Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day 5: Ceuta and Gibraltar

On Day 5 we missed the boat to Africa.

We knew that our ferry left at 7:30 in the morning, and the port was about five minutes away. So we planned to leave our hotel at 7:00, which we figured would give us plenty of time.

Unfortunately, the tickets said (and we didn’t see this until after 7 in the morning), to arrive an hour before the ferry was scheduled to depart. So, we got to the port and went to get our tickets, and they told us that it was too late to get on our ferry. For a moment we thought all was lost, until we started looking at all the ticket booths and saw that some were selling tickets for ferries leaving at 8 o’clock. It was now 7:30, so we got in line, hoping we’d be able to buy a ticket and manage to get on a boat leaving at 8. But the lines were so slow, and by the time we got to the front of the line it was too late for the 8 o’clock ferries, too.

It was at this point, however, that we found out we could still use our old tickets. Even though our tickets were for the 7:30 AM ferry, we could use them for any ferry that day. The next ferry was at 10:30, so we decided to go back to our hotel, eat breakfast, and come back to the port in time for the next ferry.

Luckily we made it on to the 10:30 ferry with no problems, and we were soon on our way to Ceuta. Ceuta is a Spanish city, but it’s on the African coast. So it’s still technically Spain, but it is on the African continent. We wanted to go there so we could officially have been to Africa. And now we have!

We took some naps on the ferry.

Ceuta was fun. We walked from the port to the center of town, where we saw the old fort and the big churches.

Then we walked across the street (the island is very narrow) to the beach, and climbed down a set of stairs to the sand. Alyse, Nan, and I went down to the water and dipped our toes in.

We walked down the beach for a few minutes and I picked up some seashells and seaglass for Ellie. One rock kind of stuck out to me among the many, and when I picked it up I realized it was made out of marble! So that was a really cool find. I love my marble stone.

We sat down at a little shack on the beach and had some sodas (and some of us – not me – ate anchovies).

Alyse had heard about and wanted to find the Moroccan bazaar, because she thought it might have some cool stuff. We found it, but realized it wasn’t what we were expecting. Instead of selling jewelry or clothes, it sold fish and meat and fruits. The fish and meat made the place reallllly stinky, so we didn’t stick around long. We all walked around Ceuta a little bit more, then had to take a taxi back to the port so we could catch our return ferry at 3 in the afternoon.

Something funny – when we got back and were leaving the parking lot, Tanner was driving the car and he gave our ticket to the parking attendant. We didn’t have to pay, which was a surprise, and Tanner said to the attendant, “Gracias. Como estas.” And then drove away. It was really funny, and we’ve been teasing him about it since. (Sorry Tanner.)

We went to Gibraltar for dinner a couple hours later. We parked in the Spanish city across from it (La Linea), then walked across the border to get inside. The only way to get across is to walk across an active airplane runway. No planes were landing or taking off when we walked across, though, so we were fine.

At the border
Walking across the airfield

Gibraltar is owned by Britain and is part of the UK, so it has a very different feeling from Spain. As we walked around we came across the old fortress wall, and went inside to find a big, nice plaza. We sat down at one of the sidewalk restaurants and had dinner. In one part of the square they were doing a sort of magic show for kids, and there were lots of people around. It had a really fun, community atmosphere.

A makeshift traffic circle that we found funny.

After dinner we went back to our hotel and got to talk to Ellie and Zelda on google chat again. We’ve talked to them about every other night on the computer; we try every night but sometimes we don’t connect with them. I really really miss them.

When we were talking to Ellie, Jason asked her, "Do you know what animal I saw in Africa today? I saw a kitty cat." Ellie laughed and said "No you didn't. That's not an animal in Africa."

We asked her what animals do live in Africa, and she said camels, and asked us if we saw a camel.

And that was day 5. :)


  1. I'm glad you're having a lovely time.
    I love that Ellie said kitties don't live in Africa.


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