The Pillar of Hercules
The driver took Line Wall Road and he also spoke about the monuments along the way. That included American War Memorial, British War Memorial, Gibraltar Museum, Trafalgar Cemetery and Gibraltar Botanic Gardens (Europa Road). Then van started to climb upwards to the rock. The driver stopped at the entrance to the Pillar of the Hercules, he got out of the van and purchased tickets. He gave tickets to each of the passengers and told us not to lose otherwise we would have to buy ourselves. He parked the van in front of the monument and let us stroll for few minutes. The view was breath taking. The group of five young passengers were Americans. It became apparent they were more interested at playing tricks with each other and shouting rather than enjoying the beauty of the Rock.
About the Monument
Archaeological evidence suggests that Stone Age tribes lived in Gibraltar caves, but the earliest recorded history points to the Greek settlement of Calpe ('ship') The current name resulted in the 8th-century when the Berber general, Tariq ibn Ziyad, established a military camp here and from this natural fortress, he seized modern Spain and Portugal and established Iberia's hybrid culture. The limestone boulder gebel (rock) combined with his name; Tariq became Gebel Tariq which was shortened to Gibraltar.
Myth-makers say the pillars were created by Hercules when he carried out the tenth of his twelve labours: to capture the cattle of Geryones, a monster with three heads and three bodies. In order to affect the capture, Hercules tossed two great rocks about: the first became Gibraltar; the second became Ceuta in Morocco. These two promontories, Capeand Abya to the Greeks, are the twin Pillars of Hercules, natural sentries guarding the passageway between the Mediterranean Sea and the open Atlantic. The pillars marked the edge of the known worlds, the limit of civilization. According to Euripides, who wrote “The Ruler of the Ocean no longer permits mariners to travel on the purple sea”. It was thought that beyond the pillars chaos and darkness were associated with the underworld.
After leaving the Pillar of Hercules, the driver brought us o the St. Michael's cave. He told us that he would be waiting for us at the front of the caves.
St. Michael's Cave
Then driver drove us to the St. Michael's Cave. There were more monkeys close to the entrance to the cave. The monkeys were very playful; some of them would climb at the top of the cars and then jumped at people. But drivers lured them with the nuts to move to the front, on the arms and then off to the ground, At least it was true in Aneta’s case. People were not allowed to touch or feed them. Driver said that fine was £3000. Entrance to the St. Michael’s Cave was on the left side of the ticket counter. I showed them the ticket which was purchased at the previous stop.
Upon entering the site, there was a small terrace to enjoy the full view of the cave. It was nicely lit with lights of different colours. I walked down the stairs, which were in the middle of the seating area. They were illuminated with yellow lights.
The Cave was long believed to be bottomless. This probably gave birth to the story that the Rock of Gibraltar was linked to the Continent of Africa by a subterranean passage over 15 miles (24km) long under the Strait of Gibraltar. The famous Rock Apes were said to have come to Gibraltar through this under-sea passage. The story also said that the passage emerges at Leonora’s Cave, which begins inside St. Michael’s Cave itself.
Pomponious Mela, one of the earliest writers on geography who lived about the beginning of the Christian era, described Calpe (the Roman name for Gibraltar) as, ”A mountain with wonderful concavities, which has its western side almost opened by a large cave which may be penetrated far into the interior”. An early description of St. Michael’s Cave says, “It is narrow at its entrance but wide within, like a pitcher”, while a third writer tells us that it was dedicated as a shrine to Hercules.
It was at one time believed that when the Spaniards first tried to retake Gibraltar from Britain in 1704, a party of 500 of their troops spent a night in the cave after climbing the precipitous East face of the Rock by a path shown to them by a shepherd. Next morning, however, the troops of the garrison surprised and overpowered the raiding party.
A Colonel Mitchell and another officer were said to have descended into Leonora's Cave at some unspecified date before 1840 and were never seen again this story led to extensive explorations of the cave in 1840, 1857 and 1865, but no trace of the missing officers was ever discovered. The cave consists of and Upper Hall, connected with five passages, with drops of between 40 feet (12.2m) and 150 feet (45.7m) to a smaller hall. Beyond this point a series of narrow holes leads to a further succession of chambers, reaching a depth of some 250 feet (62.5m) below the entrance.
During the Second World War the cave was prepared as an emergency hospital, but was never used. In blasting an alternative entrance to the cave - now used as a tourist exit - a further series of deeply descending chambers was discovered now called Lower St. Michael’s Cave. These chambers end in a mini lake. Special guided tours to this lower section of St Michael’s Cave are arranged.
Next stop was Queen’s road. While we were driven up there, in front of us was a car. The smoke was coming out of the exhaust and it had terrible smell. There was no way that driver could over-take the car. The driver was a woman, she was driving very slowly I would say that car was creeping rather than being driven. Then she stopped in the middle of the road. The driver asked her if everything was ok? She told him that car wasn't moving fast enough. He told her to release the hand break. She replied that that she was afraid if engine would stop, the car would roll back and fall off the cliff. The driver couldn’t believe what he had just heard. She was driving in first gear with hand break on, he burst into laughter. She started the car and amid smoke and noise she was driving up again. Then came a pass area, she stopped and driver told her to ditch the car and walk. Needless to say that she wasn’t impressed with his remarks.
Upon reaching Queen’s road, we got off, close to a feeding area for the monkeys but only one monkey was eating. The rest was wondering around. On one side, I found a family of four monkeys huddled together. Probably they were feeling cold because this Morning was bit cloudy. While I was there, a male monkey came very fast and jumped on top of the family. The leader, who was the biggest of four, woke up and chased the intruder away. No damage was done and family was back to their huddle again.
Gibraltar is the only place in Europe where monkeys live in the wild. Native to Northern Morocco and Algeria, these macaques probably found their way to the Rock of Gibraltar on board merchant and pirate ships. There are approximately 250 monkeys in Gibraltar and they make up 6 distinct families or packs. Each pack is led by a dominant male (or Alpha male) who is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of that family. There is an old British military saying that states that "as long as the monkeys stay in Gibraltar, it will remain British".
While I was watching the monkeys and enjoying the beautiful views of the peak. The driver shouted at the American passengers not to touch monkeys and told them to come back.
Our next stop was the Great Siege Tunnels.
The Siege Tunnels
During the Great Siege of 1779 - 1783 Governor of Gibraltar General Elliott set a competition and offered $1000 to anyone who could get cannon on an area on the north face of the Rock called the 'Notch'. An idea offered by Sgt Major Ince to cut through the limestone rock by hand was taken and the British set to work in 1781. The tunnels were dug using black powder charges, hammers, chisels and shovels.
Walking up the steep slope to the entrance of the tunnels which was very low gives one some appreciation of the effort of the men who built them. Marvel at the cannons lining the holes looking out across the isthmus to Spain and shudder as one could imagine the roar of the cannons firing in such a space. The tunnel was lined with 'embrasures' a fortification that allowed the firer to remain protected as the weapon fires. As I walked along the tunnels I also saw ammunition stores and some of the passageways leading to old WWII tunnels. The tunnels were completed in mid 1783 about 3 months after the Great Siege ended. At the end of the tunnel is St Georges Hall where legend says Lord Napier held a banquet for General Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the USA.
Interestingly for his efforts Ince was given a commission in the Army, a plot of land on the Rock. In five weeks 18 men had driven a tunnel 8 square feet (2.40sq.m) by 82 feet long (25m) into the Rock. While walking in the Tunnels, one of the areas had a motion sensor. Whenever someone passed beside it, the guard would shout “who is out there”. It frightened most of the people.
When I came out of the tunnels. I asked driver if he could drop me at the Moorish Castle? He didn’t have any problem with it but he wanted to get the payment sorted first. I moved on the side to put my camera and bag with soft drinks on the floor. He thought I was going to leave without paying him. He said, sorry you would have to pay me first. I told him that I wasn’t going anywhere, just needed to sort out my stuff. After getting his money the driver was all smiles. I sometimes wondered why there was such a feel good factor about the money? While he was driving back, one of the passengers took out chewing gum and threw it out of the window. His rest of his friends were not happy because this part of the rock was a Nature Reserve and it was all protected and littering wasn’t allowed. In his minds, it was all part of the fun, no damage done. Let’s move on.
The driver dropped me at the entrance to the castle. I showed the ticket which was purchased at the start of the tour and asked him if this ticket was OK? The guy at the counter told me that it was fine. The main tower of the castle had a British flag on it which was fluttering in the air. The view was the best I had seen so far in Gibraltar. I could see runway in full view on my right hand side and a plane had just landed. All traffic was stopped to make the way for the plane. In the far distant, was port of Algeciras and next to it was Tarifa. A village, which was named after Muslim Tarif bin Malik. On left hand side, was the wall and some old parts of the castle which were under renovation.
History of the Castle
The Moorish Castle Complex is made up of some diverse buildings, multiple numbers of gates, more than just a few fortified walls and its most striking attributes, those of the Tower of Homage and The Gate House. The Tower of Homage is a very impressive, nearly an awe inspiring site even today. How much more so would it have been, when it was new, in the height of its power and magnificence?
Although it is often said that the Moorish Castle at Gibraltar was begun in the 8th century. It is believed by many that this may well have been the roots of the castle, the present day Tower of Homage. There does appear to have been a castle on this site and from that, it is believed that the original walled town grew. The frightened townspeople would certainly have withdrawn into that walled city when times grew less secure.
The Castle that the Muslims built here holds the highest tower of any other castle built during the Islamic era on the Iberian Peninsula. The Castle itself had its own very important role in the conquest that took place on the Iberian Peninsula, a conquest that led to dominion of the Arabs in a portion of Europe for more than seven centuries, so the castle is not merely significant as a part of Gibraltar’s history, but that of all of Europe. The Muslim castle begins at the highest point within the tower of Homage, which lies at the eastern most point. Surrounding the Tower of Homage is the Inner Keep, and the Outer Keep. Lying west of the Keeps is the Kasbah, which houses the famed Gate House. Below is a snapshot of Gibraltar's owners over the centuries.
British: 1713- present
After coming out of the castle. I asked a girl, who was walking with a small white dog about the Gibraltar Museum. She told me to keep going straight, while she was explaining me. Her small dog grabbed my jeans. He was a ferocious for his small size. She apologised and said that her dog didn’t like the strangers.
The Trafalgar Cemetery
I came to the Trafalgar Cemetery. There were nice plants and trees in the garden of cemetery and three monkeys were picking something from the grass. They were totally relaxed and didn’t seemed to be bothered by the human presence. Trafalgar Cemetery was used between 1798 and 1814 for burials of those who died in Gibraltar. Consecrated for use in 1798 it began being used seven years prior to the battle of Trafalgar, which was fought on 21 October 1805.
At that time known as the Southport Ditch Cemetery, the majority of those it contained would die of several severe epidemics of Yellow Fever, which took place in Gibraltar in the years 1804, 1813, and 1814. At the time, called, the Southport Ditch Cemetery, it made what was part of the natural defences of the town, as far back as the time of the Spaniards in Gibraltar.
The western part of the ditch, which had been always been used as a market garden for most of the nineteenth century was backfilled when the Referendum arch opened in 1967.
It appears that the association of the cemetery with the battle of Trafalgar didn’t take place until a score of years after the actual event, and it is even conjectured that the two victims of the Battle of Trafalgar buried there may have been the reason for the renaming.
Of those buried in the Trafalgar Cemetery, only two known graves belong to victims of the Trafalgar battle, most of the others who perished in that hard fought battle would be buried at sea.
The British Navy, after the battle, would later transport Lord Nelson’s body to London for a state funeral, leaving just two heroes of the conflict to be buried in the Cemetery that earned the name of the battle so many years after the event. Those graves, numbered 121 and 101, contain the remains of the Lieut. William Forster of the Royal Marine Corps, serving on the H.M.S. Mars and Lieut. Thomas Norman, who served on the H.M.S. Columbus.
The remainder of the seamen who took wounds in the battle were brought to Gibraltar, and if they later died of wounds received there, were buried north of the Charles V Wall, which lies on the opposite side of the Trafalgar Cemetery. There are however, buried within the confines of Trafalgar Cemetery, victims of multiple other sea battles in the area, such as the battle of Algeciras, which took place in 1801 and similar actions around Cádiz and Malaga that occurred in 1810 and 1812. The Napoleonic Wars offered up a share of their victims to the Trafalgar cemetery, even if they were not of the Battle of Trafalgar.
After 1814, when the majority of the burials took place, the cemetery fell into disarray and was no longer used, save for one single exception, a burial which took place in 1838.
After paying my visit to the cemetery, I came at the front gate. There was a taxi driver standing there. I asked him about the direction to the museum. He told me that it wasn’t far away, I needed to go to the Bristol hotel and museum was beside it.
The Museum of Gibraltar
When I entered through the main gate. In front of me were medieval Muslim baths. They were built during the 14th century Merinidis Dynasty rule of Gibraltar. In the past, these ancient remains were actually used by the British as stables. In fact one of the rooms was sufficiently filled to the level of the road to enable it to accommodate coaches, the horse drawn variety of course. Although smaller than originally built after the house was badly damaged during the Great Siege the baths are on the site of the Palace of the Governor of Gibraltar and are therefore, private baths.
They consist of rooms similar to Roman 'Hypocaust' system of baths with a normal temperature room for undressing, a cold room and a hot room. Like the saunas of today moving between them cleanses the body by sweating the dirt away. The baths had channels under the floor through which warm air circulated heating the rooms.
I went to the reception desk. The lady behind the desk told me that I was too late for the last visit to the museum because the film had already started at 13:10. I told her that I wasn’t interested in the film. I told her that I wouldn’t be long and she let me in. She was kind enough not to charge me for entry ticket because I didn’t want to watch the film and it was little bit late.
On the 23 July 1930 the Gibraltar museum was founded and located in the home of the Principal Ordinance Officer, then known as Ordinance House or more colloquially known as 'Bomb House'. It was located just off Main Street in Bomb House Lane behind the Bristol Hotel. After watching the documentary, one would walk its few rooms and marvel at some interesting artefacts ancient and not so ancient covering the existence of this tiny place. There was an Egyptian Mummy upstairs dating from 800BCE found floating in the Bay in 1930 and the 1:600 scale model of the Rock made in 1865 accurate even down to the trees by Lieutenant Charles Warren.
After this I went to bus stop to catch bus number two. It was only few paces away from the building. When I reached there, the bus had just left. When I looked at the schedule, the next bus was in thirty minutes. I decided to walk along the street but it was too hot to walk with no shade. So when the next stop came, I decided to stay inside the cabin. While I was sitting inside, I could still see the Rock of Gibraltar on my right hand side which was towering above the city. In the meantime, there came a family with kids on the bus stop. The little girls was wearing polka dots cloth which I had seen (on some of the paintings in Seville) worn by the Flamenco dancers in Seville. The girl looked like a little butterfly with those colourful clothes.
Bus arrived at 2:00pm; I asked the driver that what time the return bus would be from Europa point? He told me that it was 2:15pm and 2:45pm. I still had enough time otherwise I would need taxi back to the city. I purchased return ticket and bus brought me to Europa Point at 2:15pm. Along the way, driver stopped couple of time. One road was particularly small driver had to wait because only one car or bus could go in one time.
This must surely be the most southerly mosque in the continent of Europe. The project cost some five million pounds, and it is said that this is possibly the most expensive mosque in Europe per square metre. For the inauguration ceremony and reception, the brother of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the project’s sponsor, HRH Prince Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and the King’s youngest son, HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz, visited the Rock, together with many other members of the Saudi royal family and other invited guests in an incredible entourage comprising some sixty limousines, accompanied by some incredible scenes of security measures. I wondered if this mosque was genuinely built for its' main purpose (prayer) or just a show off?
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is the official title of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the project’s backer. The two mosques referred to be the ones at Mecca and Medina. The complex’s ground floor area covers 985 square metres and contains the Imam’s house, accommodation facilities for the caretaker, six classrooms, a conference hall, a morgue, a well-stocked library, administration offices, a kitchen and ablution facilities and for male and female faithful. The minaret measures 71 metres in height from the ground floor to the top, crowned by a six metre high brass crescent. Next to the mosque was the lighthouse tower and Harding's battery.
Harding's battery was built on the remains of the 7th Europa Battery in 1859. The battery wan named after Sir George Harding, who was chief engineer in 1844. For few years the battery had two 18 pounder guns which were replaced with 32 pounders in 1863.
The Light house
The Lighthouse at Europa Point was built between the years of 1838 and 1841, and is currently the southernmost lighthouse that Trinity House is responsible for, as well as being the only lighthouse outside of the UK for which they claim responsibility.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe
The capture of Gibraltar by the Spaniards from the Moors dates from 1462. In thanksgiving the people of Gibraltar converted the mosque at Europa Point into a Christian shrine in honour of the Mother of Christ, venerating her as Our Lady of Europe and placing the whole of Europe under her protection. A statue of Our Lady sitting on a simple chair and holding the Child was carved and placed in the Shrine.
In 1540 the Shrine, which was a converted Mosque was ransacked by Barbarossa.
The Polish memorial
In 2013, this memorial was relocated to Europa Point, the southernmost tip of the Gibraltar peninsula, and was reinstalled with a new design at a site between Europa Point Lighthouse and Harding's Battery.
The B-24's propeller from the previous memorial was remounted on a new, larger plinth weighing more than two tons. A disc of sandstone from Szydlów in Poland was set into the ground in the centre of the memorial, forming the plinth's base. In front of the disc, carved into the ground, were the words "General Wladyslaw Sikorski 1881-1943". Behind the disc was a stone semi-circular wall which rose to a peak on which a carved Polish military eagle stands. The Polish naval pennant and air force emblem were embedded at opposite ends of the wall. Tablets named the other victims, in addition to Sikorski, and explain the events of the crash to the visitors. The memorial was constructed by a Polish company.
There were few polish people there, one girl in particular, she was cursing in English and kept telling a man to go somewhere else. He moved away from her but she kept on shouting. Then she decided to leave as well. I wish I could have more time at the Europa Point but I needed to catch bus at 2:45pm. When I came at the bust stop, the bus was already there and it left on time. I reached city at 3:00pm.
Passed beside the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned on Main Street. This he Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned was built on the site of what used to be a very beautiful and richly decorated Mosque, as elaborate as the celebrated Mosque at Cordoba in Spain.
After the Christians expulsion of the Muslim population from the Rock in 1462, the mosque was used as a church until the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella, decreed that it would be stripped of its Islamic past and extended.
The courtyard was four times its present size and contained an orange grove surrounded by cloisters. The church itself extended to the opposite side of what is now Main Street. During the Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779-1783), it suffered tremendous damage and despite the attempts of returning exiles to rebuild gradually, scant progress was made.
When I was going to the bus number 5. I saw British war Memorial on Line Wall Road. There were two Russian guns which were brought to Gibraltar in 1858, captured during the Crimean War. Four of these guns were presented to the City of Gibraltar for the valuable help given to Britain and her armed forces during this war. The other two guns are situated at the main entrance to the Botanical Alameda Gardens.
The red bus arrived at 3:15pm. It was a double-decker and I went to the upper deck. There was an English family sitting one row ahead of me. They were praising the weather but their young son, who had a plastic sword in his hand kept calling mummy, mummy, but mummy wasn’t interested to talk to him. Then he became very loud and started to shout. Other people gave few looks to the family. But “mummy” pretended that everything was under control. Then the young boy calmed down and started to look outside the window.
I passed beside Ocean Heights building, it had blue colour mixed with white. I arrived at the frontier at 3:45pm, waved my passport at the check point. The guy just nodded and I crossed the border. There seemed to be more traffic on the road than the Morning. It is said that during rush hours, this road comes to stand still and depending on Spanish authorities' mood it could take thirty minutes to five hours to cross the border in a car.
I came to car park and wanted to pay for the car park but machine was out of order. I looked around but didn’t find any other machine or the car park attendant. I saw a guy in a wheel chair coming from one end of the car park. I asked him about the location of the machine. He told me that I needed to go on the opposite side of the car park and then I should turn left. I took the car and went there, paid for the ticket and came out from the nearest exit.
Road to Algeciras
Now my next destination was Algeciras. As it was rental car, so I needed petrol tank to be full before I could return it. I came across one petrol station beside the main road. I pulled inside in order to fill the tank. To my horror, it only took fuel worth of €2.75. When I went inside the sop to pay for it, the girl behind the counter couldn't help but smiled.
I was meant to drop car at NH hotel, where Hertz had a desk inside. The address I had for the hotel wouldn't load in GPS. So I decided to drive to Algeciras and searched a random road. Apparently it wasn't a smart move because that road brought me out of the town into an industrial state. I had to turn back and this time I decided not to follow GPS. After entering the town, I asked one guy about the direction to the hotel. I was told that hotel was beside AC Marriott. I didn't have problem finding the Marriott hotel. I came to the front of the hotel and asked reception about the Hertz car hire desk. She told me that it was closed but she could take the keys. I asked her that why I couldn't find correct hotel address in the GPS? She told me that Calle Malta was a new street. So most of the times GPS wouldn't have it.
Then she told me to park the car on far side of the hotel and bring back the keys to her. I came out of the hotel, on round about took last exit and that brought me to another round about. I took final exit once more. On the left hand side, there was free space for the rental cars. I parked the car beside a van, which belonged to Hertz.
After taking my stuff out of the car. I took close photos of the car. It's wasn't the case that I had fallen in love with the car but just in case, if the company wanted to charge me for the damage or if the car was damaged while parked there overnight. I dragged my bags to the hotel. Returned the keys at the desk and requested a taxi to the port. While I was in the lobby, the driver came in. I must say it was very quick. It took us less me than ten minutes to reach ferry port.
Today Algeciras is mainly a port city but it is also an industrial city that supports the large deep water container port and nearby oil refinery. In the port area there are many Moroccans in transit, particularly during July and August when migrant workers return home for their holidays from other parts of the Europe, mainly France and Belgium. Sometimes it is referred to its' old name Jazeera al -khizra (Green Island in Arabic) or Al-Jazeera only.
Even though it’s a small city but due to its' importance, many battles were fought by the Muslim and the Christian forces here. Below is the list of sieges it had seen;
The First Siege of Algeciras (1278). This siege led to the Battle of Algeciras on 25th July, 1278. It was fought between the fleets of the Kingdom of Castile (Modern day Spain), commanded by the Admiral of Castile, Pedro Martinez de Fe, and the combined fleets of the Sultanate of Morocco and that of the Emirate of Granada . It resulted in Muslim victory.
The Second Siege of Algeciras was a battle fought between July 1309 and January 1310. The battle was fought between the forces of the Kingdom of Castile, commanded by King Ferdinand IV of Castile and his vassals, and the Emirate of Granada commanded by Sultan Abu'l-Juyush Nasr. The Castilian forces were unable to take the city but an accord was reached between the two sides.
The Siege of Algeciras (1342-44) was undertaken during the Reconquista of Spain by the Castilian forces of Alfonso XI assisted by the fleets of the Kingdom of Aragon and the Republic of Genoa against the Emirate of Granada and The Sultanate of Morocco. The city fell to the invading Christian forces on 2nd March, 1344.
French and Spanish fought a naval battle against the British in in 1801.
Abu Aamir ibn Abi Aamir also known as al-Hajib al-Mansur (1938 - 1002) was born in this city.
The Conference of 1906 was also held in this city.
The Algeciras conference was an international conference of European states and the US. It was held at Algeciras in Spain between 16 January and 7 April 1906. The conference arose out of the Entente Cordiale (8 April 1904) signed between Britain and France, and in particular was triggered by the First Moroccan Crisis of March 1905 - at which Germany challenged France's intentions for Morocco and demanded that the Moroccan Sultan retain his sovereignty and that all European countries should have access to the country. France ended up having more control over the country.
Ferry to Tangier
After getting off the taxi, I went to the ticket desk. After showing my booking confirmation I was given a ticket for FRS ferry. I was told that I had to wait for the announcement of boarding. I stood in one corner because all of the benches were occupied. On some of them people were sleeping, it was mainly young guys. Most likely they were travelling overnight from France or some other parts of Spain to go their homes in Morocco.
I joined the queue like other passengers once the announcement of boarding was made. After showing passport to Spanish immigration. We were moved into another waiting area. Ferry was meant to leave at 5:25pm but at this stage it was clear that ferry was going to be late. There was a family who had at least seven or eight bags with them. An old lady was struggling to move them forward because there were very heavy. Her teenage son was trying very hard to manage all the bags but he was losing the battle. Then mother and daughter had a row over something. I couldn't understand a word but I guessed from other people's expression that it wasn't pleasant one. After argument, they left one big carton behind, a security officer girl came and she yelled at them. The boy came back and started to drag the carton unwillingly.
They let people go on board for other ferries but we were told to wait. After twenty minutes' wait, the boarding was started and my watch was showing that it was almost 6pm.
When I came on board, it was relatively quiet and I managed to get a good seat at the front of the vessel but things started to change slowly. There were more families coming on board with unruly kids in tow.