Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands
and is a popular tourist
It is a small island, just 36 miles long by 12 miles wide at it's
widest point, and yet in this small area there are over 300 extinct
volcanoes. It is particularly recognized for its dark,
almost black, beaches of volcanic sand.
Arrecife, its capital, has a population of roughtly 80,000,
and features a strange landmark; the Gran Hotel.
Not because it is a tall building, but it is the
only building that has more than a few floors tall.
All other buildings are short and white, and it
makes a truly magnificent sight.
This is the fruit of the work done by
Cesar Manrique (1919 - 1992),
Lanzarote's foremost spokesperson.
The last 20 years of his life,
he struggled constantly
against the forces of tourism and economy to preserve the balance between Man and Nature. To continue his work,
his followers formed the Cesar Manrique Foundation.
Lanzarote is an island of contrasts,
mainly because of it's volcanic origin. The oldest rock
formations indicate that it is some
20 million years old, but in 1730
a catastrophic eruption started, and
during the next 6 years,
30 craters covered much of the island
Perhaps the most spectacular sight
is the national park, Timanfaya,
and the "mountains of fire",
Montanas del Fuego.
It is an area covering 51 square kilometers, and
consists solely of breathtakingly
beautiful volcanic terrain.
Despite the hostile appearance of the land,
it has a rich flora and fauna, and
many scientists uses the national park
as a base for different studies.