Going to Tenerife in the Canary Islands was a total surprise and it came just at the right time. Like I told you guys already, for the last two years I’ve been working as a cabin crew with the goal to travel more and save more money towards future travels. I was based in London when my company decided to change my entire schedule and change me to the base in Copenhagen.
After a year and a half on this job I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw on the schedule I would have a two nights layover in Tenerife. This was my very first layover, since I always operate two to four flights a day, never staying in the places and always flying back to base at the end of the day. I wasn’t happy my base got changed because I loved London, but on the bright side I had the opportunity to go to Denmark, a new country, and I was having my first layover and going to the Canary Islands for the first time.
I left rainy, cold Copenhagen in the early morning, after waking up at four in the morning, and operated two flights: Copenhagen to Faro to refuel the plane and then finally from Faro to Tenerife. It was a long journey working like a crazy person on the plane, but arriving in Tenerife was super exciting. The moment we left the plane I couldn’t believe I was really staying there for the next two nights. Normally we just stay inside the plane, we disembark the passengers and over the next hour we have the cleaning of the plane and we board the next passengers to go back. Not this time! We were staying in beautiful sunny Tenerife and honestly just in the first few minutes I knew I would love it there and it would be hard to return to the winter weather after two days.
Outside the airport there was a shuttle waiting for us that took us straight to our hotel in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. I fell asleep during the one hour drive and only woke up when we arrived at our stunning hotel, the Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey, a five start hotel that blew my mind. I had never stayed in a five star hotel in my life and damn could I get used to this life of staying in a fancy hotel while my company is the one paying for it.
The Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey quickly became my favorite hotel ever. I was so excited that even after waking up at four in the morning and operating two flights I didn’t want to go for my typical nap after work. I took off the uniform and went to grab some spanish food at one of the restaurants of the hotel. I sat outside in the terrace, a beautiful quiet place surrounded by a really nice garden and I stayed here having my wonderful meal. Unfortuantely I quickly realized I was exhausted to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and I ended up falling asleep right after lunch. No worries because I would still have the next day to explore Santa Cruz de Tenerife and enjoy my first layover in this perfect place I already didn’t want to leave.
I woke up it was already night. I went downstairs to check the pool area of the hotel. Obviously there was nobody by the pool so I took the oportunity to lay on one of the chairs by the pool, enjoy the quiet and calm of that place, and I stayed there for a good one hour. Before going back to the room and call it a night, I found out the hotel had an area with turtles. Yes, turtles! So obviously I stayed there watching the crazy turtles swimming around their own pool and loving it. I went back to my room still early and decided to have a fancy bath. I put so much soap on the tub that while the water was rising so was all the foam that was getting all over the bathroom. I almost flooded the entire bathroom but luckly I didn’t. Had a super relaxing bath, put on my robe.
After a year and a half as a cabin crew I was finally living the real cabin crew life I had always wanted. This was why I had decided to become a cabin crew and damn was this a super good life. All this time I had pretty much never stayed anywhere besides my base and layover life was fun and so different then just operating round trip flights that would take me right back to my base without having the chance to see anything. I fell asleep with a smile on my face. I couldn’t believe I would have the next day here and I would explore Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
EXPLORING SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE
I woke up feeling well rested and excited to start my day in this beautiful island and go out to explore as much as possible. I went down for a fantastic breakfast that I had outisde in the terrace. Can I stay here forever? Why can’t this be my base? With a full belly I went back to the room, grabbed my bag and camera and I went out to explore.
I had a little map of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and started walking towards the center where the receptionist had advised me to go. Not expecting to be so windy, I quickly realized my dress was not going to work because I would be showing my ass every five seconds. Instead of returning to the hotel to change and losing time, I just entered a cute shop and bought a colorful jumpsuite. I still couldn’t believe how warm and sunny it was. A little more than 24h ago I was in Copenhagen under the rain and cold dressed with all the winter clothes I could put on myself and still shaking with cold and now I was in a cute jumpsuite exploring a place with almost 30ºC and I felt like I was back in summer. I went from winter to summer in just a day and I was loving it.
Being based in Denmark, a ridiculously expensive country, there was one thing I needed in Spain and that was coffee! I found a little cafe with some tables outside and I ordered a fantastic cappuccino. I cost me a bit more than 1€ and it was delicious. I missed buying things at normal prices as the prices in Denmark were outrages and I couldn’t even have a cappuccino there as it would cost me more than 5€. Ridiculous! A place with 1€ coffee is my happy place.
After my delicious coffee I found a shop with ceremony dresses. Considering I had a wedding in Greece in less than two weeks and still no dress I decided to spend a few hours in that shop and find the perfect dress for the wedding I had been excited about for the last few months. The lady from the shop helped me choose a beautiful dress and obviously wanted to sell me everything in the shop to match the dress. Besides the dress she tried to sell me shoes, a bag, earings and neckless. I had to control myself and I only left the shop with the necessary dress and shoes, the acessories I would figure out later and in a cheaper place.
After buying my clothes for the wedding I had to really control myself with the shopping. Being in a place with ‘normal’ prices got me way too excited. There were things I needed and it was way cheaper to buy them in Tenerife than later having to spend ridiculous money in Denmark to buy them. I ended up buying the make up I was in need and I went to Ale-Hop to buy a watch because the one I had died on my last flight – and as a cabin crew having a (working) watch is a mandatory item. I ended my shopping craziness when I started to get hungry and I decided to go look for a place to have lunch. I was in Spain and couldn’t leave without having yummi spanish food and remember what good food is all about. In Denmark, being based in a hotel at the airport, I had been living on Mc Donalds, Burguer King and Pret A Manger, and I really needed some real food for a change.
I ended up eating on the tables outside at this lovely restaurant called ‘De Bocados’. Being portuguese I really missed the sun and one of my favorite things has always been to sit outside under the sun enjoying a nice meal. I had an amazing Salmorejo, some Pan con ajo, and ended the meal with some smoked salmon. This was by far the best meal I’ve had since leaving Portugal and I remembered how much good food makes me happy. Also, the entire meal cost me less than 15€!
I explored pretty much every street in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, amazed by the amazing warm weather and the beautiful streets almost stripped out of tourists. By the end of the afternoon I returned to my hotel to relax for a bit. At night me and two colleagues decided to head back to the city center to find a restaurant for dinner to have a proper goodbye to this amazing island. I ordered some ‘huevos rotos’ a typical spanish dish, that ended up not being what I expected but still pretty tasty. We stayed on the tables outside for a few hours having a localy evening and it truly was the perfect way to say goodbye to Tenerife. Why did I have to leave? I didn’t want to go back to extremely cold and expensive Denmark. Unfortunately staying wasn’t an option. I just had to be grateful I had the opportunity to finally get a dream layover and now it was time to go back to reality.
The next morning our flight was delayed which gave me the chance to enjoy another amazing breakfast and the hotel common areas a bit longer. On the shuttle back to the airport I was feeling really sad to leave. Denmark wasn’t my favorite place because the weather in October was already colder than any winter day we get in my country and it besides being too cold it was really expensive. I didn’t want to go back to Denmark but I had to remember I only had to survive another week before returning to London and then getting my flight to Greece where I would spend a few days and be present to watch one of my favorite people in the universe get married.
Tenerife was a breath of fresh air and it gave me the energy to survive another week in Denmark before my mini vacation in Greece. It opened my eyes and reminded me why I became a cabin crew and I knew I needed to fight for this cabin crew life style and not the one I was having for the last year and a half. It got me thinking that it’s time to start looking for an airline that gives me what I need and that a change is on the horizon. It’s time I focus on what makes me happy and fight to get into an airline that offers me travel and layovers so I can start living instead of just working to save money to travel later.
WHERE I STAYED
During my two nights in Santa Cruz de Tenerife I stayed at the stunning five start Hotel Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey. The night rates of the hotel start at around 100€ for the regular double room and go up to 200-250€ for a junior suite, with the option at extra cost for breakfast included as well as included dinner.
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