There are huge insects crawling up the wall of the building next to the Archaeological Museum in Puerto de la Cruz. When I say huge, I mean mutant sized.
The fishermen’s district has long been known for its diverse choice of quality restaurants, but recently it has taken on somewhat of a bohemian personality as well.
First it was an innovative little artisan shop and workshop, La Ranilla Espacio Artesano, opening up and then, during the Mueca art in the street festival, it was vibrant murals transforming bland gable ends around the district.
The first time we saw gable ends being used as canvasses was in Los Llanos de Aridane in La Palma, where they were designed to be part of an open air art gallery. Earlier this year we saw more in Gran Tarajal on Fuerteventura.
Puerto de la Cruz is the latest Canarian town to join in this ‘art in the street’ mini craze.
This month Periplo, a festival dedicated to literature inspired by travel and adventure, proved an excuse to add to the work started during Mueca. Between 15 and 21 September, street artists from mainland Spain, Tenerife and other Canary Islands left their multi-coloured marks on buildings all around the Ranilla district of the town.
Ironically, for building-sized paintings, they’re not as easy to find as you might imagine. But seeking them out gave me an excuse just to stroll around one of my favourite parts of the town.
One part of the area, the main drag between Plaza del Charco and the Correos (post office), bustles with visitors. The streets between Calle Puerto Viejo and the coast are far quieter and home to pastel cottages, hidden restaurants and lesser known plazas.
It’s an area full of charm and surprises. When I walk around it I’m often gutted to discover a favourite restaurant is no more… then my spirits are lifted to see new, intriguing and inviting bars and restaurants have sprung up. Additionally there’s always a reminder of places that I have meant to eat in for years but have never managed to tick off my list yet.
As I walked up streets and along narrow alleys, I notched up the murals whilst noting a new (to me) sidreria, gastro bar and tapas restaurant in a fishermen’s cottage.
Despite the end of September closing in rapidly, it was still too hot for long wanders in the town. Even with the shade of the palm trees providing some respite, I cut my search for Puerto’s street art short with still a couple of ‘works’ to track down.
No worries, it gives me a reason to return in the near future and maybe pop in for some tapas at El Patio and then possibly a glass of cider in that sidreria. But then chic Maná’s non-meat menu was also looking tempting… and it’s time I went back to Agora, plus there are more great tapas to try at Casa Mika’s and Sirimiri and Tapas y Cañas… and… and… and.
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+