We stayed in La Palma’s old town of Santa Cruz de La Palma. This is a mostly car-free, narrow alleyed, cobble streeted, wooden housed and balconied Spanish style town. Cobbles seem to be no object for the stiletto heeled locals! That said, I did find the local fashions rather stilted and overly fussy – over smart or over sparkled and over loud in many cases. I confess I did attempt to go shopping but was surprised by how little in the way of clothing I could find to buy!
Now jewellery was somewhat of a different matter, although again many styles were over large and over ornate. Still the pearls are always tempting as is the green volcanic rock they call olivine, but also known by the trade as peridot in some cases it appears. When polished up to a glitter with facets it is a lovely colour.
Due to Spanish regulations there are no hotels in this particular town but we hear that a boutique hotel is due to open shortly.
So we had to stay in an apartment hosted by a charming German women called La Fuente (means Fountains or Sources). Sure enough there was a tinkling fountain in front of the hotel. La fuente was a traditional old Spanish style house that had been added and re-worked over several years and now rose up 6 stories to a roof top terrace if you could climb the stairs with a grand view of the town and the rooftops.
It had a number of major advantages:
- It is only an alleyway distance from the seafront ;
- It is on a major pedestrianised street;
- And if you are lucky, the apartment has a window seat and window onto this street. This gave us a wonderful view of the Easter Parades – more of them later.
- But don’t expect to be able to do much cooking – just 2 rings and very little in the way of crockery and pans etc.. but
- There are lots of eateries all down the street and you are opposite a good pizza place.
La Palma also had an interesting artifact in the middle of town – a replica Spanish ship. Not quite sure of the reasons for this, but it was very attractive especially at night when lit up.
Overall, this is a very pleasant tourist town with coloured buildings all attractively painted with the trim picked out in contrast colours and squares and churches and…. not forgetting that the mountains (well volcanoes) press right up against the edge of town ad a collapsed mountain is just at the very edge (a caldera) and the sea is there too.