Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cadiz, Cape Trafalgar and into Gibraltar

We spent about four days in Cadiz waiting for the winds to turn from easterlies to westerlies, that all there is in the Strait of Gibraltar, it doesn't ever blow north or south , just in or out. The first two days we did not do any sight seeing we just watched Olympics.  We found some tavernas that would put up with our slow drinking so we could watch TV.  They did not ever try to give us the bum's rush and were more than willing to change the channel when we wanted.  We watched a lot of stuff we probably normally wouldn't have, for examlple, Spanish women's basketball, and Spanish women's badminton, we also saw endless replays of a male Spanish kayaker winning the gold medal in the 200m. sprint, we enjoyed watching the men's tennis where Raphael Nadal was featured in doubles, then singles, I was routing for him to go for gold, then bronze in the singles. It ha been very hot so we drank beer throughout the afternoon and evening while glued to the TV. 
We had to walk a long way into town but the view was always magnificent.  The last day before  left we  walked to the old town and looked at the sights. 
The cathedral was spectacular and a audio tour came with the price of admission.  It gave us a lot of information about the building, what was interesting to me was families adopted a chapel and then paid for the decorations in it.
The painting was from the 1700's as was the sculpture, works of art in their own right. 
The view from the top of the tower was terrific and once again the were no stairs just a winding cirucular path up to the top, how civilized. 
This is the old wall of the city, once through the the gate we wandered at will among the narrow winding alleys.  We stopped to have something to eat and managed to order the worst tasting meal we have yet had in Europe.  It was paella, which is a fish/rice dish with tomatoes.  It was ghastly with the taste of old fried oil permiating the meal, yuck!!
Once the wind changed we sailed away down the Strait of Gibraltar. On one side we could see Morroco, big hills fading away on the horizon.  On the Spanish side we passed Cape Trafalgar, the site of one of the greatest British naval battle of all time.  Lord Nelson was in command of the British fleet and his mission was to stop the combined French/Spanish fleet so that Napoleon would not be able to invade Briton.  The British caught the enemy unawares and decimated the fleet without losing a single ship, although Nelson succumbed to a French sniper hiding out in the rigging.  I always thought that Trafalgar was somewhere in the Mediterranean,for some reason, so this was an education,in itself  to sail past it while in the Strait of Gibraltar. 
Now I know why they call it the Rock of Gibraltar.  It truly is a big hunk of rock sticking out in the middle of the Strait.  It is attached to Spain, the British won it in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and have not given it up yet. You have to pass through customs when you enter or leave the end of the peninsula. 
Barry's hip/sciatic nerve has gone wonky so the cane has resurfaced. We went to the doctor the other day, he was in a lot of pain, and got some high grade pain killers and some anti-imflammitories.  He has an appointment to see a physio tomorrow so hopefully we can find out some interventions to make his life more pain free. We will have reassess our plans depending on whether or not he can get a handle on what is bothering him.  NOT GOOD.