Eat Local: La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

Fresh, warm homemade bread with dips (harissa and a tomato-based dip) and olives at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

Fresh, warm homemade bread with dips (harissa and a tomato-based dip) and olives at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

 

La Sqaia, located along the coast in the center of Casablanca, Morocco, in an old fortress, serves traditional Moroccan cuisine where tajines (North African stews), teas and breakfast/lunch are the specialties.  It is located in an 18th century fortress near the edge of the old walled city.  La Sqaia exudes tons of local atmosphere, highlighted by nice gardens and a courtyard.  Our dinner with friends was relaxing, away from the buzz of the central city.

 

Moroccan hors d'oeuvres platters at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

Moroccan hors d’oeuvres platters at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

 

The hors d'oeuvres included spinach-olive salad and marinated artichoke hearts at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

The hors d’oeuvres included spinach-olive salad and marinated artichoke hearts at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

 

The hors d'oeuvres included bean salad, and delicious smoked eggplant baba ganoush at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

The hors d’oeuvres included bean salad, and delicious smoked eggplant baba ganoush at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

 

Traditional Moroccan tajine of beef, prunes, apricots and almonds for dinner at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

Traditional Moroccan tajine of beef, prunes, apricots and almonds for dinner at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

 

Loal fresh Moroccan fish and seafood platter for dinner at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

Local fresh Moroccan fish and seafood platter for dinner at La Sqaia, Casablanca, Morocco

 

 

Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

 

A masterpiece of Islamic architecture, surrounded by picturesque orange groves and elaborate water features, Palais Royal (Royal Palace) of Casablanca is a suitably grand royal abode.  Located in the Habous district of the city’s New Medina, this is the King of Morocco’s principal Casablanca residence and host to a number of important events and royal receptions.  Casablanca’s Habous Quarter, otherwise known as New Medina, is an area of the city built in 1930s by the French, so it is no surprise that it features a wonderful mix of French and Moroccan inspired architecture.

 

Closeup of the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Closeup of the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

 

We were fortunate enough to be able to enter the palace grounds and see the main entrance of the palace (which, like all Royal residences, is closed to the public at all times).

 

Details of a column on the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Details of a column on the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco.jpg

 

Bronze doors at the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Bronze doors at the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

 

This palace is the second residence of the king, as he lives primarily in the political capital, Rabat (there are also royal palaces in other cities in Morocco). When visiting Casablanca, he stays here.  He has hosted many important personalities in this palace, like his father Hassan II, who hosted Pope John Paul II in 1985 during his first visit to the Islamic country.  The palace is an architectural gem sprawling across several acres.  However, from the outside, other than the ceremonial entrance, you can unfortunately only see the concrete walls put up to protect the sovereign and his family.

 

Geometric design on a bronze door at the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Geometric design on a bronze door at the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Door knocker on a bronze door at the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Door knocker on a bronze door at the ceremonial entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Side entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

Side entrance to Palais Royal (Royal Palace), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

 

If you immediately see Bogart and Bacall on a misty night when thinking of Casablanca, Morocco’s most modern metropolis is likely to astound you.  Here, well-preserved colonial buildings with soft lines and great detail surround the Plaza des Nations Unies (United Nations Square), Casablanca’s focal point and center, from which wide venues fan out in all directions.

Our explorations of the city covered many bases [see our previous posts on Marché Central (Central Market), La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), and Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church].  The photographs in this blog post reflect some of the local sights and culture; additional blog posts will cover the Royal Palace and “Eating Local”.

 

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) was built on the coast, directly over the Atlantic Ocean (which can be viewed below, from the lowrer level), Casablanca, Morocco

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) was built on the coast, directly over the Atlantic Ocean (which can be viewed below, from the lowrer level), Casablanca, Morocco

 

The Casablanca lighthouse, viewed from La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

The Casablanca lighthouse, viewed from La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Giant billboard photograph of the Moroccan Royal Family (the king is in the center, back row), Casablanca, Morocco

Giant billboard photograph of the Moroccan Royal Family (the king is in the center, back row), Casablanca, Morocco

 

 

Mid-morning snack along the coast at a cafe, with Moroccan pastries from local Pâtisserie La Moriciere, Casablanca, Morocco

Mid-morning snack along the coast at a cafe, with Moroccan pastries from local Pâtisserie La Moriciere, Casablanca, Morocco

 

A street in the center of Casablanca, near the Royal Palace, with a minaret at the end of the street, Casablanca, Morocco

A street in the center of Casablanca, near the Royal Palace, with a minaret at the end of the street, Casablanca, Morocco

 

The Hand of Fatima, a talisman to ward off the evil eye – door knocker on a residence in Casablanca, Morocco

The Hand of Fatima, a talisman to ward off the evil eye – door knocker on a residence in Casablanca, Morocco

 

Moroccan argan nuts – whole, shelled, halved, and sliced-roasted in the center bowls – and argan oil, creams, etc. for sale in Casablanca, Morocco

Moroccan argan nuts – whole, shelled, halved, and sliced-roasted in the center bowls – and argan oil, creams, etc. for sale in Casablanca, Morocco

 

L’huile d’argan (Moroccan argan oil) is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that is endemic to Morocco.  In Morocco, argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta.  “Culinary argan oil (argan food oil) is used for dipping bread, on couscous, salads and similar uses.  Amlou, a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter, is produced by grinding roasted almond and argan oil using stones, mixed with honey and is used locally as a bread dip.  Various claims about the beneficial effects on health due to the consumption of argan oil have been made.  Researchers have concluded that daily consumption of argan oil is “highly likely” to be one factor that helps prevent various cancers, Cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.” – Wikipedia

 

L'huile d'argan (Moroccan argan oil) bottled here is for culinary uses; there is also un-roaseted argan oil used for cosmetics; Casablanca, Morocco

L’huile d’argan (Moroccan argan oil) bottled here is for culinary uses; there is also un-roasted argan oil used for cosmetics; Casablanca, Morocco

 

“Moroccans traditionally use un-roasted Argan oil to treat skin diseases, and as a cosmetic oil for skin and hair.  In cosmetics, Argan oil is advocated as moisturizing oil, against acne vulgaris and flaking of the skin, as well as for ‘nourishing’ the hair.  This oil has also medicinal uses against rheumatism and the healing of burns. Externally, Argan oil is used for hair as brillantine, to fortify and in the treatment of wrinkled or scaly dry skin.” – Wikipedia

 

Moroccan copper and brass houselhold and kitchenware, Casablanca, Morocco

Moroccan copper and brass household and kitchenware, Casablanca, Morocco

 

A minaret in the center of the city, adjacent to the old quarter, Casablanca, Morocco

A minaret in the center of the city, adjacent to the old quarter, Casablanca, Morocco

 

Older and contemporary buildings in the center of the city, adjacent to Plaza des Nations Unies (United Nations Square), Casablanca, Morocco

Older and contemporary buildings in the center of the city, adjacent to Plaza des Nations Unies (United Nations Square), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

The gigantic concrete Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Casablanca, Morocco, was built between 1953 and 1956

The gigantic concrete Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Casablanca, Morocco, was built between 1953 and 1956

 

The gigantic concrete Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Casablanca, Morocco, was built between 1953 and 1956.  It is one of the only two Catholic Churches that in Casablanca (the other one is the Sacred Heart Church).  The cathedral’s imposing white concrete façade looks more like a warehouse than a church and a simple white cross is the only hint to its purpose.  The main attraction for visitors is the spectacular stained glass windows, the work of Gabriel Loire, a famous French artist.  They are cut on a red and blue colored background, reminiscent of typical Moroccan carpets, and represent different images of the Virgin Mary.

 

The open, airy interior is lit up by the colored beams of light that filter through stained glass windows which cover the two entire side walls, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

The open, airy interior is lit up by the colored beams of light that filter through stained glass windows which cover the two entire side walls, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

 

The absolutely breathtaking stained glass windows of the church are what capture everyone’s attention.  The open, airy interior is lit up by the colored beams of light that filter through these stained glass windows which cover the entirety of both side walls – giving a window surface area of over 800 square meters (8600 square feet).  The result is quite dazzling; unfortunately, it is very difficult to get good pictures of the stained glass walls and the overall interior design of the Notre Dame de Lourdes Church.

 

The stained glass windows are cut on a red and blue colored background, reminiscent of typical Moroccan carpets, and represent different images of the Virgin Mary, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

The stained glass windows are cut on a red and blue colored background, reminiscent of typical Moroccan carpets, and represent different images of the Virgin Mary, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

 

“At first glance, you may wonder why there is a Catholic church in Morocco.  The fact is that there are approximately 20,000 Catholics living in the country and that this religious denomination has long been accepted in Morocco.  The Notre Dame de Lourdes Church in Morocco is clear evidence of the strong Roman Catholic presence in Casablanca and, while this may not be the major religion in the country, it certainly isn’t only practiced by a small minority.” – www.Morocco.com

 

The spectacular stained glass windows are the work of Gabriel Loire, a famous French artist, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

The spectacular stained glass windows are the work of Gabriel Loire, a famous French artist, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

 

Like the contemporary La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), the concrete and stained glass Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church – striking examples of modern design and construction — presents worshipers today a modern space for prayers that is lacking the history, the warmth of centuries-old architecture and design, and the physical wear and tear of much older houses of worship.

 

Colored beams of light coming from the stained glass windows streaming into the interior of Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

Colored beams of light coming from the stained glass windows streaming into the interior of Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

 

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) is one of the largest in the world, Casablanca, Morocco

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) is one of the largest in the world, Casablanca, Morocco

 

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) is a modern mosque in Casablanca, Morocco – the largest mosque in Morocco and one of the largest in the world (those in Mecca and Medina are the largest in the world).  As many as 10,000 craftsmen from across Morocco labored over 50 million man-hours to build the mosque, conceived by French architect Michel Pinseau and built by the civil engineering group Bouygues. It was completed in 1993.

 

The minaret of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) at 60 stories high -- 210 metres (690 feet) -- is the tallest religious structure (and minaret) in the world, Casablanca, Morocco

The minaret of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) at 60 stories high — 210 metres (690 feet) — is the tallest religious structure (and minaret) in the world, Casablanca, Morocco

 

The minaret, 60 stories high — 210 metres (690 feet) — is the tallest religious structure (and minaret) in the world.  It is topped by a laser, the light from which is directed at night to the east, towards Mecca.  “The minaret is said to enhance the visual alignment of the boulevard. It is square in shape thrusting skyward.  The base to the top width ratio of 1 to 8 (between basement and the summit) has a marble covering on the exterior with austere decoration.  The faces of the facade have carved ornamentation with different materials.  There are stitches of roudani tracetine on a 100,000 MP surface.  This decorative material (with chrome and green as dominant colours), is a substitute for the use of bricks, the material used in many other notable minarets, and has given the mosque an extraordinary elegance.  Green tiles decorate the minaret for one third of the height from the top, and then changes colour to deep green or tourquoise blue; it is said that in the Hassan II minaret, the designer had used his sea-foam green and God’s blue to celebrate the life of a king.” — Wikipedia

 

The walls of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) are of hand-crafted marble, Casablanca, Morocco

The walls of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) are of hand-crafted marble, Casablanca, Morocco

 

Closeup of exterior fountain at La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Closeup of exterior fountain at La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, the sea bed being visible through the glass floor of the building’s hall.  The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable.  A maximum of 105,000 worshipers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.  Inside, the mosque has separate areas for worship by men and women – 20,000 men on the main floor of the prayer hall and 5,000 women upstairs.

 

Tiled mosaics on the exterior of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Tiled mosaics on the exterior of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Delicate carvings atop the columns of the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Delicate carvings atop the columns of the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

“The prayer hall is on the ground floor.  The central hall is centrally heated, and provides spectacular underwater views of the Atlantic Ocean.  The decorations in the hall are elaborate and exquisite made possible by involving 6000 master artisans of Morocco working on it.  It is so large that it can easily accommodate the house of the Notre Dame of Paris or St. Peter’s of Rome.  The woodcarvings, the zeliij work and the stucco mouldings are of elaborate and highly impressive design; the wood used for carving is cedar from the middle Atlas mountains, the marble is from Agadir and granite is brought from Tafraoute.” — Wikipedia

 

The elaborately decorated Prayer Hall holds 25,000 worshippers inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

The elaborately decorated Prayer Hall holds 25,000 worshipers inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

The beautifully carved and painted wooden dome inside the entrance to the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

The beautifully carved and painted wooden dome inside the entrance to the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Elaborately carved and painted wooden column support for ceiling beams on the side entrance to the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Elaborately carved and painted wooden column support for ceiling beams on the side entrance to the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

A geometric criss-cross of elaborately carved arches in the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

A geometric crisscross of elaborately carved arches in the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

“The historical context of the mosque began with the death of King Mohammed V in 1961.  King Hassan II had requested for the best of the country’s artisans to come forward and submit plans for a mausoleum to honour the departed king; it should ‘reflect the fervor and veneration with which this illustrious man was regarded.’  In 1980, during his birthday celebrations, Hassan II had made his ambitions very clear for creating a single landmark monument in Casablanca by stating:

I wish Casablanca to be endowed with a large, fine building of which it can be proud until the end of time … I want to build this mosque on the water, because God’s throne is on the water.  Therefore, the faithful who go there to pray, to praise the creator on firm soil, can contemplate God’s sky and ocean.

The building was commissioned by King Hassan II to be the most ambitious structure ever built in Morocco.” – Wikipedia

 

Details of elaborately carved arches in the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Details of elaborately carved arches in the Prayer Hall inside La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

“The roof is retractable, illuminating the hall with daytime sunlight and allowing worshipers to pray under the stars on clear nights.  It weighs 1100 tons and can be opened in five minutes; it measures 60 metres (200 feet) high, with an area of 3,400 square metres (37,000 sq ft).” – Wikipedia

 

Geometric decoraion on the wall on the passaeway to the ablution (a ceremonial act of washing parts of the body) chamber on the lower level of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Geometric decoration on the wall on the passageway to the ablution (a ceremonial act of washing parts of the body) chamber on the lower level of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

One of many carved marble fountains in the men's ablution chamber on the lower level of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

One of many carved marble fountains in the men’s ablution chamber on the lower level of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Delicate carved arches and columns in the men's ablution chamber on the lower level of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Delicate carved arches and columns in the men’s ablution chamber on the lower level of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Beautiful cascade of arches in a passageway on the exterior side of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

Beautiful cascade of arches in a passageway on the exterior side of La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Eat local: Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Cooking traditional Moroccan pancakes that will be filled and rolled up for eating like “wraps” in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Cooking traditional Moroccan pancakes that will be filled and rolled up for eating like “wraps” in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

A short stroll or tram ride from United Nations Place, in the heart of Casablanca city center, the Marché Central de Casablanca (Central Market) is the city’s main market, located along the busy shopping street of Muhammad V Boulevard.  Crammed with locals, the daily market is fascinating place to get a taste of local culture, as well as pick up bargains, with everything from food to fresh flowers and traditional clothing on sale.

 

Boucherie Geneve (butcher shop) in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Boucherie Geneve (butcher shop) in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

 

A boucherie (butcher shop) specializing in skinned rabbits (hanging, left) and poultry and eggs in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

A boucherie (butcher shop) specializing in skinned rabbits (hanging, left) and poultry and eggs in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

The vibrant stalls serve up a myriad of fresh produce, with mounds of fruit and vegetables, a vast array of fish and shellfish, and a rainbow of spices filling the senses with exotic sights and smells.

 

Fresh crabs and oysters at a fish monger's stall in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Fresh crabs and oysters at a fish monger’s stall in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Langoustines rouges (red prawns) and other shrimp at a fish monger's stall in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Langoustines rouges (red prawns) and other shrimp at a fish monger’s stall in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Fresh ray fish and other fresh fish for sale at a fish monger's stall in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Fresh ray fish and other fresh fish for sale at a fish monger’s stall in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Very nice looking fresh vegetables for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Very nice looking fresh vegetables for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Assorted baskets and kitchen ware for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Assorted baskets and kitchen ware for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Grains for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Grains for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Beautiful local fresh strawberries for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Beautiful local fresh strawberries for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Fresh local mint and herbs for sale by green grocer in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

Fresh local mint and herbs for sale by green grocer in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

A pretty tajine (Moroccan cooking pot with conical lid for stews) and other ceramics for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

A pretty tajine (Moroccan cooking pot with conical lid for stews) and other ceramics for sale in Marché Central (Central Market), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Bodegas El Grifo is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands and is among the ten oldest in Spain, Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Bodegas El Grifo is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands and is among the ten oldest in Spain, Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

 

The third winery we visited in Bodega La Geria, near Parque Nacional de Timanfaya (Timanfaya National Park) [see our previous two posts] was our favorite.  Bodegas El Grifo is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands and is among the ten oldest in Spain.  The winery has been a family operation since 1775.

 

The palm tree that presides over the estate dates back to 1775 -- it is probably the tallest and oldest on the island; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The palm tree that presides over the estate dates back to 1775 — it is probably the tallest and oldest on the island; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

 

All management of the vineyard is done by hand – there are no harvesting machines and tractors, etc. cannot navigate through the fields, as each vine is planted within a protecting wall to keep the northerly winds off the vines.  Total production of the winery is approximately 500,000 bottles per year (about 40,000 cases).

 

The pre-Phylloxera varietal grape vines are planted on their original rootstock -- there has been no Phylloxera on the island; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The pre-Phylloxera varietal grape vines are planted on their original rootstock — there has been no Phylloxera on the island; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

 

A layer of lava gravel prevents evaporation; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A layer of lava gravel prevents evaporation; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands.jpg

 

A photograph from the winery shows the vines' growth from pruning back after harvest to full growth just prior to the next harvest; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A photograph from the winery shows the vines’ growth from pruning back after harvest to full growth just prior to the next harvest; Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

 

Of all the wines we tasted on the island, the 2014 Bodegas El Grifo Malvasia Colleccion Fermentado en Barrica (fermented in the barrel) was the best.  In fact, it was quite good and comparable to the best Malvasia wines that we drank last summer along the coast of Croatia.  We bought some of this wine to enjoy over the summer…

 

The cactus garden at Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The cactus garden at Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

 

A cactus that looks like a sculpture in the cactus garden at Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A cactus that looks like a sculpture in the cactus garden at Bodegas El Grifo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands