26 December 2016

The Iberian Peninsula adventure and beyond -Pt 2

Day 4

A new day ,a new port.

Full parking...

Oh look ,a rock ...

Zoom a bit

Houses and other buildings on the hillside...

If you haven't already guessed 

Leaving the ship...

Here we are !!!

A short walk...

With a nice view of the Rock of Gibraltar .

Onto the coach...

Gibraltar  is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and shares its northern border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities

Some of the nationalities  :-P

We drive through the city center.

On to the runway... 

Where pedestrians can walk across...

To get to Spain...

On the other side .

The tiny control tower .

That's the border with Spain . 

A quick U turn ...

And we head to the southern point of the Rock .

Quaint houses .

The scenic Catalan Bay which was once a quaint fishing village where Genoese traders settled to escape the Napoleonic Wars

There are a lot of passages and caves leading into the rock .

The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "Mountain of Tariq". It refers to the Rock of Gibraltar, which was named after the Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the initial incursion into Iberia in advance of the main Umayyad force in 711 under the command of Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin and one of the Pillars of Hercules

Nice beaches on this side .

Most of the passages are under the control of the British army .

A tunnel heading south .

We are almost at the end...

And here we are .
The Europa point .

The Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, also known as the King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Mosque or the Mosque of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is a mosque located at Europa Point in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, a peninsula connected to southern Spain. The mosque faces south towards the Strait of Gibraltar and Morocco several miles away.
The building was a gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia 

The southern most tip of Gibraltar .

This place has great significance during WW2. 

And that is Africa !!!!!

 On a clear day, views of North Africa can be seen across the Strait of Gibraltar including Ceuta and the Rif Mountains of Morocco

The Spanish coast .

And the Europa point lighthouse .

Thats a big gun .
Harding's Battery is a restored artillery battery.
Harding's battery was built on the remains of the 7th Europa Battery in 1859


So cool to see Africa .

 Europa Point where you will have the chance to view the busiest shipping lane in the world and where the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean mingle between two continents

Back on our coach .

A last look ...

And off we go .

The pillars of Hercules

The two pillars are labeled, on the right: “Mons Calpe” referring to Gibraltar and on the left “Mons Abila” referring to Monte Hacho. The plaque in the center reads (in all caps):
To the ancient world Gibraltar was
known as Mons Calpe. One of the
legendary pillars created by
Hercules as a religious shrine-and
as an entrance to Hades. To many, it
signified the non plus ultra, the
end of the then known world.

View of the busy shipping port .

The stop here was to see the monkeys .

 Barbary macaques, the famous "apes" of Gibraltar, which are actually monkeys.

Further up its to here .

Such a cool place .

St. Michael's Cave or Old St. Michael's Cave is the name given to a network of limestone caves located within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, at a height of over 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level. According to Alonso Hernández del Portillo, the first historian of Gibraltar, its name is derived from a similar grotto in Monte Gargano near the Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo in ApuliaItaly, where the archangel Michael is said to have appeared

This part is the auditorium .

As my model demonstrates  :-P

The largest of the chambers, named the Cathedral Cave, currently serves as an auditorium.[6] It was converted due to the chamber's natural acoustic properties. It is equipped with a concrete stage and has a seating capacity of over 100.

Nice light show...

The atmosphere changes with the lights . 

As we walk in...

There are many lower levels .

The series of descending chambers are riddled with examples of almost all known cave formations, including an underground lake of crystal clear water

After we exit ...we take in the amazing views .

While others enjoy the locals attentions .

See the rock star on the railing ?

Beautiful .

A last look .

Then its time to head down .

My ship dead center .

Beyond the runway its all Spain .

Looking up to the top of the Rock .

And down below to Spain .
The Atlantic on the left...

And the Mediterranean sea on the right...

The Great Siege Tunnels in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, also known as the Upper Galleries, are a series of tunnels inside the northern end of the Rock of Gibraltar

Its starts here .
Princess Caroline's Battery is an artillery battery in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is located at the northern end of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve,

From UK looking onto Spain . 

Soon its back into town .

With its quaint streets.

Packed as not much real estate .

Passing monuments...

And the city walls...

After a full day out...

Its back on the boat and enjoy the yachts sailing by...

In the evening as we depart...the weather is good...

And we get a fantastic view of Africa from my balcony .
Monte Hacho is a low mountain that overlooks the Spanish city of Ceuta, on the north coast of Africa. Monte Hacho is positioned on the Mediterranean coast at the Strait of Gibraltar opposite Gibraltar, and along with the Rock of Gibraltar is claimed by some to be one of the Pillars of Hercules (the other candidate for the southern pillar being Jebel Musa). According to the legend Hercules pushed apart the two mountains and created a link between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic

Amazing .

Day 5

I usually don't like to repeat places but this country is a must visit in great detail sometime in the future .  

Morocco !!

We will visit Casablanca today.

The Mrs and i both watched the film on the way in .
And we get to visit Rick's cafe later .

African trucks .

The only downside is we landed right on the day of Eid al Fitr.

So the city was quite quiet...

More reason for us to come back here .

Downtown Casablanca .

A very northern African feel .

Our first stop is here...

The Royal palace of Casablanca.

A stop sign   :-)

The King of Morocco .

Sights around .

I actually had and used a moped like this many years ago .Fun . 

From here we start walking .

Old skool Benz .

Authentic architecture .

We go past some gardens .

A highly not allowed picture .

And the nicely decorated door .

This is the Royal palace after all .

The main entrance to the palace .

And the surrounding courtyard .

Quite big .

This is Casablanca !!!!

This is far as we are allowed in the palace grounds .

Got the doors, now we walk .

To the souk at the Habous quarter .

Nicely decorated doors. 

Any other day it will be bustling

More decorated doors.


...and doors...

Real authentic stuff .

Here we are .


                 Mosquée al-Mohammadi, Quartier Habous, Casablanca

And the surrounding streets .

Into the business district .

Right next to the mosque .

Unfortunately mainly closed...

At least we got to see a proper souk in Dubai previously .

Some parts are open for business .

More artistic doorways .

Poor takings today ...

Quite late in the morning here...

As we continue our walk...

Things get a bit livelier...

A nice minaret...

National flags everywhere...

And people out enjoying the holiday.

Finally a bit of colour .

Local Moroccan and north African handicrafts .

Nice to see the local colours .

Further along the way we pass a big library .

With its surroundings .

Here we get back on our coach...


Pass a park in town...

And parts of the bustling city.

  Open air markets along the way .

And the modern part of the city .

Now we are going to drive to the sea side...

The Corniche boulevard .

One of the more upmarket parts of the city .

Finally the sun is out .

A stop for some Moroccan tea .

The surrounding sights .

Local outfits.

And local art.

Nice huh .

Tea was nice ,coke was better .

After that break its time for the next part...

More local outfits. 

The El Hank Lighthouse is also known as Pointe d'el Hank Light and stands at an impressive 161 feet on a rocky outcrop at the edge of Casablanca.
Built in 1905 and renovated around 1919 the white masonry lighthouse was built to allow ships to safely arrive at Casablanca without running aground.

  The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II

Huge .

 It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 metres (689 ft)

Passing a suburb .

A bit downmarket .

This is Africa .

And this is Rick's cafe .

A quick stop on the way to the mosque .

Casablanca   :-)

Back on the bus .

Authentic north Afrique .

More sights along the way .

Nice .

I wish i can spend a month in this country .

And see everything .

The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca

The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque's outside grounds


see   :-P

The mosque rises above the Atlantic Ocean. The building is built partially on land and partially over the ocean.

We are actually quite far away .

The surrounding courtyards .

And that huge minaret .

Looking at the earlier lighthouse .

And the coastal road.

Lots of people cause its a public holiday .

More locals...

Strange there were no men anywhere .  :-P

Ah there you go  ;-)

North African couple .

 Apart from the mosque, other structures in the area are a madrasa (Islamic school), hammams (bathhouses), a museum on Moroccan history, conference halls, and a very large library said to be the "most comprehensive in the Islamic world

After a good look around ,its time to leave .

Lots of people walking .

A very cool old Renault .

Chilling by the streets .

A park in the city center...

Lots of families having a good time .

Center of Casablanca .

Such a cool cafe .

Old skool mercs ,

Now we walk .

Traditional and modern in one family .

Central African garb .

Moroccan garb .

After a bit of shopping...

We get back on our coach...

To our ship .

This is one county i must visit again and for much longer .

My balcony view .

With my senorita  :-)

A long but pleasant day .

This was our view...

From our favourite spot .


As we watch the sun set over Casablanca   .
What a day .

Day 6

A new dawn .

Back in Spain .

Medivial streets .

This is the city port of Cadiz .

We are just going to pass through .

On our way to visit the 
                                           The White Villages Of Andalucia 

Southern Spainish countryside .

Almost there .

All white...

Some didn't get the memo though  :-P

Surrounded by rolling hills .

Medina-Sidonia is a city and municipality in the province of Cádiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia, southern Spain. It is considered by some to be the oldest city in Europe

White everywhere .

Ancient Roman statue .

The entrance to the town .

Cobblestone streets .

The town is quite elevated .

Courtyards in all buildings .

We start walking through the narrow streets.

Ancient cannons .

We;re headed thataway .

                                                   Santa María la Coronada church

The main building dates from the 18th century 

The surrounding courtyard .

Quiet ornate .

We slowly work our way down ...

Past the city walls ...

More narrow streets...


past locals...

Till we reach...

The center of the village .

The village square .

Plaza de España - Elegant rectangular plaza with plenty of public seating, surrounded by handsome three storey buildings.

The Town Hall - A 17th-century building reflecting Baroque and Neo-classical architecture with a magnificent Renaissance façade.

After some R&R its time to leave .

We get on our coach .

Enjoy the views .

Exit the town...

And go to our next stop...


Arcos de la Frontera is a town and municipality in the Sierra de Cádiz comarca, province of Cádiz, in AndalusiaSpain. It is located on the Northern, Western and Southern banks of the Guadalete river, which flows around three sides of the city under towering vertical cliffs, to Jerez and on to the Bay of Cádiz. The town commands a fine vista atop a sandstone ridge, from which the peak of San Cristóbal and the Guadalete Valley can be seen. The town gained its name by being the frontier of Spain's 13th century battle with the Moors.[1]

Our ride .  :-)

See  :-)

At least we don't have to walk uphill .

Soon we reach the top .

A quick photo...

Then to check out the surroundings .

A big clock tower .

The main plaza.

Overlooking the countryside .

The town commands a fine vista atop a sandstone ridge, from which the peak of San Cristóbal and the Guadalete Valley can be seen

ha ha ha

A huge church.
The parish church of Santa María de la Asunción dominates the Plaza del Cabildo. Its southern façade is topped by an ornate 18th-century Baroque belfry, but the highlight is the finely carved Plateresque doorway on the west side. Constructed on the site of a mosque, the church interior is well worth visiting for its exquisitely ornate Baroque choir stalls, carved in mahogany, ebony and cedar by Diego Roldán, magnificent vaulting, a lavish Renaissance altarpiece and an interesting mural .

Mi familia .

As we walk along the narrow streets...

The gap/depression is for holding hands of your lady who can't come out .


Soon we come here .

A nearby palace

Quite high .
The Basílica de Santa María de la Asunción is a church in Arcos de la FronteraAndalusia, in southern Spain. It was built in the 15th-16th century.

Andalusian view .

The interior of the church .

All the churches are quite ornate .

Like so.

The pipe organ .

Interred body of the saint.

While the rest are still inside .

Some photo ops .

Nice huh .

As we leave...

Past another square .

Time for refreshments .

Nice huh 
.Formerly a Palace this 3 star Parador Hotel has panoramic views of Arcos de la Frontera

Located on the banks of the Guadalete, this Parador, formerly the Casa del Corregidor, has an impressive panoramic view of the fertile plain of the river and of the old part of Arcos de la Frontera.

And this is the view .

Amazing .

What a view .

Iglesia de San Pedro, it is a 15th-17th c. church built on the basis of an 14th c. Al-Andalusian fortress or watchtower. Are observed different styles, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, in its tower and facade

A beauty with a beautiful view .

Moroccan plates .

Time to leave .

Past more ornate stonework .

Coloured tiles .

and all the colourful pots .

El Torro .

Reminds me of the KKK

back to our ride .

A quick snack onboard..& zzzzzzzzz

Then dinner at our favourite spot .

As we set sail...

Into the Mediterranean 

What a day  :-)

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