Sunday, June 29, 2008


I had thought Gibralter would be boring. I was wrong! The 6 of us English speakers hired a taxi driver to take us on a tour instead of taking a shore excursion. It was fascinating to realize how important of a role the area had played in military campaigns throughout history. The moors had built a garden there in addition to military fortifications in the 1300's. As part of the garden, they brought in Barbary Apes. They have been wild in the area ever since. There are 3 main troops I believe, totally about 600 apes. They are very audacious and will try and get in the vehicle or take food from you. Most will bite and so they tell you to leave them alone. Apparently one troop was tamer and our taxi driver got one to sit on Don's shoulders. He wasn't too happy about it. When he asked for a volunteer, we all pointed to Don. We went into a neat cave and then up to the top of the rock, with beautiful views. We went to the seige tunnels from WWII. Gibralter has no taxes and lots of money. They are big in offshore banking and fuel. Since there aren't any taxes, all the ships stop by to fuel up. It was a fun visit. This momument says "the ancient World". From here you look over to Africa. There are stories about how Atlas or Hercules tore the land apart here to form the Mediterannean.
Looking to Africa from Gibralter.
In side the caves.
Beautiful View! Look at the colors of the water. It's a long way down.
Don with Ape
See the tiny buildings?
Where the apes are fed. Apples, potatoes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, oranges, onions.
Family of Apes at seige tunnels
Looking towards Spain from Gibralter. Spain is where the tall buildings start.
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Ok, I'll try to get some more of the European trip down. Sorry it takes me so long to get these blog entries in...

So some of the interesting things about Lisbon: The architect who built the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco built a matching bridge in Lisbon! Also the Christ statue from Brazil, has also been replicated in Lisbon. It 's a bit odd to see these things, you wonder a bit where you are! Lisbon also has hilly streets and cable cars. They are very proud of Vasco De Gama and Henry the Navigator. It was fun to back and look them up on line to refresh my memory.

This was a neat old Arabian Castle on the river. They used it mostly as a prison as it was very small.

Monument to Henry the Navigator and others who helped discover the "new world". The new world but lots of riches to Portugal.

Beautiful Park in downtown Lisbon with view all the way down to the river.

Lisbon's downtown sidewalks have beautiful mosaics.

View in downtown Lisbon
This is a window from the famous Jaramillo( I think?) monastery. Vasco de Gama's tomb is here. This window is depicts the City of Lisbon in the background and shows the ships going out to the new world. The cloisters are world famous for their beauty.
This is the front of the church.

This is a nice photo of Edith outside the Church.

Here is Vasco De Gama.
Lisbon was fun and I wouldn't mind at all going back and spending some more time.

Ladies Day at the Lake

I know I haven't finished my European trip postings, but I want to get some photos up from our ladies day at Lake Pleasant yesterday. Cynthia already has great tubing photos on her blog. I'll just add a few more photos. I didn't get too badly sunburned, but I know at least 3 of you are really hurting today. We even got stopped by the watercops for towing somebody on the tube in an area where we weren't supposed to. It all scared me, because at that precise moment, the front of the boat plowed under the water and I thought we were going to sink. Other than almost drowning us, I had a great time! Best lake day yet! This is Helle, our super tuber!

Shannon gave her a run for her money though as she also did quite well. Who would have thought being drug through the water on an inflated tube at 30 to 40 miles an hour was hard? But it was. There is a knack just to get on the thing and not flip it over upside down on yourself. But after watching everybody, we started figuring out how it worked. Here is Helle and Penny at the beginning of the day, before everyone started looking more toasted. Princess Penny managed to stay looking crisp and nice all day as she never got in the water or the sun!

Then we have some bathing beauty photos:

So what's with the noodle to the forehead Shando? A new Spa treatment? Cell phone fatality

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cadiz Spain

So..Y'all know I'm not going in order right? Well the second stop on our cruise was Cadiz, Spain. Cadiz is the oldest city in western Europe. It was started by the Phoenicians in 3000 BC. Who know people from Phoenix started there? Just kidding. Anyway the history of a lot of the places just sort of blows your mind.
I really liked Cadiz for several reasons:
1. We had a great shore excursion and a great guide.

2. We got to see a flamenco dancing show that was very cool.

3. It was just the right size, kind of small, tht you felt like you got a feel for the city.
4. One of the cool things about Cadiz is that they purposely build the streets narrow, so there is always shade on the streets and always cool breezes from the ocean.
Edith's debit card liked Cadiz so much that it decided to stay. She tried to get cash out of an ATM and the machine kept her card. So here are photos from Cadiz. I would love to go back.
Our Canadian Honeymooner friends, Don and Deanna

Part of the old medieval wall. And the other silver thing is something they pull in the Corpus Christi religious procession around the city. It is made of silver brought from the New World. It weighs several tons and it is considered an honor to get blisters and all from pulling it. This is the remains of an old Roman Coliseum. The picture above with the water through the arch is from Malaga. I can't seem to delete it. And the Japanese couple were other friends of ours from the ship from Tokyo, Shino (She Knew) and Shigaro.
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