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

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 49) Dark

This was the so-called ‘super moon’ which we had in our skies on Sunday night and Monday morning this week. This was taken at Europa Point looking eastwards towards the Mediterranean. Only armed with my phone camera, it’s not the best moon photo, but it’s certainly dark!

I’m linking with Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 21) stationary


However you arrive in Gibraltar, be it by air, sea or road you can’t help but see the huge tankers and container ships moored out in the Mediterranean and in the Bay of Gibraltar. 

On our first ever visit to Gib, when we came to look for somewhere to live, I was struck by these huge ships just sitting there going nowhere. I asked the estate agent (who was showing us around) what they were doing there. She explained that they were parked in a kind of stacking system waiting to be called into port to load or unload their cargo.

Whenever I look out of our front windows I can see several of these large ships moored out in the Bay. The ones closest to Gibraltar are bunkering, in other words being resupplied with food, fuel and other things ready for their onward journeys. The only days when the Bay is quiet are Christmas Day and over Easter.

I’m linking with Wild Daffodil and Nana Cathy for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

Rocksy & Gib’s Med Steps Adventure

Do you remember Rocksy & Gib the mascots of the Gibraltar Crochet Collective? Last week, when the sun was shining they ran off and left the balls of yarn and hooks behind for a Med Steps adventure… do you want to see what they got up to?

It was hard work climbing up the hill to the start of the Med Steps. First pit stop was to admire one of the new signs which have appeared recently… This spot is 160 metres above sea level and this is just the beginning of the trail.

Ahh, time for a breather before the real work begins. So lovely to the feel the sunshine on your back after what feels like weeks of grey, damp and windy weather. These two posed for photos in the sun… admiring the view.

First climb completed and Gib soaked up a few rays at the entrance to the Twin Caves. Rocksy looked completely composed … not even a spot of perspiration yet! Next up… more steps and then the tunnel. Surely everyone who climbs this trail has their picture taken here by the sign? Not Rocksy, she was powering on through to the next bit!

Ahh, now that’s what you call a VIEW!

Knowing what lay ahead of them, Gib and Rocksy took a few moments to chill before attempting the final climb to the summit…

Here goes… these steps weren’t built for little crochet ape legs were they?

Phew, collecting themselves for the next mega step ahead….

Slowly but surely…

What more steps??

Holy Moly, I can see the top! But there’s a heck of a lot of steps to get up there!!

Did we really climb all that way up??

Time for another breather before the final push! What a great view of the Mediterranean…

They didn’t get very far before the next pit stop… Gib was looking a bit overwhelmed. Little did they know that they weren’t alone…

Literally seconds later, look who was sitting in exactly the same spot!

Better not monkey around any more then (sorry couldn’t help myself), last few steps and they were at the summit!

Phew – made it! That’s enough adventuring for one day… back home now for a cup of tea and some crochet!

If you are interested in joining the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, please check out our Facebook page for details of our next get-together. Beginners are welcome as well as experienced crocheters.

Our current project is a blanket for the Sixty Million Trebles project, the project aims to raise awareness about the plight of refugees worldwide. Today’s the first day of Lent, how about making a crochet square each day of Lent to help us make as many blankets as possible? (It’s far more pleasurable than giving up chocolate don’t you think?😉)

If you want to find out more about the Med Steps you can read all about it in my post: The Med Steps: a few facts & figures

And for some Med Steps inspired crochet you might like this: Wild flowers of the Med Steps.

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 20 : Catalan Bay beach

Last Sunday was such a beautiful day we just had to get out and soak up a few rays. We aren’t huge beach-goers during the summertime but we do like a nice walk along the sand off season. One of the benefits of beach visits in winter is that it’s usually very quiet!

Unlike my other ‘strolls’ this one doesn’t have much text, I shall let the photos speak for themselves…





We spotted the large waves were crashing onto the rocks at the far end of the beach so we went to have a closer look…



We got a bit close…

Quick! Get out of the way!

I think we gave the folk watching from the road a laugh as we jumped out of the way. I almost went backwards over a rock but I managed to right myself and I think I carried it off with panache 😉

We do know how lucky we are to have this on our doorstep… very lucky indeed.

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 18 : Moorish Castle

After a long school holiday at home with the Little Postcards, I escaped for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon and headed out for a walk. Main Street was busy with bargain hunters hitting the sales so I decided to climb up out of the bustling town centre of Gibraltar and visit Moorish Castle.

The Tower of Homage, which can clearly be seen by visitors to Gibraltar as they approach from the airport is one of the last remaining buildings left by the Moors from when they controlled Gibraltar back in the 11th Century.

It’s a much visited destination on the usual Gibraltar tourist trail but, believe it or not, despite living here for so long, I haven’t been inside since our first ever visit to the Rock when we came for a look round and to find somewhere to live almost 8 years ago.

I climbed up higher and higher into the Upper Town leaving the shops and crowds enjoying the post Christmas sales on Main Street and found parts of Upper Town I’d never visited before. The street names refer to the Rock’s military past.

Wandering around the Moorish Castle Estate, I discovered great examples of community painting  projects from National Days gone-by.

I have to admit that I got lost a couple of times taking alleyways and paths assuming they would lead up to the castle and discovering dead ends! I have a feeling I will be visiting again soon as there are so many lovely examples of architecture which are crying out to be photographed… there are even headless men and children crossing the roads (see the sign below).

Never before have I seen such a festive washing line. I hope whoever the clean laundry belongs to doesn’t mind me sharing this, but wow what a lovely collection of Christmas table cloths, tea towels and aprons! Obviously being laundered to put away until next year!

As you walk up these roads and paths, you don’t realise how high you are climbing until you turn to look back at where you came from!

Nestled in amongst the post war government housing estate is an ancient structure which has a sign detailing it’s past. This building with battlements is probably the oldest building in Gibraltar. It was the original gatehouse for Moorish Castle and was occupied successively by Moorish, Spanish and British troops for over eight hundred years.

Just a little further up hill and there was the Castle.

You can completely understand why it was built in this position, what a great vantage point to observe our neighbours to the north. And just check out that cannon with it’s sight firmly set.

It was time to go inside..

The sign above the door reads:

When the Moors recaptured Gibraltar from the Spaniards in 1333 they rebuilt an earlier tower, ruined in the fighting, into this solid Tower of Homage, which has since withstood ten sieges.

After making your way through a steel gate, you reach the inner stairwell. Modern stairs lead the way up and down the tower now, but it’s clear to see what’s left of the original Moorish stairwell with arched sections left on some of the walls. The tower you see today was built at the same time as the Alhambra in Granada.

The first part you come to is an original Moorish bath house. The interlinking rooms are cleaned back to the stone and the subtle lighting means you can see the lovely brick work and arches which feature so heavily in the design.

A much larger example of a Moorish bath house can be found in the basement of the Gibraltar Museum. That is a truly atmospheric place and well worth a visit if you are over here.

Back into the stair well and this tiny window gave a great view of the town below. I wonder how many soldiers have stood with their weapons pointed out of there over the centuries?

These walls have stood the test of time and many attacks, in addition to the many sieges, in 1540, hundreds of people headed to the castle to shelter safely while Turkish pirates attacked the Rock.

Don’t look down!

I headed on up the stair well and up out of a little door at the top…

…to the roof and the most amazing panoramic view.

The Union Jack flapped in the breeze as gusts blew the clouds across the moody sky. In 1704 Admiral Rooke hoisted the British flag at this spot when he captured Gibraltar, one has flown here ever since.

Here’s Gibraltar’s famous runway which is bisected by the only road off the Rock, the Spanish town of La Linea lies on the other side of the border. Despite the fact many people mistakenly think Gibraltar is an island, you can clearly see we are well and truly attached to the rest of mainland Europe!

Down below the castle you get a good view of Casemates Square (bottom centre of the photo). In it’s heyday the Moorish Castle complex stretched all the way down to where Casemates is today.

Immediately below the tower is the remains of the former Gibraltar Prison. The Prison was still in use here when we arrived to live on the Rock, but it has now relocated to a purpose-built facility above Europa Point.

It wasn’t just me and a handful of tourists who were taking a moment to appreciate the view up there.

Can you can see the old building with scaffolding around in the centre of the picture? That is the orginal gatehouse which I mentioned before – it’s hard to imagine now, but the castle must have covered a really large area.

In addition to the town below, you get a brilliant view of the sea and the coast further north. It was looking a bit blustery on the Mediterranean coast up towards Santa Margarita.

In the Bay of Gibraltar, it was more sheltered, but this small group of yachts was making the most of the breeze off the western end of the runway.

I enjoyed my visit to Moorish Castle, I’m so glad I decided to forgo the joys of Saturday afternoon sales shopping in town in favour of this.

Goodbye for now Moorish Castle, I promise I won’t leave it so long before visiting you again!