Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Gibraltar and Spain


On a bus tour around the Gibraltar last week, the driver played excerpts from a James Bond movie, The Living Daylights, which was shot on the Rock. Yet I can’t think of any crime novel which has featured the Rock – surely there must be some thrillers, at least, set there? It’s certainly a fascinating location, one I enjoyed visiting this time even more than on my first trip more than 20 years ago.


The atmospheric nature of the place is heightened by its proximity to Spain and Africa, and the continuing tension created by political tensions arising from the very evident, and passionately felt, desire of the inhabitants (certainly including our bus driver) to retain their links with Britain. An extraordinary, and evocative, part of the world.

I’ve mentioned before my enthusiasm for cruising, and I’m especially keen on itineraries that don’t have too many days at sea, but which call in to a wide range of ports. This provides the opportunity to sample places and figure out destinations that would be worth prioritising for a longer look. On recent holidays, I’ve been very taken by Santorini, Madeira and Rhodes, and although Gibraltar is tiny, I would be keen to return there before too long.

Three Spanish towns were the other ports of call. Almeria, with its fabulous Alcazaba fortress, and Cartagena, with its marvellous and very well presented Roman remains, were both memorable. And though I’d never been to Mallorca before, having mentally stereotyped it as a beach holiday type of place, I found Palma really impressive. Will any of these locations feature in future short stories? Not sure – I still haven’t finished the mystery I’ve set on Santorini yet...

By the way, I couldn't resist including a photo not only of a wonderful Barbary macaque family, but also one in which I'm accompanied by my recently appointed publicist! Catherine hopes to develop a career in PR or journalism when she finally leaves Oxford. Suffice to say that if she manages to improve my profile, she'll surely be able to rise to any other challenge!

11 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - Those are lovely 'photos! Thank you for sharing them. I do love the 'photo of you and your daughter, too.

The Merry said...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Men Who Hate Women) series has scenes set in Gibraltar, but as I recall they mostly involve getting drunk. Might not be a fair representation of the place.

The Merry said...

Then again, I suppose it might. ;)

Maxine Clarke said...

I've just read one, oddly enough, called Death on the Rock by Thomas Mogford, a new book from Faber & Faber. My review should be out at Euro Crime in the next few weeks. It starts and ends in Gibraltar but a substantial part of it is in Tangier. There is masses of detail about the history, culture, etc of both places. It is rather a "James Bond" style thriller (what I call a bit of a boys' book!) which is interesting in view of your coach theme music.

jiescribano said...

Martin maybe you are familiar with his books already. A British author, Roderic Jeffries, set his mystery books in Mallorca http://jsydneyjones.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/alvarez-investigates-the-mallorcan-mysteries-of-roderic-jeffries/

Maxine Clarke said...

I am reminded by Rhian Davies that Mogford's book is published by Bloomsbury, not Faber & Faber, sorry.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks very much, Margot. I don't usually do "family" on this blog, but for once I couldn't resist.

Martin Edwards said...

The Merry, thank you!

Martin Edwards said...

Maxine, thanks. You always come up with interesting information - much appreciated. I shall look forward to your review.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Jose. I've read one or two of Jeffries' books, but not those set in Mallorca. Now I've been there, I shall probably give one a try.

The Passing Tramp said...

Lovely scenery!