Wednesday, 8 June 2016

We Started The Day,

with a stroll on deck,

 we were looking for the rock of Gibraltar, but we had a great time as well, it was so windy,

 there were times when Diana could not see where she was going!

 but turning into the wind solved that,

but it was still so blowy that we went down a deck and there it was in the distance,

the rock,

 it looked slightly different from the pictures we had seen of it,

 then I realized why, we were coming from the Mediterranean,

 the pictures we had looked were taken from the Atlantic side of the rock,

 another pose from Diana, 

 the size of it needs something to give it scale, like the condominiums to the right of it in this photograph,

 we continued into port accompanied by a seagull, I had thought that there would be lots of them here, but no just this one,

 getting nearer to port the summit on the right started to look more familiar,

 this is just what the pictures in the books looked like,

 with an aerial on top of it,

 at the base a Muslim temple next to the light house, it must be remembered before the Spanish and British made homes on the rock all of this area for 700 years was owned by the Moors and was Muslim in religion, the the Spanish claimed it from them for 300 years and then by the British who have lived here for the next 300 or so years,

 and this is exactly as we remembered it from the books about the island,

 the pilot speeds out to met us,

 makes a 'U' turn,

 pulls alongside,

 and jumps aboard,

 at the base of the rock,

 many new homes have been built,

 many of them on reclaimed land,

like these,

 next to give us the once over, the Port Authority,

 we neared the jetty,

when we spotted this super yacht, the yacht Luna is owned by Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, yours for US$400+ million according to this link,

 but more in our price range this one also near the jetty,

 whilst in England we had bought some suet to take with us back home, only one chain of shops sell the product,

 Morrisons and there is one here!

 we move closer to the jetty,

 now almost parallel,

 a light line is thrown,

 then the mooing line is pulled ashore,

 and placed over a bollard, the tire loaded fenders screamed when the Ventura nipped them against her hull,

 immigration I guess getting ready for us,

 we were told later that these homes are also built on reclaimed land,

 welcome to Gibraltar!

 we made our way from the ship,

 to the waiting mini buses,

 everywhere we looked there were reminders of the countries past,

 we had to be quick here,

 as we made our way past the rocks airport runway,

 it is dissected by the road, there are 3 fights in and out in the morning the same in the afternoon every day,

the building housing the Royal Air Force, Gibraltar,

we took a quick look at the Spanish border crossing,

a couple of Bobbies on the beat ,

back across the runway,

and over to the rock,

looking up,

it appears pitted with holes, these are tunnels that were built into the rock before World War II in preparation for it, 

next stop the beach,

and nice it looked too,

as we passed these houses we were told that for 250,000 UK pounds one could be yours,

we then drove into one of the major tunnels in the rock,

it seems amazing that in here the speed is limited to 40 KPH, the main tunnel is so large that this speed can be kept up,

Gibraltar covers an area of just 3 square miles,

amazingly the rock has 32 miles of tunnels going through it!

out into the open,

Morocco in the distance across the Straights of Gibraltar, it was here that many women and children who lived on the rock were sent to during the Second World War,

open roads,

and time for a few pictures,

the lighthouse,

and mosque,

which has an inscription on the side of it,

Diana with the rock in the background, if you look at the lamp post at the top of it in the rock there is the entrance to one of the tunnels,

and this is it,

a last picture,

then our stop for afternoon tea at The Rock Hotel,

the view from the balcony,

and a panorama of the bay,

sandwiches and cakes are served,

 when we had finished our tea,

we looked at the picture gallery of many of the famous guests, 

that had stayed here, so for today's quiz,

over a cup of coffee, 

see how many you can name!

we had a quick look around the hotel,

and nice it was too,

we waited in the lounge for a few moments,

then outside for a pose,

or two,

as one of the cable cars came past,

we continued our guided tour past the Governors residence,

and back to the jetty,

and into customs and immigration,

we did!

we went on deck for the final British sail away party,

the upper decks around the pool were lined with passengers,

leading the celebrations,

the entertainment crew,

and on the opposite balcony more passengers waving the flag,

we started to move away from the dock,

as we said our farewells to the rock,

by now the party was in full swing,

as more people crowded the decks,

there were flags everywhere,

a panorama of the pool area,

the group sang a couple of songs from each of Scotland,



and of course England,

all the time the Master of Ceremonies was handing out flags,

and the song for England? Fat Les who made famous the Vindaloo song, which was followed by Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and God Save the Queen, all accompanied by everyone there, then the party really started!

we changed and had a drink looking over the ocean before our evening meal,

for her starter Diana decided on a terrine chicken chorizo and Parma ham with piccalilli, spinach,bacon and shallot salad on rye sour bread toast,

for myself double beef consomme with toast,

on to main courses, chicken tikka maslsa, with pulao rice, poppadoms and condiments for Diana, 

filet of soul caprice with mango scented hollandaise for myself with pont neuf potatoes, vegetables, bread crumbed banana and peas,

on to desserts, coconut, lemon grass and lime panna cotta mango salsa for Diana,

rhubarb and ginger crumble with sauce Anglaise for myself, and this is not a trick picture the waiter was huge, if ever there was a candidate for a basket ball player this guy is head and shoulders above the rest! 


for tonight's entertainment after our meal, comedian John Martin, what a show, the jokes were none stop and good too, I just wish I had a better memory to remember some of them,

after the show a walk on the deck,

we had it all to ourselves,

next stop, 

one of the many bars for a nightcap,

into the lift and we were off to bed.  

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