30th October, 2019
Las Palmas is the capital of the almost circular sub-tropical island of Gran Canaria. It is also a busy commercial port – with cruise, ferry, cargo & oil rig supply traffic regularly calling here. We were asked by port control to hold outside the harbour to await some departing ferries and another arriving cruise ship (one of those enormous types with thousands of passengers, most of them no doubt queuing in various locations on board) before we could head in to our berth.
Just after 08:00, we brought Saga Sapphire alongside, nose to nose with said enormous ship, and I felt like I was driving one of her tenders in comparison. Fortunately, our guests were allocated a separate gate to exit and enter the port, and I noted that the large ship had an entire wedding marquee with an airport security style setup inside designated solely to their outgoing & returning passengers…
It was another perfect, sunny warm day, and to make our call even more pleasant we would spend the evening in port here, too. As usual, our organised trips ventured off in various directions taking folks to see the city, museums, gardens, volcanoes, beaches, craters, villages, butterfly farms and almost everything else you could imagine in between.
I think my favourite sounding trip here has to be hiking the spectacular Bandama Crater. Unbelievably, this now extinct volcano crater used to be inhabited – they say it was the only one in the world to have been so. The views atop the crater rim are said to be superb, having hiked 650ft from the centre where the bus drops you. Unfortunately the Captain had a series of commitments of varying excitement, which prevented him from going on this trip. Next time…
Evening came, and the temperature dropped to a pleasant 23C, making it perfect for wandering the town and finding somewhere local to dine. This is what I did, first finding a great rooftop bar 12 stories above a hotel, where the sunset views to the port and over the beach to the west were lovely. I then wandered around the old town district and stumbled across a cracking little tapas bar which fed me handsomely, prior to waddling back on board and heading to the Bridge to make preparations to sail.
Another short hop to the west overnight would bring us to our next Canary stop tomorrow: Tenerife. Speak to you then!
Captain Kim Tanner
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