Dash, dash, or maybe not

Another exciting weekend on the Rock starting with a Mini Dash.

They didn’t look to be dashing to me, but the local Mini Club which started a few years ago, organised its second dash around the Rock on Saturday.

They all lined up in Casemates and then proceeded in a stately fashion up Main Street. I tried to catch them up via Irish Town but was tooooo sloooow. Just as well I caught them at the start.

Red (and white) classic mini leaving Casemates at the start of the ‘Dash’
New and old join the ‘Dash’ in an orderly fashion, Casemates again

Next up, Sunday morning and a walk (definitely not a dash either) part way up the Rock to show our friends from Seattle part of the old town and take a local footpath up to an early 20th century gun battery at Devil’s Gap.

Gun emplacement at Devil’s Battery

It’s one of my favourite walks in Gib (apart from the steps at the beginning) even though it is a there and back walk rather than a loop. You can loop around the roads on the Upper Rock but it involves lots more climbing and doesn’t really fit the heading of easy Sunday morning walk.

Steps cause no problem for Sofia

These steps are reminiscent of the red, white and blue kerbstones in Northern Ireland that proclaim their British nationality. Just behind Sofia you can see EIIR standing for Elizabeth II Regina. (Queen Elizabeth the Second – you know the one, just had a Diamond Jubilee).

We were blessed with a Levanter cloud over the rock, so no hot sun, and a lovely breeze. It was so lovely I thought I might get blown off the path at one point.

In winter the path can be quite treacherous, turning to mud, and the stones becoming extremely slippery. On top of that sometimes the path gets eroded. But summer is good and it seemed as though some maintenance work had been done as there was lots of what looked like new gravel.

Tread lightly here around the erosion

Although as we were coming back down the final steps, one woman coming up told us to watch the slippery gravel near the edge of the path so we didn’t fall down the Rock. Hmmmm. People with vertigo really don’t need to hear that sort of advice. They have that locked onto automatic pilot in their brain all the time.

These steps lead up to the road or back down to the track..depending on which way you are travelling

Here are more photos from the path from a post I wrote a few years ago.

The battery had been tidied up since we last went, rubbish cleared out and mostly painted up, with the guns looking very smart and graffiti free. Our friends decided to emulate Gib monkeys and clamber around the place.

Two agile monkeys – note the Levanter grey cloud

Back down and we decided to try out a new coffee/wine bar next to the court house, surprisingly called Jurys. Or Jury’s probably. Otherwise it would be Juries would it not?

It’s on Main Street and has been amazingly busy since it opened. We were extremely adventurous and had expresso, coke, americano and hot chocolate. I didn’t pay so I have no idea of the price, but the espresso was £1.45. A blueberry pancake wandered past and looked rather nice, although it isn’t the sort of thing I would eat. Heinz baked beans on toast cost £3.25 I think. That did stick in my mind. A tin of baked beans and two pieces of toast!!!!! They also do a vegetarian breakfast which read all right on the menu and came in at £5.25 I think. No idea what they provide at lunchtime.

Looking towards the entrance of Jury’s

I actually thought the atmosphere inside was a bit soulless. Not that it mattered because the company was good so we made our own atmosphere. But the place has recently been totally refurbed before opening (previously a small silver jewellery shop) and had I been doing it, I would have gone for a rather more olde worlde atmosphere.

And then we went our separate ways back to our respective flats to carry out domestic chores. In my case it was cooking. For those of you who have read my post on obesity and BMI on Clouds – what does a woman with the BMI of an Ethiopian/Bangladeshi eat for Sunday lunch?

This is cauliflower (blanched) and greens (raw) covered with a mix of fresh green onions, garlic, olives, parsley, and oyster mushrooms, sauteed lightly in olive oil. I made a sauce in the same pan using olive oil, flour, part veg stock and part soya milk to pour in the cauliflower dish – I would have said on top of but I didn’t make that much, so it sat on the bottom.

Cauliflower, sautéed veg, waiting for sauce

Served with roast potatoes (par-boiled first and then the outsides forked to make little crispy ridges). Cooked in olive oil in the oven – good use of electricity as using the oven for finishing both dishes. Preceded by the inevitable salad – green leaves, cucumber, yet more olives, and beetroot.

I don’t like cauliflower – or any other veg – in cheese sauce, it is just too sickly and heavy. But this was good. I’d not used the setas oyster mushrooms before in this recipe and they worked well. All the flavours came out nicely without any one dominating.

Worth a try if you like some of those ingredients, and you can always add a different sauce. The other variation is to add tomato in the sauce (fresh, peeled and chopped) which I normally use, but I didn’t have enough in the fridge. I’d definitely make it this way again though.

And finally, a recent poll by the so-called leading Spanish think tank Real Instituto Elcano, found that 60% of Spaniards thought that Gibraltar had little or nothing to do with Spain’s foreign policy.

That’s easy isn’t it? Slightly more than half think it is not a big issue. Half of what? Half of a thousand people polled. Well, that’s really statistically significant isn’t it?

According to EuroMesCo:

The Real Instituto Elcano (Elcano Royal Institute) is a private entity, independent of both the Public Administration and the companies that provide most of its funding. It was established, under the honorary presidency of HRH the Prince of Asturias, on 2 December 2001 as a forum for analysis and debate on international affairs and particularly on Spain’s international relations. Its output aims to be of use to Spain’s decision-makers, both public and private, active on the international scene. Its work should similarly promote the knowledge of Spain in the strategic scenarios in which the country’s interests are at stake.

Interesting one. Independent of the companies that provide most of the funding? Really?

From El Mundo (Spanish national daily newspaper):

El 60% de los españoles opina que el contencioso de Gibraltar tiene poca importancia o nada en el conjunto de la política exterior de nuestro país.

And from the comments on the El Mundo article:

Gibraltal es una mierda, pero de España. Los llanitos son unas cuantas mierdas, pero, aunque renegados y vendidos, de España.

For those of you who don’t speak Spanish – Gibraltar is shit but it’s Spanish, (or it belongs to Spain, however you want to translate). Llanitos (Gibraltarians) are a lot of shits, but they belong to Spain, even though, they are renegades and sold.

You get the drift, anyone wanting to make a better translation, feel free.

That sort of attitude is why most Gibraltarians do not want Spanish sovereignty. I’ve lost count of the number of Gibraltarians who have said (rightly or wrongly) that they would be rounded up and put in concentration camps if Gib was returned to Spain. I joke not.

Here is a link in English about the same story from MercoPress, a South Atlantic News Agency. Just as Gibraltar follows the Falklands political situation, clearly they follow ours.

Readers may remember that I posted earlier about Spain whining about Gibraltar when it should be getting its own house in order, the same as Kirchner, of Argentina, whining about the Falklands when they have a few domestic problems. It seems commenters on the above website have the same view. It seems most of the people in the poll have the same view.

And, while I think 1000 votes is no more than a snapshot, it is better than nothing. Now I wonder how many people in that poll came from La Linea, worked in Gib, and took home three or four hundred euros a week courtesy of Gib? Because I know they don’t want the status quo to change.

[well, it started off as a light-hearted cheery post]


38 comments on “Dash, dash, or maybe not

    • Yes, I was a bit surprised to see you around. Read yours in the middle of the night when too asleep to comment :D Now morse code would have been interesting if only I could have thought of a suitable title for it…. Maybe for another post.


  1. I’m not a Statistician but as I understand it a thousand responses is sufficient to make valued judgements about public opinion. I used to have this debate all the time when I was at work. Ask any more people than this and you are wasting money because once a trend is established the result will stay more or less the same if you ask 1,000 or 10,000 or even 100,000. Nice article from El Mundo!


    • But of course if you look at medical studies you have to look at a zillion people over a billion years. I exaggerate slightly. But it is a superficial study/poll/whatever which is really my point. It’s a snapshot poll, no more no less. People are ill informed or disinterested or whatever. Meaningless. Anyway, Go Tornadoes! which are whizzing around our airspace right now :)


  2. Enjoyed your day. ( and I love minis – although much too small to drive around all the huge trucks on the roads around here and husband says they require too much upkeep – and he doesn’t have time)
    Spain is constantly ragging about Gib. Seriously. Good reason for Gib to keep her distance.


    • I don’t know if minis require upkeep. Probably given they are British. The only upkeep I know about is Land Rovers, but if you keep up to them they last a long long time. A bit like some of the old classic minis in the ‘Dash’.

      Spain has FIFTY PER CENT youth unemployment and 25% for the rest of the population. That’s what they should be focusing on. Because if they ever got their sticky little mitts on Gib – there would be far more unemployment for cross-border workers. Idiots in government.


  3. The new minis are not so mini anymore. Was this day a take off the movie with Michael Caine, with the famous words ‘ I only said to blow the bloody doors off’ or something similar. No probably not, that was Italian job’ But it did have minis. Another nice read and light hearted turned talking point. Isle of Wight demanding independence next…lol. thanks enjoyed…;)


    • Yeah, I just said they aren’t the same to dp Harry above. Isn’t the Italian Job one of the best films ever. You just made me watch the blowing off the doors (and everything else) scene again – one comment said it was the most famous line in British film history!! And then there is the brilliant mini scene which I also watched. Wish it came up cheap on DVD cos I would buy it.
      I know. It started off light-hearted but then I remembered the poll/survey I had read about and …. A mix does no harm methink. Thanks Gerry.


  4. Interesting post. I liked the walk & the photos culminating in the lovely lunch. My favourite photo was Sofia on the striking red, white & blue British royal not so Spanish steps…


  5. In the States, that eroded path would be blocked and there’d be signs everywhere warning people off and no one would be allowed to climb it. Same for climbing on the canons. Afraid someone would be injured and sue. On a more positive note, love the minis. They came to the states about 10 years ago and have gotten quite popular.


    • I thought y’all were quite adventurous over there. If it had been that bad I wouldn’t have been on it!! I think it was the angle I took it from. Our friends offered to take our photo on the canons. We declined.

      The old minis are the best ones. But aren’t the old ones always the best ones? ;)


  6. I love the photographic tour around the rock, those coloured steps are amazing so bright and cheerful, the eroded footpath does look a bit dodgy though.
    Finishing off with that wonderful looking meal, I think I need to point the motorhome in Gibs direction ;-)


    • I love the steps. Well I love the look of them, they are far too long though :( but worth it to get to the path above. One of our friends said she couldn’t believe we got so high so quickly. That could explain why I got vertigo! Nah, the footpath is ok unlike another one, which I must go revisit as there was no way I would cross it. You’re welcome to the food (it really was good – recommend it for D) but you may want to come sans T – or send him out to eat, or leave him in the MH. Plenty of Waggs for J and LS too :)


    • Ha!! That is too funny. But no maybe not. Just a weekend in Gib, saves writing three posts too :) I am in danger of making this into a kiddy blog (which I loathe) because while as a rule I am ambivalent about children, when they are interesting, intelligent and make good photography material – who can resist? She may sneak onto Pippa’s blog though when I eventually get to writing that up..


        • He’s had his own dog blog for five years too, just I have been a bit slack this past month. Too busy on here and on Clouds!

          Phew, that’s good, didn’t want to switch people off :) No-one reads my blogs to hear about Mom’s day of looking after five infants (or whatever) – there are enough of those around. That’s why it’s not a dog blog either – if people want to read and see endless info about Pippa, he has his own blog. When I update it :(


  7. Very nice pictures and interesting post. You all are brave those high places would have made me nervous especially the place with the erosion. That cauliflower dish looks fantastically yummy! Hugs


    • Thanks C & M. Listen if I can get there, anyone can, I tell you! Vertigo is so difficult to cope with. I did a walk a few years ago in autumn, cloudy, quite highish, nice loop around the Rock. I tried it again in sun and bright blue skies and had to turn round, I thought I was going to have to crawl down the road. So in comparison, the path, with tree cover, shade, no sheer drops, isn’t bad.

      The cauliflower was good, and for once I remembered to take a photo before we ate it. I’ve discovered the best idea is to take a photo part-way through cooking because once it is ready to eat…… photos go out of the mind.


  8. Very nice , varied reading! Those Minis are cute. I’m seeing quite a few, new ones here, and also little FIATs that we haven’t seen before, but a FIAT dealership has opened here.

    The Jury’s place does seem to be lacking in atmosphere, judging from your photo too. Isn’t that often the case with modern coffee shops and such?!


    • Thanks Reb. There are some nice minis here and we see them in Spain too. Yes, we saw a new old-style Fiat the other day that looked extremely nice.

      I think they missed a trick with the decor. They added old files, wigs and judges clothing but they should really have gone for that olde worlde feel. A sort of Chambers atmosphere, it just looks like any soulless modern coffee bar inside, although the outside is attractive. It still seems to get people sucked in though, it was heaving when I walked past today.


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