Gran Canaria in three days (Part 1: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
Gran Canaria in 3 days (Part 1: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
Hello everyone, this is my first ever article on a blog, so I hope it will be ok.
Me and my wife visited Gran Canaria (one of Canary Islands that are part of Spain) a couple of weeks ago, we spent just 1 week there, but the island is so great for sightseeing that I decided to write a short guide for those of you who want to see as much as possible for 3 days, and still have some time to relax on the beach, at the pool or get crazy in one of many discos.
Our hotel was in Maspalomas, and as our first trip, we took a direct bus (Line 50) to the capital city of the island - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Its 2 best districts for sightseeing are Vegueta and Triana (the oldest parts of the city), and you can get off the bus on a bus stop between them. We started from Vegueta, and the first landmark which is worth visiting, is Casa de Colon (the House of Columbus). It is belived that when Christopher Columbus visited the island, he stayed in one of the houses that are now combined and house a nice museum with many interesting artifacts from Central America, the history of the Canary Islands, models of medieval ships, 2 poor parrots that look quite scarred when you try to approach them and a couple of other interesting items. Apart from that, the houses themselves have a very interesting architecture and it is worth visiting them. Here is an external view of this building, although it actually presents the entrance to the museum shop and exit from the museum. The entrance to the museum is located at the back of the whole structure.
When you leave the building, you can take a look at the rear view of the Cathedral of Santa Ana (or the Holy Basilica of the Canary Islands):
The building is really impressive and you can also sit down and relax in one the the Cafes which are located at the square, and drink great coffee (we took coffee with milk and condensed milk, and it was just unbelievable!). After this short break, we wanted to see the Cathedral. The entrance fee is not high and before you actually enter the church, you can first take a look at the collection of many religious artifacts in the Museum of Sacred Arts. It is not allowed to use a tripod or publish the photos from inside of the Cathedral, so I do not include any of them.
After you leave the church, you can go to the main square of Vegueta, see the City Hall and the front view of the Cathedral:
It is also good to enter the tower of the Cathedral, from which you can have a spectacular view on the whole district and also other parts of the city, including the harbour:
After leaving the Cathedral and square, you can buy some souvenirs in one of the shops nearby and also visit the traditional Spanish market in Vegueta (Mercado in Spanish), where you can see some tropical fish, typical vegetables, fruits and spices:
After leaving Vegueta, we decided to eat lunch in one of many restaurants of Triana, but if you do not like local cuisine, you can always visit McDonald's ;) After lunch we wanted to have a better view of the whole city and harbour and we decided to take a walk to one of the hills, at which there were some fortifications in the past. Nowadays the fort is turned into a museum, but the opening hours are just hilarious - from 10am-1pm! They even do not have a 'siesta' break, which is usual for Spain, they just close the place at 1pm. You didn't make it earlier? Well, not our problem... Anyway, the walk up the hill is quite exhausting, but the view compensates everything! Especially the Cathedral stands out nicely from the surrounding buildings, but the whole city looks great as well:
After we went down from the hill it was already getting late and we had to hurry to catch a bus back to Maspalomas (you can take line 50 - last course is around 6pm or line 30, also direct one, which goes until around 10pm), so we did not have a chance to see the harbour and other parts of the city, but anyway the trip was great.
I hope you will enjoy my post and in the next part of my mini-guide I will try to describe a tour round the island that we had with rented car.
Photo credits: Tomasz Czajkowski.