Saturday 10 July 2010

Holiday Snaps: It is hot in Las Palmas

Formula 1 bus travel

I have always loved visiting Las Palmas the capital of the island of Gran Canaria. In fact, it is known in full as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and it has that dreamy feel of paradise not too far from home and a wonderful experience.

From Playa del Inglés it is just an hour by bus, buses driven as if Fernando Alonso is at the wheel, you must brace yourselves, but it is nothing like plying the swivelling helter-skelter route to Puerto de Mogan to the West of Playa del Inglés.

The English Cut

I have visited a few museums including the Christopher Columbus residences on other visits but the shopping experience at El Corte Inglés translates to English cut is quite good fun, it is big, basically the Harrods of Spain on 6 floors in 2 buildings with a major road between them.

The driver was kind enough to let me out before the Santa Catalina bus station at the long-wait traffic lights at the junction to the road that leads up to El Corte Inglés.

There is no doubt that I feel quite safe shopping there than any of the other shops down in Playa del Inglés, something about prices being in plain view without the hanky-panky of less-than-scrupulous shopkeepers give a sense of safety and security.

Stripping Spanish notepads

I was able to look for a camera and also get Miquelrius notepads which I have not obtained anywhere else, I am not a Moleskin fan at all, Miquelrius, a Spanish firm just has that right feel about them. It has saved me a trip to Barcelona again, I have wondered how to get the notepads especially when the specific type I bought in November 2007 is no more available – the pictures on the website did not convey as well as sight and touch afforded me today.

The Spaniards never expected to meet the Netherlands at the World Cup finals, they seem to have catered for country strips of all the big footballing nations as France (deplorable), Italy (disappointing), Argentina (overwhelmed), Brazil (expendable), England (unfortunate) and Germany (promising) apart from our Netherlands (excellent). Well, Spain was all over the place with every kind of brand, I just could not think of spending EUR 80- on a polo shirt.

For that slight however, I expect Spain to be punished with the relentless dominance of total football by the Netherlands tomorrow, the little shop outside El Corte Inglés was doing orange t-shirts for a pittance, it was not hard to dip my hands in my pockets for one.

Restaurants closed for a nap

Then a walk up to Santa Catalina to Le Muelle the shopping mall of affordables, if one might put it that way, and how I had forgotten that Spanish restaurants do have breaks during the late afternoons that I had to make do with a snack.

The Port of Las Palmas is quite a busy place, with heaps of containers with supplies for the whole island, though I do wonder why when translated signs are put up no one cares to consult native speakers to ensure the English signs are correct. Oh! I forgot; if the British Center (sic) was anything to go by, I have to forgive all the Spanish mistakes, now, that leaves one rather irked if those whose mother-tongue it is, fail to conform to correct usage.

With it being about 30° Celsius beyond the shade, it is no time to walk along the northern beach promenade, just viewing the city from this high level, the fourth, should suffice as I wait to catch the bus 30 back to Playa del Inglés again.

I believe I will pay another visit here before I return home in just about 11 days'.

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