And the Adventure begins!
Well we started the trip with a phat layover in Vancouver. I got to see my friend Tamara and it was great. We walked from the SkyTrain station to the cutest Vegan restaurant and it. was. amazing. We got a bunch of different things to share – Omelette, Breakfast Poutine and Eggs Benny. I don’t like any of these when they weren’t vegan and I was killing myself over them. I couldn’t believe. Both of them said they didn’t taste exactly like the non-vegan versions, but they were super tasty. We then explored a little bit and went to a bakery that offers some vegan baking – I got the lemon loaf and banana bread and it was exceptional. She dropped us off at the airport and we were back onto the next leg.
I was nervous about the flight to London because we only had a couple hours once we got there to clear customs, get our bags and re-check in under EasyJet. We flew WestJet and honestly, it wasn’t good. We had to pay for our bags which is fine, but we got served literally no food on the flight, we didn’t get a blanket or a pillow, they didn’t have TV’s but if you downloaded the WestJet app (which I did), you could watch stuff. But the seats weren’t comfortable and overall the service and experience was worse than AirCanada by quite a lot (and that’s from me who flies Air Canada often and I do not like them).
Tamara and I in Vancouver!
Anywho, we got to London a little early and the customs line was slow as hell, but we made it through. I got to change and “freshen up” aka dry-shampoo my disgusting hair and we went for lunch through security. The last flight was 4 hours to Gran Canaria (specifically Las Palmas) which is where we were staying. We landed, grabbed our things and took a cab to our AirBnB.
First vibe was that the island was small. The airport was about halfway down the island, but on the coast and it only took about 15 minutes to get to Las Palmas from the airport. The drive was odd – as you’re driving in, it looks third world. Everything is pretty run down and it just seems to be houses and buildings scattered with no strategy to it. As you drive into Las Palmas it’s fairly industrial near the water. You drive along the highway that runs parallel to the water and it’s mostly huge work ships and some oil refinery looking things. BUT THEN CAME THE GOOD PART. As you actually pull into the city, it turns into a boardwalk and clear water as far as you can see. The city is still a little weird – it doesn’t look run down, nor is it luxurious. I was expecting something similar to Nice – big, beautiful buildings along the water and the less expensive places further from the water, but welter discovered there really aren’t a lot of big, beautiful buildings, it’s fairly consistent regardless of where you are in the city. Near the parks have some nice hotels, casino’s, etc. but most buildings are average.
We got the AirBnB and it was a block from the water on both sides. When you walked out the door, you could see the boardwalk and water. Amazing. The place itself was fine… by no means the worst place I’ve stayed. It was nice and newer – mainly Ikea furnishings, and had most of the essentials for a weeks stay. We only got one towel each (they were narsty by day 7) and we had no blankets… just a sheet. We had AC (my one non-negotiable) and it worked. The kitchen was also fine, a little small and missing a few things but overall fine. We got the internal facing room because we were cheap and it was honestly hard to tell what time it was or what the weather was like all week, but ya gotta cut some corners somewhere.
The first night in Las Palmas, exploring the (non-main) Boardwalk!
We got in, showered and headed to the boardwalk to get lost a bit. We couldn’t believe how close we were to the boardwalk and the lack of people there was (it was like 9pm on a Tuesday) but it was so pretty, we couldn’t believe everyone wasn’t enjoying the view we were. We walked down what we thought was the cool, hip, fun part of the boardwalk and got supper. We got Zuchini Carpaccio and Pasta. I picked the cheese off and life was good. We tried to find an open grocery store for some snacks and breakfast. We found a sketchy (albeit average for there) convenience store and got some snacks.
The next day, we wandered down the beach where we had the night before and again, couldn’t believe we were essentially the only ones on the beach. It was a little overcast but better than any weather we had in Regina so we weren’t going to pass it up. We wandered and ended walking the other way out of our apartment down the Boardwalk, only to discover that that was actually the main boardwalk and thats where all the people were (doy).
We had pizza and pasta for lunch and then hit the beach. I had a little snooze on the beach (I set my alarm because I’m a smart pale person) but only stayed for about 40 minutes. I wasn’t going to burn on the first day. We found a place that served vegan gelato so we got some and went for our daily naps. We got up for dinner and to try and find some fun – to no avail. Everything had odd hours – some things closed at 9 or 10 and some places were open past 2 on weekdays. There was no rhyme or reason to any of throughout the whole week.
The first morning; a little overcast, but makes for a nice backdrop! We got our fair share of sunshine!
We walked down the beach further than we did the first day because we saw a cool building at the end (it was the auditorium and it was gorgeous) and behind the boardwalk was a mall. It looked like some places were still open (it was around midnight) so we went in and wouldn’t ya know it, there was a Tony Roma’s… of all American chains… hilarious.
We walked back and stumbled upon a little bar by our places so we got some drinks. 2 euro, full glass of wine is absolutely my kind of deal. Danni got a Whiskey that was for sure a Triple for 2.50. Nuts.
Day Three we went exploring down by the Auditorium and Mall again (and really I just wanted the Onion Loaf from Tony Roma’s because it was Vegan. We did a little shopping, although I didn’t buy anything. We wandered around the Auditorium which was the only African-inspired Architecture I really came across. The Canary Islands are off the coast of Spain near Africa, so I figured there would be more African influence. Most people spoke some degree of English which was nice, but there were definitely people that had no English and my pequeno Spanish didn’t get us far. The whole place was very authentic Spanish – chill, social, little English. Every restaurant offered some degree of Seafood, but every place also had Pizza and Pasta and very little other options. We found a couple places with good options, but we had to look far and wide for a Sushi place – which was a bust. The scenery was from a National Geographic magazine; it was hard not be in awe from every angle. I can’t remember another place where it truly felt like you were on the edge of the world. When we explored behind the Auditorium there was a little Rock Bank that you could go out on into the ocean and while there was a cove (the boardwalk) to the right, straight ahead and to the left was unlimited ocean. There’s something so peaceful and magical and infinite of seeing the world from that angle. You feel so small but that the world is also conquerable.
I figured it was time that I hit the gym (finally) from being a fat ass for a few days. We had walked past a place called GoFit that was in between our place and the Mall/Auditorium. So we went in and PUMPED SOME IRON. Just kidding – ish. I have a new training program and I’m learning to weight lift. I’m literally a month and a bit in and it’s overwhelming and I’m horrible and it’s so frustrating. I was excited to try and do it on my own without my trainer though. Danni does weightlifting so she was super helpful was I inevitably lost (most of you could recognize my lost face) so I got through it and was excited to survived and not clocked myself in the head (again) with the barbell. LITTLE WINS, right?
Exploring to the Boardwalk and Beach!
Thursday ended with us trying to go out again, much to Danni’s reluctance. I figured, we’re in Spain, we have nothing set to do so why not be young and fun?? And I don’t need any drinks to be a great time, so I figured some dancing and one glass of wine wouldn’t kill me. We tried to find a couple places from our online searches but they were all closed until the weekend, so we had walked past this place called The Room and they were playing Rihanna. They had something I wanted and I had to have it. SO WE WENT. And we were 2 of 4 people there. It was awful haha. 4 more people ended up coming and we really just watched an old guy trying to get with his sons friends and it was enough entertainment for us. We figured we would try again the next night.
It might seem like we didn’t do much for the first few days, and thats because we didn’t! It was actually nice to relax and enjoy it and get used to where we were. I’m trying a new thing where I’m being less high-strung so we decided we would go to Las Palmas and not go anywhere else on this trip, and we (mostly) did just that.
It’s about enjoying your life, right? That’s probably my biggest takeaway from this trip. I always try to imagine myself living there and there honestly isn’t much to do on the island. The whole population of the island is about 800,000 spread out. So there really isn’t a huge city or metropolis. All of the people seemed to be genuinely happy and I’m assuming there aren’t any huge, high-level jobs there? Everyone was just chill. They worked, they went to the beach, they went for drinks with their friends, they went dancing and they were more than happy with that. Could you be satisfied with that life? I don’t know if I could be. It sounds amazing theory, but I need some excitement, but maybe that’s what we all need. Lot’s of people smoke there and a lot drink and socialize, but maybe they’re healthy because they’re actually happy?
Food for thought!
Catch my next post about our last few days!
Views of and around the Auditorium (and Mall).