I arrived safely on Wednesday -- we walked around town that afternoon and then went out for a wonderful Indian dinner, the hit of which was chicken jalfrezi -- if you ever see it on an Indian menu, get it.
On Thursday we took the bus to begin our explorations, and found that the city has made all bus trips free, hoping to reduce the number of cars used,and the pollution. What a treat! There are five bus routes, and among them they can get you almost anywhere in Gibraltar (but not to the summit, as you'll find later).
We went first to Europa Point, which is the point closest to Africa -- Jane and Harry had been there before but it had always been too gray and cloudy to see the African coast, but this time we did.
Then we took the bus to the cable car that goes about halfway up the rock, to a nature preserve where you can see the Barbary apes and take several walks. We had the tourist information map of Gib, and it seemed clear that we could walk south and get to the Mediterranean Steps, and follow them in a long curve further south and east and down to a few more interesting spots. So we set out, after having lunch in the cafe at the cable car depot. Thank goodness we had lunch first. The walk was interesting, and after a bit we realized that we were actually getting to the summit, which we had thought was out of bounds. The view was even better than from the cable car area. Then it got really interesting. After a longish uphill hike, we began to go down -- but not down where we had thought, but down the back (Mediterranean) side of the rock. And this was no simple walk down a hill; it was a series of switchbacks that were very steep, and went on far further than we thought possible. And still there was no indication of a way to get to the location that the map showed as the end of the Mediterranean Steps. At one resting point Jane joked that Harry was pretty soon going to think that we had embarked on another one of Jane's Bataan Death Marches, to which Harry replied that he had thought that long before now. And then the path turned upward again, more switchbacks, with poor Florida me beginning to realize how little I use the climbing up and down muscles. And still no sign of ending at the right place. More walking up, with every turn promising possible to be the end... but nooooo. We encountered a total of four other people on the way, all much younger than us. Finally we got to a kind of tunnel, which I just knew was the end. But it wasn't. We did get out on the other side, but still had some up before we got to more down, and finally to the main road.
But we were at the main road far past the end of the bus routes, and worse yet, not at all commercial, for we had long since finished our water and would have been very grateful for a shop that would sell us even an expensive bottle of water. Finally, considerably footsore, we got to a bus stop, and caught the bus back to the marina. We stopped by the ice cream store for a wonderful confection called the Exotic, which has a mango crust, and vanilla with mango swirls inside. Very satisfying, and when we got back to the boat there was lots of water, because Gib water is very good. And then drinks of course...
Yesterday we prepared for leaving -- which means I went on a bus + walk trip to a couple of interesting museums, and Jane and Harry went to the grocery store.
We left the marina for the nearby anchorage in La Linea, Spain, from which we left Sat. morning at 4:30 am, so as to catch the best possible wind, tide, and current combination to make the 78 mile trip to Cadiz before dark. We mostly motored, but it has been a very nice day anyway.
It is now Sunday and we are sitting in a plaza in Cadiz with wifi. Our trip was beautiful but the winds were lighter than expected. Oh well--better than stronger for sure. Cadiz is a 3000 year old city so just wandering is a treat.