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La Palma Travel Blog

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Observatory at Roque de Los Muchachos (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Sometimes dreams come true. It is even more fascinating when a dream comes true one did not even have :D In my case that does mean that I took part in a photo shooting of the beautiful Spanish island of La Palma - for free (Thanks, chief - gracias!).

The prologue in brief. I left home early in the morning on September 18th and got myself into a plane from Duesseldorf (Germany) to Madrid, the capital of Spain. There I met four of my five fellow travellers: Ewa, Andoni and Juan (all from Spain) and Lasse from Finland. Though, Lasse has been living in Spain for a such long time now that he is half Spanish.
Observatories (Island of La Palma, Spain). Nordic Optical Teleskop on the left, Telescopio Nazionale Galileo on the right.
Or maybe even 75 percent :) Wheras Lasse is an expert in video marketing, Ewa works as a writer for the Spanish edition of National Geographic. Having worked as a journalist myself ealier in my life and now again this made the trip to La Palma even more interesting. Added the fact that Andoni is an amazing photographer who also works for NG you will understand that I felt great (check Andoni's pictures here).

Being united now, the fellowship took a plane to our designated target: The Canary island of La Palma. Aproaching the airport in Santa Cruz de La Palma is kinda thrilling because the arriving planes fly along the eastern coastshore. Falling winds can make the landing quite tricky. Fortunately everything went smoothly.
Nordic Optical Telescope (Island of La Palma, Spain).

After we had gotten our rental cars we drove to a fine little restaurant called Casa Osmunda which is located in Breña Alta (Subida Camino de La Concepción, nº 2). Yum, yum, a delicious "entry" to the island :) After that we went for our first viewpoint: Mirador de la Concepcion offers a great view over Santa Cruz de La Palma. Stunning! And the weather was simply beautiful. Following that Andoni asked me whether I wanted to join him and Ewa for a (first) trip to the summit of Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point of La Palma. My fellow travellers had to write/illustrate a story about the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) and wanted to have a first look at the observatory at sunset.
Observatory (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Plus, in Andoni's case, taking some star pictures later. Since the alternative would have been a lonely evening at our quarter (the three of us shared a house) you will easily guess my answer :D

Driving up the mountain was an adventure itself. For several reasons. First of all the road is spectacular. It is an 40 kilometers ride from Santa Cruz. The mountain road comes with about 400 curves. Lots of them hairpin bends. Andoni cut them ALL! We actually flew up the road to reach the summit before sunset. This little Spanish guy gave his very best to follow the footprints of Fernando Alonso... I am sure our time was among the top ten. I sat in the back and tried to get a glimpse of the fascinating landscape. First the vegetation is semitropical. At 500 m it becomes woody. First you see chestnut and laurel trees. Between 1000 and 2000 m we crossed the famous pine forest and cut through the clouds.
Highest point of La Palma (2,423 m)
Above 2000 m it is a barren volcanic landscape. The first observatories came in sight. Finally we reached the summit of Roque de los Muchachos at 2426 m. Fantastic view with the clouds below our feet. We went for the GTC then. Since nobody was around we... ehem... entered the observatory area and took some pictures.

After that we returned to our car and waited for the stars. You should know that the top of Roque de los Muchacho is one of the best places worldwide for star watching. The air is very, very clear. And there are no lights disturbing the view. Therefore there are so many observatories on this mountain. Myself, I have been being fascinated by astronomy since I was a teenager. Watching the stars was incredible - wonderful (...and it should become even better two days later). It was late when we left the mountain. Even later when we reached our quarter. I needed sleep.


victoriasol says:
amazing pics! thanks for sharing
Posted on: Sep 15, 2014
victoriasol says:
Great feature! been there 2 years ago, but arrived before susnet to watch the sun rise above the clouds. dint get a chance to watch the stars since i didnt book the observatorio ahead.
next time ;)
Posted on: Sep 15, 2014
mountaingirl says:
Wow, the pictures are fantastic! Did not know that La Palma is so beautiful. thanks for sharing!! :-)
Posted on: Dec 02, 2010
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Observatory at Roque de Los Muchac…
Observatory at Roque de Los Mucha…
Observatories (Island of La Palma,…
Observatories (Island of La Palma…
Nordic Optical Telescope (Island o…
Nordic Optical Telescope (Island …
Observatory (Island of La Palma, S…
Observatory (Island of La Palma, …
Highest point of La Palma (2,423 m)
Highest point of La Palma (2,423 m)
Sunset (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Sunset (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, Roqu…
Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, Roq…
Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), th…
Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), t…
Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), th…
Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), t…
Sunset at Roque de Los Muchachos (…
Sunset at Roque de Los Muchachos …
Architecture (Island of La Palma, …
Architecture (Island of La Palma,…
Santa Cruz de La Palma (Island of …
Santa Cruz de La Palma (Island of…
Architecture (Island of La Palma, …
Architecture (Island of La Palma,…
Balcony (Island of La Palma, Spain…
Balcony (Island of La Palma, Spai…
My home during the trip to La Palm…
My home during the trip to La Pal…
Rocky path (Island of La Palma, Sp…
Rocky path (Island of La Palma, S…
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of L…
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of …
On our way to Roques de La Muchach…
On our way to Roques de La Muchac…
Clouds and rocks (Island of La Pal…
Clouds and rocks (Island of La Pa…
Driving above the clouds (Island o…
Driving above the clouds (Island …
Observatory (Island of La Palma, S…
Observatory (Island of La Palma, …
View from Roque de Los Muchachos (…
View from Roque de Los Muchachos …
Safety first at the observatory!  …
Safety first at the observatory! …
The mirror of Gran Telescopio Can…
The mirror of "Gran Telescopio Ca…
Mirrors of Magic telescope (Isla…
Mirrors of "Magic telescope" (Isl…
The Magic observatories (Island …
The "Magic" observatories (Island…
Mountain view (Island of La Palma,…
Mountain view (Island of La Palma…
Fireplug above the clouds (Island …
Fireplug above the clouds (Island…
Rocky road (Island of La Palma, Sp…
Rocky road (Island of La Palma, S…
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Above the clouds again (Island of …
Above the clouds again (Island of…
Fog forest at the eastern coast (I…
Fog forest at the eastern coast (…
Tree (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Tree (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Barranco des Agua - Los Tilos (Isl…
Barranco des Agua - Los Tilos (Is…
Barranco del Agua (Island of La Pa…
Barranco del Agua (Island of La P…
Barranco del Agua (Island of La Pa…
Barranco del Agua (Island of La P…
Star watching (Island of La Palma,…
Star watching (Island of La Palma…
Volcanic area (Island of La Palma,…
Volcanic area (Island of La Palma…
Volcanic area (Island of La Palma,…
Volcanic area (Island of La Palma…
Silk spinning (Island of La Palma,…
Silk spinning (Island of La Palma…
Cactus (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Cactus (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Palm (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Palm (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Prawns (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Prawns (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Black beach (Island of La Palma, S…
Black beach (Island of La Palma, …
Architecture (Island of La Palma, …
Architecture (Island of La Palma,…
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Rock (Island of La Palma, Spain)
Rock (Island of La Palma, Spain)
Above the clouds (Island of La Pal…
Above the clouds (Island of La Pa…
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of L…
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of …
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of L…
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of …
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of L…
Caldera de Taburiente (Island of …
Banana leaf (Island of La Palma, S…
Banana leaf (Island of La Palma, …
Bananas (Island of La Palma, Spain…
Bananas (Island of La Palma, Spai…
Banana tree (Island of La Palma, S…
Banana tree (Island of La Palma, …
Puerto de Tazacorte (Island of La …
Puerto de Tazacorte (Island of La…
Beach (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Beach (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Architecture (Island of La Palma, …
Architecture (Island of La Palma,…
Night life in Los Llanos (Island o…
Night life in Los Llanos (Island …
Los Llanos (Island of La Palma, Sp…
Los Llanos (Island of La Palma, S…
Presntation of La reina de Los Ll…
Presntation of "La reina de Los L…
Fiesta, Los Llanos (Island of La P…
Fiesta, Los Llanos (Island of La …
El savoir vivre (Island of La Palm…
El savoir vivre (Island of La Pal…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island of…
Salinas de Fuencaliente (Island o…
Volcanic area in the south (Island…
Volcanic area in the south (Islan…
Volcanic area in the south (Island…
Volcanic area in the south (Islan…
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Tirso - amigo :)
Tirso - amigo :)
Clouds (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Clouds (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Northeastern coast (Island of La P…
Northeastern coast (Island of La …
Architecture (Island of La Palma, …
Architecture (Island of La Palma,…
For wallowers... (Island of La Pal…
For wallowers... (Island of La Pa…
Church in Mazo (Island of La Palma…
Church in Mazo (Island of La Palm…
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
Flora (Island of La Palma, Spain).
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La Palma
photo by: tirsomaldonado