Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Had a lie-in this morning and decided not to go down to breakfast.  I just made a cup of coffee with the kettle in our cabin, and Trevor brought me back a muffin from the buffet as the Malarone prophylaxis have to be taken with food.  I don’t know whether it was the all the late nights or an abundance of free booze (or both!) catching up with me, but this morning I felt like one o’clock half struck.

Today the Braemar was docked in Las Palmas, capital of the island of Gran Canaria.  This is the third time we’ve been here; last time was in October 2010 on the Queen Elizabeth and the time before was on Queen Mary 2 in January 2004.  But what a difference the weather was today compared with those previous times; once again the skies were grey and cloudy, there were intermittent showers and a very strong wind.  😦

So when we disembarked the ship to walk into town for a look around, we had to wear our cagoules and I personally wish I’d brought a jumper or lightweight jacket as well.  You really don’t expect the weather to be other than kind when in the Canaries, but this time we were disappointed; it’s the coldest we’ve known it.

We walked into the main town and went to a large food and produce market.  There were vast arrays of fresh meats, fruit and vegetables, and of course a massive fish and seafood stall.  The various smells coming from the fish, vegetables, herbs and spices was very mouth-watering and the market vendors were doing a roaring trade.  I found what I was looking for; a stall selling soft drinks as I decided I needed a Red Bull to perk me up a bit.  🙂

When we came out of the market we saw a huge “El Corte Ingles” department store and, more to keep out of the wind than anything, we went inside.  The ground floor dealt with perfumes, toiletries and cosmetics, and I saw a Bobbi Brown counter. As I love her products, I allowed the lady on the counter to make up my eyes, then a I bought a sparkle eye shadow and a black gel eye liner.  I will try them out tonight.

We then spent some time riding up and down on the escalator and seeing what was on the different levels, before eventually making our way back outside again.  We looked around a few more shops then decided to go back to the Braemar; we hadn’t booked any excursions today as we’ve been here twice before anyway, as I’ve already said.  If the weather had been better we would have explored further afield, and maybe gone to the beach, but we just made up our minds to go ashore again later if we wanted, as we were in port until 11.00pm tonight.

Back on board we went to the Palms Café where I enjoyed a bowl of soup and some mixed salad.  I was craving for a packet of cheese and onion crisps as it is my favourite snack and I hadn’t had any since we came away on holiday!  🙂

After lunch I went back to the cabin for a sleep, to try to shake off my lethargy/hangover, whatever you’d call it.  😉

Around 3.00pm we went ashore once again, this time to have a look around a big indoor shopping mall.  I found somewhere selling crisps (yum yum) and we did a bit of window shopping but didn’t buy anything.  Again, it was just to keep out of the wind and the showers.

On our return to the ship we whiled away the time in our cabin before going to dinner at 6.00pm, where we enjoyed the company of our table-mates on table 123 as well as the delicious food.  The rosé wine I had was my first alcoholic drink of the day, but by now I’d perked up and was ready to take advantage of our all-inclusive drinks package once more.  😉

Once again we were unable to get into the Neptune Lounge for tonight’s show.  Usually the first performance is at 8.30pm for those on first dinner sitting, with the 2nd sitting’s show being at 10.30pm.  But for some reason, the second sitting passengers’ show was on at 7.00pm, which meant no-one from our sitting could get in, and the queues stretched all the way back from the Neptune Lounge, all round and through the Morning Light, and into the corridor beyond.  It was completely ridiculous just for a “West End to Broadway” show by the Braemar Show Company.

In any case I wasn’t too bothered about missing that show as I find the West End musical songs have been done to death on cruise ships;  it’s always the same – songs from West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Singing in the Rain etc. etc.  Yawn.  So we just sat in the Morning Light pub and enjoyed a few of the gratis drinks before we went along to the Coral Club for the quiz.

There was supposed to be a party on the aft decks called “A Night under the Las Palmas Stars”, but needless to say the unusually cold and windy weather put paid to that, so the event was moved into the Coral Club, the performance coming from the good old Braemar Orchestra and the resident M.I.T. Band.

At around 11.00pm the increased engine vibrations coming through the floor of the Coral Club told us that the Braemar was leaving port once again.  We stayed half an hour or so to enjoy the disco before going back to our cabin and turning in for the evening.  There was quite a lot of movement of the Braemar and it looked as if we were in for a choppy night.

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