Spirit of Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura Travel Guide & Lifestyle Magazine

Modern architecture in the Canary Islands – by Carl (Charly) LANG.

volcano-house-lajares-4You can find it now almost on all islands. You just have to search. The TEA Art Center by Herzog & de Meuron, and Calatrava's Auditorio, both are in Tenerife's capital city, the MAGMA conference centre in the South of the island and the auditorium of Las Palmas. Milestones in the new Spanish architecture. Not to mention the Interpretation Centre de Timanfaya on Lanzarote. These buildings should be known by anyone who is interested in culture in the Canaries.

And here in Fuerteventura? None, until recently. Despite severe economic crisis, things are moving. For example, in the hip village of Lajares in the North of the island and a colourful village of the international surf community, you can now admire a new house that has no equal. It was built by the young Spaniard Ilya Escario, who studied in Barcelona and is since long realizing his dream on a small hill at the foot of two volcanoes. Two and a half years of construction and some comments about his project gave him sufficient courage to continue and to prove to the local traditional architecture, how stylish you can combine concrete, Corten steel - those rusted steel plates - black ceramics, lots of glass and wood. And finally can end up with some pretty colourful, lively and above all transparent result. Now that the construction is almost finished, you see more and more walkers and mountain bikers passing by, curious about the interior design of the exclusive villa. The Volcano House blends in well with the dark deserts and lava grounds here in the North of Fuerteventura. Perhaps this is indeed the impetus for more innovative projects on the Atlantic island.

What tolerance means on this island, one can see very well at the second example, in Parque Holandés. Here, the community has designed a respectable culture house before the economic crisis, which unfortunately is now empty. Many of the local residents had very difficult times with the looks of the new architecture. It is almost the only way to explain why some panes of glass on the back side of the building were demolished with stones, and the doors were sprayed with paint. Maybe the owner can leave these interventions of vandalism as silent witnesses, so everyone can see how tolerant and aggressive some people act against these progressive efforts. Or is it just absolute stupidity? Fuerteventura has to do some catching up on culture and it still will take years for a change in the way of thinking. Including in the tourism industry with its all-inclusive concept.

Questionable building regulations and approval processes sometimes discourage many young architects. Certainly there are some good initiatives scattered across the island, especially around Villaverde and Lajares, where some buildings were erected with bravery. Construction in Fuerteventura still means by far a mix of the traditional and the new, often copying the old, but rarely resulting in a successful and respectful preservation of old buildings, as it has been done successfully with the Casa de los Coroneles. Therefore you have to embrace the few good initiatives like the Casa Santa Maria and Don Antonio which are in the Valley of Betancuria.

The dilemma, of course, has its causes, starting since the Franco regime. The result of 40 years of architectural standstill is still to be found today. Censorship and very little information about foreign architecture at that time were on the daily agenda. Architecture books were used to build barricades, when the University of Madrid was the scene of the student fighting. Major parts of specialist literature was burned then.

More remarkable is the current success that many Spanish architects enjoy worldwide. Hopefully, all the building projects here on Fuerteventura, like the Auditorio of Puerto del Rosario or the colourful local Archives, will soon be completed. Likewise, the planned Congress building in Morro Jable and the Archaeological Museum of Pajara, both projects by Fernando Menis. To promote good architecture that the island desperately needs. Although some here would rather want a shoddy Disney World.

All pictures © Carl LANG



Fuerteventura Big Wave Surfing - El Cotillo 23/01/2013.

World-Class Surfing Day at Cotillo's Coastline: 23 January 2013.

by Carl - Charly - LANG. - (all pictures by Carl LANG)

"Jaws" finally gets competition.

DSC_0146The old harbour of El Cotillo got a Big Wave Day since a long, long time. The last time such a nature event took place was when the Fuerte Wave Contest 2010 was organised. Now, waves were as twice as high as the masts from those brave men who stood on their boards and plenty of wind. I bet that the spectacular pictures will be published in many Journals and Magazines. This Wednesday - the 23 of January 2013 - will definitely outstrip the famous day in March, 3 years ago and will go into history as one of the rare FUERTEVENTURA BIG WAVE DAYS.  DSC_0090

A handful Big Wave surfer, and as many professional photographers and a couple of dozen spectators were sharing this adrenaline-pumped day. The wave and wind predictions on the internet were spot on this time. The locals like Stephane Etienne, Patrick, Marcel and Yannik, altogether Contest Pro's, as well as some of the finest Wave-Kite Surfers from Fuerteventura were on time to meet at the Fuerteventura West coast, where the bloodcurdling show started at 11am. DSC_0118Over 4 hours of Top-Class Windsurfing and this without an incident, worth mentioning. Only the German Newcomer Patrick had to be picked up by boat, after having drifted away due to technical problems with his gear. Morten from New Territory spotted this and organised the pick up, together with a local fisherman.DSC_0303

Now one has to wonder how many months or even years it will take to be able to enjoy again such a marvellous Supersession.

Carl - Charly - LANG (Reporting for Spirit of Fuerteventura)

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The Future of Fuerteventura Blues Festival.

(translation from a part of an article by Carl - Charly LANG)
(all pictures (c) Carl LANG)

A reanimation effort and a plea for the "Corralejo Blues Festival", an original way to promote Fuerteventura. A concept for business opportunities: International Events.

marcus_miller_040c_C.LANGCorralejo / Fuerteventura urgently needs to improve its profile as a holiday destination and should focus on widening its customer base. Fuerteventura not only should be regarded as vacation spot, but also as a place to enjoy high-quality events with international reputation. A high-class, international Jazz / Blues Festival might be the right vehicle. A warming-up round has been made with the annual Fuerte en Música. It is expected to be organised again in 2013. The International Blues Festival Corralejo also gets a lot of supporters from the Blues & Jazz scene. However, the event for 2012 has been cancelled, due to cost-cutting exercises from the local government. And what are the perspectives for 2013? Planning and organisation of Fuerteventura Blues Festival 2013 doesn't look right so far. But who is forbidding private initiatives?

There are sufficient Blues-lovers around here, also professional ones, and surely packs of local Blues fans ... in important positions to be able to give the necessary support. Nial Wallis is one of them and well known as a moderator in such events, Fernando - the organiser of almost all of the latest Blues events shouldn't have to be convinced, Gustavo - owner of the restaurant La Mamma in Corralejo is involved since ages in local innovative events like the "Ciclo de Cancer", Mario Cabrera - the president of the local government is an avid Blues fan. The missing links might be the local manager of Culture, Soledad Montelongo and the mayor of La Oliva, Claudina Morales.

Contacts to airline and ferry companies already have been developed for this event. The name change from "Blues Festival Corralejo" into "Fuerteventura Blues Festival" is worthwhile considering and would bring the Fuerteventura Tourist Office and Blas Acosta into the picture.

marcus_miller_014c_C.LANGA major drive to success for a Fuerteventura Blues Festival is our mild climate. There are almost no open-air festivals on the continent during the winter. Blues fans from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France and even Italy, etc would love to enjoy open-air music festivals during the winter.

High-class musicians like Marcus Miller or Richard Bona told Charly Lang that they are interested to participate, provided it fits with their agenda. Mike Stern and Bona already have performed here and would love to come back. Workshops and Fusion Sessions could be organised with Joo Kraus and Till Brönner, one of the best German trumpet players. And not to forget Charlie Moreno, probably the best known Jazz Bass player of the Canary islands.

Fuerteventura already has created a reputation as "Island of the Blues", next to its world-wide profile as "Surfing Paradise". The Moguls in the Tourism Industry should ask themselves which area would provide them the best business opportunities for an Open Air Festival during the winter, under sunshine, 22ºC and within a 4h flight range...


But an Open Air Event like "Fuerteventura Blues Festival" would chew up a lot of cash. Therefore there should be coming sufficient support from the local industry and abroad: hotels, restaurants, bars, beverages, banks, radio, TV, flight carriers, ferry companies, etc. All will benefit from the fruits. The concept of temporary business clusters to get major initiatives from the ground and get them efficiently working is rather new on Fuerteventura, but it would pave the way to a successful initiative. The expectation that the local government or the community will have to organise this will lead to a stall. They can't do everything, nor do they have the required specialists. But they do have the required and efficient infrastructure, logistics and hardware: buildings, stadiums, plazas, beaches, emergency services, traffic control, illumination, etc. The artistic and organisational management has to be left to professionals.

What are we waiting for?

Charly C. LANG
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3K_pressefoto1Fuerteventura Cine News - by Charly LANG.

Subject: Fuerteventura needs a Movie Agency. (Charly LANG)

Fuerte braucht dringend seine eigene Film Agency. Warum es so wichtig ist, dass Fuerteventura endlich zur FilmLandschaft wird und wie alles anfing.

New Target Group for Fuerteventura - by Carl Lang.

DSC_0051webRecently Fuerteventura also received the Triathlon Challenge status - a unique opportunity to increase the profile of our island from a surfers paradise to a triathlon palace. Because one can train here all year long in contrary to the other triathlon training centres.