Gibraltar, The Rock, December 3, 2008

     Gibraltar, United Kingdom, is a travel distance of 248 nautical miles from Cartgena.  We had a wake-up call for 7 a.m. so we could see the rock as we sailed into the harbor.  It was still a little dark out as we started breakfast.  I saw the beginning of the sunrise and was surprised when I went out to take a picture to see that we were passing the rock.  I went back inside to get Ray.

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     It was clear enough that you could see Morocco across the straight, which is just 14 miles across.  Gibraltar is a peninsula of mainland Spain.  A small strip of land, approximately 3 miles long and 3/4 of a mile wide, dominated by “the Rock” which reaches a height of 1,396 feet.

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     In the picture on the left, the hill on the left is Africa and the dark land on the right is Spain.  Between them is the Straight of Gibraltar.  The right picture is zoomed in on Morocco.

     When we got off the ship, we joined 3 other couples for a taxi tour.  It was 30 pounds each.  The pictures below show where we went, starting on the left:  The Pillars of Hercules; Barbary Macaques Apes (tailless); St Michael’s Cave, the entrance is about 1,000 feet above sea level, incorporates several limestone caverns, the largest of which is used for concerts due to its natural acoustic qualities;

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views from Upper Rock with Morocco in the distance and ape up front; the  Great Siege Tunnels, dug by hand and blasting as part of a defense strategy during the 1779-1783 Siege;

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Moorish Castle, built by the successors of Tarik, a relic of the Moorish occupation which dates primarily from the 13th century;

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and we ended at the city center.  We had a fish and chip lunch at the Penny Farthing.

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     We took a cab back to the ship and we were very happy to see our luggage.  The lock was broken, but we had our stuff.  We sailed away in  light rain at 6 PM.  We had steak for dinner and Ray had three desserts.  He really only ordered two.  IMG_1236   For entertainment, we enjoyed the hilarious comedy of Jeff Nease.  We set the clocks back one hour tonight as we sail towards Casablanca, Morocco, a travel distance of 217 nautical miles.

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