Falcon/Thomson FAM - A Real Slice of Spanish Charm in Las Palmas
9th August 2017 - 3:15pm
To the north, the capital, Las Palmas has an old town and new town. I was very fortunate to have the lovely Maria guide our group around the city on a day excursion. We began in the oldest quarter, Vegueta is a UNESCO heritage site with rich, Spanish architecture dating back centuries and a number of historic sites covering the city’s 500 plus years which are well worth visiting. Christopher Columbus anchored in Las Palmas port and spent time on the island before heading to the Americas for the first time. With a museum named after him, Casa de Colon (Columbus House) is an opportunity to take in some culture with a history lesson of the Canary Islands and its relationship with America.
The museum has over a dozen permanent exhibition rooms filled with paintings, artefacts, dioramas and model ships. These are all within a number of buildings that are stunning in themselves - ornate doorways, ceilings and balconies, beautiful courtyards (my two were particularly enamoured with the two resident parrots). With an entrance fee of just € 4 for adults and children under 18 are free, it is well worth a visit.
This is next to the impressive, Cathedral of Santa Ana. Construction began around 1500 and carried on through the centuries leaving a mix of architectural styles. With the entrance fee a modest c.€3, it’s a must. Facing the entrance is a beautiful square with impressive statues of dogs, guarding its entrance - a reflection on the island’s name.
On the other side of the city, Las Palmas boasts one of the best urban beaches in Europe with over 4km of golden sands bordering the city. There’s a long promenade with shops, restaurants, hotels and bars. The beach is clean with plenty of space with well-maintained facilities (showers/toilets etc.). Whether you want to splash at the water’s edge, swim in the warm water or people watch, it’s a relaxing way to spend a few hours in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
As a special treat, take time out to eat at “Mercado del Puerto”. This port market is very close to the beach and has been around since 1891. It was revitalised in 1994 and not only sells food produce, it has little stalls selling gastronomic delights. This is a foodie’s dream. We ate at Piscos & Buches, gourmet Canarian cuisine - we had delicious, traditional Canarian tapas as recommended by the chefs. I would highly recommend the red mojo with hot chilli, the calamari and my favourite, potatoes Canarian style with local cheese, all washed down with lovely wine and a liqueur to finish the meal. It is casual dining at its best, with great food, banter and friendly staff who clearly are passionate about what they do and willing to share the history of the food with those of us curious enough to ask.
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