Friday, September 09, 2016

The Alcazaba in Almeria, Spain

Barry has become boat bound and needed to get away so we took 4 different buses and ended up in Almeria about 40 kilometres away. There we went to visit the Alcazaba, or a Moorish castle fortress built in the 1300's when the Arabs ruled this area of Spain. It is built on top of a hill so there are great views but Barry had to struggle up the uneven steps, we took it slow and easy. 
The Arabs were terrific at managing water, there were cisterns built and then a system of keeping the water flowing. The garden with the pond and fountain was near the top of the fortress where the long quarters were, there were also baths up there but all that were left were rock outlines. 
This part of the wall was built later on, when the Spanish had retaken the area, after the 1490's and there was a Cathlic church built on the other side, it is a statue of Christ at the end of the wall. 

Since we are now in the Mediterranean boats are tied up to the dock using a system they call Med mooring. There are no slips, you tie the front or back of your boat to the cement dock which does not float and the other end is secured to lines that are set by the marina in the middle of the slipway. If you look carefully you can see the line at the back. It was hooked to the edge and a marina guy came and gave it to us and we had a very nice cruiser come and help us walk it to the back and then pull on it until the boat was straight. It is a good thing there was no one on the other side of us because we were almost sideways to the dock at one point.  ( The line is all slimy and gross from sitting in the water and I had to clean up puddles of filthy guck in three different spots, yech!)
Okay, how, you ask, do you get on and off a boat tied in such a manner?? Well if you are a veteran of such things you have a boarding ladder or plank, this is our neighbours.
Barry is not keen on putting out big bucks to buy such a convenience so we climb up and down the lines that secure us to the concrete to get off and on. 
Getting on, hang on to the pulpit with all your might, put one foot on the line, step down and pull yourself up so the other foot can get a foothold on the rub rail. Note the bicep, triceps and even the delts are getting a workout here. 
Getting off, climb over the lifelines and step with both feet on the dock line. Shuffle slowly down the line, remembering to hold on to the pulpit with all your might, as your body weight moves the boat closer to the dock, step off and let go of the pulpit. Whew, another safe egress! Barry still can manage, to get back on he puts out that 2 x 4 you see on the deck, it rest on the white box.  He steps on the white box then on the board the over the pulpit, I don't trust the board it seems kind of tippy to me. 
Maybe we should make a North American how to, you tube movie or just post the pictures somewhere, anyway if you ever want to try this, now you know how!!