This is a Spanish enclave to the north of Morocco with smart shops and malls and duty free. Loads of mainland Spanish people come here to shop as do Moroccans from just over the boarder as it is cheaper for many items and more variety of goods. It is an ancient city with lots of mixed history and ownerships. Huge cruise ships from Southampton arrive as well and fill the streets with shoppers. The one in the picture is one of the world’s largest, the Sapphire Princess.

Ceuta was kept after the Spanish gave Morocco independence in the 50s, a fact that rankles with the Moroccan king and causes the problems with the illegal immigrants who use it as the fast track to the EU countries. Spain has been a bit wishy washy about borders and immigrants with the result being that the EU countries are not happy with it and nor are the Moroccans whose country many sub Saharans use to get to Ceuta – and once in have refugee status in an EU country . While we were in Marina Smir a border boat came in to the marina area towing a boat of immigrants one of whom had been shot dead. Ambulances and military and police everywhere. Here on Sunday the same thing happened at the end of our rock wall but no deaths just lights, sirens and amulances for hours. The nearby helipad has flights all day doing sea patrols. We feel quite safe though but plan to leave on Friday for mainland Spain again. Especially before the new drippy Spanish minister takes the razor wire off the fence between here and Morocco! He thinks it’s too bloody a way to deter people………there are about 1000 various potential illegal immigrants living rough in the hills behind here waiting for their chance to storm the fence. They do get over on a fairly frequent basis.