I’ve just been wondering around the beautiful courtyard of the former Convent of Santo Domingo where up until Sunday, as part of the Agatha Christie Festival, they’re staging an exhibition of photos of Puerto de la Cruz in the 1920s, around the time the famous crime writer visited these parts.
Agatha Christie and her daughter, Rosalind visited Tenerife in 1927 and stayed at the Hotel Taoro in Puerto de la Cruz.
It was a difficult time for Agatha; her husband had fallen in love with another woman and had petitioned for divorce and her mother had recently died.
Agatha found peace and tranquillity in the garden of Sitio Litre in La Paz and inspiration, it is claimed, for the creation of her personal favourite character; The Mysterious Mr Quin’.
She also penned a short story while she was on the island; ‘The Man who Fell from the Sea’, a part of her Mysterious Mr Quin short story collection.
In 2007 Puerto staged the first ever International Agatha Christie Festival to mark the 80th anniversary of the great lady’s visit to the town and it was such a huge success that this year they’re currently running the festival again. As well as the exhibition there are theatre productions, screenings of ‘Mrs McGinty’s Dead’ and ‘The Mirror Crack’d’ in the original language, a vintage car exhibition and tea dances; and with Agatha’s portrait positioned all over the place as part of the proceedings, the town feels oddly British at the moment.
Still, any day now the mainlanders will arrive in their droves (economic crisis notwithstanding) and there’ll be a whole different feel to the place.