Vintersol is a rehabilitation clinic focused on rheumatic and neurological diseases which is located right by the ocean. The history of Vintersol is actually closely entwined with the history of tourism in Tenerife as a whole.
The history of Vintersol starts back in the 1950s two Swedes arrived in Tenerife: Olle Ryding and Bengt Rylander. Both men suffered from diseases, Bengt had mutable sclerosis and Olle had rheumatic arthritis. However, they realized that the sun of Tenerife actually had a healing effect on their bodies. They suffered more from their diseases in the cold and barren climate of Sweden, so they decided to move to Tenerife. Here, they started working. They worked with creating a rehab-center for over a decade. They worked with both the Spanish and Swedish government to make their dream a reality.
After years of planning, and 3 years of building. In 1965, their dream finally came true and Vintersol finally opened. It had a capacity of about of 60 patients but as time passed Vintersol started cooperate with other foundations and organisations which led to expanding the clinic in both size and capacity. This meant that in the 1980s the clinic could have 100 patients at once. The growth of the clinic has continued until present day and the clinic has also been modernized. During this time the clinic have been run by several different organizations and in 2015 they celebrated their 50th anniversary.
But what is the significance of Vintersol outside of being a rehab center? Vintersol is basically what started Scandinavian tourism to Tenerife. What started with patients was expanded to spouses, to close family and also to friends. This chain-reaction put Tenerife on the map as a common travel destination.
Read more stories in our travel mag! Maybe about the accessible beach which lies right next to the clinic.
Teide observatory is an astronomy facility located on Mount Teide in Tenerife. It lies 2390 meter above sea level and the location is has exceptional astronomical sight. The Observatory was founded in 1964. It became one of the first large international observatories.
The place is special as this is one of the top 3 locations in the world to watch the skies. Since it’s construction a lot of telescopes have been built and transported here. The facility covers an area of 50 hectares and there are over 60 institutions here that owns one or several of the telescopes. The observatory have had great success in discovering a brown dwarf in 1995 that was named Teide-1. A brown dwarf is a massive gas object that is smaller than a sun but larger that most planets. Compared to Jupiter it has almost the same size but is much heavier. What is interesting about Teide-1 is that it was the first brown dwarf ever discovered!
In order to enhance the effectiveness of the research, The Observatory have put a lot of resources into constructing The TeideObservatory Residents with the purpose of providing researchers and scientist with housing and everything they need while working at Teide. Along with the research being made in the Observatory, the observatory also have a focus on education. School classes are welcome here to see the inside of the facility and get an understanding for why astronomical research is important.
Besides Teide there is also another large observatory on the Canary Islands. On La Palmas we can find the research center of Roque de los Muchachos Observatory which was founded in 1985. This observatory become an extremely popular research facility in modern day just like the observatory on Teide.
If you would like to explore Teide for yourself we got the perfect tours for you!
We would like to warn sensitive readers, as it’s time for a true horror story from Tenerife. About a 56-year-old woman from Berlin named Heide Fittkau-Garthe. She moved to Tenerife and started a horrible suicide cult.
The story begins in 1994 when Heide Fittkau-Garthe sold all her assets and moved from Berlin to Tenerife. Heide, being a psychologist used her background to lure people into joining her suicide cult in Tenerife. According to a BBC article posted in 1998 the cult revolved around apocalyptic theories that the world was about to end. Heide proclaimed that if the entire cult consisting of about 30 people committed collective suicide on mount Teide a spaceship would take their dead bodies to heaven.
It is a story that is both scary as well as fascinating. How a woman of 56 years managed to gather so many people into to something so outrageous.
Another interesting fact about the cult is that Heide, according to the Independent, managed to lure both university graduates and people from the middle class into her cult, as well as their children! This says something about Heide’s extremely methods of persuasion as she managed to brainwash people from many different parts pf the society. She even brainwashed people into paying up to 300 pounds for attending her meetings.
This horror story has a somewhat happy ending though. On the 8th of January, Spanish police managed to shut down the cult and stop the plans of collective suicide. Heide was put on trial and the rest of the suicide cult in Tenerife was free to go as they were victims of their leader.
Heide however, were sentenced to 8 years in prison. However, years have passed and Heide have been free for a long time. After the events she have remained active online. She even have her own website called Heidelovesyou.com where she posts so called “lessons” where she speaks to the camera.
That’s all for our true horror-story time. All our stories are not this dark however. You can read more articles about the history of Tenerife among other things HERE.
Tenerife have a Hockey-team called the Arona Tenerife Guanches hockey club. And by Spanish standards the Tenerife team is really good at it too!
Tenerife has many sports clubs, but what surprised me the most was that they have a hockey team. Hockey in Tenerife? How does this even work then? As Tenerife is rarely any colder than 20 degrees celcius any time of the year the sport have been converted from being played on ice to being played on roller skates. Roller hockey, also known as inline hockey is actually also a rather common sport on the island.
The story of roller hockey begins in 1990 when Marc Quiroga moved from Sweden to Tenerife. Marc loved ice skating and he missed it very much as it’s a big sport in Sweden. But in 1994 an inline skate-shop was opened in Los Cristianos and Marc went by the store constantly speaking to people who were interested in roller skating. With these new contacts, he founded a team.
The start was very rough for the team, they played outside on rough asphalt that wore down the wheels in a couple of months. The sport wasn’t all that similar to hockey as first as they played with a floorball rather than a puck. Marc soon found out that the Spanish Line Hockey championship was going to be held, he quickly gave his team a name: Arona Guanches Tenerife Hockey Club. And this is how the team was founded.
The team have some noteworthy accomplishments in the Spanish inline-hockey scene. In 1999 they won the Spanish nationals in the sport. The team still has a relation to their Swedish roots as well. At one point as 7 players came from Sweden to play for the Guanches. The team is still active today, and they will continue to be, as long as they get the necessary support from local authorities and corporations.
We cover more sports in our travel mag, as well as many other subject!
Sand. It might seem like it’s a matter that has no real usefulness. But that is factually wrong. Sand is one of the most used matters by man in building concrete and asphalt for example. Besides that, it’s hard to beat the feeling of warm sand under your feet when walking on a sandybeach.
There is a history of importedsand in Tenerife. Tenerife does not really have any natural sandybeaches, most of the natural beaches are rocky or have small lava rocks. That’s why there have been enormous imports of sand from WestSahara to Tenerife.
The origin of the sand import was that it was very expensive to make volcanic sand for the beaches of Tenerife. It proved to be far more cheap to import sand from WestSahara which is a region largely occupied by Morocco. The key-phrase here is occupied. As Western Sahara is often called “The last African Colony” as after the Spanish colonization it was taken over by Morocco.
There is still a conflict between Morocco and Sahrawi native rebels that want to be free from their occupiers. Therefore, the imported sand has been a controversial subject as many have called it a theft from the Sahrawi people. It sure is an infected subject and it has been a really violent conflict throughout the decades. It should be stated that the conflict does not revolve about sand but it is more a question of independence and national identity for the Sahrawi.
The imported sand in Tenerife were far greater in the early days of Tenerifetourism however. In 1970 when Western Sahara was still a Spanish colony a 270 000 tonnes of sand were imported to build the Las Teresitas beach. Today the sand import to Tenerife is much smaller which can be seen a positive thing due to the infected conflict between the Sahrawi and Morocco.