Leg 10: Sion to Gibraltar

14May10

Here it is: the tip of Europe. My airplane is currently parked on an airstrip at the foot of the Rock of Gibraltar. You can’t go any further south before you’re in Africa. It’s a long way from Sion in a lot of ways — agriculturally, topographically, altitudinally, you get the picture. On to the scenery:

The view from the sky…

Civilization meets its match

Central Spain from above

Madrid

Circle irrigation on Spanish farms

I was hoping that circle irrigation would pop up somewhere that wasn’t the sweeping Great Plains of the United States. And here, somewhere between Madrid and the Mediterranean, it happened. It’s just what it sounds like: some irrigation apparatus is set up on a pivot, and it rotates in a circle. It’s pretty sparse in the picture above, but just wait for America. I know plenty of spots there.

The more you know…

The Rock of Gibraltar

In 1713, a big thing happened. Some European powers got in a room and, when they came out with a deal, the world changed quite a bit. That deal was the Treaty of Utrecht, and it saw a lot of land change hands.

The chunk of rock in the picture above was one such territory. The Spaniards gave it to the Brits (and are now trying to get it back, though quite peacefully). It’s a sweet piece of real estate. That body of water on the other side of the rock is the Mediterranean Sea, and the rock acts as a high-ground gatehouse to those waters.

Just when the Brits were setting up shop in Gibraltar, they also got comfortable in Rupert’s Land (which comprised most of what is now Canada to the north and west of southern Ontario and Quebec), Newfoundland, and the rest of the Maritimes, save for Île-Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island).

So Great Britain came out on top, that time.

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