We stay at a hotel in La Linea de la Concepcion instead of a hotel in Gibraltar itself – it makes great sense given the huge difference in the hotel prices in the two places. So after breakfast we had to walk from our hotel to Gibraltar a little down the road. Crossing the border is fairly easy given Brexit haven’t happened yet so we don’t need to apply for visa or anything stupid like this – and the border guards doesn’t seem to be too interested in checking passports when we walk across the border. Going across now is certain a lot easier than it used to be in the old days.
When we get out of immigration we continue to the city of Gibraltar itself – to get there we first have to walk across the flat land in front of the rock. There is no way you can get lost at this part of the walk – there is only one road leading into the city. But it is a very special walk – you have to walk across the runway for Gibraltar airport when walking to the city. There is a light signal before the runway so if it is red you need to stop because a plane is about to land or take off from the airport. The light was green when we walked across the pretty broad runway – so I guess they will need to change the light a few minutes before the planes actually use the runway. We made it safely across the runway and there was one more tick for the bucket list – walk across the runway in an international airport.
There isn’t a lot of land to build at in Gibraltar – so they have reclaimed a lot of land – when we walk towards the center of the city you can see all the reclaimed land on our right and on our left is a bit of a wall. The wall was there to protect the British colony against possible Spanish attacks. And the wall was protecting the city repeatedly during different sieges of Gibraltar – so the friendly welcome we got at the border haven’t always been like that.
We walk to the center of the city where there are a large pretty square. It is our plan to go up on the Rock of Gibraltar. The rock is pretty high a bit over 400 meters so we want to take the cable car up – unfortunately the cable car was closed because of maintenance work so we had to get up in a different. Way. Fortunately the taxi drivers in Gibraltar seems to mainly make their living by taking tourist up the rock and the prices isn’t too bad at 35 € per person including the entrance tickets to the different attractions on the rock. So we jump into a taxi and drive along. The driver is an old chap with a British father who used to work at the navy base and a Gibraltarian mother with some Spanish ancestry. He told a bit about the life back in Franco days when he was a kid. Back then there was a blockade of Gibraltar – so when he had to go and visit his family just across the border in La Linea it was a day’s journey. They had to take the ferry across to Morocco from where they could catch a ferry back to Algeciras in Spain and then take a bus to La Linea. Fortunately the bad old days are gone and you can just walk across the border like we just did.
We drive up the rock and see the famous monkeys on the rock and several of the interesting attractions like the Cave of St. Michael, The Gibraltar Skywalk and the Great Siege Tunnels which are all worthwhile attractions to include in your visit to the rock. The view from up here is amazing and certain the highlight of a trip to Gibraltar. We were supposed to spend a couple of hours on the rock but I guess we were a bit slow so it took longer but our driver was patient and happy to drive us around for a bit longer than planned.
When we made it down from the rock we went out to the southern point of Gibraltar – called Europa Point. Out here is a big gun which has been decommissioned but back in the day it could probably control the strait of Gibraltar and the sea traffic to and from the Mediterranean. There is a great view of the rock from here and the new mosque which has been build out here to serve the large Muslim population who has moved here mainly from Morocco from across the water during the time the Spanish was prevented from going to Gibraltar and the city needed workers.
We drive from Europa Point and back to the main square in the city. it is time for a late lunch – and it is Sunday so obviously the restaurants at the square serve Sunday roast – you can have your selection of different meats all coming with gravy and all the fixing which will make a brit feel right at home. The British food can’t really measure up to the Spanish food we have been enjoying during our trip but the sun is warm and it is great to sit outside with the jacket of enjoying the winter sun.
After the lunch it is time to walk back across the airport – fortunately there is no surprise planes landing while we are crossing the runway so we make it safely across. We get to the immigration which is easy and then we manage to get through custom without getting search. I guess our lack of bags help in this regard. Then it is off to the car. We need to drive back to Malaga to spend the night before we have to catch a plane terribly early in the morning. Dropping the car key at the rental shop before it officially open at 5 in the morning is no fun.