ABROAD. We live abroad. Deliver the phrase as a throw-away line and it sounds exotic, but if you tell people you live in Tenerife they immediately think of stag parties and sangria. It’s true that Reina Sofia AIRPORT is a heaving mass of humanity on Fridays, the usual change-over day for tourists. The coach park is full of suitcases, frayed tempers, and people dragging on their last cigarette before checking in or their first since leaving home.
AND many of them think they’re in Spain. But they’re wrong - a thousand miles wrong.
AFRICA is only 160 miles to the east - the hot, dry wind is full of Saharan dust that makes you cough - and the reason you go home burned a painful bright red is because the sun is African, not Mediterranean.
AMERICA is the next landfall west of the Canary Islands, and when the moon is full the waves have had 3000 miles of ATLANTIC in which to pick up speed – they can be huge.

ANNIVERSARIES. There are three this week I should mention.
It is 10 years since a violent storm hit Tenerife on March 31st 2002, killing 8 people, sweeping huge containers into the sea in Santa Cruz, and toppling half of our electricity pylons.
The worst AVIATION disaster in history happened in 1977 when two planes collided at the north airport – around 600 perished in the fire when the fuel exploded.
AND 45 years ago, on APRIL 1st 1967, I got married for the first time.

AG = silver. Read my “Toy poem” about a little silver man.


  1. Hi Liz, nice post. I went to tenerife about 16yrs ago, my first holiday abroad. I got sunburnt on the first day, had way too much to drink and bought a dodgy "gold" chain.

  2. Thanks Philip - you must have read my post the second I hit the button! As for dodgy gold - the price should have warned you!

  3. That was a lot of A words :) Great start. You made me wonder if I am living abroad. I have been in Norway so many years now that really am not sure any more :)

  4. I enjoyed reading this, Liz, and, as a expat living in Costa Rica, fully understood your observations. Funny, isn't it, that people almost think they are invisible while on vacation?

  5. Some interesting observations and insights.

    As a brief aside, I can understand the difficulty you're having with agents. I've run into a similar problem, because I live in the wilderness of Maine. If they're concerned about my distance (a 12 hour drive from NYC), I can only imagine what they think of people further out.

  6. That's an awful lot of A stuff!

  7. Great post and I love the fancy letter A.

  8. Hi Liz, thanks for stopping by my place...great place you have here as well! My husband has lived 'abroad' but I'm not a traveling girl :( which has limited my experiences...perhaps someday!

  9. Tenerife always makes me think of exotic movies...
    Anyway, thanks for the A+ tour.

  10. Wonderful post. I can't wait for my trip Abroad in a few months!

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A to Z Co-host

  11. Hi Liz, great first post. I had the best meal ever in a shoreside restaurant on Tenerife some years ago. Just salted new potatoes and pesto but they tasted fabulous and the view with the sea crashing in against the rocky coast was amazing.

    Good luck with the A - z challenge

  12. Amanda loves the start to your a-z Blog Challenge - xxxx p.s. does that count as A,B&C? :o)

  13. Amanda loves the beginning of your a-z Blog Challenge! - looking forward to reading the rest. P.s. does this count as A,B&C?! xxxx


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