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Las Palmas - Christopher Columbus wuz 'ere (Probably).

sunny 32 °C

We spent our final few days on Lanzarote driving around its volcanic landscape. The roads on the island are incredibly well built, signposted and maintained – and there is very little traffic. The views of neighbouring arid islands from various veiwpoints were spectacular. This is La Graciosa...
Perhaps the most striking feature of Lanzarote is that all the buildings are white...
The island's government strictly controls building based on the ideas of famed Canarian artist Cesar Manrique – no building can exceed 4 floors; all must be white with woodwork either natural or, near the coast, blue, or inland, green.

You've probably heard that a dance floor collapsed in Tenerife in the early hours of Sunday morning and many were injured. After our recent quad biking escapade in Zanzibar you might worry that we've now taken up night-clubbing in the Canaries – not so. In fact we've hopped islands to Gran Canaria where we are soaking up the sun on the prom in Las Palmas...
Many people are in the ocean but after getting accustomed to sea temperatures in excess of 40 Celsius in Zanzibar we decided to skip a dip and have fresh sardines on the prom for lunch...
Las Palmas is something of a enigma. It is a grand port city that lacks the chic of Cannes, the splendour of Hong Kong or the history of Venice, although there are some interesting Spanish colonial buildings...
And, being a Spanish colony, you can be certain that there is a grand cathedral fronted by an enormous plaza...
While it may not quite be Sevilla or Granada, the Island does have one thing in its favour - Las Palmas has been declared scientifically to have the best climate in the world for humans. There is absolutely no chance of a white Christmas here but we thought we might see Santa when the streets filled with hundreds of parade goers on Saturday...
We were still waiting for Rudolph and sleigh when we realised that we were watching a protest against sexual violence toward women by men. However, the many pedestrianised streets are all decked out ready for the jolly old chaps appearance.

America looms large in Las Palmas because it is claimed that Christopher Columbus stopped here in 1492 on his way to prove that the world was round and the east coast of India was just across the Atlantic. But whether or not he actually stayed in this house is widely disputed...
However, Columbus House is an excellent museum in the heart of the old city. The navigator may have even waved to the crowds from this balcony before setting off for India...
Columbus, (actually named Christophe Colon), 'discovered' America about 500 years after Norsemen first settled there, and when he returned to Spain he confidently announced that he had found the westerly passage to the Levant. Modern America was thus accidentally founded by a latecomer and total failure who is still venerated to this day in the U.S.A.

Gran Canaria is a lot greener than its volcanic neighbour Lanzarote and now we are heading into the central mountains to find some shade under the palms before we return to London. See you soon.

Posted by Hawkson 07:17 Archived in Spain

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Nice collection of photos. Love the bougainvillea peeking out in the second. Frames those beautiful buildings nicely. Sardines look delicious, but an ashtray a table really jumps out now! Look forward to seeing you soon.

by Tom

Hope you have your woolies for London. It,s cold and rainy
Lovely photos and liked your potted history of Lanzarote and Las Palmas
See you next Monday

by Christine Lloyd

Sounds and looks like the place to be before you come back to the west coast realities. Looking at a tree full of red winged black birds.
Have a good journey home.

by Sue Fitzwilson

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