Matthew Hirtes
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Author, blogger, and travel writer, residing in totally tropical Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Entries by Matthew Hirtes

Conversations With Spirits by E O Higgins, a Review

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 5:49 PM

My Big Fat Disclaimer: Let's get this out of the way first. In what feels like back before the day, I briefly worked with Edward Oliver Higgins. An experience which, hopefully, informs this review, and not only by my caring to share his little-known middle name to a...

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It's Business Time on Gran Canaria

(8) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 5:57 AM

If you've ever read any of my back catalogue, you probably won't have me pegged as a business traveller. Check the profile pic if my work's totally new to you. Yes, I've got an economy-class mugshot, haven't I?

So, it came as some surprise to be invited to review

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Tenerife, Loving My Neighbour

(4) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 5:51 AM

There's little love lost between the neighbouring islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. If you want any evidence of this, go along to a derby between rivals UD Las Palmas and CD Tenerife. Whilst both, despite proud histories, find themselves in the Segunda A division, encounters are as fiercely competed...

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Portugal's South Central, The Alentejo

(8) Comments | Posted June 8, 2013 | 9:26 AM

As the bus pulls into Porto Covo, I espy a man in a Mercedes eight-seater waving at me. After unloading my suitcase, the man approaches and I mouth, "Balthasar?" Shaking my hand with the force of a non-marine Portuguese man of war, the elegantly-coiffured man replies: "Balthasar's sick, I'm Alfredo....

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Arribes: Everything Else Is Noise

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 5:28 AM

2013-04-15-ArribesDVDcover.jpg Photograph by Zev Robinson

Arribes: Everything Else Is Noise focuses on the Arribes del Duero region within the province of Castilla y León. This is Spain's north-west and it's every bit as gritty as NW England, mirroring the hard-knock life experienced by inner-city Manchester...

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Sevilla Mia

(8) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 12:08 PM

Back in my London days, a great late-night favourite of mine was Hanway Street aka Little Spain, a narrow street of dives and drinking dens. My personal favourite was Sevilla Mia, My Seville, a basement bar where you were as likely to see an impromptu flamenco show as enjoy a...

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The Canary Islands: The Seven Wonders of the Mid-Atlantic

(11) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 5:49 AM

El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, and Tenerife. Count 'em. Yes, seven islands. Three may well be the magic number, but seven conjures up images of magnificence and, indeed, wonder.

El Hierro, the most westerly of the isles, is where the wild things live. Where juniper...

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Spain's New Dictatorship

(28) Comments | Posted November 25, 2012 | 6:00 PM

20 November 1975. Spaniards remember the date. For this was the day democracy returned to their shores, with the death of dictator Generalísimo Franco. Indeed, actor Antonio Banderas, despite being only 15 at the time, recalls toasting El Caudillo's demise with cava.

20 November 2011. Exactly 36 years after the...

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