SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA SANTA CRUZ TENERIFE
We arrived around 08.00, about an hour ahead of HAL’s Noordam, docking close to the inter-island ferry terminal.
The ship’s shuttle dropped us close to Fundación tram (trolley) stop on the Tranvia metro Tenerife system. Being quite early on a Sunday, everywhere was closed and there was little traffic, though there were maybe 15 other locals waiting for the next outbound tram.
Our destination was La Laguna, conveniently located close to the end of one of the Tranvia’s line at Trinidad. The one-way fare was Euro1.35 and we had taken the precaution of having sufficient coins, judging correctly that the self-service ticket machine would not accept euro notes, although it did give change, so there is no necessity to have the correct amount.
La Laguna claims to be Tenerife’s second most important city, its first capital until 1723 and, from 1999, a UNESCO world heritage site. Its full name is Ciudad de San Cristóbal de la Laguna, which is Saint Christopher's city. It sits at 1,600 feet above sea level but only about five miles from Santa Cruz and the principal streets are largely traffic-free. By virtue of it being Sunday, the main street of La Laguna was virtually dead, with most shops closed. Many of the buildings on the main street date back several hundred years. At the top end lies the cathedral, outside of which were several cafes, which seemed to burst into life once the service in the cathedral was over and people streamed out of the main entrance.
The weather was cold here, not least because of the height above sea level, rain clouds threatened and, after exploring a few streets off the cathedral square, we patronised a café in the square for two reasonably-priced hot chocolates and an hour’s worth of Wi-Fi. Then we retraced our steps back down the main street to the Trinidad tram terminus and then back to the ship. Even now, retail outlets in Santa Cruz were virtually all still closed.
Considering this port is very tourist orientated, it was very surprising that most places, not only in La Laguna, but also in Santa Cruz resembled a ghost town because it was Sunday. Seemingly gone are the days, when, if a cruise ship was in port, shopkeepers would stay open until the ship departed!
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