The Monkey Peed on My Son ~ A Day in Gibralter
Hi Everyone Thanks for stopping by! Last summer we spent a few months in Spain. You know that is the nice part about our Crazy Basketball life ~ that we get the whole summer off!! So ~ One week we decided to leave our beautiful beach town, Isla Canela, and drive the coast to see as much of Spain as we could! You know me I want to see everything while I can!
One of our stops on this trip was Gibraltar ~ I thought ~ Hey we are so close we have to go see the rock!
The boys said .... "ugghhhh.... OH MOM what is so great about a rock?"
My kids love the stories of all the ancient gods; so ... I just had to tell them that the Rock of Gibraltar, was considered by the ancient Romans as one of the pillars of Hercules! The story says that he passed through here on his tenth labor, stealing the cattle of Geryon. During his journey he had to cross the sea from Africa to Europe. He smashed his way across the sea, erupting two giant mountains in the process. Now those two mountains are called .... The Pillars of Hercules ~ (all in my radio voice) one pillar being ...DUDUDAAAHHHHH .... OH yes my friends ... the Rock of Gibraltar!!
~Ummm How cool is that ~ to be able to see where Hercules was ?!?! So the kids took a
moment, trying to decide if they one believed me, and if 2 it would/wouldn't be cool ~ and then decided the rock might be cool. Now that we have the cool factor, there will be no whining ~ so off we went! It's always better if the kids on our board ~ becasue this is what they looked like before the Hercules Story ~
We drove into Gibraltar leaving Spain and crossing the border. The first thing you see is WOW the rock and the gorgeous blue water ~ a truly beautiful place ... as you can see from the photo above it was breathtaking... Here was our plan for the day.
- Drive the Island ~ full circle
- Europa Point ~ Harding's Battery, Trinity Lighthouse, Ibrahim-alIbrahim Mosque, The Shrine of our Lady of Europe
- Cable Car to the Top of the Rock
- St. Michael's Cave
- Great Siege Tunnels
- Moorish Castle
- Mediterranean Steps
Whew so we have a full day ahead of us and off we went to drive the island, heading down the west side of the Island following the signs for Europa Point. If you do not have a car jump bus No 2, it will take you from the town center to Europa Point. We had to stop at a cool little bay called Camp Bay. If you have extra time this is a beautiful place to swim, and relax by the sea! The kids begged to stay and hang out, but we had a schedule, and two wet, sandy kids was not on my agenda! SO ...Off to Europa Point! Europa Point is only 15 1/2 miles from Africa and on a clear day you can actually see to
Africa and ...OH YES the other Pillar of Hercules, Mount Jebel Sidi Musa! (again radio voice)We were lucky it was a clear day! Of course my husband (who knows
everything ~ don't they all) tried to tell me about 25 times that we were not looking at Africa ~ haha Until we found this wonderful Map that said "you are looking at Africa" !! I was going to use my radio voice here .... but the hubby does not respond so well to the radio voice (but in my head I did the radio voice) ~ Sometimes it is so nice to prove them wrong isn't it ladies!! There is a lot to see here besides the most amazing view ... so lets keep it moving people! We stopped and saw the lighthouse, this is the southern most point of Gibraltar and is an
actual working lighthouse. It was completed in 1841 and is still used to guide ships through the straight! Today it is fully automated and stands 20 meters (approx 66 feet) high and is sitting 49 Meters ( approx 161 feet) above the sea below! Here
we enjoyed the view, and as I explained the history of the lighthouse, my sweet boys had a fight over who could lean over the railing the farthest to take pictures of the little tiny fish 160 feet down ~ it was a proud moment for me.
We stopped at the WWII memorials ~the Memorial is called the Sikorski Memorial and is there to
commemorate General Wladyslaw Sikorski, the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army and Prime Minister of Poland who was killed in a crash while in exile in 1943. Here, my youngest had a special moment ... and wanted to know what is exile, why was he exiled, how can you get exiled, why did he crash, where is he buried, can he get exiled, why not ... why why why ... my mind started to wander thinking WHY was I not drinking a bottle of wine ... and I walked away leaving him to contemplate his own why questions.
To your right (when looking at the sea) is Harding's Battery, where you will see a Massive Cannon/Gun that was originally put there to protect the city. The cannon has had a lot of controversy, over its placement, and size. There is no proof that it was ever even used in battle; due to its massive size.
Today it sits on display and is a viewing platform and a place of remembrance. We ~ by this I mean my children ~ used it for a place to run in circles, with cocked fingers guns screaming at the top of our lungs ~ Finger Guns the best toy~ another beautiful moment in our travels!
The Mosque and the Shrine of our Lady are both only a few meters away from each other ~ which both stand for the peace between the Moors and the Christians today. The original Church is Catholic and inside has a shrine of our lady (another name for the Virgin Mother). In the beginning of the 14th century the moors ruled Gibraltar; building a small mosque for worship. When the Spaniards took the town they converted the Mosque to a Christian Shrine.
The Mosque and church have been through many renovations representing the long time battles between the Christians and the Moors. Today both are open for public viewing. The Shrine has even received the Golden Rose (a sign of affection from the Catholic Church) from Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
We did not go inside, there was no screaming or fingers guns allowed ~ no really, there was a sign. ...Whew Europa Point we are done ~
Now off to the top of the rock! ... for the rest of our day trip in Gibralter and how the monkey peed on my son please go to our blog here --> http://basketslife.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/a-day-in-gibralter-with-the-monkeys/
Thanks for Reading Stacey ~