Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 14, 2011

5. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #4 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Hi All,

Let me stop you right here.  If you haven’t read 4. Port #3 Santa Cruz, Tenerife, scroll down below this blog and read it first, otherwise some of the things I say here might not make sense.  Today is Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, a sea day, and although I’m starting to write this blog there is no telling when I can post it, along with 4. Santa Cruz below.  The internet service on the ship has broken down, so unless we hit a port with Wi-Fi and me having time to post, it could be days before you see this.

Before we go around Las Palmas, I would like to make one last comment about Tenerife.  It is said that Santa Cruz and the island of Tenerife have the second best Carnival celebration in the world, only Rio in Brazil being better.

Now Las Palmas.  After the day we spent in Tenerife we decided to just walk around Las Palmas because the ship was docked right next to the city center.  History wise there isn’t much to add to what I covered before.  Gran Canaria (the island) is a volcanic island, as are all the Canary Islands.  Like Tenerife, it has been a stopping off port for navigators since the time of, and including, Columbus.  Also like Tenerife it is a major European tourist center, especially in the winter, although temperatures are like springtime year round.  In a recent study by the University of Syracuse, New York, Grand Canaria was declared the best climate in the world.  Apart from being a stopping off port for Columbus (all three of his voyages), the island was taken by the Dutch in 1598 and the major volcanic crater on the island, “Bandama” is derived from the Dutch Van Dam.  Later, of coarse, the Spanish took back the island.  Franco launched a military coup in July of 1936, starting the Spanish Civil War, from Gran Canaria.  San Antonio, Texas was founded in 1718 by a small group of settlers from the Canary Islands, and today is a sister city with Las Palmas.

As we arrived in the morning, a view of the port is not quite as impressive as Santa Cruz:

IMG_3141 Stitch

That building on the right side of the photo in front of the red bottomed boat is a huge shopping center.  Anyone want to guess what our first stop was, as we left the ship? 

No port sign, so I’ll show you the entrance to the local cruise terminal:


If you guessed our first stop leaving the port was the shopping center you were right (if you didn’t you don’t know Susy):


Leaving the shopping center we stepped into the city center and one of the largest parks, called “Parque de Santa Catalina”:


The photo above is the bay side of the park, but as we walked along the park continued on the other side of the street with many of the famous Dragon trees:


The park also had it’s cactus garden:


and finally along the back of the park was an outdoor café area where Susy and I stopped going and coming to relax and have a “cool” one:


As we strolled down the streets here’s some of the sites:




Our one major stop was, of course, “El Corte Ingles”, where Susy, who owned the one in Zaragoza, had a field day.  Believe it or not, other than a coffee in the Corte café, we bought nothing.  Susy tried her hardest, but it seems she has become a “Macy’s” person and given up her rein of the “Corte”.

Just as a matter of interest, I wanted to show you the modern version of the London double decker bus:


Well, that’s it for Las Palmas, we headed back to the ship, stopping again in the sidewalk café and the shopping center.  By that time we had walked ourselves out and were glad to see the ship:


It’s on to Arrecife, Lanzarote, the next day, the last of the Canaries, and Susy’s next major adventure, riding a camel.

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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