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The Funniest Tourist Complaints From Gran Canaria
Cheap booze ruined my Gran Canaria holiday!
Here's the Top Five most absurd tourist complaints that we've heard over the last year in Gran Canaria: Have you got a better one? Let us know for next year's post!

Not all inclusive!?

A large family sat at a beach front restaurant in Amadores and ordered a big meal. Then they ordered desserts, followed by coffees and liqueurs. Then they got up and walked off. A confused waiter ran after them with the bill but the family just looked at him blankly. He explained that they had forgotten to pay. Our family waved their "all-inclusive" bracelets at him and headed for the beach. 
The restaurant owner, after a few deep breaths, had to go and explain that it was their resort, and not the whole of Gran Canaria, that was all inclusive.

Too many fish in the sea!


This is a commom complaint and we've heard it several times in Gran Canaria. Apparently people don't realize that there are fish in the sea. Maybe they expect the ocean to be teeming with fish fingers instead. There are plenty of fish in the sea around Gran Canaria and, overall, it's a good thing.

There's no Big Five in Gran Canaria!

Jeep Safaris are a Gran Canaria institution. Lots of people get into open-topped jeeps and bomb around the mountain roads looking at the sights. They stop (often) for refreshment, have a big lunch, and go back to their resort tanned and happy. Except for two girls holding big cameras. 
Our girls stormed back into the office after their Safari and demanded their money back.They had expected to see zebras, elephants and crocodiles and were very disappointed that the biggest critter in Gran Canaria is the local lizard. The owner of the safari gave them a leaflet for Crocodile Park.

They won't take my pesetas!

A man staying in Mogán found some old Spanish notes at the bottom of a bag and was annoyed when the bars and restaurants wouldn't take them: 14 years after they were abolished. The receptionist at his hotel sent him off to the nearest bank where he exchanged them for (not many) Euros.

The alcohol is too cheap

A complaint from a woman who was having a terrible holiday in Playa del Ingles because her husband was drinking too much. They were on a tight budget and had agreed a booze-budget before the trip. Once her hubby found out how much Spanish cider you could buy for 10 euros he was too hungover to go to the beach. Every day!
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Gran Canaria Foods That The Locals Love
Leche y leche: Canarian food and drink the locals love

Canarian restaurants all serve delicious papas con mojo and goat cheese but there are lots of Canarian foods that don't make it onto the menus. Here are the top ten local favourites that you have to track down on your own.


 Donuts
Gran Canaria Donuts are light and sweet with a hint of lemon and knock the socks of those stodgy Crispy Crème things. They come as traditional sugar or chocolate doughnuts with a hole, or with a chocolate or custard filling. Donuts are sold in most Gran Canaria newsagents, bars and corner shops. Avoid on Sundays as there are no weekend deliveries and Donuts go stale in hours.

Bocadillo de Calamares
Deep fried squid rings in a bread roll with plenty of lemon juice. The quintessential Canarian beach snack and available at any local bar or café close to the sand. For the best ones pick a bar with a stream of locals walking out carrying plastic bags.
Barquillo
Barquillo is ice cream cone without the cold filling. It comes as sheets or rolls and is a popular Canarian beach snack, especially on Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas. Watch out for vendors walking along the beach carrying a basket. 
Polvitos
A dessert that has taken Gran Canaria by storm that we think was invented in the Novillo Precoz (a fantastic steak restaurant) on Calle Portugal in Las Palmas. Polvitos are basically cheesecake made with whipped cream instead of cheese. They are flavoured with dulce de leche and are sweet and moreish. Some Gran Canaria restaurants have given up serving any other pudding.

Nisperos
Known in English as loquats these little orange fruits are common all over Gran Canaria but rarely make it into the shops as they rot quickly. To eat a nispero bite off the stalk and squeeze out the juicy flesh in one go. Don’t forget to spit out the big, brown seeds. Their flavour is delicate and a bit like tangerine.
Pollo en Adobo
This never makes the list of traditional Canarian foods but it's on most most dinner tables at least oce a week. Pollo en adobo is chicken marinated in lots (and lots) of garlic and fresh coriander and then fried. Pungent and delicious!
Sandwich Mixto
It’s hard to believe that two bits of white bread and a slice of ham and cheese can be so delicious. The sandwich mixto is the Canarian version of the ham and cheese toastie and is served for breakfast and as a snack at any time. The secret is in grilling the bread with plenty of butter.

Leche y Leche
An espresso shot with a dash of milk and a tablespoon of condensed milk to sweeten it. The condensed milk sits at the bottom of the cup and you have to stir it well before drinking. In Tenerife order a baraquillo and in Lanzarote a café bonbon. 
Clipper
Clipper is Gran Canaria’s answer to Fanta and Coca Cola. It’s a virulent red colour and tastes of strawberry air freshener. Canarians are proud of their local soft drink and guzzle it by the gallon. Try it if you have a sweet tooth but don’t ask too many questions about the colour and watch out for stains! For the cautious there are clipper flavoured ice lollies that taste pretty good.

Pepe Chiringo
Don Pepe started with a hot dog cart and now owns a chain of fast food restaurants in Gran Canaria. The food is cheap and cheerful and goes down well after a few beers. There is one on Avenida Tirajana in Playa del Inglés and another by the big park in Maspalomas. Gran Canaria’s answer to the Golden Arches and without the creepy clown! 

Do you have a favourite Gran Canaria food that never makes the Top Ten lists? Let us know and we'll add it to the list :-D

The Top Ten Traditional Canarian Foods
Coffee In The Canary Islands
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Come To Las Palmas For Culture, Stay For Food And Fun
The two sides of Las Palmas city
 
In brochure-land Las Palmas is full or tourists wandering around cobbled streets between museums and galleries. They eat authentic Canarian food, buy arts and crafts, and enjoy themselves in a demure, cultured sort of way without breaking a sweat.
You can do Las Palmas without stepping off the 15th Century cobbles of Vegueta. As the first Spanish city founded in the New World, it's gravid with history. It was attacked by cavemen, visited by Columbus, fought off an attack by Sir Francis Drake and got sacked by Dutch privateers. Vegueta is the perfect cultural destination: Compact, well-preserved and full of small, interesting museums.
However, there is also a spicier side to the city that you miss if you focus on the past.

Cocktails at sunset
Down at the modern end by the beach, tourism is about catching waves, learning Spanish, scoffing tapas and dancing salsa until you drop. Visitors are discovering Las Palmas as an exciting, modern city with Latino flair. They may wander over to Vegueta to visit Columbus' old haunts but they spend most of their time having fun in the sun.
This alternative scene isn't as new as it sounds. Until the late 1960s Las Palmas was the main tourist destination on the island and the beach was covered in Scandinavians and Brits. After the resorts in the south took off the city went to sleep, resting on its ancient laurels. 
 

Now not then
 
 

With millions of cruise ship passengers spending a day in the city, and three million tourist a year on the island for a week or two, Las Palmas has an opportunity to remind people that it is a destination in its own right. But it's not history and architecture that will bring the visitors back, it's today's city with its beach culture, great Spanish food and laid back cool.
We believe that modern Las Palmas is missing a trick by focusing on the city it was 500 years ago rather than the city it is now. Nobody leaps out of bed in the morning because they are excited about visiting a cathedral. But sunset cocktails, tasty tapas, warm sand and Latino rhythm? That sounds like fun!
There are bars by Las Canteras that do the best caipirinhas this side of Copacabana and the streets behind the beach are full of restaurants knocking out quality Spanish tapas. And then there's live music on the beachfront every Saturday, tapas night in Vegueta on Thursdays, carnival, the surf competitions, the marathon, the food and film weekend ... Las Palmas is already happening, it's just that nobody knows about it yet!
 
It is time for Las Palmas to get its mojo back and remind the rest of Europe that there is a Habana on this side of the Atlantic: That's the sexy Habana with mojitos and rumba by the way, not the Habana of crumbling buildings and long dead heroes.
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The Historic Maspalomas Space Station Has Saved 10,000 Lives
The Maspalomas Space Station picks up distress signals from around the world

The Maspalomas Space Station has saved 10,000 lives in 20 years by detecting distress signals from ships and planes. This is on top of its historic part in the Apollo moon landings.


The Maspalomas Space Station, also called the Canary Islands Space Centre, detects signals from distress beacons on ships and planes and from expeditions in remote areas. It then transmits their locations to the relevant emergency services. It is believed to have saved 10,000 lives in the past 20 years. That's more than one person per day!

In December 2012 it picked up a distress signal from a sinking yacht over 500km from the Canary Islands. A Superpuma helicopter saved the crew before the yacht sank, and broke the world record for a long distance maritime rescue at the same time.

Maspalomas and the moon
Started in 1960 as a NASA satellite tracking station it was extended in the 1960s to act as a receiving station for transmissions from the Apollo spacecraft. It was the first place on Earth to receive Neil Armstrong's famous words from the moon in 1969:

"That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind"
Maspalomas' role in the moon landings was so important that Neil Armstrong himself visited the island just three months after returning from the moon. He flew to Gran Canaria aboard Air Force One along with fellow moonlanders Michael Collins y Edwin Aldrin and stayed at the Maspalomas-Oasis hotel for three nights.
By all accounts the astronauts had a good time in Gran Canaria even though it rained on their last day. They took a boat trip along the south coast, got on a camel, partied late into the night and enjoyed the food. Armstrong's wife liked mojo sauce so much that she took the recipe home with her.
While in Gran Canaria, Armstrong said that the moon was "a wonderful place, just like Maspalomas. The whole island is amazing".
You can see the receiving antennas of the space station from the roads between Maspalomas and Arguineguin. It is just up the hill from Pasito Blanco harbour. At this time visits are not possible.
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The 2013 Gran Cabalgata parade in Las Palmas: 110 floats and a whole city in costume. This is Gran Canaria's biggest fiesta, and one of Europe's biggest street parties.
 
Read more about carnival in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands in this post.

Gran Canaria: Las Palmas Carnival 2013 Photos

 

 
 
Gran Canaria: Las Palmas Carnival 2013 Photos
 
Gran Canaria: Las Palmas Carnival 2013 Photos
 
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