Valencia, Spain and Gibraltar, United Kingdom

One thing I haven’t shared with you is that I had a new co-worker the last two weeks of the job. Leslie left for her two-month vacation the second day we were in Monte Carlo, and the “relief editor” who swings between the two ships to cover the vacations came on board Serenity to fill her spot. He’s my age, also from Canada, and his first name starts with an A. It’s been great fun working alongside Adam for this last little bit of the cruise job – especially to have someone to share sarcasm and Canadian jokes. Leslie was great to learn from, and working with Adam has been a fun way to wrap up the job.

This blog entry is just a short little blurb. With six days until the end of my World Cruise contract, I started spending my breaks finalizing all of the details for what I’d do when I left the ship: the travel details for my five week post-cruise adventure backpacking through Europe. Booking my flight back to Canada in June, booking connecting trains between the destinations I’d visit, and contacting the family I’d be visiting. 

As well, I really wanted to spend my remaining time with the friends I’d made on the ship. So, I started spending less time ashore.

Fortunately, there weren’t any “absolute must-see” places to visit.

In Valencia, Spain, I wanted to find a book store that would sell an english-language travel guide for London, England. It took a while to find anything open (Spain adheres to Siesta Time very religiously… even more than Italy), but I managed to find something. I walked around a bit of the center of the city – absolutely stunning. Art Deco Spanish architecture, fountains, a nice central market. Valencia is currently considered the “it” city in Spain and is experiencing huge growth and a renaissance. One area I didn’t get to explore but saw from the distance is the city’s modern jewel: the City of Arts and Sciences museum, designed by world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava (who just so happens to be a native of Valencia). I didn’t get any pictures of the museum, so I’ll direct you to this flickr album. Trust me, you’ll be glad you saw these photos – this guy’s quite the architect.

After Valencia, we were ready to sail out of the warmish waters of the Mediterranean into the mighty Atlantic.

To do so, we had to sail through the Straits of Gibraltar, with a stop at the famous Rock of Gibraltar. I raced up to deck when I heard we were about to sail in.

And I said, “Oh!!! There it… … isn’t.” Warm Mediterranean meets cold Atlantic meets Andrew’s ridiculous luck (if anything is ever going to happen – good or bad – it’ll happen to me twice) equals FOG. Bloody fog covered up the whole thing.

But, even if there wasn’t fog, I’d probably say “that’s it?” The United Kingdom holds onto the tiny peninsula of Gibraltar and its famous rock monolith because it’s a point where they can have a strategic defense of the route from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean.

There’s not much else to it, though.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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