I'll finish up my series of postings on the Canary Islands with Lanzarote - the easternmost island of the archipelago, as well as the lowest and one of the driest. Given its relative lack of ecological diversity and (surprisingly) of large succulents, its main attraction for me was its volcanic landscapes. Craters are scattered across the island, most notably in the moonscape of Timanfaya National Park, formed during a prolonged period of vulcanism during the mid-18th century.
Disappointingly, very little of the National Park is accessible by foot. A bus tour gives a good impression of the overall landscape, but none of the craters can be visited by the general public. So, more rewarding was hiking around slightly less surreal but still dramatic craters on other parts of the island. Most interesting were those containing the remnants of agricultural terraces. This "taming" of a landscape typically thought of as inaccessible, if not treacherous, is a theme that has long captivated me (and that I also explore in my Tenerife entries).
This integration of human agency with a seemingly inhospitable landscape manifests itself in various forms across the island, most uniquely in the work of the artist and architect Cesar Manrique. Manrique (1919-1992) had an outsized influence on the built environment of Lanzarote, most notably through the design of a series of indoor and outdoor spaces merged seamlessly and whimsically into lava formations and other landforms. I was fortunate to visit five of them, three of which are pictured here. The other two - El Casa Taro de Tahiche (Manrique's home, now a museum) and Los Jameos de Agua (a series of spaces built into a partially collapsed lava tube) - I found to be the most remarkable, and will say more about them in a later post.