Overview and HistoryThe Canary Islands lie off the west coast of Africa and exist as an autonomous community belonging to Spain.There are seven major islands in the archipelago and one minor island, then several small pointy bits which grumble about their diminutive status. The big ones are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Palma, Lanzarote, El Hierro, and La Gomera.The whole group is the result of volcanic activity from 60 million years ago, which is why the beaches have black sand for you to crunch along on. There are no active volcanos at the moment, but one never knows. Another way to say it is that these islands are part of the Atlas Mountain range which can be traced across northern Africa.At one point in the 16th century the islands were called « the sugar islands » for their production of cane sugar. The economy has since developed wineries, agriculture and now tourism as principal activity.Getting ThereThe Canary Islands have six airports in total. Here’s a quick reference for the airports. The main international airport is Gran Canaria Airport, the gateway to the islands. It’s 18km south of Las Palmas and has EU, International and Inter-Island terminals.TransportationHighway maintenance to the Canary Islands is sorely lacking, ha ha. Ferry service connects the islands to each other, but you can also take a small plane to hop between them.On the islands you can rent a car but be sure to carry your passport and license with you all the time. People ride bikes and take the guagua bus to get around. (It’s pronounced « wa-wa ».) Bus schedules can be infrequent or sporadic. Tenerife and Gran Canaria have impressive public transport systems that cover most of their islands.People and CultureThe Canary currency is the Euro; the islands are one of the farthest outlaying regions of the Euro zone.The culture is undoubtedly Spanish, but the mainland custom of kissing on both cheeks when you say hello can be abbreviated to only one kiss. You need quick reflexes to get it right. There’s an accent that’s a little bit different from mainland, and not quite the same as South American spanish either. The saying is that islanders talk « with potatos in their mouth » because of their lazy-sounding pronunciation.Things to do, RecommendationsHere’s a basic look at the main islands. The way we see it, if you need directions for how to have fun on a tropical island full of fruit and fish, you’re beyond our help.The largest island is Tenerife with about two thousand square kilometers and a wide variety of plant life and terrain. It is home to the highest point « in Spain », the volcano El Teide at 3718 meters. Tenerife has excellent weather all year round, with a wide variety of terrain and vegetation including crops such as bananas, tomatos and potatos.La Palma does not have very many beaches, and they are not very long. Two popular ones are in Puerto Naos on the west side, and Los Cancajos on the east. Most of the island is a biological reserve. It’s known as « the green island »; come here for the mountains, sweet bananas and vineyards.On Gran Canaria you can choose from endless sandy beaches, dunes, mountains and also lush green scenery. This island is home to more than half the population of the Canary Islands.Fuertaventura has the oldest history. Homer mentioned it in his brief travel guide called « The Odyssey. » Its name may come from the expression « What a great adventure! », or possibly, « strong wind. » It’s only separated from continental Africa by a narrow channel. Fuertaventura has the longest of all the beaches, and wonderful fine sand.Lanzarote is a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO declaration, and comprises one of the six universal models of sustainable development according to the World Tourism Organization. Lanzarote is the farthest East of the major islands and has a year-round average temperature of 22 degrees C.La Gomera sports a National Park with dense forestation, crossed by deep ravines and surrounded by a perimeter of cliffs along most of the coast. Islanders have a special whistling language to communicate across the gorges in the forest.Text by Steve Smith.
LE BRUYN, Cornelius (1652-1727/28) [or Le Brun]
Voyage au Levant, c’est à dire dans les principaux endroits de l’Asie Mineure dans les Isles de Chio, de Rhodes, de Chypres &c. De même que dans les plus considerables villes d’Egypte, de Syrie, et de la Terre Sainte … Traduit du Flamand
Delft: chez Henri de Kroonevelt, 1700. Folio. Engraved portrait of Le Brun by G. Valck after Sir Godfrey Kneller, emblematic additional engraved title, folding engraved map, 97 engraved plates (including folding panoramas), 24 engraved illustrations.
Expertly bound to style in period mottled calf, spine with raised bands in six compartments, red morocco lettering piece in the second, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers
First edition in French of this classic of Middle Eastern travel, with spectacular panoramic views.
In his first expedition of 1674, Dutch traveller Cornelius Le Bruyn remained in the Levant for seven years, travelling principally in Asia Minor, Syria, the Holy Land and Egypt. On his return, he published his Voyages au Levant in Dutch in 1698, in French in 1700 (as here) and in English in 1702. The text is made up of a mixture first-hand observations and information drawn from other sources, but the impressive images are all by the talented Le Bruyn. « Bruyn, painter and traveller, left Holland in 1674 to travel through Europe and the Levant. He returned to Italy in 1685 and settled in Venice, returning to Holland in 1693. …numerous plates … folding panoramas of Alexandria, Sattalia, Constantinople, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Rhodes, and Chios, and double page plates of Constantinople and Scutari. Some of the plates consist of single views of Tyre, Aleppo, Palmyra and other subjects, others contain two or three or four views, costumes, plans » (Atabey I, p. 74). The success of the published account of this expedition engendered a second expedition by Le Bruyn across Russia and Persia and to India and Java between 1701 and 1707.
Cf. Atabey 159, 160 (other editions); cf. Blackmer 225 (1714 edition); Brunet III, 911; Cobham-Jeffery p 8; cf. 2101 (1714 edition); Graesse I,p.552; cf. Lipperheide 546 (1714 edition); cf. Rohricht 1184 (1714 edition); Howgego B177.
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