Legend of Garajonay
According to the legend in la Gomera (Spanish island), there were seven places where you could find magical water, whose origin is a mystery. These seven streams apart from giving power, it revealed if you were going to find love by looking at its waters. If the water was clean and transparent you were going to find someone, but if the water was murky then there was not much you could expect. In the village fair of “Beñesmén” a group of youngsters went to “Los chorros de Epina” (Epina Stream), to look at themselves in the water. One of them was Gara, princess of Agulo. She leant out and at the beginning it showed a calm image but suddenly black shadows started to appear and the water became rough. Gerián, the wiseman, made a warning: “You will have to accept what will happen. Escape from the fire, Gara, or it will make you disappear”. Gara kept her thoughts to herself but the sad premonition started to be the talk of the village.
The days prior to the village fair, the “Menceyes” from Tenerife (the royal family) arrived to the village. The “Mencey” (King) from Adeje came with his son Jonay, a strong and handsome boy. Gara could not stop looking at him, and when they looked each other in the eye, they instantly fell in love. After that their engagement was announced, but while the news started to spread out, the volcano “Teide” started to spit lava with so much power that from la “Gomera” the sight was terrifying. They remembered the premonition given to Gara, princess of the water,”You will have to accept what will happen. Escape from the fire, Gara, or it will make you disappear”, on the other side Jonay, prince of the fire (volcano in Tenerife). That relationship was not possible. Bad moments would come if they did not break up, therefore their parents ordered them not to see each other again. When the volcano died down and the village fair was over, it was time to go back to Tenerife, but one of the visitors was specially upset and heartbroken.
It is told that Jonay jumped into the water in the middle of the night, while everybody was sleeping and swam back to the island to meet his beloved one. He had two animal bladders round his waist to help him float, it was a long and difficult journey, he reached the coast at the crack of dawn. He went in search of his beloved and when they met they held each other tight and escaped through the forests of “Gomera” and beyond a cedar they slept together all night. Gara´s father found out and he furiously went in search of his daughter. When they caught them, the only way out was a sharp stick between them and that was the end. They looked at each other and pressed the stick until they died, leaving them joint for ever after. Gara, princess of the water and Jonay prince of the fire gave their name to the highest peak in “Gomera”, National Park of Garajonay.
Legend of a Ghost island (San Borondon), Fuerteventura
There are 7 canary islands in Spain, however people think there’s an eight one. We’re talking about the ghost island, the mysterious island, “San Borondon’s island”.
San Borondon comes from the name of an Irish monk, “Saint Brendan”(480-576), who took part in one of the most famous legends of the Celtic culture: The travel of Saint Brendan to the promised land, island of the fortune, happiness and the blessed.
Brendan and his fellows arrived to a mysterious island. It was full of trees and vegetation. They were celebrating mass when suddenly the island started to move. It was a giant, marine creature, they were situated on its back.
After an eventful journey, Brendan managed to return back home.
A lot of people stated, on the basis of this story, that Irish sailors probably reached the north American coast, Iceland and the north Atlantic islands, in the middle ages.
The thing is that from the 15th Century, during the conquest of the canary islands, stories start to be heard about an eighth island, seen from west of La Palma, Hierro y la Gomera. When sailors approached the coast of this eighth island, watching the mountains and valleys, the island started to be enveloped by a strange mist and disappeared.
This island was quickly identified as the mythical whale-island of Saint Brendan, whose name, Canary Islands, was changed to “San Borondón”. They strongly believed in the existence of this island and some sailors even swore they had landed their, and had explored it before it disappeared again.
In the archival files of the 15th Century, you can find many official researches, carried out by the authorities of “El Hierro”, in which a dozen people witnessed the sight of this enchanted island. As a result of this, an expedition left from Tenerife to discover this island.
It’s amazing how this legend is still alive in the popular, Canarian folklore. San Borondón is still a constant in the imagination of all natives of the Canary Islands and I’m sure that a lot of them still watch the horizon, expecting the island to emerge through the mist.
For centuries, even after the Spanish conquest, people thought the canary islands were the top of the Atlantis mountains, the large, submerged continent, mentioned by Platón in ” Timeo & Critias”
Atlantis was a large island, ” more than Libia and Asia together”, located on the other side of the Hercule’s pillars (the straits of Gibraltar). It was under control of Poseidón, god f the sea and it was inhabited by the Atlantes, descendants of Atlas, his first king, son of the same god and a mortal woman.
The Atlantis had other kind of riches, its village was the most progressed of the World, and in the center was the great city with the palace and the temple of Poseidón. His scientists passed on his knowledge and civilisation to the rest of the villages, with whom they kept in peace.
The Atlantes inhabitants were for ages, faithful to their laws of justice, generosity and peace. As time went by, they degenerated and became greedy and warlike. Others say they discovered the secrets of the gods, secrets of cosmic energy and power capable of destroying human nature.
11.500 years ago, Zeus, king of gods, punished the Atlantes and during the night, volcanic eruptions and seaquakes destroyed the island in a cataclysm of cosmic proportions.
According to the Atlantic legend, the islands of Azores, Madeira, Canary and Cabo verde are the only traces left from Atlantis, what it once were the high peaks of the lost continent. The palaces and temples are still on the bottom of the sea, in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Today the monumental palaces are inhabited by dolphins and the seaweed covers the gardens and meadows…”
(Jacinto Verdaguer – “The Atlantis”)
Do you want to know more about these legends?