lanzarote part 2

Teguise.  It's a tranquil, charming little town in the middle of Lanzarote.  Six days of the week the town is a peaceful, extremely quiet place.  On Sunday it becomes one of the busiest market towns in Europe. Thousands of traders, tens of thousands of visitors and a few animals descend on Teguise from around 9 am to 2 pm - The Tequise Sunday Market.

I learnt that in fact Teguise was the old capital of Lanzarote. It made sense to me as it has some of the oldest buildings on the island.  Apparently it is also referred to as "la Villa".  The architecture is also really beautiful. Intricate carvings can be seen around the doors and windows of many buildings dating back to the 17th century.

Another thing that happens on Sundays is the town becomes extremely colourful. Like everywhere else on Lanzarote, most of the buildings are whitewashed with either blue, green or unpainted wooden doors and windows. On market day however, you get pink, red, lilac, indigo, violet, purple, lime, yellow, grey, maroon, e.t.c,.

I really enjoyed walking around the main market square, but there were so many picturesque little corners on the side roads and paths.  Some of them were a little narrow, so I often found I couldn't stand back far enough to get the entire scene into the photo - one of the downsides of a fixed lens camera like the Olympus 35 RD.  Another issue with photographing towns on Lanzarote is the intense sunlight.  It's always sunny there, and the whitewashed walls really wash out the colours. One would have to pray for an overcast, or head out just before sunrise or sunset to get the best photos. On the plus side, the dynamic range of film helped - my iPhone couldn't cope.

In the middle of Tequise is a church that towers over everything and can be seen from virtually everywhere.  This is the best way to orient oneself in the market, lest one gets lost.  I had a quick look in the church itself. It's a catholic church called Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and more beautiful inside than it looks from the outside.

There were all the other classics; bars, cafes, restaurants, e.t.c.  I attempted to have coffee in one of the most charming cafes I found, but my coffee never came. At least I enjoyed listening to a local street band play while a flamenco dancer danced to their music. I had my portrait done by a local artist - that was cool.  It was my first time having my portrait done. I'm usually the one capturing other people. It was quite strange to have people standing around looking at me being recorded on the artist's medium.

The best part of Tequise market for me though was the 'animals guy'.  Apparently he's there every week with his animals - usually ones that can't be found normally on the island.  The money he makes from tourists donations is used for the upkeep of the little beasts. He is clearly doing a great job.  All the animals are clean, healthy looking and appear to be happy. Heck, some of them straight-up pose and perform for tourists if you ask me.

When you're having so much fun in a place like Teguise market, before you know it, the day is over. I had gone with a tour bus, and was there for three hours, but it seemed like a lot less. 


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