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SPAIN - Melilla

Location - North Africa; Capital - Madrid; Population - Melilla - 80,000; Spain - 46 million; Currency - Euro MORE SPAIN (Plazas de Soberania)

Outside the city centre there's a few sites worth visiting, including the border areas that separate Morocco and many sub-Sahara African immigrants from Melilla and the riches of the European Union - October 2011 and December 2013.


euroAs Melilla is part of Spain it uses the Euro










melilla83Walk past the port to the city beaches; Playa San Lorenzo is the first one - Melilla


melilla68Better than San Lorenzo are the last two beaches, Playa Hipica and Playa del Hipodromo, here with the massive Edificio V Centenario building in the background - Melilla


melilla211Heading south on Playa del Hipodromo - Melilla















melilla224A spot of weekend fishing - Melilla
















melilla69Playa Hipica is the final beach before the border with Morocco - Melilla


melilla222A ferry heads north out of Melilla port - Melilla


melilla223A drawback of the beaches is the amount of rubbish. Vodka's cheap though - Melilla














melilla196The border fence and watchtower marks the end of Playa Hipica and Spain, and the beginning of Moroccan port town Beni Ensar.
The soldier had a stern word with me after I took this photo - Melilla














melilla199The jetty separating Melilla from Morocco - Melilla



melilla195melilla194La Legion is the name for the Spanish Legion, an elite unit of the Spanish army, whose buildings are all over Melilla. I'm not sure what the emblems on the right are; they're not of Melilla or the Legion as far as I know


melilla303Victoria Fort lies on the top of Alcazaba Hill - Melilla















melilla304The Melillan coast as seen from Alcazaba Hill - Melilla














melilla305Unless you're lucky enough to be in a helicopter, the best view of Melilla la Vieja is from Victoria Fort - Melilla


melilla291On the other side of Alcazaba Hill is the Military Cemetery - Melilla


melilla299The Panteon de Heroes in the Military Cemetery - Melilla















melilla440Walk away from the beach, down Calle de los Velez Marques and you'll eventually come to Rey Juan Carlos I park, popular with families - Melilla














melilla434Opposite the park is a children's wildlife education centre - Melilla


melilla435By now you'll be pretty close to Melilla Airport - Melilla


melilla442Most flights from Melilla Airport go to Malaga, Madrid, Granada and Almeria - Melilla















melilla41 On the western outskirts of the city centre is one of several 19th century forts dotted around the enclave - Melilla















The forts were built to protect Melilla's border. Camellos Fort lies on the south side of the Rio de Oro


melilla40From Camellos Fort you get an idea of the density of housing in the centre - Melilla


The second major fort is Rostrogordo, near the northern border - Melilla














Rostrogordo Fort has been converted into a recreation hostel - Melilla















Rostrogordo Fort - Melilla



melilla14Next to Rostrogordo Fort is this swirly building; not sure what it is - Melilla


melilla29The third 19th century fort is Cabrerizas Fort, now enclosed in the military barracks of the Spanish Legion - Melilla













Or is this Cabrerizas Fort? Permission from the Comandancia General is required to enter the Legion barracks. But as it was the weekend there was no chance; the soldiers were cool but they weren't budging - Melilla













melilla28A statue outside the Spanish Legion barracks - Melilla


melilla27A painting opposite La Legion barracks depicts Jose Millan-Astray, founder of the Spanish Foreign Legion, predecessor to the Spanish Legion - Melilla


melilla24Drying clothes near La Legion - Melilla
















melilla33Housing between La Legion and the city centre - Melilla















melilla35Lying in front of the Moroccan hills is Melilla Airport (middle left, below the marked slope). It's very difficult to see but a plane is coming in to land - Melilla


melilla21Head across the wasteland from Rostrogordo towards a miltary base. Follow the winding road downhill and you'll come across a lovely coastline - Melilla


melilla450If you keep going downhill you'll end up here - Melilla














This area was quiet in the winter, but I guess it busies up in the warmer months with swimmers and kids checking out the rockpools - Melilla














There's a natural rock bathing area, plus one lonely parasol - Melilla


The border fence makes another appearance - Melilla


melilla20bOutside the centre the enclave is littered with 'Military Zone' signs and off-limits military areas.
Moroccan governments demand the return of these Spanish territories, arguing they are a relic of colonialism - Melilla













The controversial 6m high razor wire perimeter fence runs the 11km border with Morocco - Melilla















Around 3,000 migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, attempted to scale the fence in 2013 - Melilla


melilla475A bad photo of another of Melilla's forts, Fuerte de la Purisima Concepcion, uphill from the golf club - Melilla


There's even enough room in Melilla for a golf course, here in the foreground - Melilla














A section of Morocco juts in from the left, surrounded by the border fence - Melilla














Moroccan territory lies in the foreground and on the hills above the border fence; the triangular section is Melilla


The green roofs of a mosque in Melilla stand above a whitewashed Islamic building in Morocco behind - Melilla


More border fencing. Enough already! Melilla















I got a bit obsessed trying to locate all the forts in Melilla. I'd like to know which one this is, somewhere high above the golf course - Melilla














What's poor Seth done? Near the Beni Enzar border - Melilla


melilla172A great sign outside a cafe near the Beni Enzar border - Melilla


A massive Spanish flag welcomes those through the Beni Enzar border - Melilla














Moroccans from Nador are allowed visa-free entry to Melilla, a duty-free port (as is Ceuta). There's an unwritten rule that they can take as many goods they can carry back across the border, as long as they have one hand free. Rules and enforcement change with the wind and men get a much harder time. So Moroccan women act as mules, carrying as much as they can strap on their backs - Melilla


melilla166Heading back to Beni Enzar in Morocco. It's strange to cross a land border in Africa and end up in the European Union! Melilla














I thought Beni Enzar was the only border crossing, but there's another on the western side, near the golf course. I noticed far more sub-Saharan Africans in this area than any other in Melilla. On the left is a queue of vehicles crossing back into Morocco; on the right is the welcome sign to Melilla. Illegal immigrant caught at Melilla (or Ceuta?) border



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