The whole idea of going to Las Palmas started after me and my girlfriend bought flight tickets to visit her family in Seville, Spain. The plan was to stay there for 1 week and then fly to Santander, from Santander to Barcelona and from Barcelona to Bratislava. But for me it wasn’t enough so just from curiosity I had started looking for some possible flights from Seville just to go somewhere for a couple of days and there it was. I bought a cheap Ryanair flight from Seville to Gran Canaria which would depart the same day we arrived to Spain. I only had a few hours between our arrival from Bratislava to Málaga from where we booked a ride with a nice guys via www.blablacar.es to Seville. So finally after whole day traveling I was again at the airport, at the third one in one day ready to go to Gran Canaria for the first time.
After arriving to Gran Canaria, I have started looking for an address of my host Ivan from www.couchsurfing.org. I was pleasantly welcome at his beautiful and comfortable flat situated in the center of Las Palmas. After a small chat I went to sleep, exhausted from more than a 17 hours of traveling.
My first day started early. At around 8 am I was already at the main bus station of Las Palmas called San Telmo. I didn’t really have any trips planned so I had started to improvise. My first bus ride took me to the heart of the island to village called San Mateo. It was a small and very calm village where I didn’t see any tourists and that’s the way I like it.
Not knowing any bus schedules, I have decided not to go back to Las Palmas but continue wherever the public transport takes me. Luckily at the bus stop there was a cleaning lady which told me all the bus schedules and possible routes I could take and thankfully I speak Spanish because otherwise I could have ended up nobody knows where.
My second bus ride was headed to village with a cool name “Teror”, where I had a short stopover. During the bus ride from San Mateo to Teror I was the only one in the bus. Driver was constantly using a horn before every turn to avoid collision with other bus because of the narrow roads. At first I thought he was greeting his friends, but after a few turns I realised that it has a different meaning 🙂
Third bus ride was aimed purposely to Arucas, tourist village with more things to do and see as well as home of well-known rum distillery Arehucas, which sadly for me was closed at the time of my arrival. After a short walk through the center I found a tourist office. Since I didn’t know anything about Arucas I went there to ask some questions. There I got a map with some tips for visit.
So I didn’t hesitate and first thing I did was to find a place for lunch 😀 After a much bigger croissant than I have expected I started heading up the hill to take some pictures. At this time it was already quite hot and I have started thinking of my shorts and flip-flops which I left in Slovakia…After a 20 minute walk I got up enough to take some nice pictures of Las Palmas and surrounding villages.
On the way back I wanted to take some pictures of myself with nice landscape…It is harder than it looks like, especially if there are no people to help you out. During hour-long walk up and down I met just one creepy guy running and lots of lizards. Anyway I managed to take some pics of myself looking “hot” and went back to village to check out beautiful cathedral and park of Arucas.
The last bus ride of the day took me from Arucas to Las Palmas. I have noticed a lot of banana tree farms which reminded me of Madeira, Portugal. For the first day of my two-day trip I saw quite a lot and even more than I have planned so full of happiness and still some daylight left I have decided to go to the main beach of Las Palmas called Canteras. Since I haven’t brought my swimming suit which in that cold water wouldn’t had helped me anyway the only option I had was to go for a beer. So I spent an hour just relaxing, listening to eccentric music band Sigur Rós (which I definitely recommend to everybody) and enjoying good beer in Gran Canaria.
My second and a last day as well believe or not I woke up before 7 so I could be able to take some pictures of sunrise which in Gran Canaria is around 7 30 am which is much later than for example in Slovakia. I said goodbye to Ivan and left his flat. Knowing this fact of late sunrise from Seville I still can’t get used to it. It was almost 8 am but still quite dark. Ok well enough about sunrise and let’s talk about my second day.
Ivan recommended visiting a west part of island. So after a delicious breakfast at San Telmo bus station, which after just 30 hours became like a second home to me, I have bought a ticket to village called Puerto de las nieves. I was waiting for a bus on the world’s least comfortable bench ever… The wood was literally cutting through your ass 😀 After more than an hour ride I have finally arrived. It was a nice quiet village with port, beautiful mountains and some fishermen.
Before exploring this cute little village I was forced to buy a sun cream after burning myself first day not realising that sun here is actually strong. I was really looking like a “guiri” (Spanish for stranger). The village itself was very small but a perfect place for relax. Almost no tourists. Actually there was not so many people either. Some bars, shops, restaurants and a nice couple which took some nice photos of me and which actually knew how to use a DSLR camera.
On the way back to Las Palmas at the bus stop an elderly man started asking me where I am from and gave me a business card of his friend’s restaurant. A little strange since I was just leaving the place but it was nice way to start a conversation which continued in the bus for another 25 minutes. I improved my Spanish and taught my new friend that Slovakia is a part of EU and that we use Euro currency as well as Spain. These are just some of the facts most people don’t know about…
Having still some free time before flight I took a bus to Maspalomas, the tourist area located on the south of the island. I knew nothing extra is waiting there for me but just for curiosity I bought a ticket and got in the bus to Maspalomas. Believe or not a bus driver was very handsome and young which reminded me of my Erasmus friends taking pictures with similar bus driver at Lisbon airport. It seemed like he used to race cars or he plays too much Need for speed because we were overtaking literally every car on highway. You could even hear some passengers swearing even though you didn’t understand the language. That was kind of a driver who doesn’t waste time of his passengers 🙂
Maspalomas – tourists all over the place, prices twice higher and weather was much windier. For me not a pleasant first impression. It was just a beginning of April and that place was already too crowded. So after a quick walk and some pictures taken it was time to go to airport and back to Seville. At the bus station I was a little bit confused because bus N.90 was supposed to go to airport but 2 passed by and I wasn’t able to get in…Well I had a beer (or three) and waited for another bus.
Finally I got into a bus to airport…for the third time in Gran Canaria I was again alone in the bus. I felt special 😀 but after drinking 2 beers 5 minutes before leaving I had started to feel it…I had to go to toilet so badly that I couldn’t imagine 45 minute journey to airport. I was really close to not holding it that long. I even wanted to ask the driver to stop near the road but I was a little shy. Thankfully I managed to hold it until airport. After reaching a toilets at airport it was the best feeling during my whole 2-day trip in Gran Canaria.