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Back to Jamón and Cervezas!

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

View Morocco 2022 & Morocco Tour on margofiala's travel map.

There are eight inhabited Canary Islands, and we had been to four the last time we were here in 2021 during Covid. We had decided to go back to Lanzarote but wanted to visit a new island too. So when the direct flight from Marrakesh to Gran Canaria came up, we booked it.


First things first - Spain = Jamon, right?


We were happy to be back in the land of jamon and cervezas, not that we couldn’t find a beer in Morocco if we went looking for it, but we certainly were not having ham! Our first night was spent is a very Spanish tapa bar enjoying all the food we missed (sorry, we ate too fast, no pictures):


Las Palmes de Gran Cañaría is the largest city in the Canary Islands at almost 400,000 people but shares the status of capital of the Canaries with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. (How do you “share” being the capital?) Anyways, it has a real mainland Spain feel, we could have been in a mini Malaga or Barcelona. It has the reputation of being more cosmopolitan than the other islands with a broader mix of ethnic groups, as well as a large international port and cruise ships. It is a real working city, not as dependent on tourism as the other islands.


We stayed at Suite 1478, (a restored mansion from 1478), conveniently located in Vegueta, the oldest part of the city. It was very special, extremely comfortable and great service, we would highly recommend it if you were visiting there. https://suites1478.com/en/

The entrance and reception:


The rooftop terrace, right outside our room:


Our room:


View from our terrace, the top of Catedral de Santa Ana:


And from the street, an impressive building:


Interesting, in front of the Cathedral were several sculptures of dogs, each looking up at the church:


We couldn’t find any information or plaque in the area, so googled it and found out that there are several possible reasons as to why the dogs are there looking up at the church and no agreement on which is correct. The one we like the best is that they were placed there in honor of the Guanches (indigenous peoples of the islands), who worshiped dogs and treated them as holy animals. The only facts we could find was that the statues were placed in the 1890s, are made of bronze and were cast in Paris.

The next day was bright and sunny, so we decided to walk to the beach at the north end of the city called Playa de Las Canteras. We saw several sights on the way, starting with this fountain that reminded us of the porcelain frog fountains in Maria Luisa Park in Seville:


Parque San Telmo, with it’s cool café:


The Pedro Galdos monument (writer and playwright, Spanish activist for the people of the Canary Islands):

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A great place for dog walking, we met a lovely Italian woman out walking her pup:


Another beautiful park, Parque Doramas, in the more upscale part of the city:


This plant reminded me of amaranthus, a very cool plant that grows in Denver but was slightly different. The flowers were soft and felt like fleece:


Santa Catalina Park, right near the port and cruise ships:


We stopped for a jamón (ham) feeding at Bodegon El Biberon, another place right out of Barcelona:


We finally made it to Playa de Las Canteras. Wow! A big crescent shaped beach with a reef protecting it. It reminded us of Playa La Concha in San Sebastian (Northern Spain):


We love walking on beaches, and this was no exception. We even spotted a paddle boarder out by the reef:


We had a great dinner at Triciclo, a restaurant our hotel had recommended. It was amazing, we enjoyed wine from Lanzarote and my dinner was moving when it arrived – not because it was alive, but from the heat. That’s weird!


It was December 2, and the Christmas lights were on:


Time for a pit stop, nothing like Spanish vermut (where are Zane and Derise?):


Next day was rainy but we made the best of it. Our great hotel provided a self-guided walking tour map of Vegueta, the old quarter. Our plan was to duck into one if we were getting soaked but luckily it held off. We spent the day trying to follow a paper map 🤔 and ogling all the historic buildings, the whole area is like an outdoor museum:

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A cool street where many arts museums are located, notably the Visual Arts Center of Gran Canaria:


San Antonio Abad Chapel:


Museum of Religious Art:


The Plaza del Espíritu Santo, a lovely little garden with a covered fountain built in 1645:


The San Francisco de Borja Church, which also could be seen from our hotel’s rooftop terrace (the steeple):


The old town hall:


The Guiniguada Theatre:


The Vegueta Mercado, fresh everything for sale:


Christopher Columbus House, the most visited museum in the Canary Islands. There is lots of history here related to Christopher Columbus, as this was his last stop before heading out to the Americas:


The Palace of Justice, with it’s Audience Tower:


The Canaria Museum:


Plaza de Santa Domingo:


The manager at our restaurant last night recommended we try 928 Capital the following night. A very creative selection of Spanish, Mexican, Asian and American dishes, a good recommendation: (wine from Lanzarote, spinach and feta cheese rolls, Mexican octopus ceviche, pulled pork tacos, curry chicken, chocolate brownie)

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Early the next morning we picked up a rental car and headed to the mountains in the center of the island (Destination: Tejeda, a town at one of the highest points on the island). Our first stop was Agüimes, a pretty little Spanish town where we planned to grab coffee and stretch our legs. We arrived to a big Christmas celebration – there were people everywhere, a bouncy castle, Christmas market and nowhere to park. Ugh. We made it fast, check out the old pharmacy now cafe/bar:


Our second stop was the Barranco de Guayadeque, a large gorge coming down from the mountain to the ocean. Very dramatic and narrow, windy roads:


As we climbed to the top the clouds rolled in and we lost visibility. Not good as we only had one night at the top and the view was the main draw. We had booked the Parador de Tejeda so that we could spend the afternoon/morning gazing at the spectacular view. We even booked the spa so we could gaze from their cliffside pool. Some things just aren’t meant to happen!

Our view:


And … the view on a clear day from the Parador’s pool (picture complements of Google):


The weather hadn’t changed by morning, so we headed down the mountain. It cleared about halfway down:


We stopped at Caldera de Bandama, (200m/656 ft deep & 1 km/.6 mile diameter) on the way down. Very impressive views:


… and a golf course nearby. Next time Dean!


Before heading to the airport we stopped at Playa de Melenara for lunch – great fresh fish (dorado) and nice to be in the sun again:


Next stop: Our second home in Haria, Lanzarote…can’t wait! ❤️ It will be great to see Marcus, Heidi and all their animals!

PS. Mask’s are required on public transportation in Spain:


Posted by margofiala 12:21 Archived in Spain

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The last picture of Dean is the best so far!

by Johndotbike

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