Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

We sailed from Tenerife to the north east coast of Grand Canary Island and anchored off the capital city of Las Palmas in the same bay where Columbus stopped in 1492.
Las Palmas has come a long way since 1492 and now it is a large modern city of almost 400,00 people. In contrast to the modern buildings, the historic core has been wonderfully preserved with its many plazas and small green spaces where people gather and children play.

Grand Canary is a mountainous island and Las Palmas is built in the foothills. One day we decided to walk to a business (to get our camera fixed) that looked to be about 3 miles away on the map. We never got there (that day) because the roads curved up and down extremely steep hills and at one point came to a deep ravine where we couldn’t find a bridge to cross so we walked ALL the way down to the bottom and ALL the way up again. It took us hours and hours and then we got lost so we hopped on a bus and headed back to the city core.
The next day, Steve made his way back by bus only to find that at 1:00 in the afternoon they were closed for siesta. He decided to camp out on their doorstep for a couple hours until they reopened only to find out that we had been shipped the wrong part from Canada and it would take them 4 weeks to get a new one. By then, we would be in the middle of the Atlantic.

Another day, we took an hour bus ride inland to an old town called Teror. There was nothing terrifying about the town but the bus ride had a few tense moments while navigating the blind, hairpin turns. In Teror, we walked through the narrow cobbled streets and viewed the old buildings and monuments and stopped for cappuccino at a café overlooking an old plaza. We walked up a very steep, winding street to the monastery where the nuns are rumored to bake delicious biscuits (but we’ll never know for sure because they too close at 1:00 for siesta).


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