The other meaning of marrying well is when your in-laws are living in a stunning sub-tropical Spanish Island that happens to be one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world, and you have to visit them at least once a year. Angel’s parents live in Gran Canaria, the second biggest of the Canary Islands with the second largest population in the region after Tenerife. The Canaries are often mistaken as part of Morocco for its close proximity to the African cost. Even though they have their own Spanish dialect (Canario) the Canaries are an integral part of the greater Spanish community.
Back in July following our Madrid & Barcelona affair I visited the De la Fuentes and stayed with them for a week. This was my second visit to “the great Island of dogs”, but our first as a married couple.
I’ve always been welcomed at my “suegros” residence with a 5* treatment. A home cooked feast awaited us at home when we arrived just on time for dinner. My suegra (mother in law) loves the fact that I am an easy to please nuera (daughter in law) when it comes to food. Basically I don’t fuss; I’d eat anything and everything she’ll make and I have no special dietary requirements (except that I don’t eat pork), which has earned me a special spot in her heart and straightened my records I believe.
There was not much that we could do after all we ate that night, so we wished each other buenas noches and we hoped to begin our island adventure mañana.
In the Island our home is down south in Maspalomas near Playa del Inglés. Based on family recommendations we decided to check out Palmitos Park which is about 10km outside Maspalomas. It is advertised as the best family fun in the Island that has been attracting huge numbers of visitors since its inception over 25 years ago. The family fun part is certainly true as the shows are designed to amuse a younger audience I thought, thus it shouldn’t necessarily be at the top of the must do list of a childless couple! While at it, we enjoyed an entertaining dolphins’ show, the spectacular birds of prey show and a hilarious comedic parrots show.
It took us about 4 hours to circle the park then we headed back to the Playa for lunch. Angel recommended Restaurante El Senador in the Paseo del Faro. It looked relatively empty when we got there; I guess because it is located in a touristic area where the Brits and the Germans have their lunch around 12:30pm, unlike the Spanish who eat lunch in the early evening around 3:30 – 5:30pm. The food was fantastic and not as pricy as some might claim. I had the grilled gambas (shrimps) with creamy onion souse and Angel had some kind of fish with white souse.
While he argued on the phone with his mobile service provider I ate away and it wasn’t long before I was stuffed and extremely happy. After lunch we enjoyed a lovely walk at the gorgeous beach front near the faro.
This is an Island with a city side to it. It also has a lot of history to investigate. Most of it can be explored in the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where Angel went to school. For years he rode the bus every school morning for about 25 minutes from south to north and back in the evening he told me. Apparently the best schools are in the capital; something I won’t have to worry about for few years I believe! For now I only cared for encountering a unique experience and some consequent retail therapy.
Studies proved that Las Palmas enjoys the best weather in the world. It was quiet evident while we wandered the historic neighborhoods of Vegueta and Triana. In Vegueta we visited The Museo Canario where we learnt about the prehistoric and historic Grand Canaria. It is a good place to start if you wish to emerge yourself in your surrounding and gain a better understanding of the Canarian culture.
We then walked to Plaza de San Antonio Abad in the city center and stopped by the Casa de Colón (Columbus’s House). It is believed that Christopher Columbus lived in this house in 1492 – 1493 on his way to and from America. It is now a museum displaying items related to the discovery of the new world as well as art pieces dated back to as early as the 16th century.
A short walk away was the Plaza and Cathedral de Santa Ana. The cathedral is the first artistic building put into the Island. It took four centuries to build it and the result is obviously breathtaking. We lounged in the square to enjoy the cool breeze while deciding how are we going to quiet our growling stomachs!
We settled for another tapas luncheon, this time at Restaurant El Herreño in Calle Mendizabal. The place was not as fancy and looked a bit too touristy at first but the food really brought it and the service was not bad either. The menu was kept mostly Canarian with dishes like “Papas arrugadas con mojo picón”, “Potaje” and “Croquetas”.
Finally it was time for some selective spending in the nearby Calle Mayor de Triana where great shopping outlets ranging from up market to local produce stalls can be found. This pedestrian quarter is the social and economical heart of the city. It is also known for the great architectural structure of some of its buildings.
I was a bit concerned about showing up at home with the disturbing number of shopping bags that I had in my hand. I didn’t want my Suegra to think of me as a reckless spender, so I made sure that Angel had few bags of his own in his hand as we entered the house.
To be continued…