A memorable trip to Tenerife


Today I went to Tenerife with my son.

The first attempt to land at Tenerife North airport was aborted due to “mumble-crackle-mumble” but we both thought he said, “dead animals on the runway”.


Anyway, the second attempt at landing was routine. So we went and did the stuff we’d planned, and I got on with my whodunnit, then we had some time to spare before catching the return flight, so we caught the tram to the science museum.

I like the tram. I can read without getting motion sickness. So my son was playing with his hand held console and I was deep in a whodunnit when


screeches of tearing metal and human screams, and the window on the other side of the carriage cracked and sagged inwards. Of course that made the window opaque, so I had no idea what had happened, and for about 3 mad seconds I thought it was a bomb. Actually a lorry had backed into the tram. Thank Cthuhlu, the worst injuries were superficial cuts and scratches, but it was startling and unsettling since we were only about 2 m from the impact. I helped one young woman mop up the dribble of blood where the safety glass had grazed her leg. I think the sympathy was more important, although she was very brave, considering that her head must have been just 10 cm from the impact!

Major kudos to the engineers who designed those carriages. The obviously did a damn good job of designing around probable accidents.

The damaged tram, seen from outside, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The damaged tram. The floor inside is covered with little squares of safety glass.

Once it was established that nobody was seriously hurt, the tram limped onto the next station where we all got off and waited for the next one. I had time to grab this photo, although I wish I had one of the inside view. Three ambulances arrived to deal with the grazes and small cuts. (Much better than sending too few. If in doubt, turn them out.)

It could all have been very much worse, but I’ve had better trips.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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