46 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, Blogfests, Memoir, Music, Writing/Blogging
Guantanamera: #MusicalMemories #AtoZChallenge 2017
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
Day7, April 8

The time: March 1967
The Place: Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands


[Excerpted from an article originally published Jul. 24, 2013.]

My mother took me to Puerto de la Cruz on the island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands (they belong to Spain) for the March school break in 1967. We were living in Germany then and travelled extensively. I was twelve, “going on 20″.

The first thing that struck me was the interesting mix of Spanish and African cultures. Strains of Flamenco music wafted through the open bar doors while people rode through the streets on camels. We fit right in among the predominantly German and British tourists.

Most afternoons, we stopped at the Cafe’ de Paris on the main promenade for traditional German ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’, (coffee and cake). I especially enjoyed this, because of the young, handsome waiter who always flashed me a dazzling smile. To this day, the dark Latin types appeal the most. I even married one!

While wandering about, we discovered a quaint little bar with Flamenco dancers. I can’t remember the name of it and wonder if it’s still there. The furniture was all hand carved, and there was a small bull ring out back, complete with a live bull, available for “jousting” with the patrons. He was old and tame, so it was totally benign. (PLEASE NOTE: I am against this cruel practice in reality.)

The most popular song on the island was a cover of ‘Guantanamera‘, by a Spanish band, Los Beta. It has a lilting, dreamy quality that I fell in love with, so I bought the 45 and played it to death after coming home. It’s still part of my record collection, and I listen to it once in awhile, instantly drifting back to that enchanted place and time. If you’d like to read more about the trip, including an exciting excursion to the Sahara Desert, click HERE.

Do you have a fond vacation memory?

Looking forward to your comments!


The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist:
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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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46 thoughts on “GUANTANAMERA | #AtoZCHALLENGE (G) #MusicalMemories

  1. That’s why I like Spanish. If I ever need to practice it, I need only connect with a few people whom, I know, speak Spanish. I do like French (cliche, I know) and Dutch as well. But Spanish, it’s going to be, if I’ll ever have to make a decision.

  2. You certainly was already well-traveled by the time you were a teen! That’s one great thing your mom gave you, the experience 🙂 …If ever I get the chance to learn another language, I’d probably choose Spanish.


    1. Yes, I was fortunate. 🙂 The only problem with experiencing so many adventures at a young age is, you develop a taste for them and get frustrated when you can’t afford to do them as often. Spanish is a good choice for a second language – it’s spoken in so many places.

  3. My version was Joan Baez.

    Every holiday was special as a child. Still special, though I get a bit fed up of the hoops they make us jump through at airports now.


    1. Yes, I’ve been reading your travelogues this month. 🙂 I couldn’t bring myself to go to a real bullfight. Was it hard to watch the bull getting killed?

  4. Hey! I’ve heard the song. 🙂 Sahara eh? Wow! I would love to see a flamenco performance live! The energy and precision in their movements is amazing. (Actually heaving a sigh of relief for Sunday!) Have a good weekend, Debbie!

  5. I know what you mean about the Latin types. They can make me swoon a bit for sure. I have to say, when my mom took my brother and myself to Graz, Vienna and Berchtesgaden, I was in love…we also went to Salzburg. I think every trip carries a beautiful memory.

    1. Yes, there’s something about those dark, smouldering good looks. 🙂 Your trip to Austria sounds like a major highlight for you, like this one was for me. Travel memories are the best! 😀

    1. It helps to live in Europe, with so many small countries close together. 🙂 ‘Multicultural’ is part of some of my bio blurbs.

  6. Great tune my friend. GUANTANAMERA was a favorite tune of my brother’s I remember. I never heard this version, but I like it. Haven’t talked to you in like forever. I sure hope you can also join us Monday for Monday’s Music Moves Me. Our theme is Grammy Tunes from the year you turned 18. Sound like fun? Anyways…. have a great weekend, and nice talking with you again. hugs

    1. Nice to see you, Marie. 🙂 I’m glad you like the tune. Thanks for the invitation, but it’s all I can do to (barely) keep up with this A to Z Challenge. 😛 Maybe next month. Thanks for dropping in.

  7. Apart from the memories associated with the song which are different (mine are of my Dad teaching me to dance to this! I do miss him!) it seems that just a year apart we share a similar “attraction” to the Latin Male! I had a crush on the waiter assigned to our table during the crossing on the “Raffaello” in 1965!

    1. There’s just something about those guys, isn’t there? I miss my father too, even though we lived thousands of miles apart. He’s the one who turned me on to computers. If only he knew what a monster he created! 😀

  8. It’s got a catchy tune. I’d probably play it to death too if I didn’t have so many posts still waiting to be read! 😛
    I love Spanish music… whatever little of it I have heard till now.
    Happy AtoZing!

  9. That’s a really nice song! I like it. I think it’s just fantastic that you’ve traveled so much during your life. You are definitely rich with experiences and fond memories. What a blessing!

    Have a great weekend,
    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Yes, I’ve had an interesting life, so far. 🙂 Wish I was a little richer in the cash department, though. I’d be travelling a lot more.

  10. The version of Guantanamera I am familiar with is the Sandpipers version, which I fell in instant love with back when it came out. What wonderful background music. When I was 12, I wrote an awful adventure story about a pilot who crashed in a remote part of the Canary Islands and found a civilization of intelligent canary people – obviously, I had been reading too much Edgar Rice Burroughs!

    1. The Sandpipers’ version is the one most people know. I like the lilting quality of this one more, likely because of the memories attached. Hahaha! Canary people in the Canary Islands. That could be interesting! 🙂

  11. This was such a big classic back when I was a kid. Been years since I heard it so a major nostalgia rush as the tune started.
    Most have my trips have been within India… sadly, have not been out of here in over 18 years. Need to correct that sometime soon.

    1. India has so many beautiful vacation spots! It’s understandable that you’d want to travel within your own country. Always fascinating to see other parts of the world as well, but it is so expensive! I’m glad you enjoyed the song. Thanks for visiting.

  12. What a magical vacation that must have been for you at twelve, Debbie. I found that such an impressionable age for me with lots of memories and emotions. I can see it was the same for you. How exciting to go to that exotic place with the cute waiter, the camels and that blend of cultures. So fun that the song transports you back to that time. Another very entertaining post. Love your series combining music with your memories.

    1. Yes, there were plenty of memories to draw on for this series (and music, of course). I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Cathy. 🙂 In hindsight, I wish I had been a little more adventurous in my outlook and would love to revisit many of these places.

  13. Guantanamera – one of my favourites. A fab choice for the letter G. I had not heard this version but any version of Guantanamera rocks. the version that I’ve heard is by the Sandpipers and I love their last verse – with the poor people of this earth I want to share my fate, the streams of the mountains please me more than the sea. Thank you for sharing an awesome song.

  14. Guantamera. Thanks! This brings back memories of great summer days 🙂
    Irgendwann man wurde das doch auf- und ab gespielt im Radio, oder? Aber ich glaub ich kenn ne andere Version!
    Thank’s so much for sharing!

  15. What an experience! I too like the dark Latin types and also married one.
    The song version I remember in the U.S. was by the Sandpipers. I remember discussing the lyrics in Spanish class.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. It was a remarkable trip, Lee, and one that I’ll never forget. Ah yes, those Latin types are the best. 🙂 We have a lot in common, it seems. The Sandpipers’ version is likely the most well-known in North America. Day off tomorrow. Good thing!

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