Living on a cliff face was unique!
Trip Start Jul 03, 2009
10Trip End Jul 29, 2009
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Monday was a road trip to get to our next stop, Arcos de la Frontera, but we took the indirect route, swooping down to Gibraltar and looping back up the Atlantic coast through windy Teneriffe.. The route took us through another valley dotted with white villages that spill down the mountainside. The towns were sometimes under defensive castles; there were Renaissance towers built on top of Moorish towers…who went for water?!
Of course the Spanish would never use the word "Gibraltar" until you're practically under the famous rock. They’ve always been in a snit that the Brits never have it back. Driving down a causeway towards the backside of the Rock, we got to the checkpoint border
Next stop was the most southern town on the Iberian peninsula, Terifa. This is the windsurfing capital of Europe that attracts sailboarders from all over the continent in VW vans. The area has miles of beach, strong constant winds, and lots of bars. We stopped for lunch and checked out a Moorish castle ruin right outside the “Closest European Restaurant to Africa”. I guess it was. Surrounding the left and right side of the castle walls were big round gun turrets from WWII.
I wanted to stop up the coastal road at Cape Trafalgar, site of Lord Nelson’s famous 1805 naval battle that sent him home in a spirits barrel – preserved. I read a pocketbook about the battle about a year ago. Nelson’s ships-of-the-line aggressively attacked the superior French fleet after they came out of the safe port in Cadiz
on driving: The directions said “Get to the top by the palace lookout” but with scant directions on how to do so. I have a photo of our Ford navigating the town’s tight alleys…..there were 3 fingers of space between stone walls and the car’s outside mirrors! You gotta be kidding; I did that 8 times (sober).
Next day we drove to nearby towns, each about 10-12 kms apart, lying in mountains
Next day, we drove in the opposite direction to the coastal city of Cadiz. This became the landing site of all the Spanish fleet returning from the New World with their riches, beginning with Columbus’ 2nd voyage. Cadiz is also the oldest city in Western Europe (1100BC) having been home to the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and finally the Christian Spanish. We got to know it as well as one can in a day of wandering: lots of museums and medieval walks. It deserved another day. Cadiz is located on an isthmus, sided by the Atlantic with beautiful beaches. Unlike the Costa del Sol which was all British, Cadiz looked like a destination more for the Spanish. Back home at 7, dinner 8-9, and in the sack at 10. Whew.