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Astrofriend

A visit to Teide observatory at Tenerife

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Hi,
I got the feeling that readers at astronomy forums like to read about observatories. Every time I and my girlfriend travel around in different countries we try to do some astronomy related.

Two years ago we visited Tenerife and there you also find the Teide observatory. There are guided tours but couldn't make contact with them, maybe because of the bad weather.

Anyway we rent a car and drive up to the mountain Teide to at least have a look from outside of the observatory. I havn't write about this because we didn't get very close, anyway I think it could be interesting for you that could not go to Tenerife, and the nature is awesome.

Here is my report from Teide observatory:
http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/observatory-sites/teide-observatory-tenerife/teide-tenerife-observatory.html

For you who find it interesting to read about observatories I have visited all of them are here:
http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/observatory-sites/observatory-sites.html

Our last travel was to the island of Crete. Also Crete has an observatory that we tried to visit but have to cancel because of bad weather. I have a lot of photos from the roads at the mountain up to the observatory and links. Later I set up a story about this too even if we didn't get all the way up to the observatory. It was an exiting day anyway!

/Lars

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Hi Lars

Sorry about the late reply, but just noticed your post.

We were on holiday in Tenerife the second week in September last year, were staying at the Spring Vulcano Hotel in Playa de Las Americas where we had stopped twice before. About 3 months beforehand we had booked a trip to visit the Mt Teide Solar Observatory on 13 September with Vulcano Teide (the Spanish Tour Operator) and had paid for this in advance. The trip was also to include an evening observing session through telescopes, and I was looking forward to seing Mars in particular, which was still quire close to the earth at the time, but was too low in the sky to get a good view from the UK.

The company confirmed the day before, that we would be picked by coach at the bus stop by the Best Tenerife Hotel in Playa de Las Americas at 16.00. We waited by the bus stop from 15.40 to 17.30, but no coach ever turned up, we tried to ring the office of Volcano Teide, but just got a recorded message. I subsequently emailed them, and they finally replied to say that the trip had been cancelled due to bad weather conditions, and that they had tried to contact us earlier, but no phone call or email from them was ever received.

I also dispute their claim relating to bad weather, although it had been a bit dusty the day before due to Saharan sand (known locally as the Calima), conditions had improved by the afternoon of the 13th, the sky cleared and it was sunny, the wind had died down, and before sunset the crescent moon and the summit of Mt Teide were clearly visible from Playa de Las Americas. Furthermore whilst we were waiting for their non-existent coach, two coaches pulled up at the bus stop for the Teide by Night trip, which was clearly running. We consider that Vulcano Teide had simply cancelled the trip for operational reasons, maybe insufficient people had booked the trip that day for it to be economic for them to run it, or maybe the Teide Cable Car (which we had not booked) was closed, and they planned to use the same pick up coach for this trip.

May be they have a habit of cancelling trips at the last minute, and then blaming bad weather.

John

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I take my grab & go Nexstar SE4 to Tenerife as inside the caldera of Mt Tiede is one of  the best locations I have ever found on this planet.  Its steep lip even shields glare on the horizon. It's a long drive up in a hired underpowered Fiat Panda, but quicker going down.  But beware....

My first time visit, after three peaceful idyllic hours, I heard the roar of dozens of motorcycles at midnight and saw a cloud of dust heading in my direction. Heck, was it the Santa Cruz Hells Angels? Mad Max? Whacky Races? I have never packed my gear so fast....

But I didn't need to do so. Almost every night there is an organised tour party of quad-bikes that come up the mountain to "see the stars" and enjoy the desert like experience. They will stop, perhaps chat with me and my wife and show some curiosity, and always be respectfully gone in ten minutes as the organising leader of the group is very polite. But first time it's a bit unnerving. 

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Thanks to both of you to the detailed obseration reports from Tenerife Teide. Very bad that the guided tour was ruined.

 

We just bought flight tickets to Rhodos Greece. Our first visit to that island, it's more amied to the ancient cultur. But if there is some interesting there related to astronomy we will have a look.

 

Lars & Gunilla

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