Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Palm Trees

Never, until now, I had realized how different palm tree bark (Rinde) looks. I took some picutres and was totally fascinated by the textures and the colours. Decide by yourself. Do you like them as much as I do?



San Sebastian de la Gomera





At 7 am I was awakened by a strange noise. Ah yes, of course. My alarm clock. I had forgotten its sound :-) I was exited to get up, though, because I wanted to visit the capital of La Gomera: San Sebastián. At 8 am sharp the bus left and there I went for an exiting tour around the island (San Sebastian is almost at the other side from where I am staying - Valle del Rey).

San Sebastian is known to the History fans as the departure place of Cristoforo Colombo towards America. I have even visited the fountain whose water blessed Colombos' ship. You envy me, right? SMILE No seriously, San Seb is a cute little town where some of the old houses were restored as well as the churches. I walked (during noon heat) to the lighthouse and remembered all those that I visited during my last US trip! San Seb has two main plazas where people are gathering under huge trees. I could have stayed for hours but unfortunately my bus back left already at 14.30... (see pictures above)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

News?

Not much to talk about today.
After my yesterday's hiking tour, I decided to fit in a "dolce vita" day. Therefore, after the usual breakfast out on the patio, looking at the sea, I accompanied Karin (she owns Casa Heidi where I am staying) and Petra, a girl from Bonn that was a guest in Casa Heidi for the last week, to the ferry. Karin needed to do some medical checking in Tenerife and Petra is continuing her vacation there.

I walked back from the harbor and in impulse checked out the availability of the hairdresser in town. My hair looked terrible! She had time and did a terrific job in blow-drying my hair!! Apparently, the Spanish clientele must have the same kind of hair as I do because she handled everything perfectly well... (I already have another appointment at her salon).
Then I went for a walk on the beach, had grilled tuna for lunch, looking at the sea (getting used to that!!), and later on went to the German bakery for coffee and dessert. I already told you that the German bakery is the only place in town where I speak English. But NOT today. Today, I met Gabriella, an Italian lady that has lived in La Gomera half of her live. Aaaaaahhhh, it was wonderful, after a week talking almost always Hochdeutsch, to switch to Italian.
After a nice coffee and a much nicer dessert (they do wonderful desserts there!!), I spent the rest of the afternoon on the patio, working on my sun tan.

I have a wonderful live :-)

PS: Tomorrow I will set my alarm bell for 7 am in order to catch the 8 o'clock bus to San Sebastian (the capital of La Gomera). I want to do some architectural sightseeing and some shopping as well...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Impressions on La Gomera

Let me tell you something about La Gomera. Something that seemed very strange to me the first day, on my arrival.

There are not many Spanish speaking people here. Good, there are some natives, of course, but the majority is ... of German language (mostly German, but Swiss and Austrian people as well). It's like being in "Germantown". No kidding. The first day I was like: where the hell am I?? But with the countryside looking totally different from where I usually live, I not only didn't care much longer but I felt on vacation anyway.

In the meantime I got used to all these German speaking persons around me and as I don't speak Spanish it is rather useful in the shops when the persons speak a language that I know.  SMILE. Funny thing though is that the only place where the personnel doesn't speak German is... the German bakery. Don't you think that this is hilarious??? I tried with Italian but apparently we Italians understand them, the Spanish, but they don't understand us (or maybe they don't even try???). So I spoke English in the German bakery hahahahahah

Anyway. The countryside is soooo wonderful that I don't care if people around me speak German or Chinese or whatever!!!

PS: Tomorrow I am going on a hiking tour!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Garden Tour












On La Gomera the backyards look like florist shops or a nursery (Gärtnerei). Totally amazing :-)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Whale watching

4 hours in a small boat out on the big sea. Another amazing day yesterday :-) We saw some small whales (6 m long) and my heart started beating. I had never seen some in the wild. The others were disappointed because they wanted to see much more of them but for me it was a first and therefore I was quite happy to have seen some at least... I tried to take some pictures but finally decided against them. Why? Not only because I would have needed a better camera but also because I wanted to watch with my eyes and my heart and to imprint these sensations in my soul. Pictures will never show / catch what I felt yesterday. Never. I have got one picture for you though. At some point, the cloud above me looked ... like a whale. Do you see it?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Parque National de Garajonay

I've decided against renting a car and to book some guided hiking tours instead (easier to handle and cheaper as well).
Today, we visited the Parque National de Garajonay (Lorbeerwald / laurel forest). I had heard a lot of good things about this place and had seen many very nice pictures (in the Internet and in my guidebook). Well, I wasn't disappointed - it was WONDERFUL. It felt like a magic world, like a world with no noise, only trees that have a dress made of moss (see pictures below). Magical. Really.
The only inconvenient point was (and I stress on only) that it was bloody cold. Oh my! We left Valle del Rey with the usual very nice 20°C and half an hour later we got off the bus and it was like ... winter time! Cold and windy and cold and windy. I was glad for my warm clothes and my jacket that protected me against the wind! Apparently, even during summer time this place is always rather cold and humid (it's due to Passat winds but please don't ask for details SMILE I am no good at such details!) The woods were impressive though, let me tell you. On the northern side it got very windy and you could literally feel the humidity in the air (let's NOT talk about what my hair looked like!!). The air was so humid that you could actually feel drops of humidity on your skin and on your clothes. Here some of the many pictures I have taken:







Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nature




PS: Saturday I am going on a garden tour - you'll see better pictures of flowers then!

Hilarious

Today was all about getting to know the place. I woke up after 10 hours sleep ... to the sound of rain. Great, I thought. Not what I wanted, really! But the first thing I saw when looking out of my window was a ... rainbow and I thought that this might be a good omen.

I was right. It rained during my breakfast and soon thereafter the sun came out and we were going to have a wonderful day. Apparently, this kind of weather is tipical for the season.

The morning was spent walking around, taking pictures and organising some tours I wanted to do (hiking tours and a whale watching tour). At some time I arrived at the other end of the bay where one of the nicest beach is. Playa del Inglés. Totally nice. The black sand was very unusual and the waves were great. I was wandering around, taking picutres when I saw a group of people that were sunbathing. My thought at this moment: they look like they aren't wearing any bathing suit. I almost immediatley forgot my thought and kept looking for nice motifs for my pictures. I approached the group, not thinking anything, when finally it hit me. THEY WEREN'T WEARING ANY BATHING SUITS. They (mostly men, a couple of women) eyed me up in a strange way (I WAS taking pictures but not of them, of course, but they couldn't tell!!).  Oh my, oh my, oh my, I took me a minute to decide that I had taken enough pictures and that it was time to leave. The laugh came afterwards, believe me!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

La Gomera - arrival

What a day!!! What a trip! Never-ending. I woke up at six. Took the train to the Airport (had to change at the main station), waited almost two hours at the airport, then took a 4 hours flight to Teneriffe. Arrival in time. Then waited for the luggage, then run to catch a taxi, then taxi drive to the south of the island where the ferries are leaving for the smaller islands (the taxi driver broke ALL the traffic rules to help me catch the 2 o'clock ferry - otherwise I would have had to wait until 8 o'clock - I left a generous tip!!). Then took the ferry to La Gomera - San Sebastian. Got off. Took another, smaller ferry to La Gomera - Valle del Rey. Then took a taxi to Casa Heidi where I am staying the first part of my stay here in La Gomera.

Karin, the Swiss lady which runs the place, explained the basics of her "home", then I left immediately to find some food. I was starving (the food served in the plane was not abundant). I took some pictures and while enjoying the view I realised that I was soooo tired that I couldn't possibly eat in a restaurant (too tired to even look for one). I decided to buy something at the next supermarket, went back "home" and decided to enjoyed the sunset from our patio.
I am soo tired I could sleep right away but I don't want to go to sleep yet. We are one hour behind and it's not 9 pm yet. Too early for bed :-)

Do you wanna know what my first impressions are? Simple. The island looks like a big canyon in the middle of the sea. Totally amazing.
The weather is warm (24 °C - I left this morning and it was 1 °C!!!).
I see a lot of banana trees and apparently the mangos and other tropical fruits are kind of growing in the backyard. TOTALLY amazing to me :-)

One thing, though, needs getting used to. The Germans and Swiss which spend their holidays here (tons of them). I didn't hear a lot of Spanish on my first day ... but hey, this might change...

Well, now I am off to bed. Even my fingers are too tired...

First impressions of La Gomera




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting ready for La Gomera

I am getting nervous... My flight to La Gomera is tomorrow morning and my head is full of the usual questions: Have I packed everything? Have I thought of everything?Well, the usual nervousness before a trip. Life as usual.
I just checked Google and the temperatures of La Gomera are 24 °C for the next week and 21 °C for the week after. NICE.
Wish me a happy trip (because it's gonna be a long one: airplane, taxi to harbor, first ferry, then another ferry and then another taxi. But, hey, I am not complaining!

I AM ON THE ROAD AGAIN!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mercato

I promised to tell you what I would buy at the mercato.But first let me say that it was a wonderful day. My friend and I had a very good time, the sun was shining, we bought a lot of stuff, had Piadina as lunch, etc. etc. What I call a perfect Italian day!

I bought two hand bags (yes, yes, I know... I really didn't need one but I couldn't resist), one dress (I had bought the same last year. I decided to go for another one, in another colour because I very much liked to wear it throughout the last winter), a key ring, tons of magazines (I LOVE Italian magazines) and... nail polish. Do you wonder why I buy nail polish in Como? Well. It's simple. Because Como now also has a KIKO MILANO store and Kiko is the best store for nail polish and other cosmetics (in my opinion). It's like Sephora but it costs less. If you ever travel to Italy and you happen to see a KIKO store; think of me and go for it!! You won't regret it... Well, anyway, I bought five different nail polish colours and now I am ready to start winter time...

Mmmh, actually, not yet. First I am off to the Canary Islands (La Gomera to be exact) and with 24 degres it's not really winter time there. I am packing all my summer stuff and can't wait to start exploring the place.

Will keep you updated, don't worry!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Special day: 11/11/11

I wouldn't have anything special to say today but I wanted to post anyway - in order to have a post dated 11/11/11!
The year 2011 comes gently to its end and ... nothing has happend. No delete this. Not "nothing has happened". Stuff happened but there is no going forward. This is my impression and when I talk to people (different people, mind you) then the chorus is the same: I want a change, I am waiting for a change but there is none. NONE at all.
Well, I think that the big word for 2011 is: PATIENCE. Patience, patience and more patience.

Astrologers apparently say (I got this from a friend of mine) that the changes will come in 2012, spring 2012 to be exact. Well. What do you want me to say? I cultivated being patient these last couple of weeks / months and you know that it's not easy for me but hey, nothing else to do (apart from shopping and remaining positive).

Speaking of having a good time: tomorrow I am going to Como. "Mercato" I am coming!! Can't wait! I'll keep you updated on my shopping :-) (my list is rather long)

But today is not only about being patient and having a good time. There are also, unfortunately, not only good things happening.
My thoughts go out to those who have a family member in the hospital, that will have to bury their mother next week and especially to my cousin in Italy who is in the hospital with an aneurysm in her brain. She is one of my favourite cousins and I very much hope that everything will be fine. Ti penso, Giu!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Conscious living / bewusst leben

Whenever I read a "spiritual" book there is talk about conscious living. About living the moment. About being attentive. I spent a lot of time thinking about this notion. I imagine myself not living in the past and not living in the future. Just the moment. SAVOR THE MOMENT. Sounds perfect, right?

I find it extremely difficult.

My intellect understands this notion but my heart has problem "living" it. That doesn't mean that I am not trying. I am. And sometimes it works (I found out that it needs pratice - like everything else in our life).
But being aware (conscious or however you want to name it) hides another aspect, I've come to experience. The deciding process changes. Deciding becomes more difficult because you realise that EACH decision you take in your life will change the latter. Of course, you can always go back but the moment will never be the same. Because the only moment you live is the one right now. The clock cannot be turned back.

Therefore, these days, I am trying to take conscious decisions. Whom do I really want my time spent with? Do I really want to go to this place? In fact, one questions includes it all:

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?