Canary Islands (Spain), July – 2012.
The Weird Format (4:1 canvas) was I choice I’ve made in August 2012, while editing some photos of the journey I’ve just had finished. However, in latest reviews of the images I took, I’ve came across the idea of cropping some more images that could lead to interesting “false” landscape like format. Surprisingly I end up with more images than I previously though that could mach the idea and the result that lies bellow. The principle of edition was pretty simple, I just stretched the image canvas to 1/3 of the original height and selected the stripe I’ve like the most. But in what concerns to the place it self, follows a small personal empiric based resume:
Canary Islands is a Spanish volcanic generated archipelago, just a couple of hundred kilometers offshore of Western Sahara (Morocco). It is composed by 7 major islands which can be categorized by geographic location and distinguished by climate, morphology and vegetation cover:
The diversity goes from the northeast group (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canária) with their dry/naked volcanic soils and least pronounced elevation, place of beautiful contrast between volcanic cones, “bad lands” flats, dunes and blue tropical waters. Easy to find Sahara wind imported sandy beaches, which makes this group an amazing place to be despite of the all-year-round strong winds; In other hand there is also the southwestern group (Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro), where you can find the highest pics, volcanoes and cliffs, with sharper elevation profiles and rocky shores. With heights that vary between several hundreds of meters to the astonishing 3,728 thousands meters of Teide volcano over the sea level (3rd largest in the world considering it’s based on the seabed). This sharp and pronounced mountains of the southern west group work as cloud barrier and provide to the slopes that face north the chance to capture the humidity (lacked by poor precipitation in subtropical latitudes) which is needed to sustain the more luxuriant and water dependent vegetation cover. This also includes one of the few lasting examples of the evergreen Laurisilva forest, a must visit place in the island La Gomera with their Parque Nacional Garajonay – World Heritage site of UNESCO
This archipelago is being inhabited for several hundreds of years and was home of several different aboriginal tribes that lived scattered in prehistoric villages in the seven main islands. The origin of the Canary aboriginal people is not clearly known but first signs of occupation are known to exist since pretty much earlier than the first modern European maritime expansion around the XIV and XV century. Recent genetic evidences suggest that Guanches (southern islands) and Majos (northern islands) share ancestors with Berbers of northern Africa. There are few some interesting archiological sites visit, including a pyramid in Gran Canária and other small villages remaining.
There are endless things to say about this place, and if you want to get in detail you always can check Wiki for a little bit more. My last statements are that the gastronomy is exquisite and could eat their fish and marine food every single day; and that Canary Islands seemed to me to have a fully developed tourism industry from which they strongly depend, that I naturally tried to avoid whenever possible. Nevertheless, there is such an incredible amount of diversity, whereas in the beach or in the mountains, in the city or in the forests; things that you can do around by yourself are endless. If you want to keep it cheap it is well worthy to be explored backpacking or with small group of nature loving friends.