Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook
Featured Fussball SeibelKarsten Coronavirus Karriere SPD

On Gran Canaria there is Spain's flashiest carnival

Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Spanish Canary archipelago off the West African coast - and the most visited.

- 1 reads.

On Gran Canaria there is Spain's flashiest carnival

Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Spanish Canary archipelago off the West African coast - and the most visited. There are plenty of reasons for this, such as a particularly large number of sunny days (an average of 320 per year); Extensive and Caribbean-style beaches (60 kilometers in total) in the south of the island and in the middle a gigantic sea of ​​dunes six kilometers long, two kilometers wide and up to twelve meters high.

It is not entirely clear how the dunes of Maspalomas came into being - but recent test drilling by the University of Las Palmas supports the thesis that the sand hills could have piled up in the 18th century as a result of a tsunami. It is fitting that the dunes were first mentioned in writing in 1857.

At this point, the Spaniards had been on the island for almost 400 years, having conquered it in 1483 against fierce resistance from the native population. In 1497 the conquistadors began building the Episcopal Church of Santa Ana in Vegueta, the oldest part of Las Palmas. Centuries-old Spanish buildings - travelers will also find them in Firgas, Teror, Arucas and Galdar.

All of these places, like the island's capital, are in the green north, where the Pinar de Tamadaba, Gran Canaria's largest forest area, spreads out, while breathtaking mountain landscapes dominate in the center of the island. The different vegetation zones earned Gran Canaria the nickname continent in miniature. A trip to the "Island of Eternal Spring" is also worthwhile in winter: at the beginning of February, thousands upon thousands of almond trees are in bloom and paint the middle and higher mountain landscapes pink and white.

Carnival on Gran Canaria has a long tradition: Mentioned as early as the 16th century, it really flourished in the 19th century, but was banned for four decades under Spain's dictator Franco. Only in 1976 carnivalists moved through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria again.

The street carnival has become more colorful and daring over the years, in the 90s the first drag queens stirred up the parades. In 1998 the first drag queen gala took place, which delighted the audience so much that the show became an integral part of the festivities.

This year, for the 25th anniversary, the motto is "Studio 54", named after the New York club of the same name. Psychedelic outfits, shrill disco anthems - on March 3rd, the stage in Santa Catalina Park is to be transformed into a "temple of excess", the organizers promise.

However, there is a state of emergency in the island's capital before that, because the folk festival begins on February 10th. When it ends in Las Palmas on March 5th, the drag queens head further south to Maspalomas, where the carnival lasts until March 15th. The theme there is “Broadway Musicals”.

Shepherd jump is a popular sport on the Canary Islands, the somersault a regatón muerto the most dangerous. With this technique, the three meter long wooden stick has no contact with the ground when you take off; only in the flight phase does the shepherd decide where to ram his wooden stick and then slide off it. With such a daring leap "into the void", as the islanders say, it is possible to cover distances of seven or eight meters - and thus follow the goats faster through the rugged mountains.

This athletic form of locomotion was common in the Canary mountain landscapes until the middle of the last century. When in the 1970s the herdsman's profession was dying out and her skills threatened to be lost, Maestro Paco from Tasarte - the last shepherd on Gran Canaria who was still able to do all kinds of jumping - founded a kind of school.

With success, today shepherd jumping is popular again on the islands. Tourists can also learn the basics in one-week courses, such as how to ram the tip of a pole (regatón) into the ground and which movements are necessary to overcome crevices, swing down or up like a pole vaulter.

Bochinche - tourists who want to taste Canarian specialties and interesting island wines on Gran Canaria should pay attention to this word. The Bochinches are not classic ostrich farms, like the Guachinches on Tenerife, because they are open all year round.

They are typically housed in old buildings and serve traditional Canarian cuisine with wine, such as gofio escaldado, a cream made from roasted corn flour and fish stock, or papas arrugadas con mojo, small potatoes with a salt crust and red pepper or green herb sauce. In remote mountain villages, bochinches are usually small and sparsely furnished, and only local wine and water are served as drinks.

The Way of St. James on Gran Canaria is 66 kilometers long. It stretches from the south to the north coast right through the mountainous interior of the island. Rocky paths, steep mountain slopes, hardly any shade - "El Camino entre volcanes", the path between the volcanoes, is considered the most difficult of all the Ways of St. James.

At the same time, it is the only recognized pilgrimage path outside of the European continent, since a papal bull in 1965 granted it the same privileges as the classic Compostela route. This means that pilgrims who make it from the lighthouse in Maspalomas to Gáldar on the north coast receive indulgence from their sins, just like in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia.

The reason for this grace: Spanish seafarers who survived a storm in the 16th century with a statue of the apostle James (Spanish: Santiago) on board donated a chapel on the island as a thank you to the saint, which became a place of pilgrimage. And who “only” goes on the three-day tour as a hiker? Can enjoy the otherworldly landscape and purify the soul.

"It's a thunderstorm of stone"

This is how Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) described the mountains of Gran Canaria. Officially, it is simply called Las Cumbres, the peaks - the third highest, the Roque Nublo (in English: cloud rock), animated the Spanish writer to his statement. Steingestrom, that is poetic and appropriate at the same time, because the 1813 meter high rock needle is a volcanic residue.

In 1932, the Roque Nublo was climbed by three Germans for the first time. For a long time, the Pico de las Nieves (1949 meters) was considered the highest peak on the island; exact measurements showed that the title belongs to the Morro de la Agujereada (1956 meters).

Bizarre, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional geography series here.

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.