Sunday 10th January
After sneezing rather a lot yesterday I woke up with a cold. I'd had a sore throat for the previous few days which I had been ignoring and put down to the air conditioning, but it was obviously not.
One good thing was that the Sea Bands were off and I no longer felt nauseous.
I was up in time to see us arrive in Las Palmas and tie up next to two huge Cruise Liners from other (German) companies. We went for breakfast, (yay my first breakfast!) in the Bistro - it had all the continental type selections, cooked 'English breakfast' options, cereals, porridge, fruit, yoghurt, boiled eggs and a 'live cooking bar' where the chef prepared eggs to order. We heard someone say that there was even more choice in the Waldorf Restaurant, but I can't imagine what! We will have to check it out another day.
We disembarked into Las Palmas and got a street map from the Tourist Information Booth outside the quay. We had seen a red 'City Sightseeing Bus' go by as we tied up, but when we looked at the route it took on the map and heard the price of 18Euro each, we decided to make our own way around. We made our way through the streets filled with shops and cafes, towards the beach which was edged with a wide promenade lined with more cafes. The beach is curved and there is a natural reef out into the bay where the waves crash over. The tide was coming in and large waves were also crashing on the shore and right up to the edge of the promenade and up over it in a few places! In other areas the beach was wide and the sand remained dry, and there were sand sculptures to look at. We walked to one end of the promenade enjoying the sunshine (28 degrees Celsius) and looked back at the view of the beach from that end of the bay. As it was Sunday there were lots of locals as well as tourists and the beach and promenade were packed with people. The Promenade certainly lived up to its name as there were lots of 'beautiful people' walking up and down and out to be seen in their Sunday Best, including jackets with fur collars, leather trousers, high heeled boots and chunky designer knitwear - in 28 degrees! Not all young and not all as beautiful as they thought they were.
We walked back up the promenade, aiming for the other end of the beach where we could see people surfing. We stopped for lunch at a cafe halfway along and also used their free wifi. The beachfront is clean and tidy and well managed. It has lots of facilities - toilets, outdoor showers, information boards etc - dotted along its mile or so length. There is also a public address system which every so often reminded you, in Spanish, then English, to keep an eye on your children, or only swim in designated areas.
At the other end of the beach we sat and watched the surfers in the HUGE waves, both surfing and bodyboarding until the weather got a little cooler and grey clouds came over the hill towards the beach. We then made our way back to the ship via the shopping mall just outside the quay. We wandered around (it had a C&A!) and found the supermarket at one end where we did some essentials shopping - Caffeine Free Coke and chocolate for Martin. Further on Martin bought some cigarettes in a small shop and as we left the shop I knocked into a flimsy display stand just inside the entrance to the shop - it went over, smashing the souvenir tiles hung on it! The young male shop assistant didn't really say anything but just went to get a broom to sweep it up. Martin offered to pay towards the broken items and after some negotiation gave him some money - I thought I heard the figure 75 (euros) and thought that wasn't too bad - £50?), but Martin actually handed over 175Euros! When I saw that I burst into tears, upset at the amount I had cost us. Two young Spanish women came over and saw what had happened and said we did not need to pay as the shop had insurance. One spoke to the shop assistant and told Martin 'I have put him in his place!' They said to find the mall security who would help us. The security guard also spoke to the assistant and in the end Martin got the money given back to him. We quickly left, thanking the young ladies, who wished us a good holiday.
After dinner we watched the sail away from Las Palmas until we could no longer see the strip of lights along the shore