Another week back in Las Palmas. This week I had a visitor. My friend had to go Tenerife for a day and she bizarrely trusted her dog Sam to my care. When I was younger we always had a dog. You let them out the door in the morning and back in later that night. The rules of engagement have changed and bigtime in Las Palmas.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like dogs. Cats not so much. First of all, Sam liked my bed but only when I was not in it. The story of my life I suppose. Growing up in Cork Ireland we always had a dog. One would pass away and after a very brief mourning period, another would appear. The quality of the dogs was not that great as paying for a dog was only for movie stars. We did not even pay for a dog licence. No one did back then. I still remember as a child the panic in the neighbourhood the days the dog licence man came. It was only second to the panic the days the TV licence man came. Back then it was always a man.
Going for a walk in the park is not a walk in the park
My first duty was to bring Sam for a walk. I fancied a walk myself so it was a win-win situation. Things have changed in the past 30 years. As a kid walking a dog meant you walked with the dog. I think having a lead became fashionable in the 1980s. Today the hardest part of walking a dog is the equipment needed.
The first shock was the lead. Where was the collar? All I could see was something that resembled a bulletproof vest that had to go around the body. I think. I suppose dragging a dog by the neck these days is not cool.
Next up was my cleaning service. A leg up required that I had to wash down the affected area. I felt like that guy that runs onto the football field with the magic bottle. A more substantial toilet break required a bit more work. It was like an episode of CSI. It had to be bagged and taken away from the scene.
I would not mind so much but as far as I can remember it was a dog’s life back in the 1970s. Things have changed for the better for sure. Today cats and dogs are even friends. When did that happen? If I was given a choice of who would become friends first. The Arabs and the Israelis or cats and dogs I would have said the former.
The Irish in the Canary Islands
Luis Malowny was born in Santa Cruz Tenerife. He was of Irish descent. in 1946 he made his debut for Real Madrid and scored a goal in the 2-1 defeat of Barcelona. Not a bad start.
He went on to play with Real Madrid until 1957 scoring 89 goals. During this period he won Spanish league, cup and a European cup medal. After Real Madrid, he played 3 games for Las Palmas. He quickly moved onto management and managed Las Palmas on a few occasions from 1958 until 1970.
After Las Palmas, he returned to Real Madrid as a director. To top it off he also managed the Spanish national team for 4 games. Malowny returned to the Canary Islands and he died in Las Palmas in 2010.
What’s is happening in Las Palmas
On Sunday the Arc fleet of over 300 boats left Las Palmas for the Caribbean. Most of the boats spend almost a month in the Las Palmas Marina. The Canary Islands are the perfect location for the Arc fleet departure. At this time of year, the trade winds blow across the Atlantic just south of the Canaries. Later the winds change and blowback towards Europe. Christopher Columbas would have used the trade winds to go to the Americas.
I always say there is something happening in Las Palmas every weekend. This weekends excuse was Black Friday. A large number of local bands strutted their stuff on Av. José Mesa y López. There was also food and beer stalls.
The next stage of the upgrade of Estadio Insular is in progress. This is one of the more unusual parks in Las Palmas. This was the home ground of Las Palmas football team for many a year. Now that the new stadium is open the old stadium is the getting transformed into a park.
New Train for Gran Canaria
One thing I am noticed a lot this year is how traffic seems to have become a big issue on the Island. I am seeing traffic issues in parts of Las Palmas I had not seen before. The GC1 motorway that links the capital with the south is over capacity. Long delays at peak times are now normal. The planning stage of the long-planned train from Las Palmas to Maspalomas is now complete. The train will stop at the airport and some other towns on the way south and take 40 minutes. So everything is ready for construction? Everything but the money which has not been committed by the Spanish government yet.
I know this is not about the Canaries but since we are talking trains. Anyone travelling Europe by train will see the major issue of graffiti. It is a massive issue in Spanish cities. I find it very curious, I cannot say I understand it but there seems to be overpowering urge by some young people to get their art on trains. These trains travel between cities so then their art becomes mobile. Recently an unusual challenge has been issued between Madrid’s graffiti artists. A sum of 22,000 euro is on offer for anyone who manages to put their graffiti on the metro carriage of King Alfonso XIII. The King used the carriage at the opening of the Madrid metro. It is now a historic exhibition. Needless to say, extra security now guard the train. It will be interesting to see who wins. The state or the graffiti artists.
Las Palmas Sunday Market
Las Palmas Sunday market is another place worth seeing should you ever find yourself in Las Palmas. I find many markets to be disappointing but this is one of the better ones. I like it a lot more than markets down south such as Puerto Mogan. Those markets seem to target tourists and are usually overpriced. Las Palmas Sunday market is more real.
Panza de burro.
After a mixed week with a lot of rain, the weather in Las Palmas returned back to normal sunny conditions. Las Palmas has a very unusual weather phenomenon called the Panza de burro. In English, it means the donkeys belly. A cloud fits into the city like a glove. The city could be covered in cloud and yet 2 kilometres away it could be sunny skies. It affects the city around 20% of the year at any time. That means 80% of the time is sunny. During the Panza de burro days it is still warm.
This week short video takes a look at Las Palmas Marina and the departure of the Arc fleet. Click here.
Join me on my journey.
Sign up for email alerts and know when a new post goes live.