And the road trip continues…
Day 1 (the rest)
We arrived at the Botanical Gardens exhausted but ready to do some cold hard napping. When we walked in the botanical gardens looked just like the scenery we’d been driving through all day, but after some napping and fooling around on the grass, we had a walk through the area properly and it was actually quite beautiful and green, a colour you don’t see a lot of in dry and rocky Gran Canaria. I frolicked through the pine forest, and frolicked a little more carefully through the cactus area. You could easily spend a couple of hours in the gardens (even without the napping component). Seeing so much colour and so many leaves and flowers is a real treat on this island. There are a variety of birds to spot and vibrant blue and red dragonflies zooming around the place.
Next, we hit up Gran Canaria’s capital, Las Palmas. Many of the city’s roads are one-way and there’s limited parking, so be prepared for some circling. Now, I’m a city girl, but having spent the last seven months living in a small town in Andalucia, and then the last two months in Puerto de Mogán, being in a city again was like eating 10 different ice-cream flavours all at once – exciting, delicious, irresistible but somewhat grimy. I was excited to see Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants again – something that I missed terribly in Spain’s smaller towns. The city has a cool youth/arty vibe with so many surfers and skaters headed this way and there’s some cool graffiti to see and some cool bars.
My favourite thing about Las Palmas is the long stretch of promenade that runs alongside the city’s fairly decent beach. It’s filled with restaurants (the good and the bad), ice cream shops and bars. We stayed at the Big Fish hostel which is super close to the beach and super clean and super friendly. For dinner we ate falafel for 3.5€ which I destroyed, and then we went to 3×1, a busy bar/club that happens to sit right across the road from Big Fish. There they played a mix of pop, rock, 90’s nostalgia, Spanish music and hip hop. I’d definitely go back, and it was nice to be surrounded again by a good mix of people: locals, guiris, pijos, hippies, hipsters, druggies, nerds, gays and straights. We stayed till 4am after a song by Rage Against the Machine (it’s been a long time, man) and made the long trek across the road back to the hostel for sleepy time.