Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, November 6, 2017 – Gibraltar, UK – Partly Cloudy – 68F

Distance from Barcelona to Gibraltar: 530 Nautical Miles

It's a beautiful day in Gibraltar.  We arrived pretty early at the port - minutes from Sunrise.

Gibraltar Arrival

From the deck, you can get a perfect view of Gibraltar even though the Rock is not at the iconic angle.  From this vantage point, the Rock looks like someone lying on their side, napping.

Gibraltar from the Quest

We were unable to get a tour today, so we are going to walk into town (found out that it was only a 15 minute walk) and explore the old city.  The last time we were in Gibraltar, we spent the time at the Rock and outskirts of the city.  This would be a real test of my ability to walk long distances.  We would also save the 12 Euros by not taking a taxi into town.

After my standard breakfast of a waffle and cottage cheese, we set off – through the terminal building and along the dock area.  The dock area did have some shops although it was mostly industrial.  Quite a few people from the ship were taking the same route as us.  We even ran into Simon, the guitarist, who gave us some directions how to get to the main part of the old city.  One very interesting site was a traffic circle statue depicting the evacuation of locals during WWII and beyond. Gibraltarians were evacuated to Casablanca to make room for additional British Troops during the war.  The last of the evacuees did not return to the Rock until 1951.

"Evacuation of the Gibraltarians"

We made a couple of turns and crossings along the way until we spotted the entrance and went through the city gate and into the old city.

Once through the gate, we entered a large open square with a good view of the Rock.

Main Square - Old City

The Rock

Me Shooting the Rock

From there, a single main street (uphill) ran for several blocks.  Shops and restaurants on both sides and lots of people. 

Pedestrian Walkway

This was a pedestrians only street (too narrow for cars anyway).  The only issue was how to avoid all of the smokers.  Although Gibraltar is a British Protectorate, it didn’t give me a Brit vibe.  It felt more Spanish – in fact, it reminded me of Rhodes Town.

We found a mini-Jewish area during our wanderings, complete with a Kosher Deli Express.  We did check it out.  There were some customers inside so people do shop there.

We also came across a sign pointing out the location of the Synagogue, so we went looking for the building.

It is the Line Wall Synagogue (it was built on Line Wall Road) but it's history is much deeper.  It was actually the Nefusot Yehuda Synagogue (The Flemish Synagogue).  The building dates back to the 18th Century and the interior was patterned after the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam - the interior was destroyed by fire in 1913 but it remains an active synagogue today.  We did knock on the door but no one answered.

We watched the sail away from the open deck - not as windy as the last time, when we all had to take cover.  Nice and calm this time around.

Gibraltar Sail Away

We had a nice dinner in the Discoveries Dining Room.  Anna continues to give us a nice table.

Vegetarian Onion Soup was indeed waiting for me at dinner along with Fish and Chips - all good except for the mushy peas.

Amanda Poulson, one of the Cabaret Singers, was the headliner tonight.  She was absolutely terrific – from her pitch perfect vocals to the transition banter to the multi-media backing her up.  She sang songs from Frozen, Wicked, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Nella Fantasia, Time to Say Goodbye.  All wonderful.  She was the best vocalist we have ever seen on a cruise or anywhere.  Her parents were in the audience (she is from Wisconsin) and the audience loved her.

We ran into Tony after the show and he told me that there was a change in the schedule and that my talk was postponed.  He moved the Cooking Demo to my slot because there was some rough weather predicted a few days ahead and the demo would be difficult to do with chop.  So a day off tomorrow.

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