Week 57 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 12th April 2009

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We decide to set off to see if it is possible to walk round the bottom of the peninsula which constitutes Gibraltar. We walk down towards the police station on Rosia Road and then past the 100 Ton Gun, which is carefully hidden so you could walk past it half a dozen times if you did not know where it is. So here is a map! (bottom left). When you get there you will NOT see anything to tell you you have arrived. All you will see is a barbed wire fence and what looks like the entrance to a factory. You have arrived! All of the references on the web carefully avoid telling you where it is as well. No doubt in due course it will close because nobody visits it.

One of the few really irritating things about Gibraltar is the refusal to give addresses for anything (the other is the endless buzzing motorscooters which have deliberately had the baffles removed from their silencers to make them offensively loud). The locals just assume everybody knows where everything is. WELL WE DON'T. We don't know where Central Hall is, for instance. And despite walking past its alleged position we still don't.

Question: What kind of people visit Tourist Attractions? Tourists who don't know where it is or Local People who do? Difficult question isn't it? Really needs thinking about.

Anyway. On with our walk. We then follow the road and walk through a tunnel and emerge at what looks like a Government funded leisure complex with a swimming pool. Very grim. At least at Auschwitz they had an orchestra to welcome you. From there we walk past yet another huge swimming pool surrounded by barbed wire and then through a frightening long tunnel to the Crematorium which is conveniently situated right next to the rubbish incinerator - saves gas, I imagine. Arbeit macht frei.

Right at the end the road doubles back on itself and ascends very steeply - probably about 1 in 4. Surprisingly you can drive up this and at the top you arrive at what looks like a huge new prison - maybe they are going to do sub-contract work for the US Government as a quid pro quo for not banging on so much about Tax Havens?

There are hundreds of white cars stored here for some reason. You can then emerge through an entrance that tells you that you should not have been there in the first place. As for the "volunteers" who built the road ... "Anybody want to build a road in the boiling heat for no pay? Thought not - so you, you and you have just volunteered". Seeing a Press Release in white marble is a pleasant change, though.

Finally you get to Clifftops. Fantastic views but somewhat isolated position. No address on the web of course but "you can't miss it"

Monday 13th April 2009

Well, it is a glorious day - brilliant sunshine but not too hot in the shade. We watch the Atlantic Star come in then go off to wander for a few hours. Surprisingly, there are papers today despite it being a Bank Holiday so we sit in a cafe and read them.

We return from the border on the bus which is very cheap (60p for adults) but very hot as it only has a couple of windows that open and they are both closed. As usual the locals are wearing thick woolly jumpers and scarves.

Gibraltar Buses are very simple to use - you just get on and pay with cash. Not like many foreign cities where you can queue for ages then find you need some sort of obscure card which can only be bought from a special shop three miles away.

Tuesday 14th April 2009

Very cloudy and overcast initially and then it starts to rain a little - but nothing like last April when it bucketed down. We do some shopping but otherwise stay in most of the day. Nothing much happens except a ferry coming into the dry dock in the early evening.

Wednesday 15th April 2009

It is windy and wet but we set off for a drive anyway. We stop in a Mirador (a viewing area by the side of a road) and my girlfriend goes off to explore.

Meanwhile I spot some fearsome looking ants which are about half an inch long (very big, believe me).

Thursday 16th April 2009

In the morning a man comes to do our windows (Martin 00350 540 24717). He works none stop for 4 hours and the windows are crystal clear. We pay him 80 as agreed and off he goes.

We are so exhausted from watching him work that we have to go to the Piccadilly Garden Bar which is at the Start of Rosia Road near the big car park. They have a resident (or possibly guest) cat which is literally the only cat I have ever seen sitting upright against a wall. No doubt I will now see dozens of similarly sophisticated felines.

The bill shows two amounts, one in Euros and the other in Pounds. Accordingly I leave far too much money and we depart with a wave. The waiter calls us back and points out my error and we do some complex adjustments. Good man.

Friday 17th April 2009

In the evening we go to Gauchos which is excellent as usual. After listening to Smackwater Jack for the third time I point out to the waitress that their CD Player or whatever has gone into a loop - nobody else has noticed. But, does she sing "It's time we got the right" OR "This time we got to ride"? The majority seems to favour "ride" but I think it is "right". Wars have started for less.

Later we go bowling and I score no points with the first four balls.

Saturday 18th April 2009

Later we end up at the Little Rock Cafe (5 Casemates Square, Gibraltar Tel: 200 - 51977) which is full of pretty girls. The bad news is that the music is so loud that I cannot hear a word that is said by anybody. Later we go to a place where the girls are even prettier and the music is so loud that it is painful. Clearly, the girls are causing the noise but I cannot work out how.

Eventually, like a spinning top, my girlfriend collapses and I have to drag her home in a taxi. Next day she is a little fragile and we stay in most of the day.

Nice clouds!

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      End of Week 57 of Gibraltar Diary

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