Discovering the Canary Islands: Travel Highlights of Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma and Lanzarote

Panoramic view of San Sebastian de La Gomera, with colorful houses and buildings nestled between lush green mountains and the sparkling blue sea.
Panoramic view of San Sebastian de La Gomera, with colorful houses and buildings nestled between lush green mountains and the sparkling blue sea.

Welcome to the Canary Islands, a paradise on earth! The archipelago, located off the coast of West Africa, is made up of seven volcanic islands, each with its own unique character and charm. From the stunning beaches to the rugged landscapes, the Canary Islands have something to offer for everyone. Our recent trip took us to six of the seven islands, and we cannot wait to share our experience with you.

Fuerteventura: Our trip began on the island of Fuerteventura, known for its long stretches of golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. We spent our days sunbathing and swimming in the turquoise sea. The island is also home to the Corralejo Natural Park, which boasts impressive sand dunes that reach up to 50 meters high. We highly recommend taking a stroll through the dunes and enjoying the beautiful views.

Tenerife: Next, we headed to the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife. The island is home to the Loro Parque, a stunning animal park that is a must-visit for animal lovers. The park is home to an array of animals, including dolphins, penguins, and even orcas. We highly recommend the Orca Ocean show, which is a highlight of the park.

Gran Canaria: Our next stop was Gran Canaria, where we visited the Poema del Mar Aquarium, a stunning aquarium that showcases the beauty and diversity of marine life. The aquarium is divided into three main areas: surface, deep ocean, and freshwater habitats. We highly recommend visiting the deep ocean exhibit, where you can see sharks, stingrays, and other fascinating creatures.

La Gomera: La Gomera is a small island that is known for its lush green forests and rugged terrain. We highly recommend taking a hiking trip through the Garajonay National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to a subtropical forest that is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

La Palma: La Palma is known as the ‘Pretty Island,’ and it is easy to see why. The island is covered in lush green forests and boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the Canary Islands. We highly recommend taking a stroll through the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, which is a vast crater that is home to unique plant species.

Lanzarote: Our final stop was Lanzarote, a volcanic island that is known for its stunning natural beauty. We visited the Jameos del Agua, a unique cave system that is home to an underground lake and a stunning concert hall. The concert hall is used for concerts and other events, and it is an unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, our trip to the Canary Islands was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will never forget. The islands offer something for everyone, from stunning beaches to unique natural beauty and fascinating animal parks. We highly recommend visiting the Loro Parque on Tenerife, Poema del Mar Aquarium on Gran Canaria, and Jameos del Agua on Lanzarote. We hope this blog post has inspired you to plan your own trip to the Canary Islands and experience the magic of this stunning archipelago.

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Madeira: Gorgeous Gardens and Coastal Cliffs

Panorama of Madeira, featuring the city of Funchal, the coastline, and the island's rugged peaks in the distance
This stunning panorama captures the beauty of Madeira, with its lush green hills, rugged coastline, and crystal-clear waters.

Madeira, the Portuguese island off the coast of Africa, is a true gem of the Atlantic Ocean. With its breathtaking landscapes, stunning coastal cliffs and year-round warm weather, Madeira is the perfect destination for nature lovers, foodies and adventure seekers alike. One of the most beautiful places on the island is Funchal, the charming capital, where you will find the stunning Monte Palace Tropical Garden and a wealth of other attractions.

First on your itinerary should be the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, a botanical paradise that covers over 70,000 square meters. Here you’ll find a diverse array of flora from around the world, including exotic plants from places like Japan, South Africa and Brazil. As you stroll through the garden, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, tranquil waterfalls, and colorful flowers. Take some time to relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this stunning garden.

Once you’ve had your fill of the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, head to the historic center of Funchal. Wander through the narrow streets and alleys and you’ll discover charming shops, cafes and restaurants. If you’re looking for a unique experience, take a ride on the traditional Monte Toboggan, a wooden sledge that races down the steep streets of Funchal at breakneck speed.

Next on your list should be a visit to the Mercado dos Lavradores, the colorful and bustling farmers’ market in the heart of Funchal. Here you can sample a wide variety of local delicacies, including fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables. Be sure to try the famous Madeiran honey cake, a delicious and sweet pastry that’s a staple of the island’s cuisine.

The cliffs of Cabo Girao are some of the highest in Europe and offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The recently built Skywalk allows visitors to walk on a glass platform that juts out from the cliff face, giving the sensation of walking on air. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but definitely worth it for the thrill-seekers and nature lovers.

Another amazing viewpoint in Madeira is Miradouro Girão. It’s a clifftop viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, coastline and sea. It’s a great place to watch the sunset or sunrise and take some stunning photos.

Finally, for a relaxing end to your trip, head to Praia Formosa Beach, a beautiful sandy beach with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can soak up the sun, swim in the clear blue waters or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shore.

All in all, a trip to Funchal and Madeira is sure to be an unforgettable experience. With its stunning gardens, charming streets and delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful island. So pack your bags, grab your camera and get ready to explore this incredible destination.

Exploring the Cascading Wonders of Franklin Falls Trailhead: A Must-See Hike Near Seattle

Scenic beauty of Franklin Falls Trailhead, showcasing the towering trees, and lush greenery.
Scenic beauty of Franklin Falls Trailhead, showcasing the towering trees, and lush greenery.

I love the Pacific Northwest of the United States, where the mountains meet the sea and adventure is always just around the corner. If you’re looking for a breathtaking hike that’s not too far from Seattle, look no further than the Franklin Falls Trailhead.

As someone who has spent countless weeks exploring Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest, I can tell you that the Franklin Falls Trailhead is one of the most rewarding hikes in the area. This easy-to-moderate trail winds through old-growth forest and alongside a babbling creek before reaching a stunning 70-foot waterfall.

The trailhead is located just an hour east of Seattle, making it the perfect day trip for both locals and visitors alike. The hike itself is only 2 miles roundtrip, with an elevation gain of just 400 feet, making it accessible for hikers of all levels.

But don’t let the short distance fool you – this hike packs a punch. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Snoqualmie River Valley, as well as lush forests filled with ferns, moss, and towering trees. And of course, the highlight of the trail is the stunning Franklin Falls, which cascades down a rocky cliff into a pool below.

If you’re visiting the Pacific Northwest, the Franklin Falls Trailhead is a must-see destination. And if you’re like me and consider this corner of the world a second home, it’s a hike you’ll want to revisit time and time again. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable Pacific Northwest adventure.

But our adventure doesn’t end there. Our next stop is Vancouver, a vibrant city just a few hours north of Seattle. With its stunning waterfront location, world-class cuisine, and endless cultural attractions, Vancouver is a city that truly has it all.

A thought on Artificial Intelligence in China

China is one of the largest AI markets in the world: the stakes of AI are very important for China as they represent the future of economic development. With the one-child policy, China has greatly aged its population, which will soon be in an imbalance of assets and liabilities. The development of AI and its potential for practical applications can enable China to continue its economic growth.

How China is winning in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Alibaba Campus
Alibaba Campus

Currently, I’m on a 4-week China trip, visiting many cities. In Hangzhou, I met CEIBS peers who work for Alibaba. While the Alibaba campus is quite impressive, I got even more impressed by Alibaba’s leadership culture, which is encouraging its employees to innovate as intrapreneurs.

If you start your own project (a new mobile app, a patent, a scientific paper, etc.), you’re doing it in your own pace, you’re not being micro-managed and you’ll receive a bonus based on success. Intrapreneurship at Alibaba is just one of many examples where we (Europeans) can learn a lot from China!

Yue and me, Hangzhou West Lake

While traveling in China I was reading AI Superpowers: China Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee, a book that is a must-read to get an idea where China’s AI ambitions are heading to. What matters most for AI innovation these days, the author argues, is access to vast quantities of data—where China’s advantage is overwhelming.

A quite entertaining book focusing on the new mindset of China’s young generation is this one: Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World by Zak Dychtwald.

: Which other cities in China did I visit? Check out my Tableau Public viz: