Said the French writer Marcel Proust once. Though he left this world almost 100 years ago his word are timeless correct as we had to admit during our Easter vacation on the Canary Island Lanzarote.
Lanzarote is the most volcanic island of the archipel that seems quite barren. That is was once the breadbasket of the archipel is quite unbelievable today. Black volcanic ashes wherever you look. When on September the 1st 1730 the earth opened and started to spit fire the fertile part of the island was destroyed. It took 94 years until the volcanos quitted activity. Then the island had a totally different appearance. What was a desaster for the people then is now a tourist magnet.
The dead volcanos, the dead mountains and frozen lava streams in different red, brown and black hues keep the spectator in awe. The brave little plants that grow in this seemingly unfertile soil surprise. That more than algae can grow here is demonstrated in the wine producing area of La Geria. There wine, figs and citrus fruits grow amply. The black lava ashes retains warmth and dew, little stone packings keep the wind at bay so the plants can flourish and bear fruit. So the bane of agriculture turned into a boon, the breadbasket became a wine cellar.
But beneath this idyll the earth still works. In the fire mountains meat is grilled over ground heat. A bucket of water in a pipe turns into a heated water fountain after some seconds and a little dead bush in a burrow burns after a minute!
When the ocean meets the cold lava stream at Los Hervideros and the froth flies high, then the forces of nature can be felt even in good weather and make us feel thankful that we do not have to experience them but can just enjoy the beauties of their consequences.
In El Golfo – the volcano that the ocean has already claimed half – its green lake fascinates. When I was here 35 years ago you could walk between the lake and the sea. Back then the lake was huge and part of the film „Enemy mine“. Nowadays the lake is very small because of too many tourists and is now fenced in for his own protection. Hopefully this measure will help to restore its beauty.
Lanzarote has more to offer but of that I will tell you later. Now it is time for me to go to sleep filled with happy travel memories.