Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hippo Birdies to Trickers in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Holiday Diary Part II

I can keep this up for hours, you know....

"Today’s the day that Trickers reaches his three score years and ten; one of the principal reasons we’re all here at all.

The day begins with compulsory life jacket and running-like-hell-to-get-a-place-on-the-lifeboat drill; we’re already in dock in Las Palmas, so there doesn’t appear to be any genuine or imminent danger of needing a lifeboat, but the crew seem most enthusiastic about our presence in orange flotation vests. Mrs The Millbrooker spent a few minutes adjusting her dress before joining the throng on deck 6 for the parade:Milly and Trickers had to muster on the other side of the boat, so we caught up with them bit later at their breakfast and gently threw a birthday card at the newly venerable Tricks.

With Trickers being King For The Day, we took an open topped bus around Las Palmas to get our bearings. Here’s the back of the birthday boy’s head, alongside Milly’s highly fashionable head gear as we circulated the city listening to a seemingly endless stream of barely pronounceable names from the history of the island and the city:Handily, from our vantage point on the upper deck we could check out lots of interesting signage, some of which was easily interpretable:

After about three quarters of the circuit, we hopped off the bus near the old quarter (La Vegueta) to explore a bit on foot. I had cunningly disguised myself as a local inhabitant, eschewing all tourist style apparel, and so blended in perfectly. Here’s me showing how it’s done, and how even a white stick user can bravely tackle the streets of Las Palmas without causing more than a modicum of chaos to the traffic flow.

In an attempt to avoid boring the pants off everyone who reads this nonsense, I’ll skip rapidly over our toddle around the cathedral (very impressive); our examination of numerous religious paintings in the attached museum (dull as ditch water, and I like to think I’m at least a bit cultured); our lunch of pizza at a pavement café; our mercifully brief wander around a shopping centre in vain hope of finding some wine to take back aboard, and I’ll skip straight to the official birthday portrait. Please feel free to copy and paste it into your own collection, should you be one of Trickers’ legion of admirers.

We ate at the poshest restaurant on board and Trickers was serenaded by a pair of waiters in honour of his new found maturity.

To round off the evening, Milly bravely attempted her first Tequila Sunrise; I stuck with a more sedate Drambuie.

Milly enjoyed her cocktail, but claimed not to be even remotely squiffy. Hmmmm. Perhaps not squiffy. Steaming might be slightly more accurate."

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