Tenerife Milky Way timelapse video by Terje Sorgjerd

Check out one of the most amazing timelapse videos of the Tenerife Milky Way, and the upper landscapes of Tenerife, shot by Terje Sorgjerd.

Tenerife Night Sky showing the Milky Way

Tenerife Night Sky showing Milky WayTenerife Night Sky showing the Milky Way – Amateur astronomer Juan Carlos Casado stitched together this extraordinary shot from nine photos of the night sky. Article already published in the Daily Mail.

Viewed as one digitally-fused image, as they are here, and the result is a 360-degree panorama. The faint band of light that stretches across the sky is the disc of our spiral galaxy. It appears to encircle Earth – this is because we are inside the disc.

Also visible is Tenerife’s Teide Volcano near the centre of the image, behind a volcanic landscape that includes many huge boulders.

But far behind these Earthly structures are many sky wonders that are invisible to the unaided eye, such as the bright waxing moon inside the arch. Also visible are the Pleiades open star cluster and Barnard’s Loop, which can be seen as the half red ring below the Milky Way band. The stars that the human eye can distinguish in the night sky are relatively near and are all part of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy contains between 100billion and 400billion stars, as well as an estimated 50 billion planets.

Read more

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Tenerife – TF1 Motorway Extension Progess Photos

Since our first blog post on the TF1 extension, construction evidence is not hard to see on the stretch between the Armenime roundabout running out towards Los Gigantes. The first part of the motorway to Los Menores has been open now for several months. Works on the slip road to Fonsalia which will eventually connect with the new port stopped at the end of 2009 due to funding problems although much of the hard work had already been done.

We are now seeing the route take shape and if you look on Google’s satellite imaging, even though it is not up to date, you can see construction of various sections of motorway in progress. When Google update the imaging it may be possible to see the exact route of the motorway which seems to have been a closely guarded secret.  No chance of buying up land in line for compulsory purchase at this stage and anyway many, of the locals are saying compensation payments were not that great.

Construction of this motorway is no mean feat because of the number of barrancas and ridges along the route. Millions of tons of earth and volcanic rock have been moved to slice a route through the ridges and that material has been used to elevate some of the dips. In the following photo you can see how they construct a modular concrete wall to retain the rocks, it looks awfully thin when you look closely, no more than 150mm, but it seems to do the job and it blends in quite well with the surroundings. You can click on any photo to see an enlargement.

TF1 Motorway Piedra HincadaHere is another photo showing a large section of elevated motorway on the slip road to Fonsalia, you can see the motorway will rise to cross a bridge on the right but this view has not changed for almost a year now because work stopped.

TF1 Fonsalia Slip RoadWhat is even more amazing is how they construct the bridges across the barrancas, as you will see in the following photo. In this location they constructed a huge column in the middle of the barranca and spanned out a steel bridge which is being used to crane the concrete sections of bridge into place. How they fix them together is not clear, credit to the Engineers for sorting that out.

TF1 Bridge ConstructionThe concrete bridge modules are prefabricated and transported to the bridge location on trucks.

The TF1 motorway extension is quite a project due to the topography of Tenerife and completion will be quite an achievement and of grat benefit to the island.

Eventually the TF1 motorway will extend around the entire island to link up with the motorway serving Puerto de L Cruz. That will make travelling around Tenerife much easier and completion is eagerly awaited to reduce journey times.

Read our first blog post about the TF1 motorway

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Tenerife Road Collapse

Tenerife Road Collapse

Tenerife’s roads are remarkably well engineered using natural stone to form bridges over the many barrancas but occasionally the power of nature takes over. During flash flooding, water takes the line of least resistance and may end up getting trapped by a blocked waterway. Landslides can also cause blockages which may have contributed to this Tenerife Road collapse.

During November 2009 the north of Tenerife suffered a succession of heavy storms which caused flooding and minor landslides blocking some roads and causing damage to homes and businesses. The road damage you see in this photo was caused due to rainwater run off being trapped behind the retaining wall of this bridge which sadly collapsed. This is not a common occurence and nobody was hurt.

The incident occurred near the village of Palo Blanco near Los Realjos in a mountainous area on the secondary TF326 road when torrential rain hit several villages in the north of Tenerife.

Liquid restrictions for hand luggage on airplanes

In order to protect you against the threat of liquid explosives in aircraft cabins, the European Union (EU) adopted new security rules that restrict the amount of liquids that you can take through security checkpoints.

These rules apply to all passengers departing from Airports in the EU, wherever their destination. The rules were applied on 6th November 2006 and apply until further notice so please check with your carrier for any updates before flying.

You are only allowed to take small quantities of liquids in your hand luggage.  These liquids must be in individual containers with a maximum of 100 millilitres each. You must pack these containers into one transparent resealable bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger.

Liquids include:

  • Water, other drinks, lotions and oils.
  • Perfumes
  • Sprays
  • Gels, including hair and shower gels.
  • Contents of pressurised containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants.
  • Pastes, including toothpaste.
  • Liquid-Solid mixtures.
  • Mascara
  • Any other item of similar consistency.

In order to help screeners detect liquids, you must:

  • Present all liquids carried to the screeners at security checkpoints for examination.
  • Take off you jacket and/or coat. They will be screened separately whilst you are being screened.
  • Remove laptop computers and other large electrical devices from your hand luggage. They will be screened separately whilst you are being screened.

What has not changed?

  • You can still pack liquids in your luggage which will be checked in for transit in the aircraft hold.
  • You can carry  medicines and dietary requirements, including baby foods for use during the trip. You may be asked for proof that they are needed.

Read more about prohibited articles in hand luggage and luggage which will be checked in for transit in the aircraft hold.

If you  have any doubts, please ask your airline or your travel agent in advance of travel.

You are also advised to be courteous and co-operate with airport security and airport staff who enforce these regulations.

Current Canary Islands Tourism Statistics – September 2009

A bleak picture has been painted today by the four major tourism sector employers in the Canary Islands this week.

The Canary Islands has lost 15% of their normal tourist numbers compared with the same period last year which is a dramatic decline. Last year the Canary Islands received over 9.2 million visitors so that represents a fall of 1.38 million tourists. Occupancy rates are well down and people are not staying as long to reduce their costs.

The Canary Islands have a fragile economy principally supported by tourism, so this news is a major setback for the Islands. It is estimated that 50,000 jobs could be lost as businesses find it harder to cut costs.

If you look at the economics, an average tourist visiting the Canary Islands will spend around €60 Euros per day on the Islands. Multiply that by the number of lost visitors that is an 83 million Euro shortfall in business, every day.

The statistics also reveal a 13-20% reduction in the number of flight slots over the coming months which signals that things are not set to improve. As a result, many employers will have no choice but to reduce staff numbers.

President Zapatero of Spain is due to visit the region shortly and everyone is hoping he will completely remove airport taxes to stimulate the number of visitors to the Canary Islands. Airport taxes have already been reduced but it does not seem to have had much effect to date.

Currently, Canarian residents enjoy a discount on flights to Spain and the tourism sector is now pushing for a reciprocal arrangement for residents from mainland Spain. This would attract more visitors from the Iberian Peninsula at a time when they are desperately needed.

Unemployment levels in the Canary Island have already risen dramatically over the past 12 months and rising levels will place an even heavier burden on the Government in terms of benefit payments. If unemployment levels reach 30%, which is quite possible, it will cost them 300 million Euros per month in unemployment benefits, significantly more that the lost revenue from abolishing airport taxes.

Over the past year the Government has been well aware that tourist numbers have been falling yet they seem to have done very little to resolve the problem. Perhaps any measures the Government make now will be too late to be effective because the airlines have already began their withdrawal. There is a more time lag in tourism than any other industry because of pre-booking and change takes time to implement.

Perhaps the Government should not only abolish airport tax but pay a reverse subsidy to encourage the airlines. The airlines and travel industry will target destinations where they can be competitive and offer good value, otherwise they cannot be profitable in the current climate.

The Canary Islands could be considered a medium haul destination so airlines cannot offer massive discounts because of fuel costs. That is why flights to the Islands are expensive and why the tourists have been going elsewhere.

The real victims of this failure are the residents, most of who depend on tourism for their livelihood.

Visit Tenerife and reduce your Carbon Footprint

Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint

Tenerife Tourism – a green alternative

A carbon footprint is a term used to describe the measure of impact of our activities have on the environment, particularly in respect of climate change. It is a measure of greenhouse gases produced during our routine daily life.

For example, 10% of greenhouse gas emmissions are produced by private transport, 3% by public transport, 12% by electricity use in the home and so on. Almost every action we take has an impact on climate change which is why it is so important to try and reduce your own personal carbon footprint. Buying a new car accounts for 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions and even food production contributes a further 6%.

There is now a great awareness that climate change needs to be tackled head on but how do we contribute if we don’t understand what we need to do. The good thing is that conserving energy also has a cost benefit. Using a bicycle or your feet for short journeys will also have a health benefit. Using a bus is also better than taking a taxi, remember the bus is running on a schedule , so you will be saving all the fuel the taxi would use.

Well if you are a tourist you will probably already have contributed to the 6% global greenhouse gas emissions resulting from air travel. Some airlines are trying to do something about this in the future, one day aircraft may use alternative low carbon fuels known as biofuels. A biofuel is naturally produced from plant crops, there is also a secondary advantage because plants absorb carbon dioxide which depletes greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere.

The Tenerife Government are already doing their bit by employing extensive renewable energy sources such as wind farms and photovoltaic cells. They have invested heavily in this so by coming to Tenerife for your holiday you will probably be reducing your carbon footprint. At least you can feel that the carbon emissions from your air travel has been offset beause a good proportion of energy you consume whils’t here has been naturally produced. Tenerife has a temperate climate so air conditioning is not really necessary here, neither is heating, another carbon footprint bonus.

So your are here, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint in Tenerife other than trying to avoid using motorised transport. Use of electrical energy is another important factor, so turn off lights as much as possible and use electricity sparingly. If your accomodation does have air conditioning try not to use it unless absolutely necessary, it does consume a lot of energy. Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Tenerife Properties for hot water heating which also reduces energy consumption on the island. Another green solution.

If you buy anything on the island try and think about how energy may have been consumed to produce it. Production of metal plastics and glass are high energy operations so avoid them if alternatives are available. Food packaging even consumes energy so buy loose items if you can and reuse your carrier bags whenever you can. Consider eating salads sometimes to avoid energy consumed by cooking food. If you are having a drink, remember bottles or cans are recycled because it saves money, however if you drink draught beer no recycling is necessary.

If you are buying foodstuffs, remember locally produced food will have less of an impact on greenhouse gas emissions because transportation is significantly reduced. Any imports to Tenerife by air or sea contribute significantly, so if you are buying anything try buying local. This maybe taking things a bit far but remember that eating meat increases your carbon footprint because animals emit methane during their life cycle, yes another greenhouse gas.

If you buy items of clothing, try and buy something which does not need ironing after washing, especially welcome when you are on holiday. Select natural fibres where possible because energy is consumed producing any man made material. Remember also that anything which is recycled will not have consumed as much energy during production.

When you visit Tenerife, if you follow the advice we have given you will be reducing your carbon footprint. You carbon footprint will almost certainly be less than it would be with most other tourist destinations. By coming to Tenerife you are helping to reduce global warming. The carbon footprint of people living in the Canary Islands is one of the lowest in the world. The longer you stay the more you will be reducing your carbon footprint. Also think about the size of your carbon footprint had you stayed home.

Remember reducing greenhouse gas emissions will reduce global warming and reducing your carbon footprint does really matter, so please tell others.