I’ve had a soft spot for Santiago del Teide since the very first time we drove through it. For me it was the place where Tenerife changed from being a sunny holiday island to something else completely.
There was something vaguely Mexican pueblo about the town with its blindingly white low buildings along what appeared to be the town’s only street. There were even cactus pots lining some of the azoteas. At the northern end of the town the arid landscape gave way to pine trees.
I was amazed at the transformation. It was my first meeting with Tenerife’s micro-climates.
Over the years we’ve spent a decent amount of time in Santiago del Teide. As well as being set in a dream of a location it’s a good base for walking on Tenerife. And there are often secrets to be uncovered. Some are obvious, some less so.
One of these, or some of these as there are more than one, have been absent from the main street for a couple of years. But now they’re back in place, adding bold splashes of colour to the distressed, green panelling on the buildings along the main street.
These are the depictions of the Canary Islands by French artist Bernard Romain.
Each painting captures essences of the islands. With Tenerife it’s Mount Teide alongside almond blossom in the Valle de Santiago.
La Gomera has the whistling language, Silbo, plus Roque Agando.
El Hierro seems to have a prophetic volcanic eruption alongside the famous Sabina tree.
La Palma features the rivers that are so unusual on the islands alongside a homage to mothers, a statue found on la isla bonita.
Gran Canaria only gets the dunes at Maspolamas.
Whilst Fuerteventura is represented by a windsurfer and the island of El Lobo.
And Lanzarote, unsurprisingly, is a volcanic wonderland with possibly a reference to the creative way vines are grown there.
They’re wonderfully vibrant works of art and it would be easy to sail through the town without spotting them.
I haven’t included all off the images. There’s one more. It’s possibly my favourite for all sorts of reasons. But you’re going to have to visit the town if you want to see the full set.