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A LETTER FROM LAS PALMAS.

A diary of an Irishman who moved to live permanently in Las Palmas Gran Canaria.

The recent summer Las Palmas Carnival has come in for a lot of criticism. 

 

The Grand parade usually attracts the participation of up to 200,000 people. This year approximately 40,000 took part. 

 

The Grand parade always happens before Easter, so a summer date did have some effect on numbers. 

 

The main criticism was about the speed of the parade as it went from the beach area to the old town.

 

The first float made the journey in just two and a half hours. It usually takes over five hours.

 

Reports say the local Police put pressure on the parade to move faster. One group claimed they had been told they would be fined thousands of euros if they did not move faster.

 

The local Police are currently in dispute over a ban on paid overtime.   It looks like they were not keen on staying around if they were not getting paid.

 

The parade started arriving in the old town around 1930. This would be about two and a half hours quicker than usual. As tends to happen, many street parties broke out. Right at the time, many Police packed up for the day and went home. 

 

A slower carnival is a better carnival. I would not mind if the Police got involved with the service industry here to speed that process up. 

I have been fascinated with the El  Murrel shopping centre in Las Palmas since I first visited it eight years ago. 

 

It is, for me, pleasing to the eye and in a great location near the busy Parque Santa Catalina.  It has excellent views of the port. 

 

I have never seen more than 50% of the stores occupied.  It looks even less now. 

 

The Las Arenas shopping centre at the end of Playa Las Canteras thrives.  It is far enough away for both centres to do well.  What is wrong with El Murrel.  I don’t know to be honest. 

I do have a bit of a strange reason I like visiting El Murrel.  I have become slightly obsessed with the escalator at the entrance to the centre. 

 

I am sure in eight years; it has been out of action 80% of the time.  

 

It works.  It stops working.  It gets repaired.  It works, but then it breaks down again.  This has been the process for at least eight years. 

 

I have to admit I do get a sense of excitement as I approach the centre to see the latest status of what has to be the most repaired escalator in the world. 

The first heatwave of the summer arrived this week in the Canaries.  

 

Temperatures of over 40c have been recorded on some islands.  Gran Canaria has seen the highest temperatures.

 

Nighttime temperatures are not dropping below 35c in many areas. 

 

Temperatures in the Canary Islands usually hover between the low and mid-20s.  Sometimes they go over 30c, but over 40c is not normal.  

 

I have a feeling this is not the last heatwave of the summer

One thing I like about living in Las Palmas is there is always an event on.  Usually with music. 

 

This time of the year, many small towns hold summer festivals.   For some reason, a lot of the festivals are based on cheese.  

 

A while back, I went to a potato festival in Teror Gran Canaria.  It was correctly named as there was just about more than one potato on display.  We did have a good laugh about it.  They did not have it the following year. 

 

I was invited to an onion festival last week but declined as it said onion and not onions.

I am now over six months living permanently in Las Palmas.  I have settled into my apartment at this stage.

 

I think if I live to an average age I could be here another 20 years.  I do get a bit freaked out at the thought at times.   I usually check the weather in Ireland and everything is ok again.

 

 

 

Accommodation prices are up 20% in the Canary Islands this year.   I have noticed that some accommodations do reduce prices last minute.  

 

I popped down to Playa del Ingles last Friday to meet a friend on holiday and managed to get a perfect apartment for just thirty euros. 

 

Flights from Ireland have become expensive this summer.  I have noticed many people telling me they are flying from Ireland to the UK and flying to the Canaries from there as it works out cheaper.

 

A recent report shows 361,598 scheduled airline seats from Ireland to the Canary Islands in the summer of 2022.  That is 43,577 less than pre covid summer 2019.

 

There are 3,556,992 scheduled airline seats to the Canaries from the UK in the summer of 2022.  That is 384,669 more than pre covid summer 2019

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