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Gibraltar today, just for the afternoon. We docked just before noon, and gangways were open promptly shortly afterwards. We had some lunch before going ashore just before 1 o’clock.

When we were here on Ventura three years ago we did an excursion – ‘Secrets of the Rock’ or something like that – so this time we just went ashore on our own. On our return from the excursion three years we thought we’d seen some quieter, older spots, so our intention this time was to locate them. I’m not sure we did – indeed, I’m not sure they actually exist – but we had a good time anyway. We walked from the ship into town, which means to Casemates Square, and that took about 15 minutes. From there we walked up Main Street, which is largely pedestrianised. We deviated off it a bit, and found a quieter, older route parallel to Main Street along which there were some older buildings which looked quite interesting. There were also lots of cars and scooters, however – we think that Gibraltarians drive as a matter of principle, simply because they can – so it wasn’t very quiet or relaxing.

We found our way into Trafalgar Cemetary which was a quiet restful spot (which I suppose it should be…), and after a further walk onwards found the Alameda Gardens which we walked around. We enjoyed these a lot – they were well laid-out with a variety of plants and it was very pleasant to walk around them. Then it was back to the ship, walking back almost the whole length of Main Street. While on it I took the opportunity to buy a litre of single malt scotch at what seemed to be a good price. We got back to the ship at about four o’clock, so we were ashore for just about three hours in total, and we were on our feet for most of that time.

It was an interesting visit, but having now been to Gibraltar twice I’m not sure how I’d feel about a third visit. I se that P&O advertise a couple of excursions into Spain, and if we did ever come here again I suspect that’s what we’d do.

Now we’re going through the Straits of Gibraltar and are therefore almost back out into the Atlantic. Not long now until we’re back in Southampton. In order to prepare us for this the weather has been distinctly cool today, at only just 21 degrees or so at best, and already several degrees cooler than that by now (6:45). This seems strange because this is actually the southern-most point in the cruise; surely it ought to be pretty hot? But that just fits with my experience of the Atlantic coast of Iberia: we’ve always had cool, cloudy or wet weather in all our calls at Lisbon, Vigo, and La Coruña.

Talking of that latter port, we’ll be there the day after tomorrow; but first we have another day at sea as we head northwards to Southampton.

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