2018 was a climatic travel year in that we visited three locales where I never dreamed I would ever visit. Well maybe I dreamed of visiting these places, Dubai, India and Gibraltar, but I never thought it would actually happen. Now when traveling anywhere you haven't been before, you can see pictures before your trip to get an general idea of what the destination is like, but of course there's nothing like actually being there. However, in the case of Gibraltar, the reality turned out to be 180 degrees different from the expectation.
The reason for the gap between expectation and realization was the purchase of this computer that I am currently writing on. It was a brand new Dell, Windows 10 computer, and Windows 10 instituted a startup screen showing landscapes or other pictures of Windows' choosing, sometimes identified, sometimes not identified, showing up for several startups and then disappearing not to be seen again. One of the early startup picture was something that looked like the Rock of Gibraltar, with the rock teeming with crowded structures all the way down the rock. Since Gibraltar sits across the strait from northern Morocco, this Moorish type of scene seemed logical to me. But like I said, the startup pictures may or may not be identified, and this one was not.
So imagine my surprise when I got to Gibraltar and found not a crowded Moorish landscape, but rather a sparsely populated British looking (obviously not surprising in hindsight since Gibraltar is British) one. And while I was still excited to be in Gibraltar, this stark difference did diminish the excitement to some extent, though I also met my goal of having a meal there, if a ham and cheese french bun at the St. Michael's Cave gift shop can be considered a meal.
As I said, the Windows 10 pictures don't repeat themselves. Except that two years later the picture that I thought was Gibraltar did reappear, and with identification. What I thought was Gibraltar was actually Uchisar, a town in central Turkey, built around a large rock formation that actually didn't look like the rock of Gibraltar except for this one particular view. And now I have a sense of closure knowing where I have to go if I want to see the Gibraltar I had imagined in my mind.
This is Uchisar.
This is Uchisar.
This is Gibraltar.