Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug 5


Woke up and it was a gray and foggy day in Gibraltar but the fog would break up and by 10:00 it was another lovely day.

Gibraltar was the port that Lauren was looking forward to the most and the Barbary Apes.

After breakfast we headed off the ship and found a taxi to do the Rock Tour with. The Magic was the only ship in port this morning so there was no lines for the Rock Tours which are right when you got off the ship, but when we returned in the afternoon there was another large ship in port and there were huge line ups. (this is when we returned and it looped all the way round into the terminal)

The tour basically takes you up the switchback road (just like Giants Head but with the Atlantic Ocean/Mediterranean Sea) on the side of the Rock of Gibraltar with a couple of stops at viewpoints, the St Michael Caves, the Barbary Apes and then your choice of the Great Siege tunnels or the Moorish Palace. We were with another family and they wanted to see the tunnels and that was fine with us.

First lookout.

The taxi driver gets your tickets and then meets you at the exit. The St Michael’s caves were amazing and I have never seen stalagmites and stalactites like this. There was a DCL tour going through at the same time and I wished we had taken the tour as the guide was giving some great information. Concerts are held in the caves as the acoustics are supposed to be very good.

We emerged from the caves and Lauren was able to find a machine that was selling Rock of Gibraltar coins so she was thrilled.

Next stop was the Apes.  A popular belief holds that as long as Barbary Macaques exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule. In 1942 (during World War II), after the population dwindled to just a handful of individuals (just seven monkeys), British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill ordered that their numbers be replenished immediately from forest fragments in both Morocco and Algeria because of this traditional belief.

The ape does not know what to think of Lauren

 I knew Lauren would be in heaven and Sydney would be scared. The Apes are everywhere and we got to see old ones that would not move out of your way, and young ones that would not sit still, we even saw a mother with a brand new one that barely had it eyes open.

Lauren was in awe and probably could have spent all day there. One approached her, which she was hopping for , but this of course freaked out Sydney. The vans are just sitting on the road waiting for the traffic ahead, so Sydney was able to get in our van and be protected and Lauren got every possible minute watching the Apes.

The finally stop was the tunnels. It is hard to believe that men carved these tunnels out in the late 1770’s. They are 1 mile deep, we did not go all the way as it was only a short stop.

The view was amazing,

The ship has not left without us!
 The airport has a road that goes through the middle of the runway and you can see people walking on a sidewalk.

We did not have the greatest taxi driver, and it was rushed, he was hoping to get in 2 more tours today before the ships left, but it was still one of the highlights.

We got dropped off in the centre of the old town and walked around.

It was getting hot to we headed back to the ship, but not before getting lost.

The afternoon routine continued and we hit the pool, we also made it to a family craft activity and painted mosiac tiles.

Departing from Gibraltar

Can't have a day with no characters.

I finally convinced the girls to skip dinner and go to TopSiders for dinner. It was probably the best meal of the cruise, it is so quiet and relaxing up there. The waiter was not great but he actually had time to talk to us, I find the main dinning rooms so busy and noisy that you hate to ask the servers for anything.

We then went back to the pool of course, and after went to the Stage show, The Dream Goes On

Lauren was hoping to hit the club as they were having a late night drive in movie night, but she fell asleep. I tried to wake her up at 10:30 when it was starting but said she did not want to get up.

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