From here to God knows where.

Paradise but not for everyone.


My fascination with the 1983 Graffiti in Las Palmas continues. This week I came across the shortened version of 1983.

Is the artist getting lazy tired or more productive.

If 1983 is the year they were born, then they would be 36 years old now. Are they still in Gran Canaria? Are they doing graffiti now I wonder? Is there an age you stop doing something like this.

I am 56 years of age now, and my skateboard was retired a long time ago. There are times I see people passing on the various type of boards now, and I think I wish I could take out the skateboard again.

If anyone knows the artist, I would love to interview them for the blog. I am curious why graffiti is such an attraction for so many people. Is it too late for me to start?

Whats happening in Las Palmas

The Gran Canaria rally was on recently in Las Palmas. The city knows how to organise these type of events. The event was about a lot more than cars. Music and dancing played a big part of the weekend as usual.

Northside v southside

I am always surprised when I visit the south of Gran Canaria how little it changes. Many times when a place does not change much, it can be a good thing. In the south of Gran Canaria maybe not so much.

The Canary Islands over the past decade has undergone a massive tourist boom. People shunned destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia for what they considered a more secure holiday on the Canary Islands.

Record tourist numbers were recorded year after year. While numbers have dropped this year numbers are still substantial. Many hotels have been operating at full capacity. A lot of money has been made by probably not a lot of people.

I have no problem with anyone making money but it would be nice to see some of it invested back into the island.

It is possible to have a great night in the main entertainment areas in Playa del Ingles such as the Yumbo and Kasbah centres. I have had many a good night there myself.

Both centres will never win awards for beauty. They did not look great the day they opened in the 80s, and they have not got better with time.

I am not knocking the south of Gran Canaria. I am knocking the fact that at a time when vast amounts of money have flowed into the area I see very little reinvested into the area. It looks virtually the same as it did in the 1980s. People are beginning to return to Egypt and Tunisia.

Las Palmas in the north was hit a lot harder by the recent recession than the south. It has less tourism and is more reliant on non- tourist jobs than the south of the Island.

When the Spanish government cut spending a city, such a Las Palmas where there are a lot of government jobs got hit hard.

Over the past few years, it is noticeable the city is undertaking projects to make the city a better place to live. Las Palmas has a plan.

Many areas of Las Palmas have been pedestrianised. More space to socialise has seen new bars and restaurants open.

The Metroguagua project a bus corridor with high- frequency service is under construction.

There are plans to restore some of the original ravines that ran through the historic area of Vegueta. New spaces to accommodate visiting small boats are being added.

Las Palmas has a plan. The southern resorts seem to think the good times will never end. We won’t build it, and they will still come. I wonder what part of Gran Canaria is wiser in the long run.

So Las Palmas is getting better but for whom?

I recently spoke to a local friend of mine who now lives and works on mainland Spain. He told me that his youngest sister has left to take up a job in Germany. Out of a family of four sons, and three daughters all have emigrated from Gran Canaria to find work.

Unemployment has fallen on the Canary islands in recent years from 25% to around 20% now. I wonder what the rate would be if no one emigrated to mainland Spain and other counties.

As an Irishman, I know a bit about emigration. I emigrated to the U.K during the 1980s when Ireland went through a long recession. Thankfully more people come to live in Ireland these days than leave.

The Canary Islands rely a lot on a few industries. Tourism. The service industry. Government jobs and a small agricultural sector. It is missing another critical industry.

I have always thought Las Palmas would be the perfect city to have have a thriving I.T sector. If people from all over the world come to Dublin to work for Google and Twitter why would they not want to come to a city with a great climate and five beaches?

Youth unemployment is over 40%. For those that are in employment, wages are low. Most people take home less than 1,000 euro a month. When unemployment is 20%, there is no pressure on employers to pay more. This has a knock on effect as there is not much disposable income left for many people to spend on recreation.

I can see a lot of potential in places such as Las Palmas. On saying that I have been told it is difficult to start a business here compared to other countries. I have a friend that had a good idea for a business in the harbour. After submitting the proposal and repeated phone calls to the relevant agency they never received a reply.

After the recent elections, local politicians say they want to reduce unemployment from 20% to 12% in the next four years. It is possible, but it will take more than talk. Replying to new business ideas would be a good start.

Last week I did my monthly summary on visitors and prices of accommodation on the Canary Islands. What islands are cheaper and more expensive. Click here to find out.

It is not Maspalomas or Playa del Ingles, but La Garita on the northern coast might be a good option to holiday or retire. Click here to see a short video on my recent visit to La Garita.

Join me on my journey. 

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