Gibraltar

Sorry I have been so negligent in updating this blog. I have had intentions of doing it since Tuesday night but have been either tired or lazy and never got around to it. It’s a shame because I have some fabulous photos to share. Alright, here goes…

Last Tuesday I left laHerradura on the 7:10 bus again to start my journey. The bus takes me to Malaga which provides a hub for all sorts of longer bus rides. Today my destination was la Linea de la Concepcion. This town is right on the border of Spain and Gibraltar. In fact, after leaving the bus station in la Linea (as the locals call it) it’s about a 5-10 minute walk to the frontier (border), depending on how fast you walk.

I walk pretty quick, even when loaded down with 3 days worth of clothes, toiletries, iPad, sketch book (I’ve taken up learning to draw while here in spain), camera, etc. Going through the border patrol and customs is basically a joke in Gibraltar. Rick Steve’s guidebook mentions the lack of notice to passports and he was dead right. I don’t think anyone actually looked at it, I just followed the line of people walking through.

Once we got through customs we walked across the airstrip, checking the sky for incoming flights, to the city of Gibraltar. I wandered around a bit, not exactly intentionally, until I found my hotel. Neither the map in my guidebook nor the little placemat sized one I picked up in customs was very detailed and the roads were not well marked. In any event, I found my way to the Cannon Hoteland checked in. It was not the fanciest place but had a clean shared bathroom, a clean sink in the room and a comfortable bed. Plus, I finally had English language television!!!

After performing the essentials, wash face and hands, use baño, put away clothes… I grabbed my camera and sketchbook and headed out to explore. I did not take my guidebook… Gibraltar is only about 1×2 miles in dimension so realistically i can’t get lost. I wandered down Main Street in the general direction of the cable car and stopped along the way at a British bakery where I purchased (and thoroughly enjoyed eating) a lovely meringue and a bottle of orange-carrot juice. I munched on this as I meandered to the cable car station. There were not really any signs but I eventually saw the cable line and walked in the direction of its low point.

I purchased my ticket for the one-way cable car and nature reserve admission and hopped on board. After my ears popped a couple times from the altitude we arrived at the pinnacle.
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Now the real walking began. Everything was marked with distance so I know that afternoon I walked at least 4-5 km on the rock alone, plus the walking around the town.

Monkeys were everywhere…

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Picking insects off their babies…

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Eating carrots…

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Watching over everything…

People picked up baby monkeys, in front of their monkey mother, and put the, on their own young children. CRAZY, at least if you ask me…

So, after walking a bit more I toured the cave of St Michael. It was beautiful and refreshingly cool, especially after ~90F weather outside.

I’m not really good at describing cave stuff, stalagmites and stalactites, etc. I don’t remember which is which, so I’ll just post a bunch of pretty pictures and you can see the beauty for yourself.

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I bypassed the ape den because apes have freaked me out since I caught glimpses of ‘Planet of the Apes’ when I was just a little girl and I have never watched it fully, nor seen the remake. Instead I walked for a while to get to the great siege tunnels and took photos of cool rocks and pretty flowers.

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The tunnels themselves were not particularly exciting but it was refreshing to be in the coolness of the rock after hiking up a very steep hill in extremely warm weather to get there. I don’t want I post any pics because I didn’t really take many, but it was interesting.

After the tunnels, I moved on to the old Moorish castle remains. Very pretty. Plus, I loved the garden that surrounded it.

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Brick walkway…

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Notice the pretty lavender…

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And finally a pretty flower growing out of the stone wall…

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And all over Gibraltar there were flags and banners celebrating the diamond jubilee of the queen of England…

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on city streets…

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within the rock nature reserve itself (because apparently people live up there too)…

I have pounds and pounds (figuratively and literally) of Gibraltar currency. I didn’t have a chance to spend it all because most shops closed between 6 and 7:30… But I did make it to Marks & Spencer where they unfortunately did not have any dark chocolate digestives. I still got Mommom a treat.

And here is one of my favorite photos from Gibraltar…

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I love the shape of the tree, the blue sky, the hazy clouds, the hint of Africa in the distant mist… And that, my friends, will be more than a hint with the next day’s post.

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