I approached our trip to the Canary Islands a little differently than I have our other trips: I didn’t do much planning at all. I researched, of course, the best places to go and eat, but we had no specific itinerary: just a list of possible things to do. We looked at the list each night and decided what we do the next day.
On our first full day in Gran Canaria, we went in search of breakfast. I had read about a restaurant called El Populacho, which is on the corner of the main square in Aguimes.
We had some difficulties finding our way around the island. Our WiFi hotspot was spotty and Google maps kept trying to send us down one-way roads in the wrong direction. After much time zigzagging on the mountainside, we finally gave up, parked on a random side-street, and came upon the restaurant quite by mistake.
It was the first restaurant we came across when we emerged from the alley, and it wasn’t until we were seated and looking at the menu that I realized we were in fact at El Populacho, which gave us a good laugh.
The garbanzada (chickpea stew with bacon) was the recommended dish, but unfortunately, it wasn’t available when we were there, so we instead ordered the very delicious ropa vieja, which we enjoyed with a glass of fresh juice from sidewalk seating.
After we ate our meal, we merely wandered around Aguimes, which is known for its lovely pastel-colored buildings.
An artist’s gallery caught our eye. The proprietor and artist-in-residence was originally a lawyer in Italy, who moved to Gran Canaria for a slower and less stressful life. He had a collection of lovely handmade leather products, as well as a selection of little knickknacks and souvenirs made from stones and hemp. The artist was lovely and spoke to us for a while, telling us about his life and his art.
Afterwards, we merely walked through the narrow streets at a leisurely pace, snapping photos of the beautiful buildings. As I learned in Venice, sometimes the most enjoyable adventures are the leisurely ones where you have no specific thing to see and no specific place to be.
This morning in Aguimes was no exception. If you love colorful architecture and love wandering charming foreign streets, Aguimes is a lovely way to pass a couple of hours in Gran Canaria.
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