Stories of people & places, festivities & traditions from my travels around the world

Snow Fun on Gran Canaria!

by Lucy Hornberger

A rare snowfall on Gran Canaria

Driving across the centre of Gran Canaria - from Telde to Agaete - in mid-February, we encountered unexpected traffic jams, parking chaos and a festive atmosphere. Word was out that the torrential rain of the past days had fallen as snow on the mountain tops, and this sunny Sunday snow madness had gripped the local population.
Snow on Gran Canaria's peaks (which reach up to 2000 metres) is not unknown - I was told that many winters see a dusting on the very top of the island. But a proper snowfall that reaches down low enough to be easily accessible is evidently rare enough to cause a sensation.
In warm, sunny Telde there was no indication that alpine conditions awaited us above. Further up in Vega de San Mateo the Sunday market was in full swing, and beyond there we were enjoying the open road again and commenting on the scant traces of snow by the road when we suddenly found ourselves in an almost stationary queue snaking up the zig zag road towards Tejeda. As we inched higher and the snow became thicker along the roadsides, car doors were left open while people nipped out to grab a handful of the stuff, while those who had somehow squeezed their cars into a parking spot trudged happily up and down the snowy verges, throwing snowballs and posing for photos holding lumps of snow. None of the stymied drivers seemed especially impatient. Altogether there was a mood of wonder and alpine holiday merriment.
A car passed us on the descent with a little snowman, complete with stick arms, pebble eyes and a carrot nose, riding shotgun on the bonnet of the car. Then a little later another, and another, some artistic (with spring flower garlands and pine needle hair), some less accomplished, and some simply lumps of snow. How this snow army remained firmly on the car bonnets while being driven down hill is a mystery.
And then, as we inched though the traffic chaos around Cruz de Tejeda we passed a car with a snow man on the roof. Not a stationary showpiece, but proudly on the move. How far did he travel, we wonder, until the inevitable collapse…
Queuing to see the snowQueuing to see the snow

Even a little snow makes people happyEven a little snow makes people happy

Snow selfiesSnow selfies

Looking more like northern Europe…Looking more like northern Europe…

Riding shotgunRiding shotgun

Cute little fellowCute little fellow

On the move...On the move...

Snowman on the roof!Snowman on the roof!

A more conventional place for a snowman - or is it a snow woman?A more conventional place for a snowman - or is it a snow woman?

Article & photos posted February 22nd, 2016

Text and photos copyright © 2016 Lucy Hornberger. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.


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