Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
31Trip End May 15, 2011
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We would only be in port for half a day from 07:00AM until 1:00PM
Just outside of the lift building, was a set of tour vans, they were another way to go to the top. They offer a tour of the complete top of the Rock from the Pillars of Hercules to St. Michaels Cave on pass the Ape Den and out to the Great Siege Tunnels. We accepted the tour along with three other couples from the ship, thus we began our adventure on the Rock of Gibraltar
Our first stop was at the Pillars of Hercules, where legend says Hercules broke the land bridge between Europe and Africa and pushed the continents apart. This is the site that the ancient Greeks refer to as the Pillars of Hercules.
Out next stop was at St. Michaels Caves. This is a series of natural caverns formed by water erosion. They have found evidence of cavemen in the caverns and today it serves not only as a cave tour, but as a small theater for underground theatrical performances. We wander thru the cave and caverns seeing the large stalactites and stalagmites that make up a water erosion cavern. This was unexpected for us as the Rock of Gibraltar is not known for its natural caves.
From the natural caverns of St, Michaels Cave we drove along the mountain toward the far end of the mountain. About halfway across we stopped at the Ape's Den. This is a place where the famous Barbary Apes of Gibraltar are normally located. They can also be seen in lesser numbers all along the top of the mountain
From our vantage point, we stood on the tip of Europe and saw Africa just eight miles away. From here you can appreciate the significance of this rock at the end of the European Contingent. The Ancient Greeks were here during their time of dominance on the stage of mankind. In 711, a Moorish army led by Tariq ibn Zeyad crossed from Africa and began the conquest of Spain on the Rock of Gibraltar. The Spanish recovered control of the Rock in 1462, just thirty years before they sent Columbus around the Rock and out into the Atlantic on his voyage to the undiscovered New World. The Rock remained in Spanish control until 1704, when the British Navy under Admiral Rooke took the fortress and the town. It was called Rooke's Rock for some time after the takeover by the British. The Spanish and the French tried to jointly recapture the Rock with the Great Siege (1779-83) during the American Revolution. The siege was to become one of the greatest sieges in history. The British dug tunnels in the side of the mountain to protect themselves during the siege.
These Great Siege Tunnels were our next destination on the tour. It is estimated that in one day of heavy fighting there was over 4,000 rounds fire in total by both sides. The British Army tunneled into solid rock to escape the bombardment
After leaving the tunnels we headed back down the Rock to the town that lies between the Rock and the ocean. It is a small town of about 30,000 inhabitants that are part of the British Empire by referendum requested by the United Nations in 1967. The town is a mixture of a military town and a tourist town. Its main street is mainly a walking street and is called Main Street. We had a leisurely walk back thru town and toward the harbor and the White Lady. As we approached the end of the town there was a large military parade occurring in the main square of town. As a British Army location, all of the pomp and ceremony that the British Army is known for was present at the ceremony. It was a ceremonious reminder that this is still a place of military significance
We returned to the White Lady in time to have a nice lunch before the crew removed the gangplank and slipped the ship gently from the dock and out into the Straits of Gibraltar toward the Atlantic Ocean. We will cruise for the rest of the day and night to awake tomorrow morning in Lisbon, Portugal.
Hunt for Harriet Results:
Linda, Sharon, Brenda, and Chrystal were able to located Harriet amidst the crowds of St. Paul de Vence. Today she is on the streets of the Town of Gibraltar waiting to be discovered by you.
Where is Harriet? Hunt
Today she is on the streets of the Town of Gibraltar waiting to be discovered by you
Brenda on April 25, 2009
Another really tough one and hard to describe. I think Harriett is standing behind the people sitting at tables on the left of center picture. She is to the left of the person standing in the red top.