Like Dick Whittington being lured back to London, I found events drawing me back to Santa Cruz just a week after my last visit. I would have been there anyway as CD Tenerife were at home but I went up early with a large tick list. Storms had been mentioned but my Titsa bus trip was coated in sunshine, it was only when I got off at Centro Comercial Meridiano that the rain started to splatter down even though the sun was fighting it for top billing. Forget the end of the world, the second coming, or an alien invasion, all those seem to have been bumped down the curiosity order by an insatiable thirst for the opening date of Santa Cruz Primark so I popped in and asked an expert – the security guard, March was the answer – but he didn’t say what year.
That short detour didn’t affect my bono ticket bonus of a free tram ride having just left a Titsa bus, so I took a short hop to La Paz to check out Cine Victor the 1954 cinema being nursed back to life. The front was still being painted but a few well researched bits of background information got me an invite inside for a tour. It was looking tired and sad last time I popped in but the facelift was going well with much of the original features being restored and matched with state of the art projector technology that will give it star billing again. The original projectors were on the way out, I bet they could tell a few stories – oh hang on that’s exactly what they did. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished picture very soon.
Back in the last dribbles of sunny rain I headed down La Rambla past the old derelict bull ring to see the long time resident Henry Moore sculpture, El Guerrero de Goslar, a curtain raiser to the art in the street exhibition in the centre of the city, the main focus of my early visit. The work reclines there with few pretensions but it was good to see it now free of graffiti. Further along the road linked up to Parque Garcia Sanabria and taking the busy shopping street Calle Castillo to Plaza Candelaria I found the first cluster of sculptures brought in from Berlin and Basingstoke until 1st December and got snapping.
There was a lot of interest in the works of Castleford sculptor Henry Moore, Santa Cruz is very good at taking culture to the masses. I soon added the other large bronze works in Plaza Patriotismo to my collection before crossing from Plaza de Espana to the port road where the 39 vintage cars from Clasica Tenerife rally were parked up.
Another passing downpour gave the old motors a good sprinkling, well they had been spinning their wheels around the islands roads most of the day so maybe needed a little wash. The port is always worth a look, I have quite a big photo collection of the ships and boats that pop in so it was good to see two new captures, Celebrity Eclipse and the P & O Azura. These were like cities on the sea, Eclipse brought 2,800 passengers and 1,100 crew and Azura another 3,100 and 1,226, both were doing a Southampton to Canaries run via Funchal.
By now it was getting close to food and footie time so I grabbed a pizza somewhere I wouldn’t be subjected to the gathering ranks of fat cat bar stool football fans waiting to see two well known mega money Spanish teams get it on. I could almost taste the Dorada as I strode up the road to meet the other Armada Sur members at our pre match bar. A great day was just about to get a whole lot better.