David, the taxi driver who had taken us to the Anaga Natural Park a few days before, came to pick us up to take us to the hotel called Puerto de la Cruz, with the same name as the town.
Because the hotel in La Laguna was very good, we expected the same level, but once we went into the building, we were disappointed.
It reminded me of the fact that Tenerife is a destination of mass tourism.
Many of the guests were big groups of German tourists and our room had a small old fashioned CRT television.
They did not have any heaters in the hotel.
Although it was warm during the day in Tenerife, it gets chilly at night, so we ordered extra blankets, but it took hours before they delivered them.
It was a 4 star hotel, though.
We went out and found that it was not located in the centre of the town, but in an area with many hotels just like this, which made me even more disappointed.
The only thing we liked about this hotel was that one day, a photographer was waiting for the guests at the lobby and she said that she was using the photos for a magazine.
I did not understand what she really meant, but on the next day, she was selling the magazines with information on Tenerife and they had our photo on the front page.
I think it is a very good idea, because it is memorable as well as useful.
On the next day, we travelled by taxi to the small port where the tourist office was, in the centre of Puerto de la Cruz.
The atmosphere was very relaxing with some people swimming in the sea and others fishing.
Unfortunately, the tourist office was closed, though it was supposed to be open at that time of the day.
The lovely craft shop next door was open, so we went there to buy some souvenirs and asked the shop assistant about the tourist office.
She seemed fed up about this question, saying “We do not know why it is closed at all” and her colleague made a notice saying ‘It’s closed with unknown reason’ and put it on the door.
We could not do anything about it, so we just walked around the town.
There were some cannons, probably with an interesting history, but we could not find any information about them.
We could see many crabs on the rocks around there, which was nice.
According to the guidebooks, Puerto de la Cruz was the first tourist town in Tenerife.
Originally, it was just a port belonging to La Orotava, a historical town which is about 7km inland from here.
Towards the end of the 19th century, foreign tourists, including the British, started coming here and in 1955 they declared a ‘Tourist Interest’ to start developing hotels and other facilities for tourists.
So there were many souvenir shops for tourists here, which we did not see in La Laguna at all.
We found that one of the main souvenirs of Tenerife is jewellery made of lava and a stone called Olivine, which is the transparent pale green stone, similar to Peridot.
They also make some accessories from the stem of the banana trees.
I looked Olivine up on the internet later and found that good quality Olivine is used to make jewellery and that is called Peridot.
While we walked in the town, we popped in to some of the many jewellery shops and in the end I bought two necklaces.
One is made of Olivine and lava and the other is made of banana tree.