at the end.  Life was/is good.

Spanish TV and Movies

In other news, last week I enjoyed eating lunch with the partner and associate at work.  One of the interesting things we talked about was Spanish TV and movies.  I brought up the topic of how movie titles in English don’t always translate so well into Spanish.  I mentioned the Die Hard example to them.  The Die Hard franchise in Spain translates into Crystal Jungle.  

Something interesting I learned from them though is that the prominent actors and actresses from other countries (mainly US) have their own Spanish voice actor that dubs over them.  For example in any Bruce Willis role, the same Spanish voice actor voices everything.  He is THE Spanish speaking voice of Bruce Willis.  This is practically their only job too.  They were saying that it can be funny sometimes because they’ll listen to a commercial and they’ll recognize, hey! that’s Bruce Willis’ Spanish voice! is Bruce Willis actually associated with the commercial or is it just the Spanish actor?  I thought that was pretty funny to think about.

Finally, they told me how sometimes in the American tv shows that are on tv in Spain, the jokes don’t always translate very well.  For example, they mentioned watching Modern Family and a scene with Sofia Vergara.  Apparently Sofia Vergara was talking on the phone real fast and started speaking in Spanish and her husband couldn’t understand her and said something that was funny to an English audience but not to them.  The problem resulted from the fact that they could understand Sofia Vergara perfectly and Vergara’s husband on the show said something along the lines of “What? huh?” BUT since that was dubbed in Spanish it was even weirder because he was “speaking Spanish” not understanding her clearly spoken Spanish.  I hope this made sense.  Sorry if it didn’t.

Well, I’m going to wrap this up now.  Until next time!

Random Spanish word of the day: gafar — to jinx

Day 58-60 — Day 59 (July 14th) — Trip to Lanzarote

The day started off early. I woke up at 4. Ate breakfast.  Taxi to bus station. Waited for bus. Took bus to aeropuerto. Naturally, the Spanish bus played "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.

I then waited for plane. Plane took off at 7.

Arrived in Lanzarote. 

Taxi to hotel meeting point.  I then had to wait there for 1 hour 20 minutes for the tour bus.  During this wait in some side room off the main lobby, a collection of Barry White music played this entire time. The morning was off to a good start.

So now, the tour is starting. Here’s a Lanzarote beach!

So, a little bit of a background on Lanzarote.  Lanzarote is a volcanic island (like all the other Canary Islands) but this one is nicknamed “Land of the 1000 volcanoes.”  Why, you ask? Because practically every hill is a volcano. There’s a lot of them on this island.  You’ll see the effects on the Lanzarote landscape.

Here take notice of the landscape with some green grass.  We won’t be seeing much more grass after this.  Green Grass and High Tides are not forever.  But there is green grass on this northeastern part of the island because the trade winds bring some moisture onto the land here.

So, we stopped in a random town for a break.  It had a cool lookout spot after climbing some steps.

I don’t remember this town’s name, but off in the distance to the right of the picture below is another Lanzarote town named, “Uga.”  Yes, UGA.  A UGA student near Uga (pronounced oo-gah).  A mini-highlight of the day.

Aight, now this is the time where I start to turn into Bill Nye and get my science education on.  The following two pictures so you a contrast in the landscape.  These two pictures are very close to each too.  The first one shows the basaltic lava flows that exist on a large part of the island.  Most stem from the most recent eruption on the island in 1730 (it was a big eruption). You’ll see more of these in later pictures.  

The second picture doesn’t really have any of the basaltic lava flow.  The sandy areas that do not have the basaltic flows are a result of the ash/sand etc that rained down from the eruption.

Now, we are on a spot of the island called, “El Golfo.” (Note: video after all the pictures) This spot was legit. Because 1) see the nine pictures below…

But mainly…BOOM! Look at this green lagoon! IT’S SO MAJESTIC. The lagoon so readily accepts its color, to paraphrase Kermit the Frog’s assertions in his thesis, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green,” It’ll do, and it’s beautiful, and the lagoon knows it wants to be green.

So, you may be wondering, Andrew, how is that lagoon so green? Well, hold on a sec, and let me get my science hoodie back on.  Ok. As you can see above, there is a beachy thing in front of the lagoon.  These are volcanic rocks.  They are porous.  So, the rocks filter out some of the sea water, but sea water can still pass through.  The water that is trapped in the lagoon sits there and algae grows.  Algae makes the greenness! Aw, gee, I bet you could have guessed that though.

Still, the scenery was really cool here.

Look at those ruffles having ridges.  They are like flavor curves on your eyes.

VIDEO: The surroundings.  Note: You’ll see a person walking along the beach down there.  This was not allowed. It was prohibited to walk down there, although it was quite easy to have done so, because it would hurt the environment.  I was ready to summon earth, fire, wind, water, and heart for Captain Planet to teach those people a lesson.

Ok so now we are moving along the west coast some more and you can see the Salinas de Janubio.  Salt flats.

More landscape.

Another break time. Camel riding.  This was an added extra you had to pay for. It was a short 20 minute trip that some people of the group took.  I had been on a camel before and decided not to do it again.  Instead, I just walked around and explored some of the area.

Story time:  The devil below is the symbol of Timanfaya National Park, which is where we are at the moment.  The symbol was designed by local artist Cesar Manrique.  He was born in Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote.  He became world-renowned but he eventually came back to Lanzarote because he needed to be at home.  He made many artistic and creative contributions to the island and was very influential on the island.  His name will come up again at the end of this blog.

So now, we are at another “cool” spot.  Or maybe I should say Hot Spot.  Brace yourselves, the heat and music puns are coming…

We arrived at this restaurant called “El Diablo.”  The restaurant uses the heat of the earth to cook the food.  More on this later…

Outside of this “hot spot” (double entendre!), there were three demonstrations set up for tourists like me.  First, the demonstration guy would dig up some rocks from this one spot into his shovel and then place some of these rocks in our hands, so we could feel how hot these rocks are.  Note: the rocks were not hot to stand on.  He dug from a pre-designated spot BUT he did not dig deep at all. In fact, he barely stuck his shovel in the ground.

VIDEO — Here’s the video so you can see for yourself

Watch how the people react to the rocks in their hand. The rocks were HOT HOT HOT.

NOW, here’s a video of me handling the rocks.    I am one bad dude. You don’t want to mess with me.  I can handle hot rocks in my hand. Maybe the rocks cooled as the guy went around the circle…NAH I’m pretty damn tough. As I say, “It was hot, but I could handle it.” Words to live by.

DEMONSTRATION DOS

The guy stuck straw into the hole in the ground and it started burning within seconds.  As the Ohio Players would say, "FIIIIIIIYYYUUUUUHHH!!!"   As Usher would say, "Let It Burn."  I guess you could say it was a "Disco Inferno." Burn baby burn.

The video of the demo is below the pictures. 

VIDEO OF ABOVE

here’s a view from the site

Now, demonstration three. A "Eruption" of steam.  As you’ll see in my video below, the guy poured water into the pipe and two seconds later this happened.

MY VIDEO OF THE STEAM ERUPTION

and now, the natural oven. Cooking some chicken over the natural heat.  It was indeed pretty hot.  Hot enough I couldn’t lean over to take a picture of how deep it was.

And now we are going to travel along the volcanic route.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the volcanic ride.  Lots of lava flows.  There are no "Even Flows."

This was hole that formed as a result of a gas explosion.  So much pressure built up that it caused a hole randomly in this rock.

Crater

I’m putting on my science hoodie for you again.  Below through the window of the bus, you can see a lava tunnel.  Lava forms these tunnels by some scientific process. You’re welcome for that insightful tidbit of knowledge. I’m in law school for a reason.

This is what a lava tunnel looks like with a collapsed roof.  We drove through what used to be a lava tunnel.

Crater

Crater again. So many volcanoes. 

See, all this below was once lava.  That’s pretty cool to think about.  And it’s sat there for almost 300 years now.  There was another spot on the island where the lava flows were 1000 years old.  What was cool about that spot was the basaltic rocks were nearly completely covered in lichens giving the field a pale green hue.  It paints a picture of what the current lava fields will look like themselves in 1000 years.

Now we’re getting back into a village where we stopped for lunch.

I don’t remember the story exactly, but the cross is here in this picture because a priest placed it down and yelled something like, “Hey Lava! Stop! Get! We don’t want you here!”  Well, it worked and the lava didn’t come in the direction of the cross.  The spot is now marked for the miracle that occurred.

We then went to a vineyard.  Although the landscape of Lanzarote is very dry, the farmers use an interesting method to harvest.  They cover the plants with volcanic rocks.  This substrate/soil because it is porous will trap moisture in the air at night and keep it below the surface.  It prevents the moisture from rising back up too.  

At the vineyard, I decided to keep it classy.

This was a mini mini very old fortress atop a hill.  It was used to keep an eye out for pirates way way back in the day.

Gettin back to the north side now. You can see that grass.

Scenic overlook.

This here is called the “Valley of a Thousand Palms.”  The story is that for every boy born, a palm was planted.  For every girl born, two palms were planted.

Alright, now we are in the Kim and Kanye’s new baby’s full name corner of  Lanzarote, aka the North West corner of the island.  It was hazy day but you can usually see the three islands that are a part of Lanzarote from this spot.  Today, we could only see one.  VIDEO OF THE AREA.

Final stop — the Jameos de Agua.  The guide used the word sinkholes to describe the natural formation of the place.  This place used to be nothing special until our good friend Cesar Manrique decided to blend art and nature and form a really cool natural tourist spot.

It had a very cavelike feel.  Apparently though there is a tunnel beneath the land that connects the seawater from the ocean to this spot.  It allows the mini albino white lobsters to crawl from the ocean to this spot.

You can see the animals here below.

And that was the day!  Overall this day was "Hot Stuff."

Day 54-57 — Day 57 — I Played Pickup Basketball in Spain

Things are still going swimmingly here.  It’s been another normal week of reading cases.  I continue to finalize my Spanair project poco a poco as I help the law firm partner prepare it when she has time.  Some other recent cases I’ve read include a dispute over a will involving Spanish law, two cases regarding distributor agreements, and one that I just started today involving maritime law and the registering of boats.

Outside of work, life remains good as well.  It was pretty sunny here today (a little unusual since it’s normally cloudy yet warm), so I took advantage of the weather and worked out earlier in the afternoon outside at Parque Romano. Today was a little different though because today, I played pickup basketball with some random Spanish kids that were on the court.  

I played at the local courts at Playa de las Alcaravaneras.  I run by their whenever I go to work out but in the past I had never really seen anyone playing a quality game.  There would usually be a few kids shooting or a group of friends that were not very good playing, but never a game with a decent player or two.

I saw a few kids around my age playing down there as I was running back from working out and decided to see if they would let me play.  They were already playing 3on3 but fortunately there was another random older guy who wanted to play.  I asked the kids if we could join and we started a half court 4on4 game.  I hadn’t played ball since late April but things were going surprisingly well out there. I hit a shot or two but mainly I could just use my post game pretty effectively to score.

The kids I was playing with were around 18 or 19 and all students in college or about to go to university.  1 of the players was on my skill level. 2 others were mediocre but knew what they were doing.  The other 4 had never played organized basketball but were just out there for fun.

One thing that caught me off guard was my lack of knowledge of basketball vocabulary.  I forgot the word for shoot, and I didn’t know the appropriate words for such terms like rebound, pick, and foul.  More than that though, I couldn’t communicate on the court like I would in English.  For example, a few of the phrases I wanted to use that I couldn’t think of an appropriate Spanish translation were, “‘Atta boy,” “Gotems!” “Drive to the rim,” and “Cut to the basket.”

Overall, it was a good time.  I represented America well.  Next time, I’ll be more ready to communicate with my Spanish basketball vocab and hopefully represent the stars and stripes equally well.

In food news…

This was a great first course dish.  Served cold, it had beans, red peppers, green peppers, onions, and a few other things that made it taste good in its random good dressing.

I had shawarma another day too. It tasted muy bien.

This was a combination first course dish of huevos rellenos and ensalada rusa. It was served happily.

On that note…HASTA LUEGO!

Day 52-53 — Videos from my day in Tenerife

Videos from my day in Tenerife

Roques de Garcia

Roques de Garcia and Teide #2

Landscape near RdG and Teide

Lizards at the visitor center

This is a video of a goat who immediately headbutts a pole but then nothing else happens the rest of the video. This goat was at the restaurant where we ate lunch.  See the video description for essentially the same description.

The same goat tries to eat a metal pole.

GOOOOOAAAAAATTTTTTSSSSSSS!!!!! getting in the way of our bus. there was a shepherd and some goat dogs moving them along, but it was funny rounding the corner then all of a sudden just seeing goats everywhere and having no clue what was going on.

Day 51 (July 5th) — A Trip to Another Island — TENERIFE

I went to Tenerife yesterday (July 5th) on a 1 day tour.  Tenerife is the largest and most populated of the 7 Canary Islands.

The day started with having to meet at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium at 7:30 am.  Here is Playa de las Canteras early in the morning.

The Auditorium named for the famous opera singer from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.  Here is a video of him singing.

Looking back at the heart of the city.  (It was a 25 minute walk from my apartment to the auditorium).  Also on the right of this picture, there is a statue of Alfredo Kraus, which you’ll see later on in the pictures.

So, the guagua (bus) picked me up, and we headed to Agaete/Puerto de Las Nieves.  I had been here before on one of my previous excusions, so I hope the picture below is somewhat familiar.  I really like this image though because of the low-lying clouds and the sun shining down on the mountains.

Taking the ferry to Tenerife.  The boat looked like the inside of a plane except there was a lot of space.  The ferry took 1 hour.

BOOM. Tenerife.  Here is a government building.

View as we poco a poco start to climb some mountains.

Landscape.

Farming landscape because of rich soil.

At a little rest shop there was a postcard of a pig with shades and a beret being chill while smoking.

BOOM. Now up the mountains more.  Lookin down on clouds! So fluffy and white, they extended forever.

Mt. Teide on the left.  Clouds on the right.  Teide is the highest point in Spain.  Even cooler, IT IS AN ACTIVE VOLCANO.  The volcano is 3718 meters/12,198 feet tall, and it last erupted in 1909.

The volcano is the center point of Teide National Park.  It is 73 square miles of protected land.  The Wikipedia article says it is one of the most visited national parks in the world with 2.8 million people visiting annually.

We are so high up we can see one of the other islands off in the distance. The island of La Palma.

Me higher than the clouds.

Cool rock lines.

We are now approaching Teide.  It is more deserty looking.

The Roques de Garcia were very near the volcano.

This here is part of the caldera that sunk in after one of the early volcano eruptions that happened a long long time ago.

It was really cool just to look around and see how the eruptions that have taken place since the beginning of time have formed the surrounding landscape.  Valleys, cliffs, different kinds of rocks, lava paths.

Lots of volcanic rock.

So after leaving this area we descended back down the mountain to eventually head to lunch.  Here you can see more farming as well as the ocean.

We ate at a restaurant that also had a mini animal area in the back that was sort of like a petting zoo except you couldn’t pet them but they were there as an attraction.  It was strange yet entertaining.  Chickens, emus, ostriches, goats, sheep, mini-horses.

These chickens were fancy. I called them royal chickens.  I think they would describe themselves as fabulous.

This bro was just livin the life.

Video of this to come tomorrow but randomly as we were making a turn, hundreds of goats just started running around past the bus.  They were descending down the landscape.  I was really confused, but laughing, and then saw they were being guided by this shepherd and his two doggies.

Another view.

Then, there was some wine tasting.

Then, we headed back to the port.  Here is Tenerife’s concert hall.

K, now I’m back in Las Palmas at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium.  Here is the statue of Alfredo Kraus.

The day started at 7:30 and now I arrived back around 8 and started walking along the path next to the beach to get back to my apartment.

Overall, it was a great day seeing new things, meeting new people, and learning new things.

Next weekend, another adventure. In the meantime, hasta luego!

Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
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Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info
Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.
Zoom Info

Day 50 (July 4th) - No July 4th activity occurred in Las Palmas, unfortunately, but here’s some pictures of food I’ve eaten.  Also, there’s a cool dog.

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