Get a piece of the rock
Gibraltar Travel Blog› entry 6 of 11 › view all entries
December 30th, 2008 – by: umbralwalker
That wasnât the end of the discoveries. There are fortresses and siege tunnels as well as a castle. Those may not be too far fetched, but did you know thereâs a jungle. On the rock. Of Gibraltar. And the jungle is filled with monkeys. Scary, angry monkeys.
Not 10 minutes later I heard a screaming kid.
This entertainment was followed by an intermission of a monkey the size of the aforementioned ten year old climbing up a 60 year old woman. Read that again. The area around the cable car was ripe with further stupid human tricks (like the family encouraging a monkey onto their childâs shoulder and taking pictures) so we all decided to get out before Dr.
We wandered off in search of the siege tunnels, St. Michaelâs cave, and the Moorish castle. Luckily, the mass of Hellspawned monkeys spend their days mugging newbies straight off the cable car and have little interest in anyone whoâs smart enough to get past them. So we started the hike down the mountain toward the Moorish castle.
We didnât get there. I could literally diatribe about the twists and turns and missed streets and absurdity that occurred. I did actually. Luckily for you I edit. So Iâll boil it down to a general theme you will notice throughout our trip.
European. Signs. Suck.
After an estimated 4 miles of hiking to get to a spot 1,000 feet from our starting point, we reached our first historical site. Megs and I were both reminded of our tour of Mammoth Caves in Kentucky when we descended into St. Michaelâs Cave. I couldnât find much on the history of the cave, or why it is associated with St. Michael, but theyâve since built an amphitheater in which they hold concerts. The lighting effects they set up were difficult to describe and pictures in a cave require great skill and a steady hand. Luckily Brett has both and managed to get a few good shots.
The next stop was the Great Siege Tunnels. Built mainly by the British during the 1779-83 Spanish siege, the tunnels were in use up to and including World War II.
Because of our previous failure, we were afraid we would miss Megsâ most anticipated stop, the Moorish castle, but luckily it was along our path down the mountain. The castle wasnât originally built by the Moors, but rebuilt after Tariq ibn Ziyad invaded Spain in 711AD to begin over 700 years if Islamic rule. The name Gibraltar is derived from Jebel Tariq (Tariqâs Mountain). The Spanish took back Gibraltar in 1462, lost it to an Anglo-Dutch armada in 1703 then ceded it to Britain in 1713.
Anyway, the castle was brilliant and despite horrible street signs, Meganâs constant run-ins with monkey poop, and our screaming calves (leg muscles, not baby cows), weâd arrived at the castle right at sunset and got some beautiful shots. Satisfied that weâd conquered The Rock and ecstatic we wouldnât have to fight through Demons to get back to the cable car, we chalked up the day as a success and headed home.
I know youâre thinking to yourself, âthe story ends there.
Navigating through town back to our car was the victim of another brilliant edit (the above information regarding signs is directly related to the concept of unplanned city design). For those of you gamers, Ubisoftâs âAssassinâs Creedâ was on my mind the entire time. Roof-top to roof-top is always the fastest way from point âAhâ to point âBehâ. Unfortunately, Iâm old now and Dr. Emily canât reattach a lost limb all by herself.
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