WE LIVE NEAR THE MEDITERRANEAN
– MIDDLE OF THE WORLD
Mediterranean, Mediterraneum, means “middle of the world.” The ferry between Africa and Europe take only 45 minutes. If you fly south from Malaga you’ll get to Casablanca faster than if you fly north to Barcelona.
150 million people live near the Mediterranean coast. Many cities have more than a million inhabitants : Algiers, Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Marseille, Rome, Tunis, Tel-Aviv... 21 countries from 3 continents border the Mediterranean. Only 8 are European.
Once it was the sea that united, not divided, countries and people. From the 8th century BCE the Phoenicians, antiquity’s most accomplished seaman, from what is today’s Lebanon, built settlements and trade posts from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. It made it possible to trade and communicate with different lands and peoples. Monte Testaccio, an ancient dump in Rome, is basically made of amphora, terracotta container that were used to transport olive oil from the Iberian peninsula during the first 250 years of the common era. Andalucian folk music from the mountains of Malaga, Los Verdiales, is said to have originally come from Anatolia by way of ancient Greece and Rome taken with them or by the Phoencians. Just to give a few examples.
It has been about 5.3 million years since the Straight of Gibraltar opened up allowing water to flow in. This apparently went rather quickly. It took between a couple months to a couple years to flood the basin. In a few more million years it’s said that the Mediterranean will once again disappear like all other bodies of water on earth.
Bluefin tuna and some 700 other species of fishes, whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles; shipwreck treasures from millennia of trade; coral reefs, wide meadows of seagrasses. However, overfishing and pollution are a constant threat. All 21 bordering countries share the responsibility, but only Spain, up to now, has adopted an IUU-plan to prevent the overexploitation and depletion of Mediterranean fish stocks to unacceptable levels. Read more about what Greenpeace suggests for the future of the sea >
ACTVITIES AROUND ANDALUSIAN HISTORY and CULTURE