The following post is by crew member, Loryn Bennet…my amazing cousin. It will give you an idea as to what she’s experiencing while joining us on Britican. Most of the pictures were taken by my great friend and amazing photographer, Ene Stewart. Enjoy reading:
What a great adventure we are on!
Even though I was a bit scared to say ‘yes – I’ll join the crew of Britican,’ my fears have all but disappeared. If I didn’t take a leap of faith and put myself out there, I would have missed out on all the wonderful experiences and people I have encountered thus far. Everywhere we go we are greeted with amazing generosity, love, encouragment and happiness.
I often just sit back in amazement reflecting on what our reality has become and think is this really real?
Are we going to wake up from a dream soon? What else could happen to top this moment? I’m just forever grateful for all that comes into my life.
With that being said I will start to explain why I say all these wonderful things
When we were in Gibraltar Kim (my cousin) had met a lady Stefanie on twitter who turned out to be the main meteorologist in the area. Her and her husband Steve came out and met us for a drink and a tour of the boat one evening, and extended an offer to help us with anything we needed. We were very appreciative and grateful for the welcoming and open offer. When it came closer to the beginning of the week Stef offered to take a day off to take us for a tour of Gibraltar.
We all waited with anticipation early Monday morning knowing we were finally going up the cable car to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar
Something we had been looking forward to since the day we arrived there. Stef picked us up and said, “Ok then, whats first?” We all yelled out Cable Car, Cable Car! Here we go we are finally doing it!
Stef went up to talk to the teller since she was a local – it’s apparently cheaper if you are one. We then asked can we do the cable car and the St. Michael’s caves? She replied, “Of course, you can’t do one without doing the other. We are here to explore Gibraltar, and I have all day.”
Could this be happening? The excitement I was feeling was just overwhelming
To top all that, she then payed for all five of us to do all these wonderful things. I thought how nice is she. She barely knows us, has taken the day off to give us a tour of where she lives, picked us up and is driving us all over. I was just amazed at her generosity.
Up to the top we go, all staring out the windows in awe of the beautiful scenery that was all around us
We were so high we could see the Straights of Gibraltar, Spain and Africa. Absolutely breathtaking! Amongst all the beautiful sights we had monkeys running all around us. One actually jumped on Kim’s backpack to steal whatever food she had in there. I have never been that close to a monkey in my life. I could of pet many of them at any point. In fact, there were so many monkeys that we often forget they were there (see picture of Stef and I above)!
Next stop St. Micheal’s caves. The Rock of Gibraltar where the St. Micheal’s caves are, has something like 20km of trails/roads inside the rock that were man made and used for many different purposes. A hospital was actually constructed in one of the caves to aid soldiers during the war. These caves that Stef took us to were just spectacular. They housed concerts, weddings and other events.
I can’t even express how cool and beautiful these were, and how thankful I felt to be experiencing it all
Afterwards we just drove around getting a first hand tour of Gibraltar. The old town and the new town. Different views from different angles. More monkeys. Who knew that a place that is only 3 miles by 3 miles could have so many streets and so much to see, still has me baffled. The main road into the place actually gets closed in order to allow planes to take off and land. Yes you actually have to drive across the runway to get into Gibraltar. To cool.
A beautiful place with wonderful people. A big thanks to Stef!
Our next stop was Malta. I must admit before this trip I never even knew Malta existed let alone thought I’d be sailing there. Its such a wonderful, cute, fun island with lots of history and beautiful sights to see. The Island in the terms of history has always been a sought after place to conquer since it acts as a strategic stronghold between Africa and Europe.
We buy a book of each place we are visiting to offer guidance to sights to see, history, main attractions, foods that are popular, maps of the area and interesting facts. It’s our go to source.
With our book at hand and guidance from the locals we ventured out to visit new areas of Malta
We ended up visiting , Silema, Valletta (old town), L’Imidina (old capital called the silent city) and Spinola Bay Area. All areas just took my breathe away. If it wasn’t the beautiful bay windows, doors, architecture and tiny side streets, it was the views of the Mediterranean. To read Kim’s ‘Destination Review’ on Malta read, Our Expectations of Malta Were Minimal – Boy Were We In For A Surprise.
In each area we visited we were greeted with so much kindness and generosity
Our friend and Skipper, Mike mentioned us to a wonderful lady Lilia who has been friends with Mike for years and lives there in Malta. She extended an offer to stop by and take Sienna (Kim and Simon’s daughter) out to play and to meet new friends.
We thought really? People don’t just offer that without even meeting anyone
Sure enough Lilia showed up and what a wonderful person she turned out to be. Kim, Lilia and I sat and talked for a bit understanding that our energies were on the same level, we could talk about anything so easily. She offered to stop by the next day and take Sienna out for some adventures. We thought ok sure, what a nice offer. Lilia showed up and took Sienna for about 5 hours on wonderful adventures all around Malta. How cool is that? And how wonderful can people be? With our late night wine chats and visits to the boat, she became a great friend to all of us during our stay in Malta.
We left Malta with a happy heart and a new sense of freedom. We sailed on to see what new adventures and wonderful people we would meet. The beautiful Sicily is next! I wonder who we’ll meet there?!?
To read my first post, visit I Still Can’t Believe This Is Happening
To read the next post, that’s by me too, read Exploring Noto and Syracuse in Sicily