Monday, March 31, 2014

Canary Islands won again - cast your final vote now !

NASA Earth Observatory have  just released the results of last week's round of voting and the image the Canary Islands has won again to enter the final. Nasa writes:
''Last year, a longshot image showing an underwater volcanic eruption near the Canary Islands came from nowhere to win our first-ever Tournament Earth. The championship round of the 2014 tournament has arrived, and yet another Canary Islands image seems poised to capture the crown. However, “Trailing the Canaries” will have some stiff competition in “Activity at Kliuchevskoi,” a spectacular shot of ash streaming from one of the highest and most active volcanos on the Kamchatka peninsula. Vote for your favorite by Friday at 4 p.m. EDT / 8 p.m. UTC.''
Click NASA Earth Tournament 2014 to vote again and remember you can vote as often as you like.

Art VS Photograph Section

#2 - Trailing the Canaries Read more

#6 - Activity at Kliuchevskoi Read more

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Intriguing Mural in Valle Gran Rey

There is a house on the road along the beach near La Puntilla in Valle Gran Rey where an artist resides and some time ago this mural was painted on the front, including the garage door:
Mural in Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The reported plane crash that never happened

Great confusion in the Canary Islands on Thursday after a TUI plane was erroneously  reported to have crashed into the sea or made an emergency touchdown in waters a couple of miles off the coast of Gran Canaria, triggering a huge search and rescue operation, as reports:

''Gran Canaria: - The incident is likely to trigger a review of procedures at the Canaries 112 emergency number, where staff are being blamed for sparking a massive scare at 3pm by Tweeting details of the alleged disaster without waiting for confirmation. News wires buzzed with details of the 'crash', which turned out to be a false alarm caused by a photograph of a cargo ship which had a large plane-type structure on board. From a distance it looked as if a plane had made a sea landing two miles off the coast of Gran Canaria and the photograph spread like wildfire on social media and in digital papers. Fifteen minutes later, as media including the BBC mobilised correspondents to gather information on what looked like a major incident, a statement was issued by the Airports Authority and then the government denying that a plane had crashed. For the rest of yesterday, various official bodies blamed each other for the scare, with staff at the 112 hotline insisting they had received confrmation from air traffic control that a plane was down. The Spanish Transport Minister, who was giving a press conference with the president of the Canaries when she was informed of the crash by aides, was said to be very angry at the embarrassing gaffe.''
It did look a bit like a plane in the sea off the coast of Gran Canaria (images above and below from Canarias7)
The folded Dutch floating crane (inset) that vaguely resembles a TUI plane was sailing past Gran Canaria.
Images source: canarias7 , where you can see lots of jokes about the incident. The social media are full of jokes about this embarrassing incident as this photo on Twitter (below) mocking the all-out mobilisation  proves:

Source: Canarias7
There's no end to the jokes about the incident (see the two examples above).
The 112 emergency centres have published their radio conversations with air traffic control which show that the false alarm which triggered the all-out mobilisation of hundreds of rescue personnel was based on the confirmation by officers of the Spanish national police on shore that a plane was in the water - while all planes in Canary islands airspace were accounted for. 
Polcia Nacional 'plane spotting' on Thursday   Image: Canarias7

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

President confirms subsidies for La Gomera ferry

The president of the Canary Islands Paulino Rivero has announced during a speech in the Canary Islands' parliament yesterday that his government will subsidise travel on the so-called 'interior ferry line' of La Gomera. Residents would receive a 75% subsidy for tickets and this should make the ferry line viable and very attractive for the prospective operator of the service. Politicians from all parties have welcomed the statement, and the mayors of the towns on La Gomera which the service is hopefully going to connect once again soon have expressed their support for the decision. It is hoped that the subsidies will make it more attractive for ferry operators to apply for the contract to supply the service. Persistent rumours circulate that 'more than one' company has been waiting for this decision before finalising their proposals and that on of them is the former Garajonay Express company.
The passenger ferry operated on and off over a number of years, attracting more than 150.000 passengers per year before ceasing operations in late 2012. It was a rapid and comfortable service cutting journey times between the towns serviced . It also helped to reduce the amount of traffic in the mountains and through the national park.
We're still keeping the fingers crossed...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Please vote again for Canaries !

The satellite image of the western Canary Islands including Gran Canaria  has won the last round of voting and is now amoung  the final four images of  the NASA Earth Tournament for the image of the year.  So come on and click NASA Earth Tournament 2014 to vote again in this year's semi-final. You can vote as many times as you can click and do tell your friends. This round of voting closes this Friday, March 28th 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Can you whistle a poem in English ?

El Silbo teacher Jesus,  here whistling
 it skilfully without the use of his hands
That's the question posed by poet Albert Pellicer of the Contemporary Poetic Research Centre of the Royal Halloway University of London. The professor and author has written a poem called Breath of Sense which explores the El Silbo whistling language of La Gomera and for quite some time he'd been hoping to try if this poem could be whistled in the El Silbo language. He's now teamed up with the singer/songwriter and El Silbo master Rogelio Botanz and travelled to La Gomera to put it to the test here. With the financial support of La Gomera's local government six students from Tenerife travelled to La Gomera to interpret the poem through El Silbo. The artist Helen Petts will compile a video of the experiment with the landscape of La Gomera that gave rise to El silbo as a dramatic backdrop. The video is being shot for the universities of Kingston and Birkbeck who also do contemporary poetics research in collaboration with Pellicer. The group is due to leave today to publish their findings.
Well, if you've ever been on one of the excursion tours on La Gomera you'd know that the El Silbo demonstration given during the lunch stop always includes whistling in whatever language the guests want and the whistler will gladly whistle even your name, no matter how complicated. El Silbo whistles are phonetic and can be employed in any language, as words and phrases are formed by the varying pitch of the whistling. On La Gomera, the whistling is quite complicated, with varying lengths, ranges, pauses and emphasis on vowels and consonants.
The outcome of this new poetic experiment can only be positive and it will foster the interest in this ancient form of communication internationally even on an academic level.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Major Revamp for the Port of San Sebastian

The area around the terminal building in the harbour of San Sebastian de La Gomera is to be remodelled and improved. San Sebastian port handles about 1,2 million passengers per annum and parking in the harbour has been notoriously difficult for many years. The planned new and much larger car parks should make it easier for travellers and those picking up passengers, buying tickets as well as for the hire cars and taxis. Ample parking for buses and heavy goods vehicles, trucks and containers will also be provided. Let's just hope the new car parks will remain free of charge, but a 'hut to control parking' will be constructed which doesn't bode well for free parking. 
Planned redevelopment (click to enlarge)
The embarkation areas for cars intending to travel on the ferries will also be redesigned as will be the final stretch of the port access road. Even traffic lights have been mentioned - these would be the first of their kind here, as La Gomera has been delightfully free of traffic lights up to now. Some trees and green areas are also included in the plans and a general tidy-up of the whole area. 
The building phase is to take just eight months and the whole project is to cost 1,7 million Euros. Another 2,9 million Euros is to be invested in the extension of the pier by 38 metres to accommodate more and even larger cruise ships next season. The number of cruise ship passengers visiting San Sebastian de La Gomera has doubled during the current season from 40.000 last season to over 80.000 and La Gomera is receiving the highest ratings by cruise ship passengers. Work on the pier extension which will also include works on the marina, beach and existing pier is to begin shortly with all the paperwork in place and contractors appointed already.
Let's hope that the derelict-looking outer harbour of Valle Gran Rey will be next in line for an upgrade. Can we have a piece of that cake, pleeeeease ?
The port of San Sebastian de La Gomera seen from the marina

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Springtime: La Gomera in full bloom

Spring on La Gomera starts early and often lasts  into early summer. There is a multitude of different plants and trees blossoming all over the island and wildflowers often carpet entire regions, causing every breeze to bring the fragrance of flowers.
Below are just a few impressions snapped a few days ago:

Blooming heather trees 

Gomera Broom
Sow Thistle

Gomera Burgloss

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Team up with fish and eat a friend

...according to this signage spotted by Martin Fagan in the Canaries and first published in the Telegraph:
... and don't forget to order fried dads (papas fritas) with your French-blue friend Gordon, the chicken.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vote for the Canary Islands !

Last year a satellite image of the El Hierro eruption won the NASA Earth Tournament and became image of the year. This year's competition has entered the finals and again a beautiful image of the Canary Islands called Trailing the Canaries (below) has made it into the final eight - so do your bit and give it your vote. You must select four of the eight images according to your preferences and the image of the Canaries is in the art section. Voting closes tomorrow night, but you can vote as often as you like after clicking: NASA Earth Tournament 2014.  
UPDATE: This round was won and now see the next round of voting
NASA writes: ''The play of light on water can reveal overlooked details and nuances to photographers and artists on Earth. The same thing can happen when looking from space.The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite looked down on the Canary Islands on June 15, 2013. The Atlantic Ocean has a silvery or milky color in much of the image, the result of sunglint. Sunlight is being reflected off of the ocean surface directly back at the satellite imager, revealing details about the water surface or circulation that are otherwise invisible.   
In the image above, wavy, windsock-like tails stretch to the southwest from each of the islands. The patterns are likely the result of winds roughening or smoothing the water surface in different places. Prevailing winds in the area come from the northeast, and the rocky, volcanic islands create a sort of wind shadow—blocking, slowing, and redirecting the air flow. That wind, or lack of it, piles up waves and choppy water in some places and calms the surface in others, changing how light is reflected. Ocean currents, oil or pollution slicks, and internal waves can also alter surface patterns, though none are necessarily visible in this image.
According to sailors’ guides to the area, winds on the leeward side of the Canary Islands often blow in the opposite direction of the prevailing winds. The play of land and wind can also create a funnel effect, speeding up air flow around the coasts. The swirling nature of the leeward wind field is shown in a long, helical trail of clouds stretching southwest from Tenerife (the second island from the right).''

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Last snow on Tenerife slowly melting

Spring has arrived in the Canary Islands but there's still some snow on Tenerife high up on Mount Teide. Its 3,718-metre (12,198 ft) summit is the highest mountain in Spain. In winter the top of this still active volcano is  covered in snow at times while far below the peak at sea level it is very warm and people are out on the beaches sunbathing and swimming in the sea. I took these photos  a couple of days ago from La Gomera and they show the southern slopes of Teide with the remnants of the last snowfalls on its summit.
Mount Teide's southern slopes just one month ago (above) and now (below and top)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two fast ferries to La Gomera - changes to schedule

Soon to sail to La Gomera: Fast ferry Alboran   (Image: Trasmediteranea)
From this Thursday, March 20th 2014, the ferry company Armas which connects San Sebastian de La Gomera with Los Cristianos on Tenerife with their ship Volcan de Taburiente, will introduce a trimaran called Alboran on the route while their regular ferry Volcan de Taburiente is undergoing the annual review and inspection. The  faster ship will directly compete with the similar Fred.Olsen-operated Benchijigua Express 
The Alboran, built by the same yard in Australia, can also do the same maximum speed as the Olsen ferry at a staggering 42 knots per hour (about 80 km/h), but normal service speed is 36 knots. At about 300 ft the Alboran is 100 ft smaller than the Benchjigua (which happens to be the largest civilian trimaran in the world), and can accommodate about 900 passengers and 265 cars. This additional Armas ferry is owned by Trasmediterranea ferries under the Acciona brand and has previously plied routes in the Mediterranean. 
The Alboran will later begin sailing the regular route to El Hierro from Tenerife with occasional stopovers in San Sebastian de La Gomera, when the Volcan de Taburiente will be back in service maintaining the previous La Gomera connection. The current El Hierro ferry Alcantara Dos, also owned by Acciona will be withdrawn from that route due to problems with reliability, etc.. 
N.B.: A revised timetable will apply from Thursday for most departures. This will be published shortly. Check ferry timetables in English by clicking button Travel + Transport beside Home above). 
The Armas ferry Volcan de Taburiente

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The former fish cannery at La Rajita

I found the following interesting article today:

''La Rajita was formerly one of the centres of La Gomera's fishing industry, thanks to a factory operated by the Alicante-based Lloret y Llinares company, and until the 1960s it played an important role in the island economy.
Several such small fish salting, processing and packing factories were established in the nineteenth century and by the 1920s were flourishing, thanks to the island's situation and topography.
La Gomera was situated on a main tuna migration route, (and still is, but today's tuna population is miniscule in comparison).  There is also an ample coastal platform where valleys meet the sea.  The potential profit of this wealth of mobile food passing by, together with the relative ease of siting sheltered coastal fish factories, was soon efficiently exploited.  There were three such plants on the island's southern coast, one of which flourished from 1909 until 1986 at La Rajita.
During the 1960s, a massive three quarters of all fish disembarked in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, that is, on the islands of Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro, as well as La Gomera, was absorbed by these three plants on La Gomera, two of which were set in isolated valleys, and the third in Playa Santiago.
The 60s heralded the end of their heyday.  Various factors, such as an outdated fleet, Japanese factory boats, the depletion of fishing grounds, lack of capital for modernisation and increasing local demands for fair wages, together with the availability of cheap labour in North Africa, caused crisis in the sector.
None of the three plants survived, despite this promising early 70s Agencia de Extensión Agraria report: “The preserves factory in La Rajita on La Gomera processes fish caught in the south of the island, the most important species being tuna and mackerel.  The factory also makes 'caviar Gomera', which is much appreciated (mackerel and sea bream roe).  La Rajita has an annual production of approximately 2,400 tons”.
Many workers came round by boat, weather permitting, from nearby Valle Gran Rey on a daily basis.  Women worked as fish cleaners and packers, men as tradesmen and fishermen.  There was a single story, cement factory, surrounded by workers' flats, boat houses for the small fishing fleet, a jetty, a football pitch, a shop, a gofio mill, chicken houses, goat pens, a thriving school and a chapel.
La Rajita's population slowly dwindled when the factory closed.  By the late 80s, the last families moved out.  Valle Gran Rey's tourist trade was growing, offering employment.  The access road between La Dama and La Rajita was in poor condition and in any case, there was little opportunity for either work or leisure activities in La Dama.
A few workers found employment in the banana cooperative there, but the school that La Rajita's children were relocated to was tiny, with children between three and twelve in one class.  The coup de grace came with the offer of newly built council housing in Valle Gran Rey for the remaining La Rajita population....''

The above appeared a couple of days ago on Island (click for complete article)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

El Hierro earthquake activity increases again

After almost three months of relative calm on El Hierro island since the strongly-felt 5.1 earthquake on Dec.27th, 2013, in the past two days a new 'swarm' of minor shocks was recorded there. Of the more than 165 events since Thursday most were of magnitude 2 or less and the strongest was a 2.4. They almost all occurred in safe depths of between 15 and 20 kms and none was felt by the population.
The location of the recent quakes is new however as the bulk of the activity now is happening under the eastern half of the island. Previous activity was concentrated under  and around the western parts of El Hierro. A new intrusion of magma is the likely explanation for the renewed activity and it remains to be seen what further effects, if any, it will have on the neighbouring island. Almost exactly on year ago there was a sudden swarm of quakes which then culminated in a magnitude 4,9 shock.
The total number of recorded El Hierro earthquakes since the beginning of the current cycles of activity in July 2011 now stands at a whopping 21.500 and counting.
Locations and depths of recent El Hierro earthquakes

UPDATE Sunday March 16th, 2014, 10:30am:
The renewed activity continues unabated and by now there've been 270 minor earthquakes in the past 3 days. There is no change in the depth and the strength of the shocks remains around and below magnitude 2. Most of the quakes are still in the eastern central El Hierro region.
UPDATE Monday March 17th, 2014, 6:30pm:
The activity has decreased considerably, but deformation of the island has increased again. No other changes.
UPDATE Tuesday March 18th 2014, 9pm:
...and once again activity has almost ceased with just four very minor shocks today. The general see-saw of volcanic activity on El Hierro just experienced another upturn, and each time it seems to happen in a different way. I am ending this post and will report any future developments in a new post.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lanzarote salmon eat Prime Minister

Oh my God, not only do Lanzarote's vicious monster salmon eat the Prime Minister, they also gobble up the 'Royal House' before they get smoked in the town of Uga, according to this menu:
Thank God there are no salmon on Lanzarote !    (Image source: J. van Drimmelen)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More Carnival

Now it is the turn of the north of the island of La Gomera to celebrate carnival. The town of Vallehermoso is holding its carnival from today Thursday 13th of March (click poster to enlarge) and then Hermigua will have its main carnival day on the 16th of March starting at 12 noon. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Wandering Oil Rig Mystery

The tug turning the rig just south off Valle Gran Rey yesterday morning
The rig that was reported and viewed passing La Gomera on Sunday is still around... and doing rounds between the islands. This morning it was seen again close to La Gomera and being towed past Valle Gran Rey's southern approach. In the past few days it has been spotted off the coast of southern Tenerife, off La Gomera and it just keeps going around in circles  between the western islands of Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. The 86m tug that's towing the rig is named Pacific Champion, registered in Singapore, built only a couple of years ago in 2011 with a GT of 4566 tons, and its last registered port of call was Las Palmas de Gran Canaria about a month ago. Rumours are doing the rounds (including one that says it is a rig that is to dredge material from the bottom of the sea for the new harbour in Tazacorte on La Palma to replace another dredger that capsized) but personally I think that it is an oil rig which is just waiting for the right weather conditions to be towed across the Atlantic (or to go wherever) after a refit in the docks of Gran Canaria which specialise in that kind of rig-refitting work. It probably won't be looking for oil, gas, nor anything else around the western Canaries, I think. How many more erratic circles until it goes away ? I'm tracking it and will let you know here if there are any interesting developments..., but just a while ago at around midnight it was heading at 3.4 knots (slowly) towards south of La Gomera again from the southern tip of Tenerife. As a neighbour said: ''Maybe they want us to get accustomed to the sight of rigs !?'' - Naw !
Mind you, oil exploration remains the hottest poltical potato in the Canary Islands.

UPDATE 13-03-14, 10pm:
The rig towed by the tug stopped over in Santa Cruz de Tenerife harbour today around noon. The tug Pacific Champion went on to berth in the harbour of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria later tonight - whether with or without the rig is not known to me. Get the spy-glasses out over there! This ends the many loops in the sea of the tandem in the western Canaries for now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Milky Way between La Gomera and El Hierro

The western lights of La Gomera (left) and El Hierro (right) under the stars. Image: project nightflight
Green airglow shimmers atop translucent clouds as the Milky Way rises over a remote island off the northwest coast of Africa in a majestic photo recently sent to
Erwin Matys and Karoline Mrazek captured this spectacular image on June 6, 2013 from the southern part of La Palma Island, Canary Islands. They took the image as part of Project Nightflight, an astrophotography project aimed at "capturing the beauty of the night sky."
“Just after we finished our shots the whole sky was suddenly covered with thick clouds and all the magic was gone,” Matys told via email. 
The foreground features the characteristic volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands. The faint lights are from neighboring islands, La Gomera toward the left and El Hierro. Tiny top-lights from a small wind park on the shore give off the fait red glow visible in the foreground.
The photographers digitally combined two exposures of four minutes, one for the Milky Way (tracked), the second for the landscape (untracked). 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oil Find Near Canary Islands

Anglo-Turkish oil exploration and production company Genel Energy have confirmed an oil find off the Moroccan coast about 100 km east of Fuerteventura in the Juby Maritime exploration area near Tarfaya. The company is exploring the area in a joint venture with Scottish Cairn Energy with a 25% stake held by the Moroccan state office for hydrocarbons and mines (ONHYM), and they are hoping to have discovered a well with a potential of producing 70 million barrels of oil. However, it is still unclear if this can be exploited as the oil is in depths of more than 3000 metres.
Oil rig passing La Gomera yesterday © GomeraToday
The Canarian government meanwhile wants to keep their promise of holding a referendum on the issue of oil exploration in its waters, despite opposition from the Spanish national government, and have stated today that the announced oil find only makes the referendum more urgent. They are also demanding the highest possible environmental guarantees from the Moroccan neighbours, and a withdrawal of exploration licences for Spanish oil giant Repsol who are planning to start drilling close to the area of the new find. A Canarian spokesman has also said that oil finds were announced several times before over the years without any oil ever having actually been produced. Just two kilometres from the current find Esso discovered a well in 1968, but it never produced any oil.
The issue is being hotly discussed in the Canaries with some hoping for jobs and new prosperity and saying that tourism and oil production could live side by side as was the case in Scotland, Norway and some Mediterranean countries - while many remain opposed, pointing to the grave dangers of oil drilling in such depths and stating that very little economic benefit may be felt in the Canary Islands.
The local government of La Gomera has voted to support a referendum on the issue recently. As if to illustrate the issue a huge oil rig was seen being towed past the coast of La Gomera yesterday.
UPDATE March 15th 2014:
Moroccan state agency ONHYM who hold a 25% share in the exploration have stated that oil has not yet been discovered and that the news of an oil find was due to a 'misunderstanding'. What was discovered was a layer of heavy oil or oil-rich sediment which would prove very difficult to extract however. 
UPDATE March 22nd 2014:
Cairn and Genel stated that they have capped and abandoned the oil well. They are saying that more time is needed to analyse and determine the quality of the discovered oil. Moroccan ONHYM already said that the oil reserves discovered in a band some 100 metres thick in Upper Jurassic deposits was not of good quality, Cairn and Genel will have to determine if or where to explore the area further.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Caution: Portuguese Man o' Wars

Fishermen and sailors as well as visitors to the beaches have reported large numbers of the floating jellyfish-like organisms of Portuguese man o' war which can appear almost anywhere in the oceans where the water is warm enough. 
They appear to be particularly abundant currently on and off the south and west coasts of La Gomera, especially Valle Gran Rey. Swimmers should be aware of the danger and be vigilant. It may be better not to go for a swim at all until the floating invasion has disappeared again. The Portuguese man o' war can inflict a very painful 'burn' when merely touched and stings often require a visit to the doctor. A first aid remedy used traditionally by fishermen is fresh urine, believe it or not, but a visit to the doctor is advisable when badly stung. It is also important to avoid further contact with the Portuguese man o' war when carefully removing remnants of the organism from the skin: Take care not to touch them directly with fingers or any other part of the skin to avoid secondary stinging.
Wikipedia has this to say about them:
''The Portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis), ..., often mistaken as a jellyfish, is a marine cnidarian of the family Physaliidae. Its venomous tentacles can deliver a painful sting.
Despite its outward appearance, the Portuguese man o' war is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, which differs from jellyfish in that it is not actually a single multicellular organism but a colonial organism made up of many highly specialized minute individuals called zooids. These zooids are attached to one another and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival. ...
... Stings usually cause severe pain to humans, leaving whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last 2 or 3 days after the initial sting, though the pain should subside after about an hour. However, the venom can travel to the lymph nodes and may cause, depending on the amount of venom, a more intense pain. A sting may lead to an allergic reaction. There can also be serious effects, including fever, shock, and interference with heart and lung function. Stings may also cause death, although this is extremely rare. Medical attention may be necessary, especially if pain persists or is intense, there is an extreme reaction, the rash worsens, a feeling of overall illness develops, a red streak develops between swollen lymph nodes and the sting, or either area becomes red, warm and tender.''
UPDATE March 18th 2014:
The danger persists and some people were stung in the past few days. One person was so badly stung that an ambulance had to be called. 
UPDATE March 27th 2014:
Unfortunately the toxic organisms are still present in the waters of the south-west of La Gomera. Dead and stranded examples were seen again today. Do not handle these, as the toxin remains active for 24-48 hours after their death. 
UPDATE May 17th 2014:
The administration of Valle Gran Rey have re-issued their warning and have stated that coastal waters in the south-west continue to be infested with stinging/burning Portuguese Man o'Wars. Large numbers of the organisms have been sighted again and several swimmers were stung. The authorities are also appealing to the public to spread the word and caution tourists and visitors who may be unaware of the possible danger. Read more...

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Chapel vandalised

Damaged window © Diario de Avisos
One of the oldest and best-known chapels on La Gomera, the Ermita de Los Santos Reyes in the parish of Valle Gran Rey near El Guro/Casa de la Seda suffered an act of vandalism when some of its stained-glass windows were found to have been damaged on Thursday morning. The small 500 years old church is beautifully but remotely situated on the less-inhabited eastern side of the valley and can only be reached via a steep path. It appears that small stones were thrown from the outside to damage the windows and some letters had also been scratched into the door. Police are investigating this rare and very strange incident.
'Los Reyes' chapel (centre)