Gibraltar 19-07-06 to 01-08-06

Lady Drake
Peter Drake
Tue 1 Aug 2006 22:11

Gibraltar 19-07-06 to 01-08-06


Our sail to Gibraltar started of with about force 5 winds, this soon reduced to virtually no wind and fog.  We had to turn on the radar and engine to round Tarifa.  Tarifa is about half way from Barbate to Gibraltar and where the straits start to narrow, it is only 10 miles from there to Morocco.  Given that Tarifa has a reputation for being the windiest place in Europe, it was surprising to round it with a dead calm.


Rounding the Lighthouse at Tarifa:


We were able to start sailing again in the Strait and sailed the last 10 miles to Gibraltar.


The landscape at Gibraltar was dramatic; no wonder they call it ‘The Rock’.


Photo’s of the rock:





Marina Bay where we were staying was right next to the runway, there are not that many planes that take off and land, but when they do the road between Gibraltar and Spain has to be closed as it crosses the runway.  The runway also extends into the sea, the stone to extend the runway was produced when the World War II tunnels were built.


A fighter plane after landing at Gibraltar:


From where we were staying you could look across to Spain.  There was a massive bush fire on the Spanish side one evening.


The fire:


We did quite a lot of cycling around ‘The Rock’, there was a fair bit of walking to tackle the steeper slopes.


Tackling an uphill stretch through a tunnel:



A mosque during the cycle trip:


The lighthouse at Europa Point also during the cycle trip:


An impressive building near the centre of town:


This entrance/drawbridge was originally the only way into Gibraltar and was rebuilt in 1727 after being the scene of bitter fighting in thirteen sieges:


The Moorish Castle overlooking Gibraltar and also flying the British flag.  I believe that this is also the prison:


The next pictures are of a 100 ton Gun that was built in 1883 and used to protect the bay of Gibraltar.  This gun was one of two and was so large that it required steam power to move it and about 3 hours preparation before it could be fired.  The gun could pierce through 24.9 inches of steel:



There are many apes on the Rock of Gibraltar, these fascinating creatures are very tame and always looking for food.  They try to undo your rucksack when you are not looking, you are not supposed to feed them, but people do.


We spotted this one during one of our cycle rides,  the owners of the car were stood nearby looking a little worried:











Although those who died during the Battle of Trafalgar would have been buried at sea,  those who later died from there wounds were buried in Gibraltar Cemetery as HMS Victory and other boats from the fleet went to Gibraltar for repairs after the battle.


Here are some tomb stones from some of the Battle of Trafalgar victims:



During the war about 25 miles of tunnels were built inside the rock to protect Gibraltar.  It was thought that the Germans would march from the Spanish side and try to take over the rock.  The tunnels housed 17,000 members of the forces, they had to dig tunnels for 8 hours, do an 8 hour shift allowing only 8 hours for sleep.  The town was evacuated during the war from fear of bombing.


Before the building of the world war II tunnels there were some tunnels from the eighteenth century,  but much less.  Two build such vast underground spaces in such short time dynamite and pneumatic drills were used.


This a view from one of the observation posts from the tunnels in The Rock.  It is the runway which is stretching into the sea:


This is a natural fault within the tunnels:


Inside the tunnels:


A plaque to commemorate the effort to build the tunnels by the Royal Engineers:


From the caves we went to visit the city under siege which showed how life was many year ago under the threat of many of the sieges:


A solder passing time carving the rock:


The wives of some of the soldiers tended to the wounded:


This apparently was one of the drummers who had he record for the number of lashes, he had received over 40,000 lashes over a number of years, and he obviously thought that his disobedience was worth it.  This gives ideas for keeping order on Lady Drake:


The court yard from the City Under Siege:


During our stay I undertook a Scuba Diving course for which I gained a PADI certificate.  The course involved two dives in the swimming pool and 2 dives in the sea, I then did a recreational dive on my last day.  I hope now to get a camera for underwater use and take some photos of the wonderful marine life that you see during diving so hopefully there will be some more photos in future updates.


Me on my third Open Water Dive: