The High Life in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz early summer this year was stunning, at first glance the city seems much like the rest of Tenerife, confused and slightly out of place. Yet if you take some time out to just explore the microcapital by foot Santa Cruz’s exotic warmth manages to charm you like no place can. The Retro council flat style apartments aren’t an eyesore at all like back home, painted in bright colours with chunky designs. All of Santa Cruz feels like a movie set. You can go from central LA to Gotham to Rio, to London and back again in no time at all. Very surreal yet very exciting.

Once you start it’s difficult to stop, your curiosity takes hold of you and you want to take a peek at every street. We stumbled into three communal gardens shared by blocks of flats. Old women were sat outside knitting, children played by the doorsteps, the neighbours yelling greetings at each other. All this time surrounded in lush foreign flora and newly painted pavements. The layout of the living space was so open and social. Whilst pacing across you occasionally catch a glance of Tenerife’s red mountains peering over you.

Then there’s the landmark theatre which simply demands your attention. Inside it’s sleek modern, much like a spaceship. The plazas that surround it are filled with families resting and simply enjoying their day. The people seem calm yet fast paced. Almost relaxed but simply getting things done efficiently.

It amazed me how quickly my opinion changed as we pulled into the city where I was judgmental and dissaproving then four paces out of the bus I was immersed in the feel of the place. My advice, don’t go on a typical tenerife holiday sun, sand and the chlorine. Take a city break like no other and if you demand a beach head to Playa en Teresitas a huge man made beach coated in African sand and coconut palms. The whole city is a wrongly understated surprise.

Streets lined with both Canarian and foreign palm treesI’m still drunk (for the first time) in this picture, can you tell?Communal GardensAuditorio de Tenerife looks different from every angleThe typical red mountains of Tenerife in the backdrop,An Example of the Retro Architecture in Santa CruzYou can see the contrasting green housing block in the backgroundThe landmark is small, but seems large, and smallAll small gardens impressedThe Central Bus terminal felt more like an airport

Limassol Old Town

The Old Town of Limassol is filled with charm, warmth and culture. Take a walk at sunset or sunrise to experience it’s true magic. In the heat of the day with all the people crowding you seem to miss the magic of the place that’s why it’s best to come at a time where you can have a little more room to yourself.

Trendy restaurants are now opening left right and center and since the Marina is opening the old town has had a massive regeneration take place. I can’t wait to go see my hometown in it’s best this year ~ Perhaps I should lay low on the Limassol posts for a while till I’ve passed my exams and gone there which will be soon enough!

2013-14 Limassol, Europe’s Trendiest Town

The upcoming and nearly completed projects around my hometown Limassol are really taking shape. I keep seeing all these photographs of how my town has transformed. I must admit not all developments are for the improvement of the city. Two hideous twin towers named the ‘Olympic Residence’ are generically designed with no inspiration taken from the historic architecture of the town. In a couple of years time when this design phase passes they will be nothing more than an eyesore. The development’s I’ve chosen to showcase in this post are the ones which I think will enhance the city. These developments I picked are also the ones very close to completion.

The image above shows the plaza area of the old port renovation. As you can see they have made use of the stone used in traditional village housing as well as combining it with some modern lighting. The wood used as hand rails keeps the colour scheme neutral.

The photos in this post are not mine, mostly found on the forum ‘Skyscraper City’ and the website ‘Lemessos Blog’

The Limassol Marina took some time to get used to. It’s a bold concept, my concerns were it would be separated from the main town, would be very elitist and not accessible to the public. The design was nice yet the houses were a little lacking in creative design. However the idea of a small beach is welcome as there isn’t really a nice small cove to hide from the world in Limassol and as long as it’s not private I will be happy. There will be a small shopping area with a few cafes but frankly I think Limassol has enough Cafe’s so I don’t really see the need. If incorporated with the seaside promenade it will be a nice addition to the town.

A new Limassol Museum? Just what is needed the old one is starting to get a bit too old and in need of renovation. However the plans for the new museum look striking and I think the space would really support any historical artifacts and displays of history.

The development above is named ‘residence 51’ Very modern, yet if you look closer you can see the design has taken inspiration from the old town, the sliding shutters have some resemblance to the shutters in the Venetian style homes in the old town, and they look breathtaking.

Museum of Theater? Not really sure what they will display in it but I love the use of space, stone and concrete, it forms a great exhibition space and I look forward to visiting this summer.

Limassol Molos, probably Limassol’s landmark. I do like the redesign, slightly angry at the fact there will be less of the park and more parking. I am also angry there is another Cafe, I love coffee as much as the next guy but the quality of food and drink coming out of most of the current beach cafes really are not worth replicating.  I was also hoping for a little more glass and statement lighting. Sad again for the deconstruction of one of the fountain squares, I thought it had so much character. I am also angry about the fact they have reduced the number of Palm trees and have not cleaned the trunks yet. I’m sure I’ll get round to liking the redesign eventually it’s just from the plans I think a better job could have been done. I am looking forward to the ‘pond’.

Garillis park I couldn’t get an image for however this is probably my most anticipated development, a canal in the city with a linear park. Will really liven up the neglected neighborhoods.

Doors restaurant and lounge bar, thank you so much for keeping the old architecture and using it as art. Not sure what your food is like but I like the feel of the place.

Repaving of the old town, brilliant could do with a little more greenery but I should probably stop complaining. People can put pots of shrubs out themselves.

The Castle restaurant regeneration is great, the lighting is cool and blends the modern and old brilliantly. After all I think that’s what Limassol is all about.

Rental bikes, great now I can get home faster and avoid the heat. Now all that’s left is to build some shade for the cycle lane so my skin doesn’t burn and crumple into soot.

Concrete blocks over water? Let’s hope it looks better in real life.

No more posts.