O Flower of Tenerife
When will we see…
No, I haven’t been on the vino, only I have.
Or been out in the Midday sun. Guilty too.
But I could be home, if it weren’t for the 30C temperature, the humdreds of volcanoes, 11 microclimates and rainforest… Need I go on.
It’s just that that’s a Scottish flag waving proudly.
And it’s not a Scottish exiles pub.
It’s there in the masthead of a local newspaper too.
Now there is a prosaic answer to why we share flags.
One theory goes that it’s because Admiral Lord Nelson lost a battle here and the flag was confiscated.
And the Tinerfenos confiscated it as spoils of war and adopted it as their national flag.
The flag, that is.
Convincing as that sounds, and the Scottish flag alas has flown over more defeats than victories. the romantic in me favours another story,
That St Andrew (or Andres) our shared patron saint visited the island (maybe they did package tours then from the Holy Land).
Just in time for the new wine.
Just to be sociable he imbibed.
When he was grabbing a siesta (our Andrew was a quick learner) the local bambinos tied pots and pans to him.
So when he awoke his language was not so much of the saintly kind.
You want to know more about Andy’s links to Scotland.
Well, the best place to go is a dovecot in Athelstaneford 32kms east of Edinburgh and the National Flag Heritage Centre.
St Andrew’s visits
Where the story of King Oengus II is played out.
The King of the Picts had a visit from Andrew, maybe after Oengus had too much wine too, on the eve of battle with the Angles.
Andrew had not come empty-handed either, he was promising a famous victory.
The next day Oengus and his army saw white clouds forming a diagonal cross across a blue sky.
A Scottish tale
Handy, as Andy had died on a disgonal cross.
And so the legend of the flag was born and St Andrew was adopted as patron saint of Scotland.
While our sister island Tenerife is too.
I’m here in Tenerife this week roadtesting the new www.caminoways.com frontier the Canaries www.canariaways.com. With flights from Dublin with www.aerlingus.com seven times a week and twice a week from Cork.
Fares start from €69.99.
And to get into the spirit if walking in Spain and what CaminoWays does here’s my Camino to Santiago A pilgrim’s prayer.