Algeciras may be the asshole of Spain, but its geopolitical situation is fascinating. I love gazing out from some seedy bar in my lowbrow Spanish neighbourhood and seeing both Morocco and Gibraltar on the horizon. The sun sets on the Spanish and British empires while storms brew in North Africa. Physically and metaphorically, it never ceases to intrigue me.
Here’s the lay of the land:
See? The Bay of Algeciras has two strategic look out points. I admit, the Algeciras side is not as impressive as Gibraltar. We don’t have a big-ass rock, double-decker buses or monkeys, just a nice view and a perfect picnic spot.
But no one comes to El Faro of Algeciras. Like Gibraltar it is also populated with luxury homes, but Algeciras style; no sidewalks, half-built roads, barking dogs and garbage in the streets.
Where as the road to the point in Gibraltar is paved with tax-free booze and cigarettes, in Algeciras it isn’t paved at all.
Here you can appreciate the twin points of Gibraltar and Algeciras.
Gibraltar is The Queen’s last stand in the Mediterranean. Spain keeps its hand in the geo-politics game by grasping desperately to its city of Ceuta on the African continent. Everyone wants to enjoy the same view as me, but perhaps for more strategic reasons.
The view and sun also attract cruise ships. They pull into Gibraltar for T-shirts and trinkets and to gaze out at the Strait of Gibraltar, where Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and history and the future all meet.
But no one makes it to El Faro on the Algeciras side. What a shame.
On second thought, forget I said that.