It was about 20 years ago that Andreas last visited, La Isla Bonita – the island that boasts the largest astronomical observatory on European territory. The island itself has plenty more to offer visitors though; recent volcanic activity in the south, an impressive view of the main volcanic crater and long hikes along the rims of mountain ridges, isolated volcanic (black) sand beaches and much more in the lightly urbanised town of Santa Cruz.
We rented a 9 seater van and took off on Friday 19/1 midday to meet up with norwegian astronomer at the Nordic Optical Telescope, Anlaug Amanda Djupvik. The drive is about one hour with uncountable curves through at least three different faunas. The view from the summit (Roque de los muchachos) and from a view point along the road was unforgettable.
We then headed down to the NOT to get a tour of the now somewhat aged 2.5m Nordic telescope, erected 1988, by Andreas previous colleague, Anlaug. The crew enjoyed it thoroughly.
The next day we headed south to Fuencaliente, not unsimilar from Chiles Tierra del Fuego, although there are no active lave streams or geysers. Before walking along the rim of the San Antonio crater from 1644 we made a stop at the local bakery in Fuencaliente.
In the evening we made some additional shopping before heading off to try the local cuisine along Avenida Maritima.
Most of us had fish dishes with varying satisfaction levels. The next morning we returned the rental car to the airport, last shopping at the supermarket and gas for the grill before setting off to cross the Atlantic Ocean.