Happy belated new year to you all! How are you all, and how was the festive season for you? We went to the same place we went last year in Lanzarote (for the same reasons) and enjoyed some sunshine and a break from it all! This time I was excited to find a local artist collecting plastic from the sea, turning it into art to raise awareness of the problems of plastic and exhibiting it at the airport. It was the first thing we saw when we landed. I tried to meet up with the artist to find out more, but we didn’t manage it. He is on Instagram though, so you can check him out here on: @alvardelmar and take a look at the slightly blurry picture above (must get better with my camera skills :))
I also took a trip that I didn’t go on last time and learned all about Cesar Manrique, who was a famous Lanzarote based artist and architect. He had a major influence on and vision for Lanzarote. He felt that the environment, architecture and art could work together and we visited 4 sites which he had designed. The first was his home which was built over and within a series of volcanic bubbles, which were basically underground caves formed by lava bubbles. It was all very stylish, modern and minimalistic looking and fascinating to explore. We visited a cactus garden, which was previously an old abandoned quarry. Our tour guide told us that Manrique used the equipment and materials he found there to transform it into the beautiful site it is today and I just loved the upcycling element! There is something magical about caves and Jameos del Agua, another site designed in conjunction with nature by Manrique is a really incredible venue for an underground concert hall! There is also a swimming pool and a lake there filled with albino crabs. The final place we visited was an eye wateringly high up view point. Manrique kept it very simply and stylishly designed like his other venues, turning an old military look out point into a tourist attraction. The views were amazing, but by that point I had run out of steam and was happy to get on the bus back to where we were staying!
Cesar Manrique established a foundation to focus on the environment and the arts in Lanzarote and the surrounding areas. He was especially influential over planning in Lanzarote – ensuring that it became the picturesque place it is today – you can find out more about him, his work and his foundation on the foundation website here: www.fcmanrique.org