Daily Recap of Vacation in Gran Canaria
Saturday April 16th
Arrived in Las Palmas. Cab driver Genaro (+34 696 43 00 77) arranged by Galia AirBnB host. Took 15 min and cost 30 euros.
Walked boardwalk, grabbed lunch at beach front restaurant around the corner from the apartment (Massiraffa Canteras). Went grocery shopping at Dino 3 blocks from the apartment.
Came back to apartment to relax and was lulled to sleep on balcony cabana with the sound of the waves.
Sunday April 17th
Breakfast: Mad Bread. The Palmeras are delish!!!
Lazy beach day. Men in thongs and topless women are the norm…it is clearly culturally accepted as parents even let little kids run around naked. If you go to the beach and feel awkward about it, you will be the only one that does.
Lunch: Restaurante Pizzeria Al Maccaroni
Monday April 18th
Breakfast: Mad Bread…get the Palmeras
Rainy day. Relaxed on the apartment’s balcony.
Lunch: Taberna Chica
Tuesday April 19th
Breakfast: Granier…best orange juice Wil has ever had
Toured Las Palmas historic district.
Take the yellow bus #12 to the old part of the city (1,40 euros per person). From there it is about a 5 minute walk to Casa de Colón 4 euros per adult (Columbus’ House) and Cathedral Basilica de Santa Ana.
Lunch at Pata Mig. It’s in the shopping district near the sites mentioned above. Must try the local dish a tapas plate with potatoes, pork shoulder, cheese, with onions and red peppers. It was delish!
Take the yellow bus #12 to get back to the apartment.
Wednesday April 20th
To Maspalomas (Playa de Maspalomas): Taxi 65 euros…took 45min
Day Activities: Dunes/Beach/Pedicure/Boardwalk/Lunch at Grand Italia
Maspalomas VERY touristy…with a big population of them being German/British. Boardwalk loaded with mainstream shops and lots of restaurants. Beaches and dunes were beautiful! Heads up: portions of beach are completely nude sections.
Back to Las Palmas: Blue Global Bus #30 cost 6,80 euros per person…took 1hr (stops along the way)
Late night walk then dinner: Hamburger joint next to the apartment
Thursday April 21st
Relaxing day….made breakfast, then went for a 4 mile walk. While out we stopped by a local surf teaching spot to request lessons on SUP (stand up paddle).
Lunch: Casa Roja…another great Italian restaurant on the boardwalk.
Went to class thinking it was for SUP…found out we were doing surfing lessons instead. 😀 (Brisa School…instructor: Oswald) The lessons were challenging. We both were able to stand up at least 1x, but the teacher kept calling me a pussy (would actually just meow at me, i know it sounds crazy) because I was hesitating to stand. Oswald was so excited to have a guy Wil’s size try to learn to surf, especially when he found out he had played basketball. At the end he asked to take a picture with him so he can post it on the Brisa website to show they taught an American basketball player how to surf. LOL (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Even after the sore muscles and bruised knees, we both had an amazing time, and I think I found a new hobby.
Dinner: Restaurante Pizzeria Al Maccaroni
Friday April 22nd
Hiking Tour with FreeMotion near Maspalomas…we were supposed to go on the hiking tour, but after doing research online for the Global bus schedule then going to the station to leave, we found out that the times at the station were drastically different from those on the website. Meaning we weren’t going to make the tour. As a piece of advice for us and others that should travel, make sure you double-check the times on the website with the actual times the bus leaves.
Instead the day turned into a lazy beach day 🙂 The weather was perfect…I was able to watch kids/adults practice what I believe to be beach tennis. Starting on Sunday there is a major tournament on the beach.
Saturday April 23rd
Depart Gran Canaria
Would we go back?
Would choose to stay in LasPalmas over Maspalomas on our next visit. LasPalmas is much less touristy and gives you a better feel of the people and culture. In Maspalomas it felt as though your interaction with the people was only as service providers vs being able to live with them in LasPalmas. We didn’t come to GranCanaria to be with Germans/British, we came to experience the culture of the Spanish.
The only downside to staying in the north part of the island is that most of the cool excursions to bike/hike/stargaze/etc only provide transfers from hotels in Maspalomas or Puerto Rico areas. This means to get there you have to rent a car, take a taxi (at least 60 euros), or take the bus ( no more than 9 euros per person) to get there. The trip in 45 min to an hour, but it’s not very convenient, especially if you get the bus schedule wrong. LOL
Everyone we encountered here in Las Palmas was lovely. Very warm and welcoming even when we struggled with the language. We did notice how few Africans we saw. When we did see the few they would always do “the nod” to Wil or wave at him. It was similar to how black in the US acknowledge each other. It’s to say, “i see you” when there aren’t many of you around.
What was cool was people seemed to be less judgmental about size or looks. There were different shapes/sizes, and shades of red. LOL The entire week I did not see one woman in a one piece bathing suit. They were either in a bikini (bikini bottoms were mostly thongs) or topless. I felt completely secure in my suit vs feeling judged…by the end of the week I was contemplating buying a bathing suit with a thong bottom…not to show off my butt, but bc I can and would feel sexy. Oh, also to ensure my butt wouldn’t have a tan line. LOL
While we are living in Belgium, we look forward to coming back and exploring more of this island and possibly visiting others.
Salut Las Palmas!