Gibraltar


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If you are traveling through Spain, after a while you will get used to the Spanish way of life (whatever that may be). When this has happened to you, it's always a bit of a culture-shock to visit the British rock of Gibraltar. On Gibraltar, probably the first things you notice are street signs in English and maybe even a Bobby controlling traffic. But, you probably expected this anyway.

However, at a certain moment you will discover everything here, very much unlike Spain, closes at about 17:30. So, if you planned to do some shopping or to use the cable car to visit the apes, you should arrive at least a little bit earlier.

The city and the cablecar

Gibraltar has a very interesting history. In 711, Gibraltar was the base for the Moorish invasion of Spain. In 1309 the Spanish reconquered the rock. Between 1309 and 1411 it changed hands between Moorish and Spanish as much as fourteen times. In 1704 the British took over.

Spain tried to recapture Gibraltar until 1713, when it surrendered the fortress to Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht. In 1727 Spain made another unsuccessful attempt and, together with France, again during the Big Siege, lasting from 1779 to 1883.

If you are lucky and the weather is clear, you can see the mountains of Morocco.

You can see Africa

One of the Gibraltar Apes

Here's one of the Gibraltar Apes. According to the legend, Gibraltar will remain British as long as there are Apes.

The Pillars of Hercules

In Greek mythology Gibraltar is one of the Pillars of Hercules. The other one is on the other side of the water, in Africa.

Gibraltar has a very funny airport. The road to Spain crosses the airstrip.

Another thing you should know is, because every vehicle is checked, it takes about an hour to pass customs on your way back to Spain.

The airport

When you are back in Spain, you should also visit San Roque. This town, which was founded by the Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar who fled when the British conquered the rock in 1704, has a little museum that tells the story of Gibraltar from a Spanish point of view.


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