Wanderings from Gran Canaria - 2


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Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria
October 3rd 2013
Published: October 5th 2013
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We have wandered more widely during the past week. We caught a 'glass bottom ferry' from the harbour in Puerto de Mogan for a trip around three headlands to the tourist resort of Puerto Rico. It was a very pleasant trip the sea breeze cooling us down as we watched the changing landscape - from high sea cliffs with surf pounding at their bases to inlets and bays with the cliffs covered by mainly white apartment blocks and tourist hotels. In contrast nothing apart from blue sea could be seen through the small panel of glass comprising the 'glass bottom ferry'! We found Puerto Rico to be, almost totally, a 'tourist town' - not really our sort of place!! A wander around town, through the shopping complex, where even WanderingAlison was unable to find anything of interest, a snack for lunch and then possibly the highlight of the day - a game of crazy golf - we had not played for decades!!

Another day saw us breaking the habit of the holiday so far by getting up before dawn so that we could catch an early direct bus to the capital of Gran Canaria - Las Palmas. We enjoyed wandering around most of the Old Town - seeing Catedral de Santa Ana, Casa de Colon, Mercado de la Vergueta, small plazas and the main pedestrianised shopping street The Triana.

Casa de Colon is a bright yellow-coloured colonial building with three central courtyards where the Spanish Governor used to reside. It is also known as Columbus' House as it was likely that Christopher Columbus visited the Governor in the the 15th Century while en route for America. The house is laid out as a museum with many exhibits detailing Columbus' voyages. There are also interesting navigational instruments, details of cartographical development as well paintings from the 16th century. The museum is informative and well worth a visit.

A short walk along narrow streets and alleys brought us out into the relatively large Plaza de Santa Ana lined by impressive buildings. The large imposing Catedra del Santa Ana on one side with the Casa Consistorial on the directly opposite side. Rather unexpectedly numerous bronze statues of large dogs, apparently guarding the Plaza, were present near the Cathedral. The Dog statues, almost 100 years old, are symbolic of Gran Canaria, representing large highland dogs after which, it is thought, the island is named.

We always like to visit local markets and Mercado de la Vergueta did not disappoint being colourful and lively with the traders noisily selling their wares. Small stalls were filled with all manner of food items, consisting of ranks of colourful fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and salt fish.

Lunch now beckoned and following advice from our guide book we headed for El Herreno, situated very close to the Mercado de la Vergueta, which served typical Canarian tapas. There was indeed a wide choice of tapas, which were tasty, good value and gave us the opportunity of sampling typical Canarian food in a traditional restaurant, in which locals also frequented - always a good sign.

Back in Puerto de Mogan, the following day, we ascended steep steps, approximately 240 apparently, but it felt like a lot more in the heat, which took us between small old houses of the original fishing village up the steep cliff face. We were able to see daily life in this small community through opened doors and windows - washing dishes here, filleting fish on the wall outside the front door there - and everyone wished us 'buenos dias' as we toiled upwards. The climb up to a viewpoint was worth the effort however, with extensive views across virtually all of Puerto de Mogan to the central mountains of Gran Canaria in the distance. It was just a shame the weather was somewhat grey and cloudy which obviuosly had an adverse effect on the photographs!! Once back down to sea level we headed for the jetty, the only area where we hadn't wandered. This took us along the side of a small working ship yard, where yachts and fishing vessels were being renovated and painted. A small colourful fishing fleet was in the harbour, providing fresh fish for a fish restaurant on the harbours edge and then out to a lighthouse at the end of the jetty. On the way back we decided to stop at the fish restaurant, Cofradia de Pescadores, which is run by the local fisherman's guild. We certainly enjoyed our seafood paella!!

A couple of lazy days relaxing enjoying the hot sunshine and now packing for out flight home to autumn later today.


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