So, we sight land as scheduled. Much snapping of terra firma.
Time to absorb European culture ...
... note an abandoned bullring ...
... that suggests the pastime is losing popularity ...
... peruse graffiti (but why English?) ...
... and applaud Spanish generosity of spirit that names a street for the seaman who attacked this island (he lost and also lost his arm). As Churchill declared, one can be 'magnanimous' in victory (one of Spain's few, at least against the British).
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
We dock by the Don Quijote.
On the way into town, I note some creative advertising. As best as I can manage, 'Night of (financial) flu's onset'. This dreadful disease can, of course, be cured by banking with Bankia.
Along the seaside promenade, determined walking ...
... and a fashionable young man awaits his girlfriend's arrival.
I cheer up telephone company strikers who, despite all their noise, seem to be largely ignored.
The following day, my first visit to Fuerteventura, the Canary Island closest to Africa and consequent recipient of migrant boatloads (although not to the current Mediterranean extent).
I hasten into town for early shots …
… and stumble across a street sign that, somewhat surprisingly, commemorates Franco’s brother, Ramón, who died in a 1938 air crash. He was not, apparently, the apple of his unpleasant brother’s eye. Well worth a Google.
... and visit a delightful house once inhabited by a Spanish academic who, in the 1920s, was sent into internal exile.
Plaudits for groups that display bathrooms used by people worth remembering. Forty-five years ago, Queen Victoria's Osborne loo emphasized for me that she was a real person, not just an oil portrait, statue or curious black and white image.
Old reporter's tip: when interviewing a particularly pompous or difficult person, think of them sitting on the toilet.
A mid-morning stop at a cafe ...
... and back to the ship. Above is a view of Puerto del Rosario from my cabin. Coming up: Morocco.
Canary Islands 2014: