337. Castillo Caleta de Fuste

IMG_5173 (640x480)On my last night in Fuerteventura I stayed in Castillo Caleta de Fuste, mostly so I could be close to the airport and get to my super early flight. Castillo de Caleta seems to be a giant town made of hotels and resorts. The waterfront is dominated by the giant complex that is the Barcelo Resort. In fact, as you walk around the waterfront, you suddenly sort of find yourself in the middle of it. There is one tiny strip of houses on the waterfront that refuse to be bought out, but aside from that almost every building is part of the resort, and kind of makes you feel like you aren’t meant to be there!

The last hangers on:

IMG_5203 (640x480) IMG_5204 (640x480)

The waterfront was really beautiful and picturesque, particularly as the sun went down. My favourite photo that really sums up the vibe of the rest of the place is this one:IMG_5155 (640x480)

The falling apart sign of a resort that is barely able to keep running is not at all an uncommon site. In fact, Fuerteventura has some huge issues with Spanish property developers turning up and deciding to build hotels on land they don’t even own, or just starting up some construction as a money laundering exercise, so there are tonnes of giant concrete half finished construction sites, where either the project was abandoned or the landowners managed to get an injunction.

336. Corralejo

IMG_5123 (640x480)As far as tourist places go, Corralejo, the main town on Fuerteventura, proved to be a dream destination. I say that based mainly on the fact we could get a room in a resort for the same price as a single bed in dorm of a hostel in most of Europe. There were also balmy beaches, a cute old town full of novel little bars and restaurants, and it was what I like to call “just the right amount of touristy.” There was enough infrastructure to support all the tourists (shops, bars, cafes, beach activities) but there weren’t enough people to actually cause annoyance. Win.

Highlights included finding a bar with mojito specials when the olympic closing ceremony was on, crazy cheap sales everywhere and coming across a music group doing some kind of Canarian drumming/percussion performance lead by a man who decided conducting was less important than dancing around having a grand old time!

IMG_5134 (640x480) IMG_5132 (640x480) IMG_5130 (480x640) IMG_5128 (640x480)
IMG_5122 (640x480) IMG_5121 (640x480) IMG_5120 (480x640) IMG_5119 (480x640) IMG_5114 (640x480) IMG_5113 (640x480) IMG_5112 (640x480) IMG_5110 (640x480) IMG_5106 (640x480) IMG_5104 (480x640) IMG_5102 (640x480) IMG_5098 (640x480)

 

50. Celebrate murdering kittens

Before you judge me as a terrible person – I had no idea!

The week before last were a host of different events, all on different days, related to a holiday called Festelavn. While Wikipedia tells me it is meant to be the Sunday or Monday before Ash Wednesday, there was a Saturday night party at my college, a Tuesday night party at the Student bar on the main campus, another party at one of the other college and a Friday night party at the School of Business, among many others. In fact, I’m not even 100% sure I got those dates all correct, there were that many.

Originally we were told that Festelavn was Denmark’s Halloween, and the first few Danes I asked about it seemed to have no idea what they were actually celebrating/dressing up for. Wikipedia describes it as ‘Carnival in Denmark’ and the Friday night party was Mardi Gras themed (complete with beads being handed out). Was itĀ MardiĀ Gras? Was it Halloween? Was it something else altogether? I didn’t know. But costume parties are always fun, why not give it a go!

Apparently the meaning has been murky since Denmark defected from Catholicism and became a Protestant nation. Anyhow, I found myself at the Tuesday night celebration and part way through the night we were all moved in to another room where we played a ‘game’ were a small barrel full of lollies was hung from the roof and everyone took turns at whacking the barrel once each until it burst and the lollies came out – much like a pinada. Some strategic placement in the line and clever aim and I managed to pull off the winning strike, but the victory was bittersweet when I learned what the barrel was all about.

Apparently back in the day they would put a black kitten in the barrel and beat it until the kitten was no longer alive. Sick. Supposedly warding off evil, whilst conveniently forgetting they were being evil themselves or something.

Last time I participate in any kind of celebration without a Wikipedia search at the very least!

I didn’t take my camera unfortunately, but as a consolotion prize here is a rather hilarious sad-cat-with-first-world-problems meme.