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Thread: The Gibraltar Blog

  1. #21
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    Any sign of your luggage yet ?

  2. #22
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grailhunter View Post
    Any sign of your luggage yet ?
    Nope, the BA website says they are still tracing it, I think it's going on a European tour.

    I've been without Internet for much of the day, couldn't find any WiFi and O2 suddenly decided that I had left Europe and wanted to charge me worldwide roaming fees of six quid per MB. I was at Europa Point which is about as close as you can get to Africa without being there but I was still in bloody Europe.

    Just hooked up to the hotels Internet on TV service so at least I have a keyboard to use for the next 24 hours (although it doesn't have a pound sign!). So I will do a bit of catching up tonight.
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  3. #23
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Now that I have a half decent keyboard to work with I'll write up a post that I prepared about the flight. If you recall I left you i the opulence of the Galleries Lounge at LHR. From there it was a short walk to the departure gate where the buses were loading to take us to the plane. In a celeb spotting moment I saw Paul Weller, bit of a scruffy git but I saw him in Club Class later a few seats in front of me so pretty sure it was him.

    One thing that wasn't in Club, or indeed Economy, was my suitcase as I was to discover later. It was only as I was getting on the plane that I noticed the luggage sticker on my passport had someone else's name and a destination of Vienna. After a moment of blind panic I realised there was nothing I could do and just had to leave it to fate.

    A low flying altitude and a fairly cloudless sky meant some good views from the plane and luckily I had a window seat. We left UK shores and flew directly over Guernsey and then crossing that sticky out bit of France (Around Brest and Dinard I think). Going over these coastal areas there were plenty of small boats criss-crossing the waters leaving vapor trail like patterns in their wake. In some sort of inverse symmetry I expect we looked similar to them from down there as they did to us from up here. Seeing a lone vessel a bit further out to sea I think of a mate who has just bought a boat and was last heard of trying to find his way to Brighton (does anyone at work know if he made it?).

    Across the Bay of Biscay and we hit the Spanish coast at Santander, I look out for Lons and the boys but to no avail. The peaks and valleys of the craggy mountain ranges below look like crumpled paper until we get to the flat plains of middle Spain where, according to Eliza Doolittle, is where the rain mainly stays.

    Soon we get the 10 minute call and start our descent, this is where a window seat becomes a little disadvantageous, especially for the nervous flyer. As you descent lower and lower, seemingly almost touching the many tankers in the Bay all you can see from either side of the plane is water. The runway is a simple strip of land built out into the Bay and you don't see it until about 2 seconds before the wheels touch down - to great relief.

    to be continued...........
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  4. #24
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    So there I was, standing with everyone else, except Paul Weller who perhaps only had hand luggage, waiting for the bags to come down the conveyor belt of expectancy. Or in my case the conveyor belt of hope. After a couple of false hopes were cruelly dashed I think I'd have jumped up and down like a kid shouting I can see it, I can see it, if my bag did actually appear, but of course it didn't.

    I was dragging myself resignedly to the luggage information desk when I heard someone call "Thompson" from behind me, and my heart leapt. It didn't stay there long though as I turned and saw one of the airline staff with a small blue unfamiliar bag, with my name on it. This undoubtedly belonged to some poor sole in Vienna.

    After filling in the obligatory forms and providing details about my case the lady from GibAir shook her head and said "this is terrible, this is a terrible security breach, this bag could have a bomb in it and you'd be in trouble because your name's on it". I told her that if it had a bomb in it we'd all be in trouble, and pointed out that she was the one wheeling it through the terminal. We parted with a promise that she would phone me with a reference number later that day, which she did. There was no promise that anything would actually be done about it, and so far there doesn't seem to have been. Cab to the hotel and I check in for an 8 day stay with a tiny bag that even the Amazing Beesley Brothers from 15 Blokes in Hamburg fame would have found small. (Just search "15 Blokes in Hamburg", with the speech tags, if you want to read a long rambling report of that trip)
    Last edited by Millay; 10-08-2012 at 19:53.
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  5. #25
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Anyone who has used these hotel Internet TV things will no doubt sympathise as to how frustrating and inefficient they are. Damn thing kept logging me out just as I was submitting a large post - luckily the auto-save function meant I didn't lose everything. Plus it has a weird keyboard layout and a spell checker that doesn't seem to be based on any language in the known world. Anyway here's a resume of yesterday, Friday.

    I awoke to a cool morning and noticed that the top of the Rock was covered in a light mist, not unusual around here it seems. During breakfast on the roof terrace I noticed the ruins of the old Moorish Castle about half way up the Rock and found a walking route marked on a town map. It didn't look too far so off I set in the cool morning air. After a couple of dead ends that are everywhere in the old town and one or two doubling back I eventually found the road I needed and started to climb, and climb, and climb, not helped by the sight of a bus whizzing by, I'll remember that next time. I did eventually get to the castle and the WWII tunnels beyond that but by that time I was a quivering wreck of jelly and could only just manage to take a few photos. It was noticeable from up there how much the town has grown since I was last there, a whole mini village of residential high rises, bars and restaurants has been created in what is called Ocean Village. Back in 2002 the only thing I remember around there was a few restaurants along Marina Bay which has now been swamped by it's new larger neighbour.

    Having underestimated the distance, steepness and the heat I decided to find the bus stop and bought myself a 1.50 day ticket and took a ride back to town. There I had a quick trip to the border and back then switched buses and took a ride to Europa Point at the other end of the Rock. There are a couple of interesting exhibitions here, the only lighthouse outside of the UK to be run by Trinity House and some good viewing points. It is said that you can clearly see the coast of Africa on a clear day - sadly Friday was not one of those days. The mist had got lower and thicker to the extent that the lighthouse started broadcasting a warning siren. It also meant that I couldn't get a decent view of the impressive Mosque of the Two Holy Custodians that dominates the point.
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  6. #26
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    Right, that's the tourist bit over, I know you want to hear about pubs and beer and being at the southern end of the Rock I had to try to find the Edinburgh Arms, Europe's southernmost pub. Unfortunately being so close to Africa has confused O2, my European roaming data connection went down and I got a text informing me that I had left Europe and that I would need to switch to a worldwide package, at stupid rates. So I wasn't able to check the exact location but had a map and a vague idea of where it was. Caught the no.2 bus and got off near the junction of Europa Road and South Barrack Rd knowing I needed to start to descend to find Naval Hospital Road. Just as I was getting a bit lost and looking quizzically at the map a young kid came by, helpfully asked where I was trying to find and said "follow me" as he set off down a set of steep steps (Sunnyside steps) at the pace of Usain Bolt. He quickly realised that the fat old English bloke wouldn't be able to keep up and he waited patiently for me, and was rewarded with the price of a coke. This proved an excellent shortcut as the Edinburgh Arms was just a few minutes walk from the bottom of these winding steps.

    It was empty when I went in, around 1pm, apart from a friendly chatty landlady. Another customer arrived later. I will do a fuller report on the pub when I set up the Gibraltar Pub Review thread but it was a nice place to spend a couple of hours and have a few relaxing beers while writing up some notes. It has a proper pub feel to it and from the quiz nights and charity events advertised I sense it is very much a community pub. Sporting memorabilia on display include boxing gloves signed by John Conteh, a David Coulthard F1 helmet and bizarrely and old deep sea divers helmet siting between the Ladies and gents toilets. Beer was keg London pride which was Ok, plus Strongbow, San Miguel and a few bottles.

    Caught a no.3 bus back to town with even the locals moaning about the heat, apparently a heatwave is coming!! Back o the hoteljust in case my bag had turned upon the midday flight. It hadn't so left a stroppy message on BA's luggage handing site and resigned myself to another day without my essentials, I'm beginning to forget what I packed anyway. Had some early evening food in the Theatre Royal Bar behind the hotel which boasts of around 60 different combinations of burgers - I only wanted one. They also had bottles of the Bushy's Barbary Beer so I had a couple of those while having a read and a chat with the friendly South African owner. Then it was back to the hotel, try this Internet thing out and update the blog, which you can see from previous posts.

    It's coming up to 10am here now (Saturday), and the sun is shining bright, I think it's going to be a hot hot day. I was thinking of taking one of the dolphin spotting trips but will probably wait until my camera arrives. So it will probably just be a bit of touristy stuff today, might go out to Europa Point again now that it is clearer. Off for a shave then decide which pair of speedos to wear today!!

    Until next time.
    Last edited by Millay; 15-08-2012 at 16:30. Reason: Changed the bus number, I do like to be factually correct
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  7. #27
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    The Edinburgh Arms sounds a great place to spend a few hours. Look fwd to reading the report and hopefully you might have your camera back shortly. I hope the recipient of your baggage in Vienna have not taken some pics on your camera ! Wear the gold speedos with the union flag on the front covering up your PB personal best. Enjoy the good weather and a long drink.

  8. #28
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    I'm in the pretty rough Pig & Whistle on Waterfront Rd, doing research for you lot !! and there's a newspaper clipping above the bar that says "8 days and one pair of budgie smugglers". I can only conclude that I am not the first to fall foul of the vagaries of BA's baggage handling in Gibraltar .
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by the gasman View Post
    TWear the gold speedos with the union flag on the front covering up your PB personal best. Enjoy the good weather and a long drink.
    But they are so last year gasman !!!

    BTW you need to start posting some more and get rid of that teetotaller tag, it doesn't suit you. Even Lons has made spritzer swallower level ;-)
    Last edited by Millay; 11-08-2012 at 14:30.
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  10. #30
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Moving on down Waterfront I'm now in the Red Lion, more research, drinking a German lager St Pauli Girl, not sure what the ABV is but it can't be just for girls. Just won £160 on a gaming machine :-) . They could only change up £20 so i will have to carry the rest with me to the next pub. Still, it's good exercise.
    Last edited by Millay; 15-08-2012 at 16:33.
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

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