Travelstick Canary Islands

The Canary Islands

An archipelago of seven main islands and several smaller ones situated in the Atlantic Ocean northwest of the African continent. The Canaries are divided into two Spanish provinces of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as the councils of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, and Ferro. The autonomous community was established by the statute of autonomy on the 10th of August 1982.

One of the seven Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa, Lanzarote is known for its year round warm weather. Its ancient buildings are a silent witness to its violent past, including the bands of pirates that repeatedly attacked and plundered the island. A six year long series of volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736, and a smaller one in 1824, shaped the island as it is today.

During the Spanish American war in 1898 a defense battery was built at the island's northernmost tip. It is an official national monument but when we visited the site in 2019 we found that it has been completely ignored by the tourist industry. According to some historians the Nazis used the Canary islands as a base to resupply their submarines (U-Boats) during the second world war. We were especially interested in an addition made to the site in 1940. An observation post (in German Style) was added to the complex, which makes you wonder if it has been used by the Nazis as an Atlantic communications post for their U-Boats.

Other places we visited were San Jose Castle, Torre Del Aguila, Santa Barbara Castle, San Gabriel Castle, El Lago Verde and the southern beaches of Papagayo, de la Cera and Caleta del Congrio.

Guanche and Canario

When first encounered by the conquering Spaniards at the beginning of the 15th century, two groups of aboriginal peoples inhabited the eastern and western islands. Both populations are thought to have been of Cro-Magnon origin and may possibly have come from central and southern Europe via northern Africa in some distant age. Both aboriginal groups had brown complexions, blue or gray eyes and blondish hair. These characteristics still persist in a large number of the current inhabitants of the islands, but otherwise they are scarcely distinguishable in appearance or culture from the people of Spain. Neither original group now exists as a separate race. The name Canarios is now applied to all current inhabitants of the islands.

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