Exploring The Rock of Gibraltar

Being Canadian means that Gibraltar isn’t a common destination for me. When you think of somewhere to go on your next vacation, Gibraltar isn’t a place that makes the top of my list. But, knowing that I was going in Andalusia, I couldn’t not cram a day trip to this mystic part of the United Kingdom which is situated in the south of Spain.

That being said, I felt fortunate to see this place as I never thought I would one day. To me, Gibraltar is similar in some way to the Easter Island or to Tasmania or to Djibouti. Thoses places hold so much history and treasures to be discovered. Still, they seem to be forgotten by many people.

Okay, I’ll admit that Gibraltar isn’t that difficult to reach. Actually, a flight from the UK or a border crossing from Spain and you’re there. Because there are too many workers crossing the border everyday, it isn’t too complicated: you show your passport (or any ID if your from EU) and you pass in front of the customs officer. That’s pretty much it. They didn’t even look at my passport.

Once your at Gibraltar, you can either walk to the center of the city, which is about 20 minutes, or you can pay a shuttle for 2£ roundtrip.

I personnally don’t consider the city in itself to be that impressive. On the opposite, it was like every other city overrun by tourism: gift shops, restaurants, taxi driver to take you on a tour, and it is pretty small, you can easily walk through it in half an hour.

One of the coolest part for me is the airport location. Because Gibraltar is so small, it is located right after its border with Spain which means that if you’re lucky enough to witness a landing (there are so few everyday), you’ll be in first seat. Isn’t that cool?! I must admit here that I have an obsession with plane’s landing – I once stayed 3 hours watching them in Taipei *cough*.

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What else is there to do in Gibraltar? The Rock of course. If you have enough time and you’re into walking, you can climb to the top and enjoy attractions along the way. If your time is counted, the cable car is another option. I had only a few hours before heading off so I had to use the cable car to reach the top.

We were not even at a stop when an ape jumped on it. I thought it was so cute. Its fur was a bright brown-orange. It had big eyes that were looking straight at me. I had never seen a monkey of my life and I never thought I would see one that close either. In a blink of an eye, the ape jumped on me, grabbing the plastic bag I had in hands so hard that I had to let it go, and then it left, not giving a damn about how much it scared me.

I got out of the cable car, watching the monkey tossing aside the cheese I had prepared for my sandwich, eating only the tomatoes. I’m such an idiot. I had brought unsealed food with the perfect knowledge that there were apes at the top. But believe me, I wasn’t the only one who made that mistake. People getting out of the restaurant at the top with chips or even coffee in hands were victims of the so-cute-but-far-from-charming animals.

Lesson to learn: if you plan on bringing your lunch, eat it at the bottom of The Rock, and make sure it is sealed if you’re taking it at the top where apes outnumber you – you don’t stand a chance.

The positive side of those little creatures stealing your food is that they aren’t the slightest afraid of humans, which is perfect to take them in photos.

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Aside from apes, the view from the top is really beautiful. From there, both Spain (obviously) and Morrocco can be seen – well, only the coast of course.

The Rock has a reputation that precedes it. It was involved in many wars: between British and Spanish people, in WWI and WWII and much more which makes it interesting because many tunnels were dug inside it. And you can visit them.

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Now, that may seem a really interesting visit – and it is – but the inconvenient is that there are a lot of attractions on your way down the hill and they are not free. Actually, they are pretty expensive. If you’re planning of visiting each of them, it will cost you a fair amount. A combined ticket can be purchased at any attraction which includes the cable car and the Nature Reserve National Park. Still, not all of the attractions are included in that ticket, like the tunnels that were used in WWII.

Another disappointment is that the opening hours are short. Many of the attractions are open from 9h to 17h, and they are not all open on weekends. While Micheal’s Caves will only take you 15 minutes or so to visit, the tunnels can take up to one hour.

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My visit in Gibraltar was totally enjoyable and I’m glad I went. But, beside of The Rock, there’s not much to do. A day trip in enough to see around and I seriously doubt that I will go back one day. It is definitely not a destination that I recommend to put high on your list, but it worths a tour if you’re in Andalusia.

 

Any comments? Leave it below 🙂

 

Author: Jessica

Hello! I'm Jessica, a budget-minded adventurer from Montreal, Canada. I'm a culture lover, hidden gem seeker, and a travel addict.

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