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Published: April 2nd 2017
Fruit cannot be eaten directly from the tree - good for jam
22 – 23 March 2017
We left Lisbon early and travelled to Cordoba. We drove through Badajoz on the border of Spain and Portugal. It is quite pretty. There are many arroyos (towns) along the way. The terrain is quite mountainous, and there are many olive groves and vineyards. We arrived in Cordoba around 4pm. I had used the GPS to take us to our accommodation. After a few issues we found ourselves in a fantastic apartment (not the one we had originally booked), more by luck than good judgment. We decided to spend our first day looking around Cordoba, which is a very interesting city, as well as make an effort to get our clothes dry. It rained intermittently all day long.
24 March 2017
We decided to go to Gibraltar this morning – so after 3 hours of driving through the rain, we discovered that we had not brought our passports and could not enter Gibraltar. Even though they are part of the EU, they are not a party to the Shengen Agreement. This means we need a passport to get onto the Rock. Walter was quite disappointed. He had been looking forward to this site.
We decided to come back the next day and spend the afternoon in Cadiz. Cadiz is a very old city, having been a crucial port through the ages. It rained pretty much all day, so our sight seeing was quite limited.
25 March 2017
Today we left Cordoba and headed off to Gibraltar again – the morning was beautiful with clear skies. Travelling from Cordoba to Gibraltar we passed through a mountain range – literally. The roads have been constructed using a series of via ducts between the mountains and tunnels through them. So we do not actually drive up and down or around them. Very easy to drive; the roads are 2 – 3 lanes with a speed limit of 120kph and 100kph in the tunnels. We sit on 140kph and some cars whiz by. Walter has had this car up to 210kph; it felt fast but not dangerously so.
Gibraltar is pretty amazing. It is a rock essentially, with some of the land around the base being reclaimed land. The population is British, with most locals having a strong English accent; they prefer to deal in English pounds rather than Euro. We caught a cable
car up to the top and as it was a clear day we could see the North African coast. This area is also a nature reserve and there seemed to be hundreds (an exaggeration) of Barbary Macaques. They are cute but I know not to touch them as they can become aggressive. We saw one tourist throw rocks at them as they were getting irritated as him and his friends.
On our way back to Spain, we were held up at red light for over 5 minutes. We were starting to get a bit curious as to the delay, when we watched a plane taxi along the tarmac. Wow, I had read about this but had never been an eye witness. It seemed so out of place!
26 March 2017
We visited Alhambra today. It certainly deserves all the accolades it received. It is truly magnificent. Just loved it. We were in a tour group of 14 with a very knowledgeable guide. I am so glad I booked a tour for us. Apparently they only allow 6,000 people in each day and the non tour tickets are booked solid until May already. This site is so amazing.
Birds drying themselves on the river that flows through Cordoba
The various palaces that make up this site comes from a range of cultures. It is so interesting. The 3hr tour went past in a flash. I could have stayed much longer.
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