This week, while in the beautiful Canary Islands for our annual family vacation, we visited this world-famous Dragon Tree in Icod de Los Vinos in Tenerife for the first time. I have been looking forward to this for so long: I have seen pictures of it in previous years and it looked stunning, but I kept prioritising other sightseeing outings, but this year, is the opposite, I just felt like a calling that I just had to visit!
Maybe because it has a magical story to it and I am more open to the universe at large and I am more aware of all that is? Maybe because my heart is more open to feel than to think and for a while now, I have been following my heart for many decisions rather than my mind. I do have a connection with the energy of the mountains, and if you recall my blog post last year called DRAGON QUEEN something in Tenerife really lights my fire every year, and brings out a creative force in me. I feel so attracted to these surroundings and to fantasy creatures. Maybe that is why I love the book “The Neverending Story” so much. I’m sure many of you remember the blockbuster movie in the 80s and were enamoured with it too!
What happened to me when I did visit was quite overwhelming. After a few minutes totally mesmerised by its beauty, (The photos do not make it justice), I felt my body shaking from my stomach core upwards, and a mix of uncontrollable emotions including joy, sadness, like a feeling of home coming, and I could not suppress the tears from the immense feeling. I know it may sound weird and you might think I’m going crazy but what I felt was almost like a blessing from it, a healing from the Earth if that makes sense. I’m sharing my experience without you, without filtering it because it’s the truth, I’m not ashamed to share it – and maybe if others out there had a similar experience with a certain place, then I would be very interested to hear or read their story! It’s something to do with connections and energies. I am certain of that.
ABOUT THIS TREE
Well, let me give you some information I learnt about it! Legend has it that on dying, dragons are changed into dragon trees and if this is so, then most well-known tree in the Canary Islands, that is still standing must have been a very powerful dragon because it is huge and visually mesmerising. This living fossil is, deservedly, one of the symbols of the archipelago and perhaps the greatest treasure in Spanish flora. Seeing the curious shape of the dragon tree, it is not surprising that it the ancient inhabitants considered it a “divine tree” and I was kind of being called to go see it – so we did!
There are several imposing dragon trees in the Canary Islands. At the end of the eighteenth century, the explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt was particularly interested by a dragon tree in the Jardines de Franchy (La Orotava), a 25 metre high giant with a 23 metre girth which, unfortunately, was fell due to strong winds in 1867.
THE LARGEST DRAGON TREE IN THE WORLD
So, at the present time, 2019, the biggest and most famous dragon tree is this one in Icod de los Vinos (Tenerife). It stands 17 metres high and measures 20 metres around its trunk. The weight of this massive tree is approximately 150 tons without counting the roots.
Its precise age is the subject of much discussion and it has been said that it could be more than five thousand years old. However, recent estimates believe it to be no more than 800 to 1000 years old.
WHY ELSE IS THIS POPULAR/ IMPORTANT ABOUT THIS TREE?
The ‘Dracaena Draco’ to give it its proper name, is a native species to the Canary Islands, and is used as an official plant symbol of Tenerife.The Dragon tree get its name from the red sap the tree produces, and is known as dragon’s blood. This red resin was used in ancient times as a dye, used in medication and wound healing, as well as warding off evil spirits.
The sap was also believed to be cure leprosy and was for time exported to Italy to stain violins and marble. In medieval times this red sap was claimed by some encyclopaedias to literally be the blood from dragons that had been slain in combat.
The tree is believed to have been used by the native Guanche people, the aboriginal inhabitants as a place or worship and sacred rituals. I wonder why!
Am I the only one who loves these stories? And why I am I more inclined to believe that they hold a lot of truth rather than they just being Myths?!
Blogger at graziellecamilleri.com
Wearing: Jewellery by GABA Malta
Thought I d share this experience with you all as we travel through this Canarian Island. Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences or discoveries in Tenerife here at the bottom of my blog or on the social media Facebook and Instagram pages where I also share content from our travels.