Monday, 31 January 2011

Arrecife

Our third day in Lanzarote, found us taking our longest walk of the week.  We set out with a spring in our step, to walk to the capital of the island, Arrecife.  The town dates from the fifteenth century when it was no more than a fishing village taking it's name from the black, volcanic reefs which line the shores and provided shelter from passing pirates.
By the looks of the sheltered inlets filled with brightly coloured boats, fishing is still a popular pastime.  Amid the narrow streets of the town, the church known as San Ginés.  The original building has been flooded, remodeled and rebuilt several times in it's history, but as it stands now, it looks almost new.
The seafront is dominated by the imposing presence of the Castillo De San Gabriel.  The original fortress was built in 1573, but it's wooden construction and light artillery were not enough to repel invaders, so the whole thing was rebuilt soon after with stone-lined, paved roads out to the strengthened castle, complete with drawbridge.
Judging by the imposing stone walls sitting on the rocky outcrop and canon standing guard at front, the rebuild was far more effective.  It still looks impressive to this day, despite it's diminutive size.
Having walked all this way, stopping for a coffee and sit down in a small, town-centre cafe, we set out for the walk back.  By the time we had got back to the apartment, we had covered nearly 12 miles and were ready for a more restful afternoon.
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