1. Admiral Nelson lost his right arm here. During a failed attempt by the British to capture Santa Cruz in 1797, Nelson took some shrapnel in his right elbow and the arm had to be amputated. After that, he was “˜armless enough (groan).
2. The Spanish Civil War was plotted from Tenerife. When the Spanish Republican Government made Franco Governor General of the Canary Islands in 1936, they made a big mistake. From his base in Santa Cruz, he plotted and implemented plans to overthrow them. If they’d put his office in El Hierro history would have looked very different.
3. Shakespeare liked a Tenerife tipple. William Shakespeare was given a barrel of Tenerife’s Malmsey wine every year as part of his salary. Well, if it worked for Shakespeare, for the sake of my writing I’m willing to re-introduce the practice here on TM”¦
4. There are ancient pyramids. Before the Spanish conquered the island it was populated by primitive people known as Guanche who allegedly built pyramids to worship the sun. Clearly they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they’d just used the beaches like everyone else.
5. Rafael Benitez used to manage CD Tenerife. At this moment in time, I bet there are a whole lot of Tenerife fans wishing he still did”¦and a sizeable percentage of Liverpool fans too.
6. Tenerife is officially a surreal island. In 1935 Tenerife was officially declared a surrealist island by Andre Breton; he’d obviously seen the traditional costumes, Carnaval and Veronicas on a Saturday night.
7. Hollywood has, hasn’t and may film again. Despite the die-hard tour rep assertions that Star Wars and Planet of the Apes were filmed in Teide National Park, they were not. But Raquel Welch did run around in a fur bikini up there in One Million Years BC and Clash of the Titans (release due 2010) was also partly filmed here. Rumour has it Hollywood is set to return, or is that just another Tall Tale?
8. Tenerife has the same flag as Scotland, which is down to Saint Andrew who came to Tenerife to preach the gospel and clearly made a lasting impression. It’s also the ensign for CD Tenerife and their current performance is emulating Scotland too. Bummer.
9. This was the starting point for voyages of discovery. The Magellan Straits, San Antonio in Texas (site of the Alamo) and Montevideo in Uruguay were all discovered on voyages that sailed from Tenerife. And today we honour that rich heritage with… Booze Cruises.
10. Bet Lynch pronounced its name correctly. As the Spanish pronounce the “˜e’ at the end of a name, the island is actually pronounced Tener-ee-fay which is how Bet Lynch used to say it, well, mas o menos.