Gran Canaria, you surprised me!

Close up of Roque Nublo, seen from Pico de las Nieves. You can se hikers next to the rock to get a estimate of the size of the rock.

Volcanoes and mountains, what’s not to like

Volcanic mountains and canyons in Gran Canaria close to heading down to Maspalomas, February 2023

Volcanic mountains and canyons in Gran Canaria close to heading down to Maspalomas, February 2023

I had a great time during my visit in Gran Canaria. When I booked my flight I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to get away from shovelling snow for a while, experience a warmer climate. The Canary Islands are a well known destination for europeans escaping the winter and enjoying the beach. It hasn’t had a reputation for being the most adventurous destination in my circles. But, I was so wrong. The Island is so much more than beaches. It has beautiful volcanic mountains and canyons. Volcanoes on islands seems to be a theme in my travels nowadays. I love both Bali and Iceland even though the climates are very different.

Roque Nublo in Gran Canaria and Tenerife seen from Pico de las Nieves, February 2023

Roque Nublo in Gran Canaria is 80 meters high. Here I photographed it from Pico de las Nieves, which stands 1949 meters above sea level. And in the distance you can see Tenerife, another of the Canary Islands.

So while in Las Palmas – which is a lovely city and has beautiful nature, great restaurants, good swimming and surfing – I decided to take a bus tour to explore the island. First I thought I would rent a car, but the public communications on the island are good and inexpensive furthermore, there are many tourist companies offering very price worthy tours of the island. One thing I’ve realised is that taking a bus tour with a local guide is one of the best ways to get to know a place. The guide tells you so much more than what is usually said in tourist guides and you get a personal presentation of the place. You also get the chance to be present in the moment and not having to care about driving and such. On Gran Canaria, since I’m afraid of heights, I wouldn’t have been able to drive. The volcanic mountains are high, like Pico de las Nieves that’s 1949 meters above the sea level. We were so lucky when the bus got to the top that it was a clear day and we could both see Roque Nublo, which is a 80 meters high rock, and also Tenerife which is the next island. And, my fear of heights doesn’t seem to apply in this place. It was just that I was surprised when the bus started climbing up the first mountain. I hadn’t realised that we would be going on winding roads up and down mountains all day. But, I wasn’t afraid, the roads are very good, and our driver Barbara had been driving buses on them for 39 years so I felt safe. Also, when the scenery is this beautiful I kind of forget about how high up we are.

Close up of Roque Nublo, seen from Pico de las Nieves. You can se hikers next to the rock to get a estimate of the size of the rock.

Close-up of Roque Nublo, seen from Pico de las Nieves. You can see the tiny hikers next to the rock to get an estimate of the size of the rock.

I was absolutely mesmerised by Roque Nublo and took millions of photos of it. The rock is 80 meters high. When I looked at my photos I noticed that there are many hikers next to the rock on the photo. They look smaller than ants. Seeing the details in a photo is also a reason why you shouldn’t rely on your mobile phone alone if you want to take good photos. My phone would never have captured the hikers next to the rock, and I’ve wouldn’t been able to fully understand how high the rock is.

You can hike between the two mountains. Or go by bicycle, or by car. We met many cyclists on the road between Las Palmas and Maspalomas. It must be a good exercise to bicycle in those mountains. I even saw the Czech national team having lunch at the same restaurant as we did. And I’ll probably do another post about this trip in the mountains since our tour was so packed with stops. Along the road there are many campsites where you can put up your tent for the night, or just stop and have a barbecue since there are fire places and tables set up. Camping and trekking is a big thing in Gran Canaria. So, there’s so much more than beaches to the island.

I knew so little of Gran Canaria, the original inhabitants of the island was Berbers that came from Africa and lived in caves in the mountains. On the photos you can see little holes in the mountains, those holes are caves. Actually it’s the same in Iceland, up until recently people lived in caves in the volcanic mountains there too. A bit harsher climate tho. Nowadays the caves in the mountains on Gran Canaria are sought after properties, partly because the climate in the caves since it’s cooler than in regular houses and also because you can expand you cave almost as far as you like. you can have a mansion in a cave in Gran Canaria, wouldn’t that be something! This is a fact that really surprised me, I did not know that people still lived in caves and that they are attractive accommodation. Since I’ve been in Morocco a long time ago and visited Berber villages I recognised much of the scenery. It’s like when my grandparents emigrated from the north of Sweden to Michigan, they went to a place that looked very similar to what they were used to from back home.

Volcanic canyon close to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria where a family used to live on the bottom. The ruins are still visible at the bottom. February 2023.

Volcanic canyon close to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria where a family used to live on the bottom. The ruins of the houses are still visible at the bottom. And one of the sons in the family didn’t even leave the canyon for the first 80 years of his life.

This was the first stop on our trip and just when I did realise that I might faint during the bus rides. My fear of heights is a bit strange, it’s just when I’m in manmade vehicles, or on constructions, or roads that I’m afraid. If I’m standing on the ground or climbing myself it’s not a problem. But, as I said. I enjoyed the bus rides and was extremely grateful that I didn’t have to drive myself. This is one big canyon where a military family used to live on the bottom of it. Since the soil is volcanic it’s also very fertile, and the family could grow most of the food they needed. And, one of the sons in the family didn’t leave the canyon until he was 80 years old. Quite the opposite of me then, but it looks beautiful down there, and maybe one day I’ll find a place where I’d like to stay and not leave at all.

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67 responses to “Gran Canaria, you surprised me!”

  1. [QOUTE] “You also get the chance to be present in the moment and not having to care about driving and such.” [QOUTE]

    [ME]: Yes if not for that, what’s it all for in the end?. So it is great that you were able to take full advantage of the occasion and become one with the moment โœŒ๏ธโœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜†.

    [QOUTE] “But, I wasnโ€™t afraid, the roads are very good, and our driver Barbara had been driving buses on them for 39 years so I felt safe. [QOUTE]

    [ME]: The roads being good plus the driver being super experienced makes all the difference when it comes to any kind of excursion through unfamiliar territory involving vehicles โ›ฐ๐Ÿ”๐ŸšŒ๐Ÿ. Hat’s off to Barbara ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‚

    [QOUTE] “Also, when the scenery is this beautiful I kind of forget about how high up we are.” [QOUTE]

    [ME]: Spoken like a true adventurer ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ˜‚. That is very sweet to know and thank you for sharing your remarkable story about it Gran Canaria ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™.

    [QUOTE]: “you can have a mansion in a cave in Gran Canaria, wouldnโ€™t that be something! This is a fact that really surprised me” [QUOTE]:

    [ME]: It sure would and I think it would surprise most people I this day and age. It is definitely not the type of thing we associate with caves so being able to “modernize” a cave is quite the idea.

    [QUOTE]: “maybe one day Iโ€™ll find a place where Iโ€™d like to stay and not leave at all.” [QUOTE]:

    [ME]: Yup, you had so much fun there, the place is phenomenal, and it was such a beautiful time that this dream just might come through someday lol

    [QUOTE]: “I knew so little of Gran Canaria, the original inhabitants of the island was Berbers that came from Africa and lived in caves in the mountains. On the photos you can see little holes in the mountains, those holes are caves.” [QUOTE]

    [ME]: I would have had absolutely no idea what those holes were really about if it had it not been for the details you provided. Your blog is like a bit of geography, photography and history all wrapped into one ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ’ž

    By the way, I formatted the comment like this to make your remarks and my replies more distinguishable. It turned out to be a mouth full but atleast it shows that I read it if anything LOL

    • Thanks for reading and the comments ๐Ÿ™ yes, that bus trip was something special! As is the island! And just imagine, Swedish people have been visiting that island for at least 50 years and still I knew so little of it. It’s great to discover some new amazing facts, and experience the beauty of the world ๐Ÿ˜„

      • You are welcome, and as always your thoughts and expressions never fail to hearten me ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜†. I am once again enlightened and I appologize for the super late reply LOL.

        That bus trip does sound like no other, and it must have been memorable to view such a great island in that way haha. And, yes for you to be Swedish and learning about how the island has over 50 years of Swedish history must have been the epitome of Fun Facts ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      • Ah, think you misunderstood me. I am well aware of the fact that Swedish people have visited the island for more than 50 years, it’s just that they have given me the impression that Gran Canaria is only about beaches. Haven’t heard about the mountains and the Berber heritage. Haven’t heard much about the history and nature in the island. But maybe it’s me that haven’t been listening ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Oh I see what you mean. I may have needed to read it over again probably due to how it was worded, but thanks so much for your help ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ˜…. Your actual point seems to be that while Swedish people have been going there for over 50 years (which now includes you โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜‚), you personally didn’t know much else about the island before and only knew about the beaches because that is mainly what you were told about from those who have visited.

        But you are saying that maybe you were told about the other things but just didn’t notice probably because you weren’t listening haha

        I hope I got the point ๐Ÿ™๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿ˜„

      • Well you sort of got the point. But I was being humble, since I’m quite certain that no one has ever told me about the majestic mountains of Gran Canaria. And please excuse my English since it’s not my native language but, I was hoping to reach a wider audience with my web site by writing in English ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • “Well you sort of got the point. But I was being humble, since Iโ€™m quite certain that no one has ever told me about the majestic mountains of Gran Canaria. And please excuse my English since itโ€™s not my native language but, I was hoping to reach a wider audience with my web site by writing in English ๐Ÿ˜‰”
        ——–

        Understood, Thank you Helena ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™.

        Working through our moments of misunderstaning is what makes us stronger ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿคฃ. #philosophy

      • ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„ don’t worry about your English either. I am quite impressed how well you speak it despite it not being your native tongue, and even though I speak English, I always tread lightly when replying or chatting with you ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—. Have a great day my friend.

      • “So how do you know how I speak English since I havenโ€™t met you?”
        ——
        I think you misunderstood me a bit ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน. I was talking about how you communicate and speak/chat/talk in English online and on your blog and in the comments.

        As far as I can tell you do a good job of it (unless you are using Googler Translate or something like this ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„). But you are not a “cheater”, you are the real deal; you actually know how to speak multiple languages (English being one) and you’re just awesome the way you are — please don’t change ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž

  2. Your post is one of the reasons I follow great blogs. I knew nothing about Gran Canaria – in fact, I’d never heard of it – until I read your post. What a gorgeous island! By the way, I have the same fear of heights as you. I’m not afraid unless I’m in a vehicle. Perhaps it’s a control thing. I look forward to more of your Gran Canaria posts.

    • Thanks ๐Ÿ™ The island is really beautiful and well worth a visit. And yes, my fear of heights might be a control thing. Or, it’s half of my family that are afraid of heights and the other side are quite the opposite. They have no fear. My father helped his father sweep the chimney when he was 5 years. Another thing with my fear is I’m not afraid in air planes and roller coasters once they get going ๐Ÿ˜„

  3. you have personally and skillfully developed the idea of symbolism in your beautiful. Marvelous work! how are you and where are you from? i hope we can good friend.

      • Thank you so much. I’m from US. I hope you don’t mind be a friend of mine. Please send me your number so that we can have a good communication on whatsapp. or you can add me. here is my number.+821072925717

      • Thank you for your request. On the page “About me” there’s a contact form which you can fill out if you want to use my services as a photographer, or buy art prints of my photographs. There’s also a “Get in touch!”-button on the homepage which you can use to get to the contact form and e-mail your enquiries regarding my services as a photographer. Cheers, Helena ๐Ÿ“ท

  4. “Ah, ok. For me, speak means talking ๐Ÿ˜‰”
    ———-

    Haha, yes I was well aware of that. But weather we use “speak” as in “talk” or “chat”, or we are talking about “texting”, it still doesn’t change the context of my original comment where it is clear to me that you obviously know how to “communicate” pretty well in English regardless of thr format lol.

    Trust me I do not need a degree in linguistics to figure that out ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‚

      • Yup. I am glad you don’t worry about it ๐Ÿ’•โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜„. And your plan to reach a wider audience seems to be paying off big time because your blog is blowing up ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      • Well … the traffic is getting a bit better. Might ruin it though, planning to change themes soon, hopefully I don’t mess everything up by doing it ๐Ÿคž

      • Yes, it most likely would as you continue to grow. I don’t know what plan you have but I am using the free version of WordPress so general traffic and growth doesn’t really affect me that much.

        What does affect me is the limited features and things I am able to actually do with my site in terms of layout, content implementations and whatnot. But apart from that, I am good; I just try to find creative ways to compensate for the restrictions. But I understand that while I use this site casually, your situation is a bit more on the professional side. Sorry for the essay.

        Also and thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

      • Yes, it’s limiting. Even when you’re using the paid features. And, since I care a lot about the appearance of the site I would like to find a full customisable theme that I don’t have to make too many changes to ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคž

      • Oh so you would like to find a theme that has many of the features that you want in them by default?. I think you should be able to actually find one, I think that you may just have to check out as many of the themes as possible and try out their demos.

        I know that on the free plan on WordPress.com (“WordPress.org” is the self-hosted version where you have to pay for the hosting but you can otherwise freely make changes to the actual site itself and customize it to death), using plugins is not possible, but I know that the paid plans allowed the use of plugins which enables people to make tons of modifications and add lots of custom features to practically just about any theme.

        So for example, you’d be able to keep your current layout but add the features to it that you want without actually having to totally switch to a different theme.

  5. Hi Helena.

    How is your search for a better framework/theme for your site coming along?. It’s still an on-going process?

    • I changed themes after our conversation. Then I spent 7 hours or so trying to customise it. Still have to add and re-work lots of stuff. It’s just one thing, it seems like the captions to my photos on every blog post looks like ugly headlines beneath the photo. WP doesn’t seem to know how to fix it. I’ve been in contact with them and their answer leaves me standing halfway … you know when your trying to put something together and the manual leaves you standing with a cord in one hand plugged into the computer but doesn’t tell you where to plug in the other end. But. I’m happy I changed themes and there’s so much more I can, and will, do with this one!

      So, how are you ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Hey, I am alright; thank you for asking ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„. I was just checking up on you ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’•

        Glad to hear that after changing up themes you’ve found something promising. Lately I have been accessing your site through the “reader mode” feature and I did so today which is why I didn’t notice the changes you made, but after reading your comment, I actually viewed your site in the normal mode and noticed the changes. The underline of the text below the image definitely seems to be the result of the “style” of the particular theme that you’re using. But I must say that the new theme really gives your site a pretty sleek and polished look, plus the site still runs smoothly, and I love what you’ve done with it. It seems like you have managed to achieve your goal about not doing too much with it but getting things just right, except for the one issue you have with the headlines beneath the photos, but most themes always have to have that 1 irk or imperfection about them ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

        ” โ€ฆ you know when your trying to put something together and the manual leaves you standing with a cord in one hand plugged into the computer but doesnโ€™t tell you where to plug in the other end”

        ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Yes!, I had an issue with the scheduling feature on WordPress for weeks/months, and I brought the situation to light in the help forum:
        https://wordpress.com/forums/topic/consistent-misschedule-error/page/2/

        But I have never gotten anything conclusive on what exactly causes the issue, so the only thing I can say is that sometimes it randomly works and sometimes it randomly does not xD. I have been told that it’s possibly either the fact that I have low storage on my site or because I have too many posts scheduled since I have over 400+ posts scheduled and apparently there is a recommended scheduled limit that you won’t know about unless you read about it here:
        https://wordpress.com/support/schedule-a-post-or-page/#troubleshooting, as it was revealed to me here: https://wordpress.com/forums/topic/consistent-misschedule-error/page/2/#post-3898955

        But there was a time that this missed schedule error was still happening years ago when I would only have 3 posts “scheduled” for the week, then it randomly stopped, and recently from November of last year, it came back again LOL. It stopped for a while since my last update to the topic that I created about it in the support forum, but it came back ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜†, then stopped…

      • Oh, there definitely seems to be something missing with the captions beneath the photos. Think they missed something when they changed the feature when you upload photos. And nobody can tell me where to change the setting in the full site editing mode so I guess I have to find some ccs code or something. Among the other things I have to take care of ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Good that you’re alright ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ‘

      • Yup ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ. When it comes to adding captions to photos and stuff like that, it can easily be done in the Post Editor for “posts”, but when it comes to modifying captions and font styles for the Theme, sometimes it can be done in the “customize” menu that comes up on a page of the site when you’re logged in depending on what specific options were built into the specific Theme that you have installed. “Customize” lets you access specific options of the Theme overall. “Edit” lets you modify a specific “page” and then there is “Stats” and then more options when you click on the 3 dots lol

        If not, as you mentioned, you’ll have to add CSS code or add a plugin that specifically deals with adjusting and styling the fonts and appearance of the titles of posts etc.

        But you seem to be on the right track ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. Slowly and carefully work out the kinks ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ˜„

        @Wang chรบng; you are desperately lonely. I can send you an Inflatable Doll FREE of charge. You will only have to pay for the accessories. I can feel your suffering.

      • Yup. And there isn’t an option for editing the captions to the photos, or media files, in my theme only the headings and the paragraph font so I think they’ve forgotten something. So. I have to search the internet to find out how I edit the CSS. I did that way back because I didn’t like the colours in one of my old themes.

      • Great, that sounds like a plan. I would definitely recommend a search since many things may have changed since your last go with the CSS feature. They probably did forget something or there is a bug somewhere haha.

        From what I understand, to access WordPress’ core CSS feature, you have to navigate to the Appearance section inside of the Admin Dashboard and click on “Additional CSS”, then if you have a Premium Plan I think it allows you to add code and make custom touches. But when I go there, all I see is “Purchase a Premium Plan to activate CSS customization” LOL

      • That’s correct. I’ve seen that box while trying to edit. It’s just that I have to find the code somewhere too. Later ๐Ÿ‘ and thanks, for trying to help. WP has actually gotten back to me too but I’ve been so busy with my pattern design course that’s in Stockholm, and then some business meetings here in the north too. So, I’ve been all over the place as the Swedish Prince Daniel said, about his emotions, when his first child was born ๐Ÿ‘ผ

      • Add me on WhatsApp +821072975717. Let’s communicate and get to know each other. I like your personality. I want us to be friends.

      • Thanks for your enquiry. You can contact me via the contact form if you need some photographic services or want to buy some prints, then I can set up a sale on Picfair or my Printful or some other service that’s suitable to you. Cheers!

  6. “Thatโ€™s correct. Iโ€™ve seen that box while trying to edit. Itโ€™s just that I have to find the code somewhere too. Later ๐Ÿ‘ and thanks, for trying to help. WP has actually gotten back to me too but Iโ€™ve been so busy with my pattern design course thatโ€™s in Stockholm, and then some business meetings here in the north too. So, Iโ€™ve been all over the place as the Swedish Prince Daniel said, about his emotions, when his first child was born ๐Ÿ‘ผ”
    ———-

    You are welcome, it’s means alot ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„. I am here to help as long as you’re fine with it ๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’˜

    Right, you do have alot of things going, which is great to see๐ŸŒน, but at the same time it’s alot to stay on top of as you noted lol

    It’s great that you heard form WordPress. Hopefully if your correspond with WordPress long enough, they will be able to help ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚. But When you said that the captions to your photos just look like ugly headlines, do you mean that you would prefer the caption text to be smaller?

    • Yes, I’d like them to look like captions in a book. But I’ve also realised that some of my captions contain a lot of information and probably should be added to the paragraph text. It’s just that now they look very much out of place ๐Ÿ˜น

      • Hey, great to hear from you ๐Ÿ˜†. I hope you have a good day and I wish you a great week in advance โœŒ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿค—.

        Thanks for the update; I see your point haha. True, if the captions get lengthy, they probably will work well in or as paragraphs especially if they look out of place as captions resulting from their lengths ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

        What do you think about putting a text block under the image(s) then adjusting the text the specific size and font that you want?. It’s makeshift but it’s way better than dealing with code, and in some instances you could try doing that until you actually find the fix that you need lol. It’s just an observation but I am sure that what ever you do about the situation, it will be more than enough ๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿ˜†.

      • That’s what I’ve been doing. But it’s just that I’ve got all my previous post that I have to edit. Since I’m using my blog as a photography portfolio, and sometimes sending out links to certain posts, then I don’t want to have strange looking posts ๐Ÿ™„ it’s just one of the things I have to fix. But I’ll need some code, or go back and re-work every post. Yes, I’m good and super busy as usual. Hope you’re well too!

      • Yeah, you can try to apply that approach going forward for the new posts but having to go back and individually edit the captions on the older posts is the only caveat, because as you mentioned, you want to have things looking uniformed so that they will look more presentable and attract people to your services.

        But in my opinion, how the captions looked when you said that changing the theme made them look ugly, wasn’t really that bad looking at all. They did look like captions, just slightly bigger then they were on the other theme, but not to the point were they were terribly overshadowing or to the degree that someone would go “I do not want you to take such great photography for me that I see in your portfolio because the captions underneath your photos are 3px instead of 2px” LOL.

        So try not to burn alot of time and energy on that too much because that is alot of time and energy that you can be using on your actual photography.

        Thank you, I am doing well Helena <3 <3. I am pretty busy too, but I make sure I make time for you โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜„

      • Thanks! I think there might be some code in one of the emails I got from WP. And yes, there’s so much I have to use my energy towards.

      • No problem it’s my pleasure ๐Ÿ˜.

        I hope there is code that WordPress sent you, and if so, try it and see what the results are ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ™‚. I’ll try to follow up with you on this matter lol.

        Cheers for now ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž

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