Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Gibraltar & Ronda. June 2014

     Our stay in Gibraltar was to remind us of little England, except much warmer. Armed with a very basic map, we set off up to the top of the rock by Cable Car. We first had to walk along the busy main street which left us thinking we were back in Cornwall.

Gibraltar. Not Very Big!
Ginny Overlooking Casements Square.
Main Street. Mini England.
It was a very quick ride of 6 minutes up the Cable Car which provided for some fantastic views of Gibraltar. Once at the top, we were able to view North into Spain and East into the Med. It was a wonderful clear but very hot day.

Gibraltar From The Cable Car.
Ginny At The Cable Car Cafe Looking North.
Gibraltar, The Airport And Harbour
With La Linea In The Distance.
   It is impossible to go to the top of The Rock and not meet or be enchanted by the local Apes, plenty of whom had quite clearly had babies recently. The hot weather made them a bit dopey so we had no problems thankfully.
Gibraltar Rock Apes. Mother And Baby.
Billy No Mates!
  We started heading South and just kept going along the ridge. Guy found a path called Mediterranean Steps and the next thing is we are on a Nepal type trek path winding down the South East part of The Rock to the Southern Point. It was quite fun and provided for some wild and interesting views.
Ginny Looking Back To The Cable Car Restaurant.
Guy About To Descend Mediterranean Steps.
Looking North Along The Eastern Edge Of The Rock.
Ginny On Mediterranean Steps -
Like A Nepal Trek With Stunning Views.
Southern Tip Of Gibraltar With Africa South Across The Straits.
     After reaching the Pillars of Hercules, we headed North again along the network of old roads past St Michael's Cave that was once a hospital for servicemen. We stopped at the Cafe then headed along Queens Road to the Northern end of The Rock to the Great Siege Tunnels and Moorish Castle from where we walked back down again through the backstreets of Gibraltar. Quite some trek on a very hot day. 
The Cable Car
One Of Many Big Ancient Guns That Are Everywhere!
No Not Ginny, That Big Black Thing!
Aeroplane Taking Off With Our Marina in Front
Kisti Two Just To Right Of Big Blue Boat.
European, British And Gibraltar Flags.
   After a days rest, we walked across the runway into La Linea, Spain from where we caught a taxi to San Roque and then the train to Ronda. This railway line was built by a British businessman for soldiers to visit the wonders of the Ronda Valley. It was a stunning train ride up through the valleys and mountains with great views all around.
Scenery From Train To Ronda.
Scenery From The Train.
Ronda Valley Scenery From The Train.
   The Ronda Bullring is recognised as the first purpose-built space for fighting bulls. Originally the contest with the bulls along with riding was part of the soldiers training. This famous building built in the heart of the town with views of the surrounding mountains from the upper seating was great fun to visit. It is exceedingly large and must have been quite an electric place to watch a traditional bull fight. The Museum is fascinating and provided a good insight into the life of a matador. 
Guy Having A Sparticus Moment In The Famous Ronda Bullring.
Bullfighting Museum.
Statue of Pedro Romero.
   Ronda is a stunning town cut in half by an enormous gorge and joined by a quite stunning bridge. We enjoyed the day wandering around looking at the various views, buildings of note, gardens, yes the church, and round the Moorish ramparts to the Roman Bridge lower down. It is quite breathtaking and well worth a visit. this is our second time and was just as much fun as the first time, including the Chorizo Sausages. 
Ronda Valley Scene From Ronda Town.
Ronda Gorge Looking North.
Ronda Garden Looking West.
The Famous Ronda Bridge and Gorge.
Obligatory Church! Of Santa Maria In The Old Town
Ronda's Roman Bridge And Moorish Baths.
Moorish Castle Walls Around The Old Town On Northern Side.
That Bridge Again From The North.
Our Restaurant Stop To The Right Of Arch.
Tapas And Chorizo Sausages With Chips.
Back To Gibraltar By Train.
  Not to be outdone, Gibraltar has so much fantastic ancient and modern history. It has been under siege so many times over the centuries that wherever you look, there are indications of fortifications of one kind or another. Guy met the CO of the Gibraltar Regiment with whom he had served and we were very kindly invited to the Regimental Birthday Gun Salute. Out came the iron, shoes, tie, blazer and smart trousers for the occasion. Some things never change
Gibraltar Moorish Castle.
Gun Holes And Tunnels In The Rock.
Gibraltar Regiment Birthday Gun Salute.
    We have had to do our first Med Mooring. There is no finger pontoon for us so we tied up bow (front first) then lifted a heavy dirty rope at the back to keep the stern out in a straight line. It was time to trial our gangplank, passerel or drawbridge (whatever you want to call it) from the bow. So far all has gone well, but we don't want to be coming back having had a few to many!! A lot more practise required.  Ginny is very happy that the plastic flowers have had to be removed!  We now also need to rig a fender over the bow when coming in to tie up so as not to damage the anchor or front of Kisti Two. Whatever next!!!!

The Raised Gangplank.
Flowers Have Now Had To Go!
Ginny Negotiating The Drawbridge!
       Its been a fun few days in Gibraltar and Ronda but we need to move off again. Ginny has discovered BHS and Morrisons, Guy has been attacked by mosquitoes and is missing Spanish women. Kisti Two needs a clean as water costs money here and Louise is waiting to meet us near Malaga. Now for the Med, 'At last' says Guy. But not before we fill up with duty free fuel. NO MORE TIDES!! Costas del Sol and Blanca, here we come!!