Posted on 1 Comment

All you need to know about Lanzarote’s underwater museum

Lanzarote's Underwater Museum by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Lanzarote's Underwater Museum by Jason DeCaires Taylor

British artist Jason DeCaires Taylor chose Lanzarote to install an underwater museum. The first of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean.

DeCaires already worked on a similar project in Cancun (Mexico) in 2009. More than 500 sculptures became an artificial reef known as the MUSA museum (Museo Subacuático de Arte).

The first sculptures of the Atlantic Underwater Museum were installed between Lanzarote’s famous Papagayo beach and Las Coloradas castle last February.

Atlantic Underwater Museum: Act 1

300 underwater sculptures will be settled before the Atlantic Underwater Museum is fully installed at the beginning of 2017. Visitors are already able to watch the museum’s art work either from a boat with a clear glass bottom, snorkelling or diving.

The art pieces were transported by boat. And installed underwater so subaquatic life can start to take over the artist’s work. They’re eco-friendly. Designed with materials that help create artificial reefs.

Jason DeCaires Taylor used Lanzarote residents as models. They are represented on everyday life postures. Some are talking on the phone. Others are taking selfies. A cactus took over this one.

Eco-art movement

As a matter of fact, Lanzarote is keeping alive Cesar Manrique‘s heritage. The local artist shaped this island with art, respecting the gifts of nature. He always stood against the ones ignoring environmental matters to make more money.

Like him, Jason DeCaires Taylor is strongly opinionated about the capitalist system and the lack of nature preservation. Should I say: the destruction of what’s more valuable to humanity. Let’s call things by their real name.

DeCaires is working alongside with marine biologists. He chooses eco-friendly materials to encourage marine life to shape his artwork. But that’s not it. He carefully chooses where to place them. Away from strong currents and tidal patterns so living organisms can settle there for a long time.

The artist also contributes to attracting tourists towards artificial reefs. Letting natural reefs recover from the damages they’re suffering. That’s very ingenious.

However, DeCaires is pretty pessimistic on the future of oceanic ecosystems. He says the following generation will be witnessing the death of marine life… Ouch.

A recent study is stating that oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. This is not looking too good. I’m starting to think he might be right.

Could it be? Then why are we still overfishing? Why do we still allow bottom trawling fishing if we know it destroys fragile ecosystems?

And most of all, why are we still given plastic bags everywhere including Lanzarote? I mean. This is an island. Where are they supposed to end up?

 

Back to our brushes. Both artists are part of the eco-art movement. Manrique was defending his island. DeCaires is defending aquatic life. But not only.

He found a way to get us to step aside from our frenetic lives. Take time to have a look at ourselves. Together with seeing what we usually don’t want to watch. Like The Raft of Lampedusa… A reminder of what’s happening right off our costs.

This project is much more than an innovative new attraction to offer the islands’ visitors.

That’s what I like about it.

The underwater museum is meant to get us thinking

The artist wants us to stop running for a minute to take a little perspective on how humanity is dealing with the challenges we’re facing.

While underwater, you’re like in a bubble. Only able to share your impressions with your friends once the journey is over. Until then, nature’s impressive show is focusing all your attention.

It’s very smart to take visitors to that kind of environment. The artist’s message gets to be heard much more clearly. Don’t you think?

What can I say? Respect. Jason DeCaires’ work is smart, innovative and sustainable. Really inspiring.

In fact, I can’t wait to get underwater to watch nature’s artwork.

What about you? Is it the kind of museum you would like to visit ?

Posted on 5 Comments

Romantic Things to Do in Lanzarote

Famara Beach - Lanzarote

Are you visiting Lanzarote with your loved one? This article is for you. Whether you’re here for Valentine’s day or not, check out these romantic things to do in Lanzarote.

Let me be honest: I’m not a Valentine’s Day enthusiast. I’d rather be classified in the group that prefers to find romantic things to do including a good dinner – of course – on any other day of the year. You know, these days you’re not seeing little cupids and red hearts everywhere.

Lanzarote can be a very romantic destination: deserted beaches where you feel you’re the last humans on earth, breathtaking sunsets and great food. Yes, good food IS romantic. Try to have a romantic dinner in an “all-you-can-eat buffet” if you don’t agree with that.

That’s why I took amazing food and romantic scenery as main criteria when choosing these romantic things to do in Lanzarote.

You’ll need a car. But unless you’re planning to only be moving between a pool and a beach (which is fine too), you’ll need one to move around Lanzarote anyway. Good news is car rental offer is pretty abundant and cheap here.

Bear in mind that these are not only valid for Valentine’s day. They are as romantic the rest of the year. Only, they might get a little more crowded during seasonal peaks.

Romantic Lanzarote: White Sanded Beaches and Dinner in a Cave

Jameos del Agua by Cesar Manrique
Dream pool in Jameos del Agua by Cesar Manrique

Grab beach towels, a swimsuit and warm clothes (if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day). You’re heading North.

Right before getting to Orzola from Punta Mujeres, you’ll find a series of stunning beaches and sandy coves. Thin white sand. Turquoise water. Black lava stones. Truly amazing place.
You can spend a while exploring Los Caletones. Make sure you check the last beach before getting to Orzola: La Charca de La Larca. It’s a lava-formed lagoon where water is always warm compared to the chilly Atlantic Ocean we’re used to.

Then you can have a look at the charming village of Orzola. It’s the departure point to the island of La Graciosa – That’s another amazing Valentine’s Day destination by the way. And head back to have dinner at Los Jameos del Agua. If you’re going on a Sunday, you’ll have to make it lunch.

Los Jameos are huge air bubbles that formed caves into the lava. Local artist Cesar Manrique made a beautiful art piece of this one.
The restaurant is on one side of the cave and serves good food. They usually serve a special Valentine’s menu featuring local products. After dinner, you can have a drink next to the Jameos legendary pool.

Romantic things to do in Lanzarote for Modern Art Lovers

Romantic things to do in Lanzarote : Restaurant of the Modern Art Museum Castillo de San Jose

Start your afternoon by visiting Cesar Manrique’s foundation in Tahiche. You’ll discover his work as well as some Picasso, Miró and Tapiés art pieces.
After your visit, head to El Charco de San Ginés in Arrecife to have a drink outside in the most postal type landscape of Lanzarote’s capital.

Then, go to the neighbouring Castillo de San Jose. The Modern Art museum. You’ll be able to see the regular collection and a temporary exhibition. As an illustration, Brit artist Jason DeCaires Taylor exposed the clay moulds he used to prepare the underwater museum‘s sculptures for a while.

Before going, be sure to make a reservation for the museum’s restaurant. The place was also designed by Manrique and serves gastronomic food.

 

Romantic things to do in Lanzarote for Sport Lovers

Famara Beach - Lanzarote
Amazing Famara Beach

If your perfect romantic date features a little more action, head to Famara beach for a surf lesson. Most surf schools in Famara let you keep the surfboard for the rest of the day after a morning class. You can keep surfing waves if you didn’t get enough.

Some offer kite surfing classes as well if you prefer.

Once you’re done, and hungry, head to El Risco. It’s best to make a reservation if you want to be outside, right on the beach.

This restaurant serves amazing rice and seafood dishes. In my opinion, one of the best restaurants of Lanzarote. Choose whatever on the menu, you simply can’t go wrong there.

One of the walls has been decorated by Manrique himself in honour to the fishermen of Famara. A must-see if you like the artist’s work.

There are many more romantic things to do in Lanzarote. Your favourite romantic spot is missing here? Please tell us about it in the comment section.

What’s your ideal date like ? Is food important to you as part of a romantic evening ?