A virtual stroll through Lanzarote (and the world): a guide to travelling from your couch
The state of emergency due to the current health crisis has led to the cancellation of your holiday in Lanzarote and now you are facing several days of confinement at home, wondering when you will be able to get back to normality and finally travel to our island. The first thing we had to do was to update you about the latest developments in the situation and thank you for your responsibility. Now, we’d like to suggest a smartphone trip to enliven your brain.
It’s not easy to escape from reality. You may be feeling angry, distressed and worried about the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Or worried about yourself and your loved ones. That’s natural, but remember that we have plenty of tools available to cope with this extraordinary situation:
- Get your information from official channels
- Don’t create or share hoaxes or uncorroborated news items
- Communicate through the multiple apps that you have at your fingertips
- If you are going to download digital content, do so in off-peak hours (14:00 to 16:00 and 20:00 to 8:00) to facilitate the work of professionals who have a vital need to communicate.
If you have already done your daily dose of home exercise, find a comfy couch, warm up your fingers and get ready to browse through this content. 🙂
Digging through memories
We especially recommend that you browse through its collections , some dedicated to the multifaceted César Manrique, the Carnival and the paradise that is the island of La Graciosa.
You will find very interesting books such as:
- Crónicas Isleñas (Island Chronicles)→ 59 very personal articles by the writer Leandro Perdomo on the reality of Lanzarote in 1977.
- Gente Menuda de Arrecife (Characters of Arrecife)→ a compilation of fun articles about local customs, covering the most famous inhabitants and ‘characters’ of the port of the capital, Arrecife.
- And what about going underground? Here you’ll find the geological study carried out by volcanologist Telesforo Bravo during his 1964 expedition to El Volcán de La Corona.
Under a sea of clouds
There is an overwhelming consensus about Lanzarote’s light.
Photographers, painters, yoga instructors – in fact anyone who uses their eyes will have been overwhelmed at some time by the beauty of this subtropical light, sometimes enveloped in trade winds, distorted by the haze, prolonged in the summer sunsets or converted into a multi-reflective prism thanks to the autumn clouds.
Gustavo Medina, one of the inhabitants of our Humans of Lanzarote series, maintains an intense love affair with Lanzarote, which includes meteorology, hiking and a great knowledge of the geography and atmospheric conditions of his island.
Today there is already less work to be done to win the battle against the pandemic than there was yesterday, and we will soon be out and about socialising again among seas of bewitching clouds like those seen in this epic video: Looking for a Dream.
The World Digital Library, just a click away
What did the United Kingdom know about the Canary Islands in 1917? The British Foreign Office created a special department to provide information to the British representatives who were to participate in the peace conference in Paris in 1919, after the First World War.
Here you can consult the booklet prepared by British diplomats on the Canary Islands, which includes several references to the climate, population and life in Lanzarote at the beginning of the last century.
It is one of the thousands of gems and curiosities digitalised by the World Digital Library, an institution that publishes “essential materials from cultures around the world” in various languages and with free access. This is a collaborative effort involving libraries, archives, museums, universities and cultural centres around the world.
Maps, 19th century Japanese art, medieval miniatures… Browse its search engine and explore its more than 19,000 articles on the history of 200 countries.
Watch the sky and wander through Google Earth
How about looking at the sky to try to locate and recognise the constellations and stars? They’re always there, reminding us that we too are made of the same basic matter.
The Sky Live channel shares the most important astronomical events of the year and, in addition to providing great scientific communication, it reminds us that the sky is all about context, poetry and horizon.
We didn’t get to see the March equinox that was going to be broadcast from the dolmen of Valdecaballeros (Extremadura), of course but on the YouTube channel you can see the last Perseids meteor shower and the spectacular supermoon viewed from the Teide.
This channel puts planetary conjunctions, meteor showers, asteroids, eclipses and the webcams of the Canarian astronomical observatories within the reach of all of us.
Never before has a bird’s eye view from Google Earth been so necessary. The astonishing beauty of the white corridor of “jable” (volcanic sand) that crosses Lanzarote from the dunes of Famara to the plain of Tías can be fully appreciated by satellite. So too can the string of aligned volcanoes in Soo. Or the Martian crater of Caldera Blanca, the largest in diameter on the island.
The Augustine enigma
Madrid, 1980. “During the remodelling works of the Palacio del Pardo, hidden behind a false ceiling, a chest was found that was packed with objects and documents that have no apparent relation to each other: old photos, slate discs, programmes from a 1920s Copla show, letters, scientific articles and a doctoral thesis.”
Thus begins the synopsis of El Enigma Agustina (The Augustine Enigma),a documentary directed by two professionals from the Communication and Outreach Unit of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Astrophysics Institute of Andalusia).
That chest changed the course of research of a historian who was preparing her thesis on the Lanzarorte physicist Blas Cabrera. Who was Agustina Ruiz Dupont and why do Albert Einstein and Marie Curie mention her in their letters?
The authors have published their documentary on Vimeo so that we can enjoy it during these days of confinement. Watching it would be a great tribute to the women and men who work in science to improve our quality of life and our knowledge of the world.
More? Yes. 🙂
- You can experience the adventure of entering the Túnel de la Atlántida (Atlantis Tunnel), the longest submerged lava tube in the world, thanks to the Guía de los Ecosistemas Anquialinos de Lanzarote (Guide to the Anchialine Ecosystems of Lanzarote) (in Spanish and in English).
- The magazine Cooltura Lanzarote has been sharing other cultural content for days, which can be enjoyed for free. Virtual visits to European museums, free Spanish cinema in Fix Olé and another book for free download, this time a novel by the Canarian filmmaker Armando Ravelo: Doramas, Bajo los Pies de Nadie (Doramas, Under Nobody’s Feet), a story of roots and rebellion that takes us back to the Canary Islands in the 15th century.
- The pianist James Rhodes and the publishing house Blackie Books have decided to share the book Memorias de Música, Medicina y Locura (Memories of Music, Medicine and Madness) which you can download for free here.
- You can also see El Silencio de la Guerra (The Silence of War) the first documentary from the prestigious magazine 5W that portrays “a Syria that does not usually make the headlines.”
This crisis will pass and it will help us learn to organize ourselves better and to empathise more with others.
We would like to close with a message sent by a health professional that we feel it is appropriate to share:
“Because you stayed home today, there are trillions of coronaviruses that have not been able to find a new host and have died. I wanted you to know that the enemy’s casualties must also be counted to keep the morale of the troops high.”
When the health authorities decide it’s time – based on scientific data and with the common good as a priority – we will be able to enjoy the people, the landscapes and the culture of Lanzarote and other extraordinary territories again. We will recover. We will travel again. More aware, more empathetic, certainly better people than before.
Meanwhile, #quedateencasa #stayathome. Take care of yourself and you will take care of us all. 🙂 THANK YOU.