Monday 28 May 2012


The Canary Islands are named for the dogs the Spanish settlers found there, Canis being Latin for dog and is nothing to do with the bird! Outside the Cathedral in Gran Canaria are four beautiful statues of dogs, which I have made into a collage for you. Being a dog person myself I was quite charmed by them and would happily have lifted one up and taken it home. Fortunately perhaps, they were large, very heavy and firmly anchored to their plinths!
The house of Christopher Columbus was very impressive, with the ornate stonework round the door and the balcony. This balcony was typical of the houses in the old town, and actually nearly all doors were decorated in some way.
Inside the house it was cool, and I was very glad of the benches! The museum was fascinating, and we could have spent far longer there than we did. One of the most interesting exhibits was an intricate model of how the old town was originally, being built around a ravine and a river (which has now been largely culverted). Unfortunately I disgraced myself by falling over having not seen a step. Mr. G was very annoyed, and gave me no sympathy over the very large bruises I collected!
We had some beautiful sunsets and sunrises whilst we were at sea, and this one was taken as we left Gran Canaria for La Palma.
Whilst we were on our excursion, those of us who were interested were taken to a silk museum and mill. As we live in Macclesfield, Cheshire, famous for being a silk town, were very interested in this, and were delighted to find that in the (Spanish) accounts of the silk industry, Macclesfield was mentioned! There were people winding and spinning the silk, and the dyed (using natural dyes) silk hung up to dry. It was just so beautiful!
This little town, where the silk Museum was, was in the Centre of the Island, but there were lovely little squares around, full of trees and plants.
Many of the pavements in these squares were beautifully tiled.
This big square was near the Tourist Centre, which was very helpful, and also sold some perfectly delicious sauces, some mild and some very spicy indeed. You could try them, and then buy what you liked. We bought a small three-pack of different sauces, and I need to go back to get some more!!
We were also taken to a little square in a village where an artist had made the most incredible mosaics. I'm no judge of area, but there were a lot of people walking around, on them and around them, so they covered a biggish area. There were also some rather strange sculptures!
And lastly I'll leave you with a photo of our absolutely gorgeous lunch. Now that is what I call a baguette! The bread was crunchy outside and feather-light inside, and the filling was just perfect! Next blog, and I'll try to get it done without such a long wait in between blogs, I'll finish off our holiday. I just hope you are not bored!

Sunday 13 May 2012


We finally arrived back home on Thursday afternoon - since when I seem to have done nothing but load the washing machine up! However, it was all worth it, as we had a lovely holiday, with marvellous weather. The Ship was fairly large, but not so much that I found it difficult to get around. Our cabin was very comfortable, and it was wonderful to have a balcony, so that we could look out in the mornings to see where we were, and sit in the afternoon when we had been out and just wanted to flop down! I have chosen just a few photographs to show you, I will try and get myself organised and get some more out. If you are not bored, that is!
Our second port of call was Lisbon. The harbourside was surprisingly interesting (we had been told it wasn't!) and we found dancers doing some sort of Spanish Country dancing, in gorgeous costumes. Yes, that is our ship in the background!
Lisbon is very keen on having tiled pavements and squares, in lovely patterns. However, this particular pattern made me feel rather sick, as the ground looked undulating! I was, however, completely flat! Rather unsettling!
Many of Lisbon's streets are narrow, with lots of smaller shops. We took a coach tour round the city, which meant I could see so much more than I could had I had to walk.
We next went to the Island of Tenerife, where the temperature soared - not surprising considering we were off the coast of West Africa! It was a very mountainous island, and the roads went up and up in more hairpin bends than I thought possible, and then down the other side, of course!
Where the soil was good, vines were cultivated, and a very plesant local wine produced. The Islanders also grew lots of vegetables, and tomatoes in the south of the Island.
Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria, and we took a taxi to the old town, which we found fascinating. We were able to go up to the top of the cathedral tower - no stairs, they had installed a lift! From there we could look right across the town.
This is the view looking over the main square from the Cathedral tower. I held onto the wall very tightly, even though it was chest high and very substantial!