Gibraltar Travel Blog› entry 14 of 15 › view all entries
A long time since I had been to Gibraltar, 18 years in fact, and it had changed quite a bit. Though the border crossing hadn't,
Crossed the border from La Linea by foot, and still really cool that you have to walk ( or drive) across the runway to get into the centre of Gibraltar. Buses were waiting over the border, but we decided to walk it, to get to see the place. Entered intot he town through the Landport Gate, a tunnel that runs under the walls and into Casemates square. We then walked along the Main Street, which looks very British with all it's shops, along to our hotel. We were staing in The Bristol, despite the rotten reviews, as it was only for one night and it was fairly central.
On offloading our gear we headed for the cable cars and up to the top of the rock.
Up on The Rock, there are a lot of macaque monkies, originally brought from Algeria as pets by sailors, but not linked to British rule of Gibraltar, as in if the monkies were to leave then it would signal the Britsh leaving. They are wild though and will steal from tourists, paticularly food but will snatch bags as well. Some great views of The Rock , down into the town ,down the other side to the beach and over The Mediterranean to the the Riff Mountains of Morocco that were covered in mist at the base.
Just down from the cable car station we went in and visited the Trafalgar Cemetry, where those who were killed, or later died in Gibraltar of wounds received, in the Battle Of Trafalgar. A quiet shaded area, and some sad cases to read on the headstones.
Came back down and decided to walk around the inside of the wall,and up on parts of it, rather than go back down the Main Street. Here were a lot of reminders of Gibraltars strategic importance, guarding the entry to the straits seperatin The Mediterranean and The Atlantic, of of why Britain is so keen to retain control. First we came to the British War Memorial and then there are still canons on the wall, captured from the Russians in Crimea . A bit further along is the Ameican War Memorial. we got to Casemates and went to get something cool to drink.
There was still something else here, new from the last time I was there, that I wanted to see. There is now a memorial to the Gibraltarian Evacuees, who, having read a bit about it , were treated appaulingly by first the French and then even by the British. the fact that some of them were displaced for more than 10 years, and many did not reaturn is a real tradgedy for the people. ( full story - http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/gibraltar_evacuation.htm )
With that sone we headed back to the hotel to get changed, though ,for once, it was me that stopped off to browse and buy stuff in the shops. Headed out for dinner, and after looking about for a while went for a beer first. Moved on quickly though and and and a good meal and sat for a while supping a few more beers, something we hadn't really been able to do in Morocco.
Gibraltar is great if you are into military history, the aspect of it being British Territory stuck onto the end of Spain, and for duty free shopping.