It’s sometimes nice to balance out a ski vacation with a sun vacation, and its always nice to sit on a beach in warm weather, so Tenerife became an obvious next stop. It was also so cheap and easy to coordinate Andorra and Tenerife from Barcelona, where we spent 3 nights between our trip visiting old friends and some Icelandic acquaintances. I’ve visited other Icelandic people abroad, but its extremely rare to run into a stranger speaking Icelandic anywhere in the world. However, last time I was in Barcelona, I ran into a very good friend from Reykjavik at an empty nightclub on a Tuesday night, totally by chance.
Tenerife is the only place where this is likely to happen. In high season, there are 3 direct flights a week between Tenerife and Iceland, and statistics say around 180,000 Icelanders (which is half the population) visit the Canary Islands each year. We would be strolling along the seaside and hear Icelandic, sitting in a restaurant at a table beside some Icelanders, and get haggled by West Africans selling cheap watches with phrases in Icelandic! For some reason this totally blew my mind.
We hit Tenerife on the hottest January in years, which was actually the perfect temperature around the clock. We had shirtless days, dry and warm, and long pants but flip-flop kinda nights, with clear skies and little wind. We got around by foot in our little area, Playa de la Americas, taxi or bus to tourist sights and the airport, and rented a car one day to drive around the whole island. We could always find chilled rose wine and delectable tapas, though we stayed in a hotel with our meals included. Unlimited cava was served with breakfast, and at dinner we got too full on steaks and ribs to worry about lunch.
It was a wonderful ski vacation decompression, and an even better pre-trip therapy for my upcoming Middle East backpacking trip. So after swapping out my ski clothes for my skimpy beach clothes, I’m now carrying a backpack full of big, black clothes that I’ll need to handle the gulf sun a little more modestly.