Gibraltar - Part Two

Trip Start Mar 02, 2013
1
26
52
Trip End Apr 06, 2013


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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It was hard to believe where we were only because the history of Gibraltar is overwhelming.
Here are a few stories:

According to Greek Mythology, Hercules, as one of his twelve tasks was to bring cattle over a mountain and deliver them to his people. He realized instead of going over the mountain, he should split it in two and go through. Hercules, brother of Atlas forced the mountain apart with his feet and split the mountain in half, allowing him to walk straight through! The Strait of Gibraltar was formed, and the Mediterranean Sea opened to what we now know as the Atlantic Ocean! Hercules delivered his cattle and completed number ten of his twelve tasks. The two mountains became known as the Pillars of Hercules. History dictates that the Pillars bore the warning, Non plus ultra ( meaning "nothing further beyond") reminding everyone the world was flat.

The Pillars appear on the Coat of Arms for Spain. It bears the motto "plus ultra" (further beyond), encouraging sailors to travel beyond and not fear the Atlantic, to take risks. The King wanted everyone to see the Pillars as an entrance to the rest of the world rather than a gate to the Mediterranean Sea! So, here comes Christopher Columbus, who went out that entrance thinking he would find India, and lo and behold we know the rest of the story BUT did you know he brought back tomatoes and wacky tabacky, forever changing the famous Spanish Gazpacho recipe and managed as well to introduce regular tobacco to the smokers of this country. Who knows what they were smoking before,

Hey, I'm just saying....do you believe that Hercules story?

The other part of this is: there is a rumour going around that the dollar sign derives its origins from the previous stories, S for Spanish dollar and the two vertical lines running through representing the Pillars of Hercules. The Americans liked this too, so they took it as well, the sign that is.

Tony, in his youth wrote a speech as a school project on these matters so was thrilled to have his photo taken at this point of geography! He cannot remember if he passed.

Speaking of passing, read an English newspaper we picked up at the Tourist Info Centre; I almost passed out when I read that George Clooney had purchased a four million euro mountain top home in Marbella. We were just there and I missed him. Man oh man, Antonio Banderas and George within an hours drive of me but in opposite directions....decisions, decisions......

We continue to have fun, laugh and learn, just found out that Mike's GPS is for cyclists, do you know how many narrow streets we have been on!!!! And he can't see the colour orange either. I think I just found the blind spot in our car!

Love to all,

Janie
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Comments

Jenny on

forget the history, you or Debbie must find George!!!Do it for me!!!!

Gwyneth on

I love vacationing vicariously through great friends.I can hear you all laughing from here! Sounds like you are having a great time. Wish we were there! xoxo Gwyneth

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