It was a Good Friday………

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It was a great start to Good Friday……   True there was some early mist about but the sun soon came through.  But even at 10.30 there was still a little mist hanging about the lake, a lake otherwise still and deserted.  It is hard to get used to not seeing folk about.

The woodland leaves are starting to burst from their winter cocoons.  Always interesting to seem what wins the race into spring.  Already the Willow is in leaf, small and bright green.  The Oak, Ash and Beech seem slower this year whilst the Chestnut is doing its best to break into life… all hinting but no dramatic action.

It is the Sycamore that is leading the way.  I love watching these bold leaves take shape but also love the many different colours they display.  At this time of year some look much more like an autumn leaf…. those rich red and browns not usually associated with spring,  much more like the autumnal colour pallete…

_1020958qqq Despite the colour throw back they do look as if they are bursting with new life

Please remember…..

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

10th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Rock with a Sea View……..

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Gibraltar at Europa Point

It was only a very brief visit.  It should have been longer.  But this little bit of British Overseas Territories is only 2.6 sq miles in size, so surely there cannot be that much to see.   That is where we were so wrong.

You cannot say Gibraltar without saying ‘The Rock of Gibraltar’.  Standing at the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, it surveys the straights between Europe and Africa. Strategically important.

No trip, however brief to Gibraltar can be said to be complete without a trip to the top of the rock.  First we were taken by taxi round what seemed like endless narrow twisting roads. Just how did they manage to fit so many into such a tight space.

First to Europe Point with its view of the Rock, then up to St. Michaels Caves.  Today a Concert Venue and ‘Illuminated’ Show Cave network. During WW11 this was the location of an emergency hospital but I understand never used.  There is of course many more caves all used during the War for Military purposes…. the stalactites and stalagmites must have stood witness to much secret activity over those years,  but now stand and hang for the pleasure of tourists…..

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Then it was back to ground lever to take a Cable Car trip to greater heights on the Rock.  It is from these viewpoints that you get a true concept on just how small Gibraltar really is.  Surrounded on one side by oceans and the other Spain, its mountains and sweeping coastline.

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No visit to the Rock would be complete without meeting the equally famous Apes of Gibraltar, the Barbary Macaques…..  some seemed friendly but most did have a rather menacing look. Obviously this Lady was thinking of her youngster, but many other also had the ‘don’t mess with me look’

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Gibraltar has only been a British Overseas Territory since 1713.  You can also understand why Spain has always been so keen to regain what it considers its territory.  But you soon learn that the residents or Gibraltar are fiercely independent  ‘Gibraltarians’.   There are about 35000 Gibraltarians squeezed onto this tiny corner of the Iberian Peninsula. But those numbers are swelled each day by what must be many thousands of Spanish workers crossing the border to work in Gibraltar.

But walk down Main Street, past a Red Post Box, the Banks and Post Office, Shops, Restaurants and Pubs, that despite the scorching sun and the shade of Palm Trees, you might well think you were on an English Main Street. It is busy and the heart of the community and all rather nice….

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Gibraltar is a little Gem with a character all of its own.  I wish we had been able to stay longer….but then we have the excuse to revisit.

(in case anyone was worried for the Mother Macaque I was at a good distance with a long lens so as not to cause anxiety)

Please remember…..

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

10th April

(C) David Oakes 2020