Sunday Sevens #150 19.8.18

So, here we are at my 150th Sunday Sevens! Feels like a bit of a milestone… so far I’ve managed to publish them all on time (ie on Sunday – even if they only made it moments before the strike of 12!). I hope I’m not tempting fate by saying that!!! So, here’s number 150:

Evening beach walk

Last Sunday night I’d had enough. I felt rather homesick for England. I get that way sometimes after a trip back home. I was tired, grumpy, and thoroughly fed up.

Eldest clearly picked up on my mood and suggested we go for a drive. Normally I’d say no, but I put my lethargy out of my mind and picked up the car keys. I’m so glad I did. We left the youngest 2 with Mr Postcard and drove to the East side for a walk on Eastern beach.

It was really rather lovely and brightened my mood no end. Well done Eldest, and thank you 😊.

Hunting for shade

On Monday we had a few errands to run in town and ended up seeking a bit of sanctuary in Commonwealth Park. It was a beautiful, calm oasis and coincidentally we bumped into a few friends from the boys’ schools, so it was a great detour.

Protests

On Wednesday I took a drive into Spain with the boys. It was only as we crossed the border that I noticed the large protest which was going on on the Spanish side. It was industrial action to do with the Spanish police forces and had a huge impact on the queue of motorists heading into Gib. The queue of traffic waiting to cross into Gibraltar stretched almost all the way to Campamento (about 4 km).

I had been planning a strategic dash into the shop in question and then to head home straight away, but we went for lunch instead before shopping and the queue was much shorted on our return, just 50 minutes wait…

Thursday

We had a lovely day at the beach on Thursday, this was the view as we were packing up to go home, with a police speed boat whizzing last.

Patio problems

Our poor patio’s not looking too great at the minute. We live next to a long, and I mean long, building project (as is a common occurrence in Gibraltar) and our poor plants are covered in dust, masonry paint and even cement. These blooms are the best bits.

Cardboard boat race

The annual charity cardboard boat race took place in Gibraltar yesterday. The event has really grown over the years, from maybe 8 boats the first time we watched it to a junior race, and two heats and a final for the adults yesterday. Some of the creations were amazing to see. Such a lovely community event.

That’s it for this week, thanks for stopping by to read number 150! I’m linking, as always, with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 16 : Christmas lights 2016


Gibraltar does do Christmas lights well, so I thought I’d take you on a little nocturnal stroll with me to show you some of them. 

Back in November there was the now annual event of the Festival of Lights, when school choirs and dance groups put on a large extravaganza before the big Christmas light switch on. You can read all about 2015’s Festival of Light here.

As is the tradition, the area of John MacIntosh Square (also know locally as the Piazza) is the scene of the Festival of Light, and after the event, the square is given over to a small Christmas Fair complete with fairground rides for smaller children. This year, the area has been illuminated with these arches of fairy lights which are really quite stunning as you round the corner and see it.

The square is flanked on three sides by brightly lit buildings too: Gibtelecom

The City Hall:

And opposite the City Hall, is the Gibraltar Parliament Building.

Main Street, the main shopping area is of course lit up too. The lights extend from beyond Southport Gates and past the Governor’s residence, the Convent (which you can see with the Christmas tree above the porch).

The lights continue along past the shops.


Even the smaller streets off Main Street have Christmas lights too.

Away from the pedestrianised shopping areas, the traffic islands haven’t been immune to the Christmas light treatment too.

This one, even features a luminous Santa Claus, who just hours before this photo was taken was face down in the plants. It looked like he’d had a heavy night at a Christmas party! He’d been restored to his former position by the time I returned with my camera, so his blushes were spared.

Aside from the municipal illuminations, the residential estates have put on a fair show this year too. Here’s the offering at Beach View Terrace near Eastern Beach…

…the residents of South District have put on a show too…

…as have the Alameda Estate.

I think the collective prize for best effort has got to go to the residents of Catalan Bay. Several houses have made a big effort, both those facing the road …

…and facing the sea.

Even the gardeners at the Alameda Gardens have jazzed up their main entrance gates.

To my mind though, there is one stand out winner this year and that is the City Fire Station. They get an A* for effort and win this year’s Postcard from Gibraltar prize for Best Christmas Lights by a mile.

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! 🙂

 

 

Sunday Sevens #7 22.11.15

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Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins blog. It features seven photos from the last seven days.

1 Watercolour class

This week at watercolour class, we worked on poppies again. This time we were were inspired by a beautiful photograph of poppies which my teacher has. Unfortunately she doesn’t know who took the photo so I can’t credit him/her but I’m rather pleased with the result.

2 Dressmaking class

Ta-dah! I have completed my first ever wearable skirt! I’m rather chuffed with it. It’s ready just in time for Christmas party season and will go nicely with a sparkly top I think. Next project: a gathered skirt.

3 The Rock!

One late afternoon this week, I found myself on Eastern beach looking up. It’s really quite imposing that rock of ours and because it’s always there I sometimes forget about it. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, it’s still here…

4 Sunshine!

On a different afternoon this week I ended up at Camp Bay (also known locally as El Quarry, as once upon a time it was one), on the South-western side of Gibraltar. It was a really glorious day, the sun was bouncing off the sea and was really quite dazzling. On days like this it feels like an English summer’s day when you are in the sun, but if you head into the shade it’s starting to get a little bit chilly. I know that for those of you experiencing frost and snow at the moment, my concept of ‘chilly’ differs from yours, so please excuse me :-).

5 Greenery

This little green oasis is one of my favourite spots here in Gibraltar. It’s called South Bastion and is a regular stop off on the tourist trail as visitors stop to take photos of the statue of Nelson which is close by and it’s directly opposite the Trafalgar Cemetery. I love it here as it’s always lush and green and I’m a greenery loving kinda gal. Sadly, it’s not quite as tranquil as perhaps the photo suggests as it’s right next to a busy road junction, but it’s still lovely.

6 Christmas projects 

It’s officially started, I have begun my Christmas makes. Here are a few snowflakes I’ve had a go at, hopefully they will be a little less curly when I’ve had a chance to block them. Just over a month to go!

7 Christmas lights, again….  

Please indulge me just one more photo of the amazing light show we witnessed at the Gibraltar Festival of Light Christmas light switch-on ceremony on Friday evening. It was a really lovely event and featured, along with performances by local children of singing and dancing, a great light show beamed onto the City Hall. If you missed my last post about the evening, you can find it here.

That’s all from me for this week, I hope you are having a great weekend. Thank you for stopping by.