A stroll around Gibraltar No. 26 : All the way around the Rock

Today is 10th September which is Gibraltar National Day and I wanted to mark the occasion with a special blog post. As our family moved back to the UK this summer after over a decade in Gib, it will be a strange National Day for us. It will also be a ‘different’ one for the people of Gibraltar as this year, the traditional rallies and gatherings have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

This is my tribute to Gibraltar on National Day 2020, a post which I hope, will show my deep affection for the Rock and it’s people. It’s a place which will be forever in my heart, and I dearly hope I will be able to return to frequently in the years to come.

Gibraltar National Day rally – Casemates Square 10th September 2019

Way back in May, before we made our epic move back to the UK, I got the chance to do something I’d never done before…. walk the whole way round the Rock. It’s not something I’d done before because it takes quite a while and strictly speaking you aren’t allowed to walk through one of the road tunnels to complete the route.

However, during the waning weeks of lockdown while there was very little traffic on the roads many people were walking through and the authorities were turning a blind eye. Being someone who doesn’t like to bend the rules very often, I saw this new development as my opportunity and took it. (FYI it’s very busy on the roads again now, so I really wouldn’t recommend doing it now. PLEASE BE SENSIBLE AND DON’T WALK THROUGH).

Here goes…

Europa Road

I began my walk in South District not far from where we used to live on the (normally busy) Europa Road.

Past the beautiful blooms of bougainvillea and nasturtiums.

Rather than going the long way around via Queensway or Main Street, I walked above the Trafalgar Cemetery and popped through Prince Edward’s Gate and into Gibraltar’s old town that way.

Trafalgar Cemetery
Prince Edward’s Gate

And into town…

Town Range
Looking from St Mary’s School towards St Andrew’s Church

I walked along pavements I have walked countless times before over the years. It was strange to think that just a few weeks later, we would be saying goodbye to Gibraltar after 11 very happy years. During that time these streets, which once felt so alien and unlike where we had come from, became our home.

St Andrew’s Church of Scotland

I passed below the beautiful and historic Garrison Library.

Gibraltar Garrison Library

…and further on into town along the narrow Governor’s Street north towards Casemates Square.

Governor’s Street
Casemates Square

As you can probably tell from the bright blue skies in the photos – it was a rather warm day!

Casemates Tunnel

In the north east corner of Casemates is a tunnel which leads to…

Landport Tunnel

… Landport Tunnel which was, once upon a time, the only way to access Gibraltar by land. All the area beyond the city walls was once sea before a series of land reclamation projects were undertaken. At curfew each evening those big wooden doors would be closed and the drawbridge on the other side would be lifted sealing inhabitants of the Rock inside for the night.

The tunnel is steeped in history – walking through it you can imagine some of the people who must have come through here over the centuries. There is a bend in the middle for defence purposes I believe.

Northern Defences

As you come out of Landport Tunnel Gibraltar’s military heritage is in evidence on your right and above your head lies the Northern Defences – a place I would have loved to explore before we left.

Onwards and northwards I headed towards the airport and the sundial roundabout.

Sundial roundabout with the airport runway and air traffic control tower beyond

My path turned to the East at this point along Devil’s Tower Road.

This road (which is normally very busy but thanks to lockdown was extremely quiet) has a mix of older housing blocks, flashy new developments and industry. The Rock looms above it all.

At Eastern beach you pass the local vehicle licensing and MOT test centre, behind this military pill box.

As I passed by this spot I was rather taken by this little chap!

Gnome created by Gibraltar street artist Jupp
Can you spot the spy holes in a line on the Rock in the bottom third of the photo?

There are plenty of reminders on the East side of Gibraltar’s military past as well, apart from the spy holes in the Rock above your head is this cairn constructed in memory of the members of the Black Watch who worked here to create some of Gibraltar’s Defences. I wonder what they thought about the heat of the Med after traveling down from the Highlands of Scotland?!

Heading south towards Catalan Bay

The sun was rather intense at this spot beating down on my head (I’m glad I wore a hat!) and the crickets were chirping in the grass by my side.

Catalan Bay

All of a sudden after the industrial buildings the developments give way to a huge land reclamation project and on the other side – beautiful Catalan Bay. When we first arrived in Gib, this was our beach of choice in the summer. It’s small-ish and is less easy to lose children when you take your eyes off them for a millisecond! Plus there is ample parking if you arrive early enough in the day. Lately though, we moved to Sandy Bay which is a lot less densely populated and gives you much more space.

Beach protocol in Gib is something which you quickly learn as a newcomer to the Rock. Local families have their traditional pitches where they always set up camp on the beach and it can be quite easy to ruffle feathers if you plonk yourself down in a seemingly empty spot. At the height of summer beach umbrellas, deck chairs and tables appear on the beach at first light many hours before their owners appear to take up residence. It is quite a sight to behold.

Catalan Bay
Looking down over Catalan Bay village

Rather than dashing down to the beach to feel the sand and waves on my toes I kept on going along Sir Herbert Miles Road which hugs the back of Catalan Bay village (Sir Herbert Miles was Governor of Gibraltar from 1913-1918).

Catalan Bay rooftops

Catalan Bay was once solely populated by ex-pat Genoese fishermen and their families. Until about 100 years ago the village was cut off at high tide and the only access was via the beach when the tide was low. Genoese was the language spoken here and Caletaños (Catalan Bay villagers) are responsible for a lot of the Genoese words which have become a fixture in the Llanito dialect in Gibraltar.

Traditional wooden fishing boats at Catalan Bay (Photo: Postcard from Gibraltar archives)

Traditional wooden boat building is still a skill which is passed down through the generations in this village. The beautiful handcrafted rowing fishing boats are used daily by village fishermen to catch fish, they are also used for a traditional annual boat race in the Bay.

Brightly coloured Little Genoa

Along Sir Herbert Miles Road is the pretty and colourful development of Little Genoa (can you see what they did there?).

All the while the huge Rock is there above you!

After Catalan Bay is Black Strap Cove, a small stretch of undeveloped land between Catalan Bay and Sandy Bay. As with much of the Gibraltar coastline you can see now abandoned military installations amongst the rocky cliff side. It is a haven for wild flowers in spring and I’ve seen Barbary Partridges here at times too. A lovely spot.

Next stop Sandy Bay…

When we first arrived in Gibraltar 11 years ago, there was a tiny pebble beach here at Sandy Bay. The winter before we arrived brought tremendous storms and sea swells and washed the beach away (as well as running a huge tanker aground by Europa Point and causing damage elsewhere in Gibraltar). Maybe 5 years ago (my memory may be wrong here) the Government completed the project to build a couple of groynes to protect the beach and shipped in tones of sand to replace what had been lost in the storms.

Sandy Bay is now a large beautifully sandy stretch of beach and thanks to the rocky arms stretching out to hug the beach, the water here can be calm where the conditions are choppy elsewhere for swimming. The perfect spot to spend a day with the family! It’s now our beach of choice.

The housing development of Both Worlds which forms a barrier between the main road and the beach was built just over 50 years ago and opened just around the time the border between Gibraltar and Spain was closed by General Franco. Overnight Gibraltarians couldn’t cross over for holidays and trips into Spain, and Both Worlds became a holiday destination for many local people.

When it opened there were shops here, food delivery services (much like what many of us rely on these days) and even a mini buggy taxi service which would give residents a lift along the length of the resort. I happened upon a fabulous newspaper supplement advertising the new Both Worlds development in a 50 year old Gibraltar Chronicle at the National Archives a while ago. It made for fascinating reading!

It is now a residential block, half of which is for over 50s and the rest is sold on the open market. Some of the apartments can be rented as holiday lets.

Old military buildings south of Sandy Bay
Looking north towards Sandy Bay
Dudley Ward Tunnel

A short way south of Sandy Bay is Dudley Ward Tunnel. This is the tunnel which isn’t supposed to be used by pedestrians but during lockdown became a regular pedestrian route around the Rock because of the greatly reduced traffic on the roads.

Goodbye sunshine… into the cool darkness. I had my fluorescent gear on so I could be seen clearly walking along the side of the road (fortunately just two cars passed me by). I didn’t hang about for long, it felt very naughty to be in there. I don’t mind telling you that was a bit relieved when I popped out into daylight at the other end!

The coastline here is different to the other end of the tunnel, the cliffs are steeper and go right down to the sea below.

Cliffs covered in wildflowers (can you spot the nesting gull?)

You get a clear view of the clay pigeon shooting range which was built for the Island Games last year.

2019 Island Games Clay Pigeon shooting range

This section of the Rock is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the photo below you get a true sense of the magesty of the cliffs looking northwards. Down at just above sea-level is the Gorham’s Cave complex which is full of important archaeological research.

It truly is a beautiful spot.

Looking south towards Europa Point and the Moroccan coast beyond

When I could see the lighthouse at Europa Point, I felt like I was on the final leg of my journey. Not long now before I could have a cold drink and a sit down!

Out at sea, as I was walking, I spotted a bit of argy-bargy between a Guardia Civil boat and a Royal Navy rhib. That’s a common sight round these parts as there is an ongoing dispute about who the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters actually belong to. Sometimes skirmishes make the British news, one day I saw a flare being fired by the British after a Spanish vessel continued on a collision course towards a submarine. That was quite a sight I can tell you!

Europa Advance Road

Onwards in the full heat of the sun heading south…

Trinity Lighthouse

… there she is – Trinity Lighthouse. Doesn’t she look magestic?

The lay-by which offers this stunning view also has a touching memorial for a young soldier.

As you round the bend in the road, in front of you is the dramatic sight of the Mosque.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Between the mosque and the lighthouse, Europa Point is a rather iconic part of the Rock. It’s also home to a fabulous play park for young children, a heritage information centre, Gibraltar University, the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe and the recently built Europa Point stadium which is home to Gibraltar Rugby & Gibraltar Cricket and was used to house the Nightingale facility to cope with Covid-19 patients (although, so far, thankfully, it hasn’t needed to be used).

Looking towards the lighthouse, park & stadium between the mosque and university accommodation.

The road swings round to the north again after Europa Point offering great views of the Rock.

Europa Road looking north
View from Europa Road down to Little Bay, the Nuffield Pool and Camp Bay beyond

Looking westwards out to see you see both the Moroccan coast (on the left of the photo below) and the Spanish coast (on the right) the strip of water between them is the famous Strait of Gibraltar and the gateway to the Mediterranean.

Europa Road here gets quite narrow as it was once crossed by an archway and policed by an army sentry.

It was a defence point to stop invaders approaching from the south getting access to the town.

And finally I had reached my destination… almost home, I was back in South District!

Two hours on from when I’d set off, I had completed my circuit of the Rock. I am so pleased I managed to tick this walk off on my to-do list in Gibraltar. Despite living there for over a decade, there are still some things I didn’t manage to achieve, like visiting the Lower St Michaels Cave and exploring the Jungle and the Northern Defences. I hope one day I will be able to do those things.

In the meantime, when I’m in my new home in the UK I have some truly wonderful memories of our time in Gib, and feel truly blessed that we had our time there, and that the Little Postcards could enjoy some of their childhood there too.

Thank you Gibraltar and happy National Day 2020! 🇬🇮

Lindsay x

Sunday Sevens #214 29.12.19

Hello and welcome to the final Sunday Sevens of 2019. (Sunday Sevens for those who haven’t visited Postcard from Gibraltar before is a selection of photos – usually seven, from the past seven days).

We were traveling yesterday so this is more of a Monday Sevens this week! I hope you have had a good week and a fun Christmas. Here goes…

Sunday lunch in the sun

Last Sunday we had a lovely family meal at Queensway Quay. After lunch we went for a bit of a walk to look at the fish and the boats.

Monday morning run

I managed to motivate myself enough on Monday morning to go out for a run (it took quite a bit of will power!). As I ran past the beach at Camp Bay, I couldn’t help but notice that there was rather a lot of plastic washed up on the sand. As I took a breather I thought I’d pick up some rubbish. I was rather shocked with what I gathered in just a couple of minutes (below).

Sunny Christmas Eve

We had a lovely Christmas Eve lunch at one of our favourite Gibraltar restaurants. It was a beautiful day and I managed to order the biggest lamb dish I have ever seen. Thankfully, I had help to finish it!

Christmas Day walk

On Christmas late afternoon, I went out for a walk with Eldest to burn off a few of the calories I’d consumed. We walked south to the lighthouse at Europa Point and then back up north towards town and home again. As we walked along we met the Governor of Gibraltar who was also out for a Christmas Day stroll!

Boxing Day Polar Bear Swim

On Boxing Day I managed to get out for another run – I was doing so well last week (not doing so well of late though). Whilst I ran past Camp Bay, a group of brave souls were taking part in the Polar Bear swim in aid of Cancer Relief Gibraltar.

Wander with the Little Postcards

Later on on Boxing Day as Mr Postcard had to work, I headed into Spain with the Little Postcards and we had a lovely walk by the seaside. We spotted a few four legged friends on our travels.

Will I or won’t I finish this by the end of the year?

So on Friday I was determined to have a good go at finishing my changing tides blanket (pattern from Eleonora at Coastal Crochet) but unfortunately I have been beaten in my quest. I tried and failed to get it done before the end of the year – I can say that because we have now left Gibraltar for a New Year stay in England and I have left the blanket behind – there wasn’t room for it in my case.

I have, however made a lot of progress and the end is in sight, so it won’t be too long I hope. I have also brought a WIP with me to try and finish that instead while I’m away.

Grey day

That lovely sunshine we had over Christmas was long gone by Saturday. The sky was the same colour as the Rock! Never mind, we had a very good spell of weather over Christmas so I’m not complaining.

And that brings Sunday Sevens to an end for another week. I do hope that you enjoyed this week if you celebrate Christmas.

Thanks very much for sticking with me this year, it’s been a bit of a quiet one for Postcard from Gibraltar as I’ve been rather busy doing other things this year. I hope to be around a bit more in 2020.

The Sunday Sevens blog series was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #181 31.3.19

Hello there! It’s Mothering Sunday here today, I hope it’s been a good day for you. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens.

Sunday wander

Last Sunday we took a wander into the Alameda Gardens. It was such a grey day, but the gardens still looked beautiful. A true oasis which we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep.

Au revoir

On Monday morning I waved goodbye to one of the Little Postcards, who was off on a residential school trip. It was his first time away from home, and I have to admit to having a bit of a wobble, I really missed him. (He had a good time and made it home in one piece I’m pleased to report).

Housebound crochet

I was housebound for a couple of days this week as a nasty bug struck the household. Thankfully just two succumbed, a Little Postcard and me… while I was looking after him, I got my hook out and did a spot of granny square making, so every cloud and all that!

Finished!

It’s been an awfully long time in the making, but this week, amazingly, I finished my jacket at Dressmaking class. It’s been worn already!

Floral bathroom

We’ve been suffering a few gale force gusts this week, so we had to bring some of our balcony pots and boxes in to stop them being blown to bits. We ran out of spaces to put them, so these ended up in the bathroom. Eldest said it looked like a posh public loo!

Stormy seas

The aftermath of the storms was evident in Camp Bay afterwards. Mr Postcard took these photos while out on a walk on Thursday. The waves must have had some force to throw those rocks so far! I’m glad we brought the plants in!!

Grey skies again

The grey skies which have been a feature for a lot of the week were with us again yesterday- and we had that lovely drizzly rain too. Delightful!

Here’s to a brighter, less windy and germ-free week next week. Fingers crossed!

As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #179 17.3.19

Another week has passed and here’s another Sunday Sevens!

Homeward bound

On Monday I flew back home after my parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary celebrations. I left a sunny Manchester for a sunny Malaga!

Commonwealth Day

Can you spot the Commonwealth flag flying? It was Commonwealth Day on Monday and schools and government offices were closed. Many schools took an extra day off on Tuesday too, so no dressmaking class for me this week.

Crochet in the sun

We’ve had a few stunningly sunny days this week. Perfect for a bit of crochet in sunshine…

Watercolour flamenco

I don’t like painting people or animals, they usually end up looking like aliens! This flamenco dancer had an unusually long giraffe-like neck for quite a while… flowers & buildings are more in my comfort zone!

Rainbow lunchbox

I treated myself to this gorgeous falafel salad for lunch one day this week. It was as tasty as it looked.

Fun at the park

We’ve made the most of the good weather this week and had a couple of trips to the park at Europa Point. It’s been great to get the kids out for fun and fresh air.

Golden Hour stroll

Yesterday evening we had a lovely walk just as the sun was setting, everything looked so pretty in the golden light.

And that’s it for this week, I hope it’s been a good one for you in spite of the terrible things which have happened this week.

Sunday Sevens is a blog series which was created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #157 7.10.18

Sunday again… here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

By the waterside

Last Sunday afternoon I found myself down by the water at Camp Bay. It was lovely to be able to take a few moments to listen to the lapping of the waves and look up at the huge boats. I noticed just in front of me was a huge shoal of fish swimming round and round in circles and coming up for air. They looked like mini sharks!

The last September sunset of 2018

A third photo here from last Sunday, but it was a beauty so I had to share it!

Med steps on a Monday

What better way to start the week than with a yomp up the Med Steps. I wasn’t as quick as I was last time, I didn’t manage to get up there at all the week before and I was a bit out of breath! I also had an encounter with an ape who didn’t seem to want to let me past! I gave it a bit of a talking to and after a few moments, I felt brave enough to go past it…

Dressmaking class

Tuesday saw me back at my Dressmaking class and for this first time this academic year, after weeks of pattern drawing, I was able to actually do some sewing! I have to make a toile first before setting about making my jacket for real.

Watercolour class

I had been trying to paint a picture of stormy seas off Europa Point at my watercolour class but that was proving rather difficult. I decided to make a change and opted for some busy Lizzies instead.

Last rays of sunshine

I was passing Europa Point on Friday evening as the last rays of sunshine were shining. I just had to stop the car and take a photo.

Street art

I featured this art work as it was being painted a few weeks ago and promised I’d show you again once it was finished. It was painted by a local artist Gerry Martinez and is much needed boost to this rather unloved underpass. It’s a great addition to Gibraltar.

September

Here are a few highlights from last month…

As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday photo challenge (week 22) Sunshine & May round-up

Ah sunshine, it always makes me feel better about the world (unless it’s baking hot in the middle of summer!). This picture (above) was taken yesterday morning as I walked along the east side of Gibraltar, the sun was beaming down and reflected off the sea.

Camp Bay is a popular venue for sunny summer visits, but there isn’t much shade there… I was desperately trying to seek shade by the fence to the football court on my last visit – it wasn’t working…

The sun was peeping through the leaves and branches of the trees and bushes at the Alameda Botanic Gardens when I visited this morning. It was beautiful there – especially in the dappled shade.

Sunny days almost always have lovely sunsets… bye bye sunshine!

Sunset over the Mediterranean – photo taken on the beach close to Marbella

As it’s 1st June today, we are due a round up of the Friday Photo Challenges in May, so here goes…

Week 18 – Keyhole

People got really creative on Instagram for this photo challenge, no one more so than @randallpeck in Maryland, USA. His photo of trees silhouetted agains a sunset through a key hole is truly beautiful. @alisoninandalucia’s entry featured a beautifully ornate keyhole from a door at the Alcazaba in Jerez, Spain.

Week 19 – Sky high

Sandra at Wild Daffodil linked to her amazing trip to Japan for her sky high entry. Over on Instagram again Randall Peck took a fabulous photo, his take on it was ‘sky high to a snail’ and his picture featured the view looking up the stem of a dandelion clock towards a tree beyond, it was so creative. Jan from @isisjem used a photo taken from her plane window looking across the wing to the fluffy clouds below. It was taken en-route to where else but Gibraltar? Susan B from @bluejake235’s photo took the biscuit for me though, it featured the shadow of the hot air balloon she was travelling in across what looks like desert below (the balloon ride was taken from Wadi Rum in Jordan). She must have nerves of steel – I certainly couldn’t do that.

Week 20 – Challenge

Sandra (@sandracapano) has set herself quite a challenge, her entry for this week was the knitting pattern she is inventing – a mind boggling prospect to my mind. Meanwhile Alison (@alisoninandalucia) showed a series of photos from her challenge, ten years ago, to climb a mountain in Borneo. A jet-setting challenge has been set by Susan (@bluejake235), she is aiming to visit every European capital city – so far, she’s been to 75% of them!

Week 21 – Floral

@mrsscjohnson4 shared a lovely photo of herself and a friend on a visit to RHS Rosemoor, while @bluejake235 had a picture of a rather beautiful floral arrangement from the Funchal Flower Show in Madeira, and Alison @alisoninandalucia chose the stunning gardens at the Alhambra for her taken on Floral. @hookstitchsew on the other hand went for a rather lovely piece of floral fabric, which was about to be used to cover a box.

Thanks to all of you who have joined in again with the photo challenge this month, don’t forget, if you fancy joining in too, it’s not too late to have a go. If you are on Instagram, just tag your photo with #postcardfromgibfridayphoto or put the link to your blog post in the comments below.

2018 friday photo challenge

Sunday Sevens #138 27.5.18

Crumbs, is it just me, or is this year flying by? I can’t believe we are at the end of May bank holiday weekend already! Slow down please!!! I hope this Sunday Sevens finds you well and that you are enjoying your long weekend (if you are in a part of the world which has one). Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

First barbecue of the year

And relax… feeling a little achey after the Med Steps 5 Challenge last Saturday, our first barbecue of the year, my new book and a cold beer were just what the Dr ordered!

Down by the sea

Two Little Postcards had an in service day on Monday. We headed down to Camp Bay for a bit of a kick around and ice cream. What with bank holidays and extra days off school at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘normal’ week at the moment – perhaps that’s why it feels like time is whizzing by!

Bird’s eye view

I had a trip up to the Great Siege Tunnels this week as a parent helper on a school trip. We got a bird’s eye view of the tunnel being built at the end of the runway, can you see it? There are two tunnels with what looks like a spine and ribs over the top. It was the first time I’d been to the Siege Tunnels with a guide (well a teacher who knew all about it) and I learned quite a few new things. Which reminds me, I went there with the Little Postcards a few months ago during a school holiday and I was meaning to write a post all about it…. one day!

Beautiful blossoms

I love the colour of Jacaranda blossom. This tree sits on Main Street and you could easily miss it as you go about your business. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look up!

Sandy Bay blanket

My seaside stash busting blanket now has a name; the Sandy Bay blanket. I wanted it to have a Gibraltar theme so reflected colours I see about the place. The white and yellow section was inspired by the Both Worlds housing development which sits above Sandy Bay and the green and magenta by the succulents growing above on the old water catchment slopes. Here’s the whole thing so far:

A green future for Gibraltar’s School children

On Thursday I was invited to a special reception in the Alameda Botanical Gardens. A community group I used to be involved with has sponsored a plaque to raise funds for a bio dome and learning facility for school children. It’s a very exciting project and has already garnered a lot of support, but there is still a way to go to raise all the cash needed to build it. For more information about the Alameda BioDome, you can read about it here.

A breezy trip to the beach

My Sandy Bay blanket made it to Sandy Bay on Friday morning. It was gloriously sunny between the wispy clouds skudding across the sky but the breeze was rather brisk. I had to kneel on my blanket to take the photo to prevent it blowing into the sea! Thank goodness I went while the Little Postcards were at school – they would have well and truly disowned me as I clambered over the rocks to try and get a decent photo!!

That’s all from Sunday Sevens for this week, I hope you have had a great weekend. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #132 22.4.18

Hello there, welcome to the latest Sunday Sevens, a week which began in bright sunshine and ended with grey cloudy skies….

Don’t go into the water!

There were reports in the media last week that lots of Portuguese Man-o-war were being washed up on Gibrataltar’s beaches. Not wishing to miss out on seeing them, I headed down to Camp Bay with the Little Postcards last Sunday to see if we could see any. We weren’t disappointed. I had never seen them before and found them rather mesmerising with their bright blue colour and tentacles drifting below the waves.

We kept our distance though, as they can be very dangerous, even lethal in some cases. I thought it best to show the children what they looked like in case they should ever encounter them again. Now they will know to avoid them in future.

I’ve got a beach!

This week I managed to keep up with the Coastal Crochet CAL (Crochet along) and now have the beginnings of a beach on my Seaside Stash-busting Blanket. It was very nautical for a while there, but now I have wet sand, seaweed and pebbles.

3 times round

I can’t quite believe I am writing this, but although I didn’t plan it, I managed three times round the Med Steps this week. I had intended to do twice round but something Mr Postcard said as he went to work (along the lines of “two not three?”) planted the seed and once I’d completed number 2, thought, why not? I went for it. It was very difficult. This photo was taken at the bottom of the final set of steps. I was sitting on the bottom step at the time! I’ve got less than a month to go now before the Med Steps 5 Challenge, so there’s no time to waste!

Princess line seams

This week’s dressmaking class was all about the princess line seams. Boring photo I’m afraid.

Double daffs

I went crazy and splashed out £2 on a bunch of daffodils for myself this week. They had beautiful double heads and made me smile.

More stepping

The beautiful sunny weather we had at the start of the week had disappeared by Friday. I headed back up the steps. It was very blustery up there and just a little bit scary as I turned the corner onto the east side. It was blowing me backwards as if I wasn’t allowed to go up. Once I was properly round onto the eastern side, it was much more sheltered and not a problem at all.

Seeing as I can’t show you blue skies on this one, I took a few pictures of the beautiful wild flowers up there, including the Gibraltar national flower (the Gibraltar Candytuft: bottom right) which is in flower in a few sheltered spots now.

Gib Rocks

There is a phenomenon sweeping Gibraltar at the moment, especially for families with young children, called Gib Rocks. It started just a few short weeks ago, and the idea is to paint rocks and stones with bright colours, a message or a picture, then hide them somewhere in Gibraltar for someone else to find. It was sparked by one Gibraltar-based family’s trip to Battle in the South of England at Easter, where a similar scheme is in operation. On their return, they set up a Facebook page called Gib Rocks and at the last count it had over 3,600 members. It’s kind of mushroomed!

Anyway, we decided to join in too. I shan’t show you what the Little Postcards painted, as they wanted to keep it a secret, but I’m rather partial to rainbows so I could only paint one thing couldn’t I? It’s drying off nicely now ready for it’s final touches, I’ll keep you posted on where it ends up…. watch this space!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #70 12.2.17

It’s been a busy old week for me so this week’s Sunday Sevens is a little bit longer than usual and may have more than seven photos…

I hope you had a good week!

Sunny weather

Oh hello there Mr Deep Blue Sky, how lovely to see you again!! What a gorgeous day Monday was, and what a gorgeous balcony – one of my favourites in Gibraltar.

Dressmaking class


I learned a valuable lesson this week at my sewing class… not to to run before I can walk. There I was merrily cutting out the fabric for my new dress… then when I pinned it together to begin sewing my seams… shock… horror: two sections were 4cm too short! I’d misdrawn my pattern pieces last week -eek!

I had to add an extra bit to the bottoms of the two pieces and hopefully you won’t see the joins within the hem. Whoops!

Another beautiful sunset


Tuesday evening brought us the most beautiful sunset…

It was too lovely for just one picture I thought …

Sunset inspired watercolour class


In my watercolour class this week our teacher got us to break out of our comfort zones and go abstract. Inspired by the lovely sunset this week I picked similar colours and slapped a bit of paint about. It was loads of fun and I ended up with some feathery bird like shapes. We’re going to add to them next week… I wonder what we’ll end up with!

Parsons Lodge


I ended up down by the sea at Camp Bay on two consecutive mornings, Thursday and Friday. The weather was beautiful, a bit cold but gloriously sunny on Thursday.


But on Friday… it was looking a bit grim! What a difference a day makes…

#freeheartfriday


Later on Friday I took a walk down Main Street and spotted these lovely hearts pinned to the trees. They were left for passers-by to take as part of the Free Heart Friday free art project. 

What a fab thing to do – I hope they brought hope and joy to anyone who needed it.

Gib Talks


Yesterday Gib Talks returned for a day of short inspirational talks on a whole range of subjects. To find out more about it, have a look at my post from yesterday.

On my hook this week


This little chap was on my crochet hook this week. The little amigurumi zebra has gone to his new home so I can share this. I hope his new owner will like him 😊
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you have a great week ahead.
Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins

A stroll around Gibraltar No 14 : The beaches

As we are already more than halfway through July, I figured it was high time to take you a walk along the seashore. If you’re ready to take off your shoes and dip your toes into the surf, come and see the beaches we are privileged to enjoy on our doorstep.

Being an isthmus, Gibraltar is surrounded on three sides by water. The Mediterranean to the East, the Strait of Gibraltar to the south and the Bay of Gibraltar to the West.

If you arrive in Gibraltar by plane, no matter which way you come in to land you will be able to see a beach (assuming you are sitting by the window on the left hand side of the plane). There’s a beach on each side of the runway; Eastern beach (funnily enough on the Eastern side) and Western beach (guess where….).

I’ll start at the top and work round clockwise beginning with the biggest beach in Gibraltar.

Eastern beach

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and (on a clear day) along the Spanish coast towards the Costa del Sol, Eastern Beach reaches almost up to the edge of the runway of Gibraltar airport. Apologies for the photos of the beach – they were, believe it or not taken last night (19th July). You would normally expect to see the beach still packed with families enjoying the last few rays of sun before sunset at this time in the summer but we are experiencing rather strange overcast weather at the moment – hence the empty evening beach.

A new community of beachside dwellers have arrived at Eastern Beach in the last twelve months with the opening of several large apartment blocks adjacent to the beach. Prior to this, the area nearby was rather industrial and just offered a small chiringuito (beach café) where we enjoyed a fantastic evening wedding reception a couple of years ago. The recent investment in the area can only be good for the beach and its surroundings.

Believe it or not the next photo was taken in January on Eastern Beach – that blue sky is more like it! Because of it’s proximity to the airport, aviation fans can get a really good view of the planes coming and going!

Catalan Bay

Catalan Bay has to be my favourite beach destination here in Gibraltar, we have enjoyed many happy hours here. The beach seems to be one of the few places where sibling cooperation thrives and arguments are kept to a minimum, until that is, someone knocks someone’s sandcastle down or breaks a deeply excavated tunnel in the wet sand!

As you can see from this picture, Catalan Bay is more than just a beach. There is a real community here with housing, restaurants and a few shops. It’s a year round destination for the Postcard family, we like to visit out of season when we can have the beach to ourselves and scavenge for shells and sea glass along the shoreline. In summertime, it’s a much more densely populated location!

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It’s a really great spot to while away a few hours, either on the beach or eating tapas in one of the cafés or restaurants. Just watch out for the seagulls in case they grab your bread roll!

Year round the community of fishermen who live here head out into the Med to catch their fish. Their routines continue regardless of whether the place is full of sun seekers or not. At the southern end of Catalan Bay beach lies the Caleta Hotel. Catalan Bay is such an interesting part of Gibraltar it calls out for a future post dedicated to it alone…


Sandy Bay

Sandy Bay these days is a manmade beach. When we first arrived in Gibraltar seven years ago, there was very little beach here to speak of as storms had washed the beach away into the sea. However in recent years there has been a lot of investment here with the building of a large groyne to shelter the bay from the worst of the pounding waves. Many truckloads of sand were imported to create the beach we can enjoy today. The large stone sea walls not only protect the beach, but also the bathers, meaning that when it is unsafe to swim at neighbouring Catalan Bay due to rough seas, it is much calmer at Sandy Bay.


We have spent several great days at Sandy Bay since it was reopened in its improved state – yesterday being one of them. It is so safe for the Little Postcards to mess about in the sea here. Just on the other side of the southern part of the groyne is a very interesting spot for military historians and rock pool appreciators. The cliff face here is littered with military look out spots from years gone by and the stones and rocks down by the sea edge have loads of nooks and crannies worth checking out too.

Little Bay

As you can see from this picture, Little Bay suits its name – it’s really quite small. The beach is more stony than the three sandy beaches on the Mediterranean side of the Rock. Little Bay, along with it’s larger cousin, Camp Bay which lies nearby, are on the western side. Little Bay is the most southerly of Gibraltar’s Beaches lying a short drive from Europa Point.


Behind the beach and in the shadow of the waterfall, lies a larger leisure area, with tables and seating, a toddler paddling pool, a park and basketball court and a small kiosk offering refreshments.

Camp Bay


Lying beneath the imposing Parsons Lodge bastion at Rosia is Camp Bay. Once the site of a quarry it is now one of the largest leisure areas on the Rock offering a café and kiosk, swimming and paddling pools, play areas, seating and access to the sea it is a hugely popular spot for families.

Similar to Little Bay, the beach here is somewhat rocky underfoot, but the lack of sand does make it appealing for those who have an aversion to tramping sand back home!

Western Beach 

Western beach brings us to the end of this tour of Gibraltar’s beaches. It is the most northerly one here as it is accessed by crossing over the runway. It is very close to the frontier with Spain, the blue apartment block in this picture is across the border in La Linea.

Sadly, the photos for this beach were (like Eastern beach) taken last night when the weather was rather cloudy and there had been a bit of a seaweed invasion! You will just have to imagine how nice it is on a clear summer’s day.

This beach also affords you a great view of the planes coming and going from the Rock’s airport as the runway lies just next door. There is a chiringuito here as well, the Little Postcards have attended several birthday parties here over the years and it’s a lovely spot in the evening to watch the sun set over the hills across the bay.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this whistle-stop tour of Gibraltar’s beaches, thanks for stopping by! 🙂