Gibraltar - part one

Trip Start Mar 02, 2013
Trip End Apr 06, 2013

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Flag of Gibraltar  , Andalusia,
Monday, March 18, 2013

Incredible! Perfecto! The drive was beautiful, but when this amazing rock comes into sight, your jaw drops. It is very impressive. One of Britain's last remaining colonies, you are transported from Spanish to English, check through customs with a wave of the hand, and look up, way, way up! It is a hunk of limestone, only 5km. long, 2 km. wide and 450 metres high.

Before our tour we introduced Mike and Debbie to coffee, Spanish style and Churrros; every village has their own way of making Churros! Old "one eye" managed to communicate very well in French when placing his order. So with Tony speaking Italian, Mike speaking French, Everyone else speaking Spanish, we managed quite well! Debbie and I, well you know what we were doing!

Today we experienced two "the only place in the world" amazing things. In Gibraltar we stood on the Rock of Gibraltar and saw two continents, Europe and Africa and two bodies of water, where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet. The sky was perfectly clear and we could see ....forever! The snow capped mountains of Sierra Nevada, Granada were within our sights. Africa was only 15 kms. away!

The second, We walked across the Tarmac of the Gibraltar National Airport to get to the community of Gibraltar, in between flights, the only place in the world where you will experience these two situations! The only road to the rock along with the sidewalks, crosses in the middle of the Tarmac. The airport is in the process of completing a new terminal and a tunnel that will allow them to become an International Airport so in one year, this experience will be gone. There are three flights in the morning and three flights in the afternoon, and when the planes come in everything comes to a halt.

The Rock is basically hollow, full of caves and the Grand Siege tunnels, which were hand carved, blasted in the 1700's. We were able to experience and walk through the tunnel and enter the cave. St. Michaels Cave was used as a bomb proof Military Hospital in World War Two.

There are many Barbary Apes living at the summit, tailless monkeys who are very friendly and are quite used to the tourists. The story goes that the British will keep the rock only as long as the apes remain too: Winston Churchill was superstitious enough to augument their numbers during WWII when their numbers started to decline. They are well taken care of with veterinary visits every six months, they have inoculations against any and all diseases, the population is controlled through birth control. They are all tagged for identification. They were quite cute!

We lunched near the marina where the view was filled with sailboats and yachts. There isn't a dock big enough in North Bay to house any of the yachts we saw today.

We were very smart to hire a tour guide "Carl", who took very good care of us. We toured the whole town the old side and the new, the new of course is from reclaimed land. Taking the cable car would only take you up and down one side, no stopping. We, being on the tour saw everything and stopped at every viewing point. This touring taxi company is the only allowed vehicle on the upper levels. It was a lot of fun for many reasons but for you James Bond fans, Carl, our guide en route down played a clip from a James Bond movie (Living Daylights) with Timothy Dalton, an opening scene filmed on these roads. It was craziness!

It was a full day and I could not possibly include everything in this blog. It was so special in many ways. The ride home was quiet, everyone lost in their thoughts of the experiences they had today!

By the way old one eye, did well on the navigating with the assistance of a GPS sneaked in from home. GPS "Lance" did alright but was off in one spot. We blamed the GPS until one eye confessed to a programming error! I guess reading names of cities falls into the blind section, "I thought it said.....we did better than I would have so we laughed instead of.......

I will send photos, incredible day.
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Carrie on

Cool! It sure beats the 21cm of snow we are getting here. Maybe you need to head up to the Sierra Nevada if you need a reminder. You might want to extend your vaccaciones.

CJP on

What an experience! You guys are having so much fun!

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