Don’t worry. Still here. Feels like an age since the last post. The weekend just gone was a bit of a blur, where a bad cold has taken hold of the household. An infliction far worse than Covid – Manflu! This is still me writing, I am still alive, this is not a weird intro to my obituary. I am still here… just.
Where to start. No matter how hard a try I seem to now be over a week behind in the timeline. I suppose when you are living the story, the gap is necessary to help take stock of the events once they have taken place. Giving a fresh perspective on things, usually with a freshly acquired Rioja or Cerveza.
I don’t know about you, but we were well overdue a road trip, the city of Cordoba was our target. I’ve never been before, always seeming a bit out of the way, and overshadowed by the likes of Seville and Granada for picturesque Andalusian cities. But I tell you, I was impressed.
The City very easy to get to travelling on a Sunday, we’d pre booked tickets to the Cathedral the night before so as to ensure we were committed to the trip. Everything else to see and do we would play by ear upon arrival. The vibe of the place was casual but well kept, maintained playgrounds and modern apartments outlined the medieval old town in the centre. The stone walled architecture dating back to the Romans still intact, a very Game of Thrones feel. Think Kings Landing, and you are pretty much there. I loved it. I think it made me feel for the first time that there was a place I could seriously consider staying longer term one day.
Once in the city itself the architecture blew me away, the scale of everything was something out of movie. The city bridge leading to the Cathedral was breath taking. Temperatures were moderate so we were able to sight see comfortably with our masks on. Fantastic places to eat, drink and be bloody well merry. Making the most of a trail blazer in cosmopolitan history; with Jewish, Arab and Christian cultures helping build and maintain the city as it stands today.
The trip was a long but well worth it. We got home and looked forward for the week ahead. My brother had got in touch; he was coming to Gibraltar that week for a flying visit. A holiday in his eyes that ensure no isolation upon return and no need to where masks except in indoor public places. Unlike Spain where masks are mandatory everywhere, and isolation is a must. We’d not been to ‘The Rock’ yet, so this was a great excuse.
The work week was quickly back upon us, a new routine taking hold once more. Everything going swimmingly, until the Wednesday afternoon we walked out to find the car paint work had been badly damaged on the front left-hand side. We’d spotted just as we were heading out to scope out another place to stay when our tenancy finished here. The house was quite lovely but we weren’t sure around the commitment entailed but for sure tainted around the car damage and mystery around how it had occurred. Very annoying. I have still not dared seek out a quote to get it repaired and like to think it helps with blending the car in. All Spanish cars appear to have some sort of badge of honour it seems…
So with all of the drama, I’d almost forgotten about my brothers arrival. He was already here, a flying visit leaving Sat. I’d envisaged leaving Sunday, so Sat would be ideal for a meet up but appeared not quite the case. A meet up was 100% necessary and a quick negotiation with work, I’d managed to swing the Thursday afternoon off to ensure a visit with the family was possible. Meet near the cable car 1pm, see monkey, get lunch – done.
An early start meant that a midday finish was possible, 12pm dart was coordinated to perfection. Giving a good hour to get to Gib, the sat nav gave 40 minutes so plenty of time taking in border control etc.
The approach to Gibraltar was surprisingly quite pleasant but just as we started to think about passport control, the traffic came to a standstill. I knew the border would be tricky but this was ridiculous. What we’d forgotten in our planning was Gibraltar airport. They have to shut the border whenever a flight needs to take off or land, as the main road goes over the runway. Lesson learnt. We arrive almost an hr later to when intended, but regardless. We had made it.
We park up after a quick dart through the city, savvy commuters on their electric scooters, mopeds and fold up bikes slalom around us as we negotiate the tight weirdly English streets (but on the right had side of the road). Luckily with the wait, my brother and his wife were happy negotiating the shopping streets and bars awaiting our imminent arrival. We’d got parking right next to the cable car, so as we met up, we headed straight up the rock to meet the local monkeys and get some much-needed food.
The trip up on the cable car was fantastic, moral was high, photos taken from all angles, selfies galore. The operator of the cable car pretty friendly and didn’t mind taking the odd pic on our behalf. However, just before getting to the top he became oddly serious.
‘Now you watch yourselves with those monkeys, keep your eyes on your bags and the little ones pram’ Sorry, what? ‘Anyway, have a good time!’
We walk out weirdly on edge but quickly dismiss it as a bit of an overreaction. Then suddenly we’re greeted by some monkeys, they’re in a group. They’re organised and are waiting for us. We have an open bag, they go for it immediately from my sister in law, hissing for her to let it go. Just as we’re collectively thinking of the ‘right’ response by brother has reacted, what can only be described as a quick karate kick to the body of the volatile monkey meant the bag was released and they’d retreated. At this stage we were still in view of the operator. We must be in trouble. We’d moved on swiftly to the nearby restaurant overlooking the bay. Our fears of repercussions had quickly subsided as the operator had thrown a traffic cone to the same group of monkeys, screaming expletives… the monkeys appeared known for their aggressive tactics in approaching tourists. What a start to the afternoon. Chaos was surely to follow us around for the rest of the day.
However, I have to say it after the above incident the afternoon was brilliant, probably the best time spent with my brother for a good few year. We’d planned to stay for lunch but ended up staying until the late evening. A bloody good time had by all.