Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lanzarote, part eight Manrique's first house, continued.

Continuing round Manrique’s first house, and just marvelling at the simplicity, yet striking beauty of it all.

A hole is just a hole to most people, but to Cesar, it was a feature to exploit.

This is what he’s all about – HUGE panoramic windows onto the views.
(I wouldn’t like his window cleaning bill, though)

You can see that the garden is just lava flow.

He knew how to grow a cacti as well!

Now then, should it be potatoes or cabbages this year?

Who needs a TV in the room when you’ve got THIS to look at?

A Picasso. The sort of ‘art’ I just hate, but he obviously liked it.

An almost child-like or urban mural on the walls of the garden.

Into the depths of the volcanic bubbles we go, to explore the house further.

Everything so pristine – they must clean it all the time!

The ‘white room’, complete with palm growing up through another hole.

Red and white, used to maximum effect.

Another part of the garden, with the blue pool striking amongst the greens and white.
You can see a (shaky) video of the garden & pool, click  HERE

That BBQ again, even that tree looks cool with the twisted trunk.
Nothing ‘ordinary’ for Cesar!

A real garden of Eden.

Is it a window shutter, or art?
Or a face??

One last look back as we started to leave this wonderful house.

As we left to continue our day, we caught the view of the volcano that Manrique had DELIBERATELY captured in the gate.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Lanzarote, part seven - Puerto Calero & the Cesar Manrique foundation

An early start today, as we HAD planned to go to Timanfaya National park, BUT it was very windy and visibility was not good. We were actually on our way there, when we changed our minds, turned the car around and headed for a small fishing village & port called Puerto Calero. Sue’s sister had told us about this little gem, and said we’d love it – and we did!
This is the super sailing boat sculpture on the traffic island.

I REALLY wanted to have my photo taken leaning out of it with the rest of the crew.

Flowers are amazing, but there’s something about a cactus flower that is even more so.
The colours and delicate softness of this bloom was beautiful.

We parked up in one of the plentiful spaces (free) and set off down the tiled promenade,
the style of which we had now become so used to seeing.
Lined with lovely palms, a very warm sun was now overhead.

We forsook the harbour immediately, wanting to get up on the cliff tops.
There is a path of sorts, but it’s rough underfoot. Visibility was quite good, this is looking back to the small harbour

You can see the faint path here, winding up and over the headland.
Very barren, with no vegetation to speak of, except for some greenery on the shoreline.

All around, volcanic peaks peeped at us.

After having our fill of the wild side, we returned to the port and explored the back streets.
Notice the intricate metal wall sculptures. There were many of these.
This walk is lined on one side with very expensive (‘names’) shops, a few of which were closed.
A sign of the times? It amazed us that somewhere so small could support so many expensive outlets?

How lovely is this?
Not JUST the sculpture, but the design of the wall.
A wall is just a wall, yes?

It was market day, and it was bustling with people.
Lots of the stalls were the same ones we’d seen in Playa Blanca, so we imagined they 'did the rounds' of all the markets on the island.

The port-side walk. Again, lots of thought here. Look at those rocks around the palm bases.
They could just have planted the palms ‘as is’, but no – they added that final flourish that excels.

Look at THIS – WOOD you believe it?
Lots of people were taking pictures of this wooden bike, and the girl owner said she was used to it.

Another Manrique – this man was just awesome!

A picture of the sculpture in the roof on the Mirador Del Rio.
We settled in a small cafe by the market for a coffee. The sun was warm, and we felt relaxed.

We reluctantly left Puerto Calero, but also with excitement as we were now on our way to see the Cesar Manrique foundation, the first house he lived in, which is now the home of the Manrique museum, or foundation.
Look at the sky now – a magnificent backdrop to the magnificent gates of the house Manrique owned.

You can visit their site and read all about it here; http://www.cesarmanrique.com/fundacion_i.htm

What a view, obviously deliberately chosen by Manrique for its dramatic effect.
The little metal lamp thing, or sculpture, was a feature of the entire gardens.

Also in the entrance was another of Manrique’s mobiles.
Click here to see it working in the wind;

The house is built sympathetically into the actual volcanic bubbles, you had to descend into it.

The garden, complete with plant harbours built out of the volcanic rocks.
This idea was taken from the wine regions, who use this technique to protect the vines from the ever-present wind.

Typical Manrique precise symmetry and alignment.

A ‘room’ in the house – white against black rock, with a fire-red splash of furniture.
You just stare in wonder at the man’s brilliance, you really do.
The wooden seat around the palm looks all the richer for being amongst the simplicity.

Now that’s what I CALL a BBQ!! (Full set of tools hanging up).

Another fabulous room.
Although a tireless worker in his art and political beliefs (in fact, in ALL facets of his life), Manrique also loved his relaxation time. That was VERY obvious, the more you saw of his private side.
Although not what you’d call lucky in love, his wife died prematurely in 1963, and he had no children. He was surprisingly gregarious, and hosted many parties, where he was often photographed with a pretty woman (or women) on his arm(s).
The garden pool – makes your average pond look a bit sick, doesn't it?
Why would you perch a volcanic trough on a plinth??


The garden, note the ubiquitous chain I’ve referred to before?

A set of hanging anchors.

.....to be continued – you’ve not seen the view from the window yet

Monday, 7 April 2014

Lanzarote, part six- Orzola and the volcanic beaches.

If you want to see a panorama video of the Mirador del Rio, click HERE

After Mirador del Rio, we took an unplanned turn-off to a place called Orzola,
The road down to it went past these fields of black, volcanic ‘soil’.
There didn’t seem to be anything planted in them, but SURELY they must grow stuff here?
They look too tilled to be just fields.

We could see colouration of plants in other fields nearby.

The most impressive thing were these ‘bombs’. HUGE chunks of rock that had obviously been blasted out of the erupting volcano nearby, to land in the surrounding countryside.

It reminded us of the sheer power of nature.
The farmers just treated them as roundabouts!

 The winding road eventually reached the harbour (or is it a small port?) of Orzola.
There had obviously been money spent here, and there were cafes (VERY expensive) and a couple of shops, but we seemed to be the only ones about.

Isla Graciosa & Isla de Alegranza.
Click on the picture for a larger version.

This tiny lump of rock just juts out of the ocean.
It’s called Roque del ‘este (rock in the east).
It is less than one square kilometre, and 84 metres at its highest.

You wouldn’t want to get shipwrecked here – this is what it looks like on Google earth.

The ferry, making its way to Orzola from Isla Graciosa.

The surrounding coastline looks vicious and barren here, almost as if this was the newest part of the island.

The docked ferry in the tiny port.

Waves were breaking on the ‘reef’, which is man-made.
It certainly does the job!

Ships that pass in the........DAY!

We left Orzola to explore the local coastline more.
Amongst all the black was this flash of greenery.

A hard life indeed amongst the lava.

We managed to find a sandy ‘beach’ to walk on, so pulled over, parked up and went to explore.

The rocks on the foreshore are like razors. Although I was wearing sandals, I managed to sustain a very nasty cut to my big toe, but didn’t feel a thing when I did it. It was only when I noticed the blood flowing when we got back in the car!

I bet the snorkelling here is good.

 A heron was fishing in the rock pools.

And, to our amazement, a curlew was here too!

Sue, picking her way carefully (which I should have done).


A random bit of rock-balancing (not by us).

The sun was blazing through the cloud - time to head back.

More Manrique brilliance on the way back.

This sculpture set us up for tomorrow, as we intended to go to the Manrique foundation, which still carries on his good work and tries to influence good practice on development on Lanzarote.