Gibraltar is a wonderful home away from home for me; I’m sure others feel the same way. It may only be 6.7 square km but they certainly pack a lot in around “The Rock”, with the added benefit that there’s plenty of sea around it to be reclaimed bit by bit for extra stuff.
This wasn’t my first visit to this warm, interesting, inviting country on the Med, but certainly my longest visit, with Gibraltar being my main destination rather than a stop along the way.
Highlights on this trip included:
Airport and runway: at the top end of Gibraltar. The new terminal building was built so it could have direct access to/from Spain but that bit hasn’t worked out yet. The runway is the best part though – you have no choice but to cross it on the way to and from Spain (or the airport itself for that matter) and there’s something about crossing a live runway in the car or on foot that’s quite cool. The plan is to built a tunnel underneath the runway which will spoil the fun. This runway is usually near the top of any top 10 list of dangerous airports for landing – flights are sometimes diverted to nearby Spanish airports if a landing doesn’t work out due to the winds, big rock, short runway, the sea etc etc.
Moorish Castle: so much history is packed into this small area (the same could be said of the whole of Gibraltar) with the Tower of Homage being the most prominent, visible part of it.
Tunnels: the maze of tunnels built under the Rock have been used during various important conflicts, including the Great Siege of Gibraltar and the Second World War, with the latter being when most of the tunnels were built. Some of the areas within the tunnels have interesting information about how they were used and there’s some great perspective to be had on how this place has played a role in so much of history.
Town Centre: I always enjoy the interesting mix of Mediterranean climate, British shops and Gibraltarian history. Main Street and its surrounding area is also a combination of European low-tax jurisdiction and cruise ship destination, with stores and customers to match. Grand Casemates Square at the north end a focal point for local festivities.
Top of the Rock: whether by cable car on one side, the Mediterranean steps on the other or walking up the long and winding roads, no visit to Gibraltar would be complete without a look around at the view from the top. The monkeys are the permanent inhabitants here (don’t have food, drink or plastic bags out on display), although they are happy to pop down to the town centre and join in the fun there.
Europa Point: stunning. The hazy view across to Africa whilst feeling that pretty much all of Europe is behind you reminds you about the unique location you’re in.