Tag Archives: architecture

GRAN CANARIA TRIP: PART 5

The last part in my Gran Canaria trip write-up follows part four, and is my favourite of the lot because it focuses on what I feel is the best part of the island– and which was certainly for me the best part of my trip:

THE SCENERY

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I really can’t emphasise enough how beautiful this place is: it is picture-postcard perfect in the literal sense. The image above has been edited only for size and cropping; there are no filters or colour-retouching performed and it was taken by this rank amateur with an iPhone camera. In other words? The place is actually this gorgeous and vibrant in real life. I’m constantly impressed by the fact that it is built entirely into masses of rockface, and to me the resort is as much a marvel of engineering as it is a lovely place to spend time. There are just so many buildings here:

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When I came here first as a child, none of the top level of development existed on either side of the valley. Now look at it:

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One of my favourite things to do here is go walking; we walked from the central area where we were staying up to the top of both the East and West hills, which was no mean feat. There are lots and lots of steps if you want to take them, but mostly you have to use the roads, and they are in some places very steep:

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The view you get for hauling your ass up the mountain is so, so worth it, though:

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And sometimes you will meet interesting visitors on your travels:

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I will forever be amused by how angry this cat looked about having his picture taken. But look, he’s got blue eyes! Gran Canaria is actually pretty much overrun with cats, so if you’re a feline lover, you will definitely find plenty of furry friends to interact with. Many of them are fed by locals (you’ll see little plastic dishes lying around outside with kitty Cheerios in them), so they tend to be pretty tame and friendly, unlike this chap!

Funny story: right next to our hotel was a small patch of unused land where bizarrely, a bird and a cat seemed to be involved in some kind of timeshare operation. In the morning –every morning– there would be a pigeon on it (the same one; she had a lame leg, so we knew it was her). In the evening, there would be a white and grey cat. The afternoons were a kind of zoological demilitarized zone, a no-man’s land populated only by insects. The arrangement seemed to be working pretty well for them, with the birds eating bread in the morning and the cat eating catfood at night. I do hope they never run into one another, though…

All too soon, alas, it was time to get back on the bus to the airport, where at least I had a decent duty free selection to console me. I will say that makeup there is roughly the same price it is in Dublin, both at the airport and in the resort, although perfumes and alcohol are significantly cheaper in the resort compared to the airport, so if you’re interested in purchasing either of these, make sure you stock up before you head for home!

Well, that’s my little recap brought to a close; I hope it was interesting or useful to somebody, and I certainly had fun. Looking through my photos brought a smile to my face as I was writing these posts, and I can’t wait to go back soon.

Have you been to Gran Canaria? Would you like to visit? Do you have any questions about my experiences there? I’d love to hear from you, so if you’ve got anything you’d like say or ask, drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

GRAN CANARIA TRIP: PART 3

Continuing one from part two of my recap of my break in Gran Canaria, today’s part three is going to be all about:

THE SPA EXPERIENCE

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It wouldn’t be a true holiday experience for us without visiting a spa, and the Thalasso Spa at the Gloria Palace Amadores is a really excellent one. It’s basically a giant bath of body-temperature saltwater with lots of jets and alcoves and waterfalls to beat your aches and pains away. It definitely soothed our woes– and also our sunburn, so at only €23 entry, it’s more than worth its price! I don’t have any pics of the spa proper because it would be a bit weird to go around taking photos of people in their swimming costumes, but trust me when I say it’s gorgeous, and you can hang out in the blissful warm water and watch the sea through the glass windows… Well, you could if you weren’t short-sighted and had to surrender your glasses before getting into the pool! All I saw was a fuzzy blue line, but even so, I knew it was the sea, and that was pleasant in itself.

The spa is situated in a gorgeous hotel built into the side of a mountain, as you can see up there. The hotel is, internally, kind of a triumph of design (I’m in love with that staircase). One wall is pretty much entirely glass, and you can see for so far that you can actually see the curvature of the Earth along the water (though sadly, I don’t think my photos captured this). If you get the chance to visit it, I would absolutely recommend it, as much for the building and views as anything else– I doubly recommend the cliff walk back to Puerto Rico that you can see in the final photo. Probably not the thing for people overwhelmed by heights or vast expanses of sea, but otherwise it’s an absolute stunner.

Are you a spa fiend like me, or do you prefer less lazy holiday pleasures? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

 

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