We leave cold and rainy Vienna on March 27th and arrive in Arrecife (Lanzarote) some 9 hours later. Zoe (2) and Manon (4) have behaved like never before and the expected stress in the plane did not happen. We go first to AVIS to pick our VW-Caravelle bus. It did cost a bit more, but it was all worth it! Kids were happy and I was happy to put all luggage including the bike case inside. We make our short trip to the rented house. The first impression is great. Sixty year old stylish “Finca” with a nice terrace and pool. Rooms are charming and kitchen is functional.
The only problem so far: the weather. Cold and windy and 2 hours after our arrival, torrential rain. Hm, not exactly our idea of a vacation on the island.
The next day is better. I ride my bike for the first time and discover the amazing landscape of Lanzarote. Very volcanic, very black, lava everywhere. On my first trip I discover the vineyards of Lanzarote and the bodegas (wine bars). The way they grow it is by digging a whole in a funnel shape in order to collect the dew and to protect the plant from the constant wind. On top of the funnel a small crescent wall is erected to further protect the plant against the wind. After the ride, I immediately propose to Isa to go have lunch with the kids at one of these Bodegas. And it was great. …
Days 3: we discover the white sand beaches in the South of Lanzarote. The beach of Papageyo is beautiful and pretty well protected from the wind. Kids rediscover the joys of the beach and Isa and I relax….for about an hour before feeling that something is wrong with my stomach. We go home and the marathon between bed and bathroom begins. I leave day 4 without comment apart from the fact that it is Zoe’s birthday and Isabel is doing her best to organise a small celebration for her
Day5: I can stand up again and we decide to go for a short trip across Timanfaya (the volcan National Park). We all love it, adults because of the lunar landscapes, kids because of the dromedary ride we do in the Park. We continue to meet the first edifice of the famous local architect, Cesar Manrique: El Jardin de Cactus. We did not know really what to expect, but what we saw was breathtaking. In a caldera shape of about 200m of circumference, a real cactus sanctuary with thousands of different cactus type spread elegantly on multiple levels and around elegantly shaped ponds. We decideto have lunch there before heading back home, with the firm idea to see more of Cesar Manrique’s creation on the Island
Days 6: We do a day trip with the bus and discover the place where we will be staying the following week: the Club La Santa . I have time in the afternoon to hit the road again with my bike and do a short run after that. At last the real vacation feeling is getting in the inside of my body.
Day7: Back to the beach of Papagayo. A very warm and sunny day. We stay a couple of hours, just time enough to dig a big pool on the beach for the greatest joy of Manon and Zoe. We head back for lunch. I have time in the afternoon to hit the road again with my bike and do a short run after that. At last the real vacation feeling is getting inside my body.
Day8: We move to La Santa, They claim to be the N01 sport & active holiday resort in the world. I don’t know whether it is true but the place is just freaking amazing. Next to the accommodation centre, there is a 1.5km lagoon for swimming and windsurfing, a beautiful 50m outdoor Olympic pool with 8 lanes,a sport centre for squash, badminton, volleyball, basketball, etc.. huge areas reserved for aerobics, taichi, etc.. an athletic stadium next to about 10 tennis courts and beach volley courts as well as a boxing ring. You can simply do everything. It is also the mecca for triathletes. The club is the organiser of the Lanzarote Ironman, supposedly the toughest IM in the world.
Day 9-14: Basically Isa and I just split our times to play with the children while the other indulge in some sport activity. What I really liked was the organized bike tours. I am used to train alone and this was great for a change, especially the possibility of drafting on such a windy island.
As said above, we still find time to visit the other Manrique’s main landmarks on the Island, which include his house and designed natural cave system in the north of the Island, both again, breathtaking.
The weather in the second week has much improved and the time for all of us goes suddenly much too fast. Before we know it, we find ourselves packing and making it back to the airport we have to give back to super minibus.
We come back to Vienna in time for Easter. Spring is waiting for us 20-25 degrees and sunny. We spend the hole time gardening and organising BBQ parties with our friends.