El Faro – Part 1: A little geography lesson

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.



  1. Boy Rea, I really do learn something new everyday when I read your pages!! I would never have known any of that about Algeciras and Gibraltar. Where as I thought Algeciras as rather a small town I guess its actually quite a large city. Where would you compare the size of it to??

    1. I think there are 130,000 people here, give or take. However the city is very compact, European style. So picture Nanimo and area, but all packed into the downtown core that you could walk across in half an hour.

  2. Rea
    Really do enjoy your writings! Also love all the pictures and comments by your little fellows.
    I know you shall miss the snow etc of Prince George this holiday season but right now it has been raining for over 24 hours and is 4 degrees above!! Not sure if the snow will stay for Chrismas at this rate.
    Hope you have a great holiday season wherever you may be! Keep up the great writings.
    Elaine Scott

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