We’d been in Spain for less than a week but we had put in the miles and stormed right down the coast to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory. We found a pretty secure motorhome parking area on the marina in the Spanish town of La Linea for only 12 euros a night and just a short walk to the Gibraltar border.
We had planned to spend the following day exploring Gibraltar, but since it was only 3pm we thought we may aswell go and have a little look around, only problem was that we forgot to take our passports with us. To be honest, the thought hadn’t even crossed our mind, since we had travelled all across the continent and only had to show our passports once and that was to enter the non-EU country of Switzerland. So we headed back to the motorhome and decided to just head over the following morning.
Having heard just how busy Gibraltar can get, we set our alarms for 7am and promptly headed out to cross the border as soon as it began to get light outside. After two passport checks, we were in!
It’s a small place (only 3 miles long), but with a busy day planned we hopped on the bus to make our way over to the cable car at the other end of town, so we could explore the Rock of Gibraltar. We had timed it just right as it was 5 minutes before opening and we joined the relatively small queue. The cable car itself was a little disappointing. We were expecting an enjoyable ride up to the top of the rock where we might be able to take in the views quite nicely, but instead they packed us in like sardines!
As soon as we got to the top, we caught glimpse of the famous monkeys that wander freely up there. It was a little nerve-wracking walking by them and we were careful to keep our distance, but the kids were very excited to get to see them so close!
First stop was St Michael’s Cave, the entrance to which the monkeys were particularly keen on, but that will be because of the food in the café!
The cave was pretty magnificent, and we had a great walk through, watching the illuminated lights brighten up the cave. There is an old rumour that a secret natural tunnel can be found deep in the cave that leads all the way to Morocco, true or not, it’s a rather interesting thought.
Once we had explored the caves, we headed back to the shop to get a drink, before one of the monkeys almost jumped right onto my back. We’d spotted him eyeing up the backpack I was wearing and then suddenly he took a massive leap. All I can say is that I am glad he didn’t actually land on me as I would have freaked!
But more monkeying around was yet to come. The kids were a little peckish so we opened up the bag to grab some biscuits, and it wasn’t long until we realised how much of a bad idea that was. A monkey suddenly jolted over towards us, just as Richard had handed Jack a biscuit. But the monkey wasn’t quite fast enough for this daddy! Richard snatched it out of Jack’s hand and threw it into the bin before the monkey managed to get it’s hands on it!
Once that drama was over with, we headed right to the other side of the rock to have a look at the siege tunnels. It was a long walk! The tunnels were really good to see and we had some pretty incredible views over Gibraltar too!
After a pretty exhausting (and rewarding) time at the top, we walked all the way down the rock back into the town in need of some lunch, and since we were on British Soil, we knew just what we were looking for… a good old fashioned Full English Breakfast! We stopped at the Timeout café, and boy did we get some time out, in fact we waited a good 45 minutes for our food to arrive and we finished our plates before the kids even got their meals! But, putting that aside, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a fry up, so this was a proper treat!
Then it was time for some more Britishness as we headed to the local supermarket; a Morrisons all the way out here! This we were really excited about and it felt such a novelty seeing all the products we see back home. First thing first, we picked up a copy of The Sun and Closer Magazine, and then we headed to find some bottles of squash. It’s been a good two months since we’ve been able to find squash, so we were delighted and stocked up with 8 bottles!
It was now around 3pm and our feet were in need of a bit of a rest, so we headed back to the motorhome and decided to come back over to Gibraltar for a late dinner. We ended up eating at Pizza Hut, which worked out pretty well since our kids nicely blended in with all the other screaming children, so we didn’t have to worry too much about them being on their best behaviour. Phew!!! As the night drew in, the buses had stopped operating and we had to walk the way back, but that was also rather cool since it meant we got to walk over the famous runway which intersects the road.
So we really did have the best day on Gibraltar (or Gib as the locals call it), but this was probably, in fact, most definitely heightened by the fact that we have been away from Britain for over 4 months now, so to experience a bit of Britishness again was quite lovely!
To finish off, here are some cool facts about Gibraltar:
- Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory
- If Gibraltar were a country, it would be the third smallest in the world at just 6.8km2
- Gibraltar is home to Europe’s only monkeys not found in a zoo
- Gibraltar has the world’s only airport runway intersecting a road
- There are more than 50km of tunnels dug into the Rock of Gibraltar