Gibraltar is, in the words of Wikipedia a "monolithic limestone promontory." On the southern edge of Europe, it protrudes south into the Mediterranean, creating the spot where the passage from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic is the narrrowest.
The ancients explained the strait as the work of the hero Hercules. A mountain blocked Hercules’ path to the Garden of the Hesperides. Too impatient to climb a mountain, Hercules destroyed it. That let the Atlantic connect with the Mediterranean, through the Strait of Gibraltar.
|You can see Africa across the strait.|
|A view from the heights|
|Looking at the ships in port|
I always notice the plants, and of course there were some very interesting ones on Gibraltar. Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), for example, is native to this area, so I was delighted to see it in waste places.
|wild sweet alyssum|
The edge of the sea had spiny, drought-tolerant plants. Like most of the Mediterranean coast, Gibraltar gets less than 30" of rain a year, almost none of it during the summer. I was there in October when the rains of winter had only just begun. There had, however, been some rain, so while the plants looked dry and battered, there were flowers and new leaves.
|rock samphire, Crithmum maritimum|
Here is one of the wild areas: the photo is taken from the top of a very steep hillside, looking down.
The visit to Gibraltar will continue next week.
Question and comments welcome.
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