773. Canary Islands Part 13 | Sunday Walk + Next Destination!

Las Palmas park

We've now finally decided and booked our next travel plans and I'm really excited!! This will be a fairly long post (in text, not in photos).

As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, our next destination had to be a non-Schengen country yet still within Europe/a close distance. We've considered pretty much all options but the only ones realistically we could have gone were Croatia, Turkey, or UK. I would have REALLY liked to go to Russia but it wouldn't be possible to get the visas from here (I'd have to do it from Canada). We also had to factor in each country's current COVID situation and restrictions, which didn't leave us with many options at all. It was a very stressful few weeks. I researched non-stop for a few days and now I am quite familiar with all COVID restrictions around the world (well all the European and Asian countries lol). One thing is that each country's restrictions are not very clear. There is no one website that lists out all the details so for each place (who is allowed in, what steps to take before entering, quarantine rules) so I had to contact their embassies to clarify things. Many were not really responsive.

So the top choice for some days was the UK as it would have been the easiest to fly to (we are a few hours away from London now). With the limited flights during this time, getting to other destinations would have been more difficult. England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland all have different rules. Yesterday/Dec 2, England ended their national lockdown so we thought of going there. All the cities are split into different tiers with different levels of restrictions which meant we would be able to go to tier 1 or 2 cities only. I spent a really long time researching pretty much all the cities in England. My top choice was somewhere in the Cotswolds as its always been a dream of mine to visit there..but it wasn't ideal to be there a month if we didn't have a car. The other major problem was that UK is EXTREMELY expensive to stay a month over the holiday season.

We also considered Turkey but now I'm very glad we didn't decide on that as their COVID cases shot up literally overnight.

Amidst all that, we didn't think of the place that was most convenient and that I was hoping to be able to visit due to its proximity to the Canary Islands - Morocco! So I started researching and discovered that foreigners fron visa-free countries are allowed in now, subject to certain restrictions. We will need to bring a negative PCR test taken within 3 days of arrival, and have a confirmed hotel reservation to enter the country. There are also some more steps to take exiting Casablanca (the city we need to fly into) but I won't get into that lol. Basically it's easiest if you hire a private registered driver to bring you out.

I've always wanted to visit Marrakech but when searching for accommodations, I found a place I really wanted to stay in Fes. Then I started researching about Fes and it seems a lot more interesting and authentic than Marrakech. In fact, many people seem to prefer Fes over Marrakech. Fes has the largest pedestrian medina in the world. The medina is the "old town" and it dates back to the year 789AD!! It's a walled-in area containing over 9000 streets and little alleyways, and countless souks within 540 acres of land. No cars are allowed in there - only donkeys. & Google Maps will not guide us through the streets so we will get lost for sure. Apparently everyone gets lost in there..even locals sometimes but it is part of the fun. I've watched a lot of travel vlogs of Fes and it seems so cool..very ancient like places you only see in a movie. I'm really looking forward to the exotic fruits and food there hahah.

I'm so excited yet a bit nervous (in a good way) to experience life there for 6 weeks. I hope we will adapt. I think I will experience pretty big culture shock as I've never been anywhere like that before. I hope during that time the restrictions will be loosened a bit and we could go to Chefchaouen (a magical-looking place), Marrakesh, the Sahara Desert & the Atlas Mountains as well. Also it will be my 32nd visited country!

Anyways here are some photos from our walk last weekend around Las Palmas. We walked past this really nice neighbourhood with beautiful houses.

Las Palmas park Las Palmas house Las Palmas Gran Canaria Las Palmas Gran Canaria Triana Canary Islands kitesurfing Las Palmas Canary Islands


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