After leaving the Portuguese Island of Madeira on May 2, the Mariner of the Seas navigated further across the Atlantic and through the Strait of Gibraltar, passing by many exotic places on the northernmost coast of Africa, such as Casablanca and Morocco. By 5:00 this morning, the Port of Gibraltar was nearing.
Our decision to take in Gibraltar’s sights via taxi/van turned out to be a very good idea!
Paul, a native of the area who spoke excellent English, was our driver and tour guide, and was extremely knowledgeable about the region. Unfortunately, ours was one of many taxis, vans and buses making their way around town and up the mountain. Some excursions included a ride on the cable car and others included attractions such as dolphin/whale spotting or WWII historical tours.
Most excursions included a ride through town and to the top of the mountain, encountering Barbary Apes, which are actually tailless monkeys, along the way. Gibraltar’s population is 30,000 people and 300 apes! The monkeys live on the “rock” and the city subsidizes their food intake by placing fresh fruits and vegetables in certain feeding stations. Visitor need to be aware that the apes will grab anything that is loose, hoping to find a yummy treat! They are not afraid of visitors and seem to by saying, “Come on in, we’ve been expecting you!”
Europa Point is fabulous! It is one of the southernmost points of Europe with breathtaking views, directly across from Morocco. Harding’s Battery is located here, as well as Trinity Lighthouse, Mosque of the Two Holy Custodians and the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe.
The Moorish Castle, dating back to 1160 was a highlight of our tour, even if was only viewed from a distance.
It must be emphasized that vistas from high points on the mountain are spectacular, with views of the bay and marina, the Mediterranean and, on the other side of the airport/ airstrip, La Linea, Spain.
Only a few of the many interesting points at Gibraltar are included in this brief blog, so I hope you will Google it and explore more for yourself! You may want to see it in person!
More excursions are scheduled for us – Alicante, Spain on May 5 and Barcelona, Spain on May 6! (When the ship reaches Barcelona, the first two-week cruise comes to an end. Some voyagers will leave the ship and new travelers will come aboard. The next two-week cruise for us goes from Barcelona to Dubai. The last two weeks will take us from Dubai to Singapore.)
Look for the link to Trilla’s Travels at www.ourtribune.com.