Friday, April 03, 2009

Say What?

While we were in Lanzarote, we went on a couple of bus tours to see some of the sights of the volcanic island. As we were passing through the town of Teguise, the former capital of the island, the tour guide pointed out a castle on top of the hill overlooking the town. Telling us something about its history, including pirates, she then said that more recently it had become an 'Amy Grant museum.'

That's strange, I thought. I didn't imagine that Christian singer Amy Grant would be so popular in the Canaries. Did she have a huge following amongst the residents of Lanzarote?

Well, she must have, as the tour guide went on to explain that islanders had brought tickets and photos and momentos to be placed in the museum. So it must be true - a museum dedicated to the Lazarote love of Amy Grant.

And then I realised what she had actually said. Not an Amy Grant museum, but an Emigrant Museum! Lanzarote was one of the last islands to be developed for tourism, so for a long time it had been the poor relation of the Canary Islands, and people had to move away, emigrate, to find work and money. With the rise in the tourism industry, the islanders had returned, and thus had formed the museum in Santa Barbara castle dedicated to their emigrants!

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