The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Saturday July 10, 2010

Day 50 Gibraltar
With its strategic location at the western entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar has always been of great value as a military stronghold. It is very close to Spain. A road links Spain to Gibraltar. This road crosses the runway for the Gibraltar airport, so they have to stop the cars when a plane is taking off or landing. Although it is so close to Spain, it is owned by England, and is very English, with English type food such as fish and chips and steak and kidney pie on almost every menu. They also have the English pubs and English red phone booths as well as many monuments honouring the Battle of Trafalgar. There is a Trafalgar cemetery where the British soldiers who died of wounds in this battle are buried. The wounded were brought from Trafalgar to hospitals on Gibraltar. At the request of the United Nations the referendum in 1967 asked the inhabitants of Gibraltar whether they wished to remain British or return to Spain. 12,138 voted to remain British and only 44 voted to return to Spain. When we were in Spain in 1975 we were unable to go to Gibraltar as the Spanish had closed the border. They seemed to do this frequently in the 1970’s, but now that both Spain and Gibraltar belong to the European Union, I suppose this is a more difficult thing to do. While we were in Gibraltar, we walked everywhere. It was about a ten-minute walk to the start of Main Street from the ship. We walked to the Trafalgar cemetery and then on to the Botanic Gardens. They are built into the rock, which is Gibraltar, and so have small areas separated by stairs. They are well worth a visit. After some duty free shopping we had a coffee and just people watched. The new Bishop of Gibraltar was being consecrated today, so the locals were arriving in their finery at the church while we were there. We saw the governor and his wife arrive in their G1 car. It was also the Jewish Sabbath, so the Jews were all out in the town in their Saturday best. We saw a dad’s army changing of the guard wearing their very English red and white attire. At 2.00pm we set sail for Le Havre in France. We passed through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Atlantic Ocean. Tonight we spent a most pleasant 2 hours after dinner listening to Dixieland Jazz with the Dawn Princess Band. Most of this band comes from New Orleans. Tonight they played with an Englishman, Kenny Martin, who played Clarinet at times and at other times played the Saxophone. They played music by such composers as Benny Goodman, Scott Joplin and Stevie Wonder. (Barbara) Trivia question for today: Why does the surface current always flow from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mediterranean? A Princess Cruises luggage tag image will be emailed to the first person giving the correct answer. This is the prize for all trivia competitions on board! (Bill)

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