Last week we should have been in South of France for a week of sunshine and cocktails with friends. Following the situation in France we cancelled and headed to the sunny Island of Gran Canaria. As travel is something many of us have missed out on this year. I thought I would share our experiences with you.
We flew from Standstead airport with Ryan Air. It is no secret that I am not a fan of the airline, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Check in was very easy with self check in and leaving our luggage. As most flights had been cancelled the airport was very quiet and social distancing was being kept too by everyone.
Passport control and security was easy and everyone helpful. Once through we found somewhere to have a coffee and breakfast, before getting ready to board our flight.
The plane was about a third full and passengers were spread out evenly. Masks had to be worn at all times unless eating or drinking.
Arriving at Gran Canaria
I have never landed and been through arrivals so quickly. Before travelling you need to complete a form stating your arrival and departure dates and where you will be staying so we made sure these were ready to be scanned when needed.
We left the plane and straight through passport control very quickly, one through our luggage was there ready. Then you go through the Covid testing where they scan you for your temperature and you then show your code you get from completing the form. We were in our taxi on our way to our villa within 30 minutes of landing.
We rented an amazing villa by airbnb, we had our own private pool and a fridge full of goodies left for us plus an overflowing fruit bowl. The host met us and showed us around the property before leaving us to enjoy our stay.
We did eat at home a couple of times and had everything we needed to help us prepare our meals whilst enjoying relaxing by the pool while it was cooking.
We loved our villa so much we have already booked to go again next year.
Out and About
The rule in Gran Canaria is if you are walking around you wear a mask. No matter where you are in a shop, walking on the beach, down the road you have to wear a mask. You can only remove your mask if sitting eating or drinking. There is no exceptions and everyone complied to the rule. They are also strict on using hand sanitiser, if entering a shop or bar/resturant you use the hand sanitiser. If you just walk in they send you back to use it.
The Island was very quiet as there is a dramatic drop in tourists, which has forced many hotels and resorts to close. We enjoyed shopping in centres such as the Yumbo Centre.
The Yumbo Centre is full of shops bars and restaurants, where we enjoyed some lovely meals and shopping where I managed to treat myself to a couple of new handbags and purse for me and C. We all felt sorry for the many shop and bar owners who were all desperate for business. The worst experience we had was at a different centre the Cita Centre where a shop owner literally chased us down the road begging us to buy from him. This was the only experience of this we had though.
One thing I love on holiday is new sunglasses and cocktails. Zippo kindly sent me a pair of sunglasses to review. I loved the glasses and were comfortable to wear (bearing in mind I was very hot and bothered walking around with a face mask on). My other indulgent is a cocktail and I had some amazing cocktails while away including this strawberry daquiri.
My thoughts on travelling to Gran Canaria during Covid-19
We kept checking on Gran Canaria and their covid rate before travelling. We knew that we would have to quarantine for 14 days on our return, plus also had C to take into account. From travelling on the plane to our whole time in Gran Canaria we felt safe. Safety was key to everything and everyone complied to the rules. The strange thing is that Gran Canaria has no confirmed cases of corona virus and unfortunately are linked in with mainland Spain. We travelled from a country with confirmed cases to a country with non and did not have to quarantine. We then travelled from a country with no cases to a country with an increasing number of cases. After travelling to there I would quite happily go again.
It probably will not surprise anyone to know the first time we came into contact with a queue and no social distancing was when we landed at Stanstead ariport. Also there was no one checking the forms we had to complete to return, or checking temperatures or anyone for illness.
Have you managed to get away anywhere this year?