This was my first real visit to Gran Canaria. Of course, I had been here once before, but that it was only for a day trip, while on a visit to Tenerife. The surprise for me about the Canary islands is that they are much larger than I anticipated. I had assumed that it would be remarkably easy to visit more than one in a day. I was quite wrong.
I stayed in Las Palmas at the El Parque Hotel, and that was quite fabulous. The room was more than adequate, and the service was more than I expected. I loved the idea of staying in the centre, and simply taking the bus to the various regions. My first visit was the the sprawling Jardin Botanico Canaria, which was much larger than I expected. Another surprising aspect was the setting, with an abundance of plants all along the steep hillside, way down to flatland below. Succulents and national endemic plants took pride of place everywhere, and so itshould be. It was an amazing collection ,and definitely a must see for any succulent lover.
I was determined to see all of the island, and so the following day I was on a bus to Maspalomas. Here, I came face to face with the tourist holiday side. It was well organised, and crowded in a way I did not expect. I ventured further right up to Mogan in the south west, noting the small holiday enclaves along the way. It was obvious that his part of the island was certainly geared up for the expected tourist.
The remarkable factor about these islands is their physical composition, and the way there is alwas a large hill or mountain, close by. I was determined to get to the top of a mountain, and was extremely glad that i was able to do this by bus. I chose Artenara. I was able to explore, and also to enjoy the view, and the little villages in between. The rest of my holiday time allowed me visits to places closer like Arucas, Santa Brigida, Agaete, and some of the attractive beaches.