Rock of Gibraltar is a "curious place"!

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June 21st 2019
Published: June 24th 2019
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When we chose the Spain and Morocco itinerary, we never thought we'd see the iconic red telephone booths and double-decker buses of London on this trip. And yet, we have! This morning we visited the British-controlled city of Gibraltar and its very famous rock. We learned that Gibraltar is at the tip of a spit of Spain, so is not the island it appeared to be at first, and that the rock is much more monolithic cliff face than a mere rock. Its white face nearly glowed with the morning sun. It is a place populated with Brits, and Spaniards who speak English with a British and Spanish accent. Joe told us it's a "curious place, and it definitely is!

Arriving in Gibraltar, we traded in our big bus for a smaller one with a local guide who would take us (partway) up the rock. It was a windy road through He identified the land mass across the blue as Africa. Morocco! We'll be heading there tomorrow. How surreal to be able to stand on one continent and look across the Strait to another. We continued up the windy road where we paused for an overlook of the Mediterranean below. Barbary baboons materialised from the trees. One carried a teeny baby at her breast, another hopped on top of a bus, and a few galumphed and tumbled from car to car, sliding down windshields with the ease of toddlers at the park. Some students braved selfies with them, and one young one jumped onto Sharon's shoulders, twice!

After watching the silly apes, we were surprised with a visit to St. Michael's Cave. We entered the belly of the mountain to find a vacuous cavern. Thousands of stalactites hung from the roof and steps led to the bottom where an amphitheatre of chairs was set up for concerts. Bright pink, green, and blue lights illuminated the cave in a beautiful display. What fun it would be to see a show there! Before leaving Gibraltar, we ate some fish and chips in the company of Brits, a surreal experience while traveling in Spain!

En route to the hotel, we stopped at Puerto Banus in Marbella for gelato and a street walk among the fancy people. It recalled Monaco and Rodeo Drive with its lambroghinis and Ferraris and rows and rows of yachts! This Idaho girl felt completely out of place, but still fun to dream about what I might name a yacht of my own.

We finished the evening at the Hotel Diana Park with its cool blue swimming pool and a vast buffet dinner. Fish, dates, olives, bread rolls, sweet, sweet watermelon, and rice pudding. Part of our group ventured down to the beach to watch the sunset. The girls swam in the waves and we collected shells and sea glass as the sky turned pink. Tomorrow we're off to Chefchaouen and Fes!

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