Monkey business at Gibraltar
Gibraltar Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
I had a base camp in Spain close to Marbella where I stayed one week. Mainly I was there for playing golf but who has enough energy to play every day especially because the course went up and down on the mountains! So, I decided to spend one day driving the third slowest vehicle on the earth to Gibraltar and back. The snail machine was a rented Ford Focus :(
About two hours drive (150km) from Marbella to Gibraltar was not so bad, some road tolls were collected but the roads weren't too crowded. My more experienced friend advised me to leave the car on the Spanish side of the border which I did. When I saw the never ending queue about 2 km before the border, I decided to abandon the vehicle and start walking. I found easily a parking place (cost some euro).
Amazing thing is, that just next to the border line there is an airport and the runway. Two aeroplanes landed just when I was going over the runway... luckily other traffic was stopped while the planes were on the runway. Then I walked across the runway - there can't be many places where you can do that!
My mission to Gibraltar was to see famous monkeys or Barbary Macaques as they officially are named. So I walked straight to the cable car station and went up on the Rock of Gibraltar. There were not so many people going to the same place because it seemed to be some kind of off season but anyway, I had to wait my turn quite a long time (about 1 hour).
And there the monkeys were waiting for tourists and their bags and backpacks! I must admit that those creatures are both cute and kinda scary looking dudes at the same time, especially the big ones had really nice teeth. One lady lost her purse, there was something edible inside and that's what the monkeys are hungry for. Water bottles were appreciated valuables too. She got the purse back - without candy bars. Somehow, they know where the food is, I assume they smell the food.
I ate a sandwich and drank a soft drink safely inside the cafe.
The view was amazing. The sun was shining and the weather was clear. You could easily see all the way to Africa!
I decided to walk a bit around and found an artillery museum (O'Hara's Battery). I know something about artillery and therefor found the museum very interesting for me. After the museum visit I found a fancy looking path through the nature reserve. There was a map - a lousy one but a map though which showed that the path leads down back to the city. The path was called the Mediterranean Steps.
I must say that the steps were for sporty people. The path was quite difficult and it took about an hour to walk down. I'm used to walk and I've done some mountain climbing, so I didn't suffer too much. It was a nice and peaceful route - nobody else but me there. I didn't see any snakes :( and the monkeys lived on the top of the mountain, so there were no dangerous situations during my walk.
It was late a'clock when I arrived back to the city centre. I ate some junk food, sent some postcards and walked to the border. Now the queue of cars and hundreds of motorbikes was heading back to Spain! Cleaver me, walked straight across the runway and the border, found the vehicle and started to drive back to Marbella direction.
Mission "Monkey" accomplished.