Central park: Parque San Telmo
Sandwiched between the residential district of Arenales and the shopping area of Triana, Parque San Telmo’s slap bang in the middle of Las Palmas. Prices seem to be higher in the park’s cafe, where you can enjoy a range of cold and hot drinks along with light snacks, than in other nearby venues. But, as you can see from the picture, the owners must invest profits in a cleaner to keep the tiles gleaming on this art-deco building.
San Telmo Park houses one of the two main bus stations in the island’s capital (the other being in Parque Santa Catalina). Global buses pick up and drop off passengers travelling to and from other towns and villages on the islands inside the station whilst there are stops for the inner-city Guaguas Municipales outside. At both the Avenída Marítima and Parque San Telmo entrances. There’s also a taxi rank.
Pirates of the Atlantic
In the south-west corner of the park you’ll find the Ermita San Telmo AKA the Parroquia de San Bernando. Dutch pirates led by Pieter van der Does sacked this hermitage/parish church in 1599. Yet, it’s since been rebuilt and these days is a popular wedding venue.
Keeping with the naughty nautical theme, older kids will enjoy climbing up and down the life-sized model of a pirate ship. Whilst younger ones have their own, smaller playground nearby offering the classic slides-and-swings combo. At Christmas time, look out for Parque San Telmo’s mini funfair.
Buildings with the word Patria on them invariably give me the creeps. Sounding more Teutonic than Hispanic, these are military buildings which defend the fatherland. The Gobierno Militar certainly casts a shadow over the park. It’s where Francisco Franco declared his rebellion in 1936, starting the Spanish Civil War in the process.