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| Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2015 - 2016
Christmas and New Year Cruise - Part 4
We repeated our usual day trip from Santa Cruz to Puerto de la Cruz. The port offered a free shuttle bus to the town but we are always in too much of a hurry. It is always a rush to get off the ship when she docks at 0800 and walk briskly to the Bus Station in time to buy our 15 euro ticket for the 103 non-stop direct bus which departs promptly at 0900. This year we seemed to be even more short of time so investigated the trams. There turned out to be a tram/bus combination ticket at 6 euros for 5 trips available from the machine (instructions in English) which we found was only able to be used within the town of Santa Cruz. When we returned from Puerto de la Cruz we aimed for the 1500 non-stop bus but reached the bus station early and caught the 1445 number 102 which follows the same route but stops on demand.
Puerto de la Cruz had not changed greatly since our previous visit. The terminus at the bus station is close to the Hotels Dania Park/Magec and it is a pleasant stroll to the fishing harbour where octopus were being cleaned. We had plenty of time before lunch at the Hotel Marquesa at 1300 so we walked up to the Botanical Garden. Next time we will get off the bus there and save time and the effort of climbing up the hill; our 103 bus had stopped there on request. Tickets to enter are 3 euros. The gardens were established as an acclimatisation garden in 1788 and plantings began in 1792. There are many interesting plants and trees, including smaller versions of the Jack fruit we had admired in Gran Canaria, and an enormous Moreton Bay Fig tree. It contains important collections of palm trees, bromeliads and members of the aracea and moracea families. The programme of restoration and enlargement continues.
We descended but were still too early for lunch and our usual plan is to spend time in the church opposite but there was a funeral service so we didn't intrude. Instead there was just time to walk to the church of San Telmo along the shopping promenade. Lunch was our usual Canarian style rabbit stew with little wrinkled canary potatoes in spicy sauce, washed down with the local beer. We like the traditional and historic hotel and each year we visit we say that we will book a 'proper' holiday at the Hotel Marquesa.
It was too early to go back to Santa Cruz so we walked down to the Hotel Tenerife Playa and looked out at the dark volcanic sand on the surfing beach at the front. The hotel has not changed greatly since we first stayed there on holiday in the 1970s, although the balconies have been replaced several times and the rooms upgraded. It is in a good situation on the edge of town with rooms with either a sea view across the Lago Martianez or a sunny view towards Teide. A brisk stroll through the narrow streets and we were soon back at the bus station and sitting on the 1445 bus number 102 after the driver assured us in neat English that he would arrive at Santa Cruz at the same time as the 1500 non-stop bus. The 102 and 103 duly arrived on the outskirts of Santa Cruz together.
Instead of catching the tram and walking we were advised to catch the 910 bus with destination San Andres which dropped us outside the Ferry terminal and at the same place as the free Port Shuttle bus back to the ship. For future visits, the 910 bus is the one which goes onwards to the golden imported sand of the Playa de las Teresitas. The bus stop was after a tunnel and we have noted one needs to walk away from town to find the bus stop to go towards the bus station.