Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Port of Call ~ Gibraltar

I LOVED Gibraltar and really hope to make it back one day soon. Though Gibraltar is relatively small, there was so much there to see that I could have spent an entire week and still not have seen as much as I wanted. It was so cool to stand on the rock and look out over the Mediterranean sea and the Strait of Gibraltar and to see both Europe (Spain) and Africa (Morocco). All I kept thinking was, that the views in every direction were just breathtaking. Once again we chose not to do a tour so it was another day of walking, walking and more walking and even though we took the cable car to the top of the rock and back down, walking the rock it's self included long distances and major treks up and down the hills. Walking the rock was beautiful but because of the distances and time constraints, this is the one place where it probably would have been better to do a rock tour as the vans take you from site to site so you're able to see much more.

IMG_0684  A IMG_0685  B IMG_0686  C On our walk from the ship to the cable car and back again, we passed the Trafalgar Cemetery and Eammon is a huge Nelson and Trafalgar buff so the above three pictures are for him.

IMG_0695  D Riding up to the top of the Rock in the cable car and looking down to the Alameda car park and the cable car bottom terminal station. Once again the cable car ride was a huge hit with Maisie...no fear of heights in my little girl!

IMG_0690  E View from the bottom terminal station looking up to the middle station.

IMG_0697 FAs soon as we stepped off the cable car there were Barbary Apes everywhere and this little one was so cute!

IMG_0739  G The Barbary Apes are actually tail-less monkeys and they are the only free-roaming monkeys in Europe. The monkeys are native to North Africa and their presence in Gibraltar is said to date to the early days of the British garrison when it is presumed that they were imported as pets or maybe even game but they inevitably found the rough limestone cliffs and scrub vegetation a congenial habitat.

Many legends have grown up around the Apes. One is that they travelled from their native Morocco via a subterranean tunnel starting at St. Michael's Cave leading down and underneath the strait. The fact is that the apes are firmly established on the Rock, another legend claims that should the apes ever disappear, the British will leave Gibraltar.

IMG_0698  H It is illegal to feed the monkeys and it carries a maximum fine of £500. This one nicked this treat from an unsuspecting woman who ventured too close to the snack bar door and the monkey just jumped across her, grabbed the treat from her hand, sat down, unwrapped it and feasted. Scared the you-know-what out of the woman!!

IMG_0700  I View from the top of the Rock looking north to La Linea to inland Spain.

IMG_0703  J Looking across Gibraltar town to the Bay of Gibraltar. The Disney Magic docked and the huge and beautiful Ventura just arriving, ready to dock.

IMG_0733  KLooking down the eastern side of the Rock.
 IMG_0706  L An alternative to the cable car are these steps leading all the way back down to sea level. A nice option but I think not!!

IMG_0709  M We encountered monkeys everywhere on the Rock and they have absolutely no fear of people and were even happy to pose for pictures!

IMG_0710  N At the entrance to St. Michael's Cave.

IMG_0711b  O Stalagmites and stalactites.

IMG_0717  P The concert hall inside the cave. See Maisie way up on the left.

IMG_0720  Q Maisie and I in the concert hall. I can just imagine the acoustics in there, it would have been fun to hear a concert.

IMG_0725b  RMaisie and I with the Strait of Gibraltar behind us. The land to the right of us in the picture is Spain and behind our heads and to the left, lost mostly in the fog, is Morocco.

IMG_0736  S Maisie and I along one of the paths with the view looking north. See that fort at the top of the picture, yep we were making our way back up to there to catch the cable car back down the Rock.

After our time on the Rock Maisie was tired as she had walked most of our time up there so she settled herself in the stroller and promptly fell asleep. I was thrilled that she was out as it allowed me some time to wander in and out of the shops and do some shopping. Maisie slept for about 1.5 hours and then when she awoke she was hungry so I bought us each a samosa which we ate as we continued to make our way back to the ship but then we passed an ice cream place and just had to stop so we shared an ice cream then headed back to the ship.

Since Maisie had napped in the stroller she was ready to go and when she realized that Belle and Tiana were in the lobby she wanted to hurry and put on her Princess wear and get pictures so that's what we did.

IMG_0761  T Maisie couldn't get enough of Belle and surprisingly wasn't afraid of the Beast.

IMG_0762  U Maisie roped me into the picture again. I didn't realize that I had dressed to match Belle.

IMG_0764  V Two beautiful Princesses.

IMG_0769  W Yep, dragged into the picture again.

IMG_0770 X Maisie being silly behind the Mickey statue outside Lumiere's Restaurant.

IMG_0753  Y On deck waiting for the ship to leave Gibraltar.

IMG_0786  Z Molly came to see the ship leave too and found Maisie on deck.

IMG_0790  AA Two cutie-patooties.

3 comments:

  1. Wow, these pictures fantastic. While I'm amazed at all the walking Masie did, I'm also amazed at your bravery to take this trip without a grown-up partner. I know I would have been overwhelmed. (I used to be brave; I don't know what happened.) You must have felt like such a competent world traveler, visiting new countries with your little daughter. I'm just very impressed with all you did.

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  2. My girls and I enjoyed looking at these pictures and all the bentos you make for your daughter. You've inspired me to do some for my girls. :)

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  3. That looks like it would be my favorite place too! Very cool.

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