The kids and I accompanied Gaga on the bus to Santa Cruz de Tenerife yesterday. She had a medical appointment at Candelaria and according to the TITSA (the Tenerife bus company) schedule we should have made it in bags of time.
Unfortunately the bus driver must have missed the memo because he maintained a stately crawl the whole way. By the time we finally got off the bus, Gags was already 5 minutes late for her appointment and she still had to make it to Candelaria. She shot off to get a taxi and I herded the kids in the direction of the Mercado de Nuestra Señora de Africa.
I let them bore themselves silly in the little playground outside and then we took a turn around inside the market. Inside you’ll find flower stalls, fruit and veggies, herbs, spices, fresh meat, bread and pastries and garden plants. There is also a pharmacy which has some interesting odds and ends tucked away inside – ampoules of pure Retin A and various lotions and potions that promise to stem the march of time. This shop has a good little pet supplies locale attached.
Churros and Killing Time
By the time we’d wandered through the market and stuffed our faces with churros in a cafe outside I was hoping Gags would be all done with her business. But no… This is Tenerife after all and she was at least 15 minutes late for her appointment (despite bussing it all the way from the South).
She now had to wait for the second shift. So the kids and I walked on down towards the Plaza Iglesia and up again past the old houses and smart cafes to the General Serrador Bridge. There was no need for our detour other than killing time and normally we would just have gone straight across the bridge towards Calle de Castillo. The little side trip threw my daughter for six and she was convinced we would never find our way back to the main drag and retrieve poor Gaga again.
By the time we’d reached Calle de Castillo and were walking down to the Plaza, Gags was on the phone and we met up at last near the tower, yakking on the phone until we practically bumped into each other. Apparently while the poor soul had been waiting all that time, so was an obnoxious old man. He managed to upset everyone else present by hawking and spitting up phlegm on the floor and smoking in the waiting room.
My Mum who is usually quite shy to use her Spanish found herself in the bosom of a clutch of indignant Spanish grannies all ready and willing to lynch the nasty old bugger.
Sales are on now of course so its not a bad time to visit the shopping centre of Santa Cruz. As we passed Zara, I accidentally tripped and fell over the doorstep and came out 20 minutes later and €30 poorer with 10 t-shirts. 10 for €30! It’d be rude not to, don’t you think?
We wandered on, stopping here and there until we eventually made it back to the bridge. In a romantic little flurry, the city councillors called the bridge after General Ricardo Serrador whose wife is the Señora de Africa for whom the market is named. It’s fitting then that the bridge lead us back to the market from where we can carry on back to the Santa Cruz bus station.
Save Yourself the Stress of Road Roulette
I know a couple of expat drivers here that hate making the journey to Santa Cruz. Whether it is to get to the Carrefour or Alcampo malls or to the Candelaria hospital or their national embassy or for a business meeting, navigating through the spaghetti junction of roads as you get closer to the capital is a nightmare. The problem is made worse made by the constant diversions and roadworks so even if you made the trip without a hitch last week, this week you might zip along a familiar road only to find yourself turned around and headed off to places unknown.
On top of the stress of road roulette, parking in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is no walk in the park. If you are aiming for Calle de Castillo, the underground car park nearby will do fine but try to visit anywhere a little further out and you would probably be easier to park there and get a taxi anyway.
Or forget the car altogether and jump on a bus. By the time you’ve read the paper and the kids are winding up for their first “Are we there yet?”, you are there already.
For those heading to Primark from the south of Tenerife, get ready to jump off the bus at the first stop after it dips through the little tunnel into Santa Cruz proper. As it rises out of the dip, press the button to get off and Bob’s your uncle, you should be right in front of the Meridien Centre where you will find, Primark, Zara, Mango, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, and all the other usual suspects. On top of the centre, is a cinema and various places to grab a bite to eat including an all you can eat Asia buffet.
If you choose to stay on the bus till the terminus, you can find taxis available right outside the bus station to take you further afield. If you are heading for Mercado Señora de Africa and the shopping centre based round Plaza de Candelaria a five/ten minute walk will get you there.
As you can see from the picture, the Santa Cruz Bus Terminus is much like any bus station anywhere. As long as you know what bus number you are looking for you can’t really go far wrong.
Hop on a Bus to Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The table below shows only the main stops on the routes to Santa Cruz listed. Some lines, like the 111 from Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos and the 107 from Buenavista del Norte, stitch along, stopping at every bump in the road. It can take ages to get there so if you are travelling with kids make sure they visit the loo before setting off.
Click through on the route numbers to get full details and timetables. Note that weekends and fiestas can be a much lighter service so check your return bus time so you don’t get caught out on the way back.
|Costa Adeje (express)||Costa Adeje, Magma, Los Cristianos, San Isidro, Santa Cruz||110|
|From Costa Adeje (loooong)||Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos, Airport South, a gazillion stops along the way, Santa Cruz||111|
|To Costa Adeje (Night Bus)||Santa Cruz, Autopista Sur TF-1, Caletillas, Candelaria, Güimar, Arico , Chimiche , San Isidro, Airport South, Guaza, Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje||711|
|Puerto de la Cruz||Puerto de la Cruz, La Matanza, Airport North, Laguna, University Hospital, Candelaria Hospital, Santa Cruz||102|
|Puerto de la Cruz (express)||Puerto de la Cruz, El Risco, Tucan, La Paz, Botanical Garden, Santa Cruz||103|
|Buenavista Del Norte||Buenavista del Norte, Los Silos, Garachico, Icod de Los Vinos, Las Arenas, La Oratava, Tacaronte, Airport North, La Laguna, Santa Cruz||107|
|Icod de Los Vinos||Icod de Los Vinos, Las Arenas, La Oratava, Tacaronte, Airport North, La Laguna, Santa Cruz||108|