Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 18, 2011

8. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #7 Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Hi All,

I’m am writing this blog on Wednesday, Nov. 16th, as we are arriving in Barcelona at four this afternoon.  I may be posting several ports at a time, again, so make sure you read them in sequence.

Gibraltar, as most of us know, is a two square mile rock at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic.  It has always been contentious because of its strategic location (you can see from Gibraltar, Africa, so it’s almost impossible for a ship to enter or leave the Mediterranean without being seen).  It is a British territory, and how they got Gibraltar is a long story.  I’ll just say that in 1704 during the War of Spanish Succession, a English and Dutch combined force took the rock and as a result at the end of the war Spain ceded the region to Britain “ in perpetuity”.  Spain, has regretted it ever since, and from time to time makes rumbles about taking it back although now all is quiet, and the borders are wide open,  Its name comes from an 8th century Berber general, Tariq ibn Ziyad (don’t ask me how they got Gibraltar out of that – sorry I found out, it’s the word “gebal” which means Rock in Arabic and his last name “Tariq” or Gebal Tariq which later became Gibraltar), who used it as a base to seize most of what is modern Spain and Portugal (thus starting the Moorish culture in Iberia).

Since we were getting close to English territory the weather turned cold, cloudy, and rainy (no surprise).  Here’s a look at the rock as we we’re coming in:

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Africa is to the right of the photo above and you could just make it out through the clouds. A look at the harbor next:

 IMG_3543 Stitch  

I have to stop here and tell a little story about Gibraltar.  The rock itself is covered with monkeys.  They have lived there forever and legend says the British will control Gibraltar until the Barbary Apes and monkeys leave.  Needless to say, Susy heard all the stories of the monkeys jumping on you, especially if you carried a bag which might have food, etc..  So when we arrived Susy put down her foot and said she would go shopping below (it’s a duty free zone), but no way was she going up on the rock.  To make a long story short, that’s how we spent the day.  Susy arriving at the port:

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Those of you who have followed us before will notice the grey jacket Susy has on, our cold weather companion.  We bought those jackets for $15.00 in Denmark and have used them on all our travels over the years.

My home for the day (Susy went shopping):

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It poured down rain most of the day, but I did get some photos of the shopping area below the rock:

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The rock behind the shopping/living area of Gibraltar:

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The good thing about the day was the restaurant had Wi-Fi so I got caught up with all my posting and we both did our emails.  Susy did some shopping.  The only bad thing (not for Susy) was we missed the monkeys and the caves inside the rock (the view from above was blocked because of the clouds).

In order to show we were there:

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I want to close this blog by showing you Susy at dinner (she’s wearing her purchases for the last few days – hint – the bracelets and necklace) and how the dining room is decorated for the visit to Gibraltar:

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That’s it from Gibraltar, it’s on to sunny Spain, Almeria first stop.  Until then,

Love You All,

Gary


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