Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, it’s a strange place, in a good way. One minute your in Spain, trying to speak the lingo, or failing miserably, then a short walk over the border and your in Gibraltar, which is Narnia, without the snow, it’s a completely different world. First of all, you can forget trying to speak Spanish now, everyone speaks English. When I say they speak English, I mean as their primary first language – being a Scouser, it was me who felt the none native English speaker here! However, most Gibraltarians speak Spanish too (kind of makes sense, seeing as they’re living next door to each other). OK, them Euro’s you have are not the currency of Gibraltar, they use the Gibraltar Pound – however, they are widely accepted everywhere.
If you fly in to Gibraltar, you’re in for a treat, I’ve never landed in a commercial aeroplane on such a short runway! Although, the views of Gibraltar rock are amazing and second to none.
Walking around Gibraltar you’re going to see things you recognise from home, chip shops, pubs and house hold supermarket names such as Morrisons. It’s so strange, it’s like being back home but in a nice sunny location, and having a gate that leads to Spain. Gibraltar is surrounded by history, I’d highly recommend anyone to read up on some of the history of Gibraltar before you go by at least visiting the wikipedia page.
Getting to the top Gibraltar rock is probably on most peoples to do list, and for me it didn’t matter how I done it. I took a lift in the cable carts the first time visiting, giving breath taking sights overlooking Gibraltar, Spain to the North and then turn your head to the South and your overlooking the Med where you can see Morocco, it looks so close you can touch it! Throughout the journey to the top of the rock, you will see the fortress, great scenery but the real treat is waiting for you at the top…
As you get closer to the top of the ‘rock’ you will start to see monkeys! Barbary macaques to be exact, they’re the only primate species to live naturally in the wild in all of Europe. The monkeys seem to play up to the crowd, but don’t let their cuteness fool you, these are wild animals and can bite – mothers carrying young are especially protective. The monkeys will climb and jump all over you, and if you have any bags with you or food, then god help you, because they will steal and eat anything they can get their little monkey hands on!
When you’ve finally had enough of the monkeys, and taken in the breathtaking views then you can grab a bite to eat at the cafe at the top of the rock. It’s got panaromic views looking out over the rock, and the monkeys are quick to play up to the customers observing out of the window. The cafe is also a great place to grab a souvenir. As you can imagine, being the only place that sells drinks and food upon the rock, it’s a tad expensive but you’ll find yourself paying anything to get a drink if you visit in the height of summer.
When you finally get back down the rock and are on the flat, take a walk around the harbour and you’ll see some of the millionaire yachts and cruise ships. Take a stroll along the beaches too, they won’t disappoint!
Gibraltar is a great place to visit, and it’s seen as a millionaires playground by many due to it being a tax haven. Lots of tourist take advantage of this by purchasing cheap alcohol and cigarettes for ridiculously low prices. Although, don’t try and bring your goods back as the limitations are very low and regulations very strict.. Gibraltar is a unique place to see and visit, and a must see for anyone (especially those who love monkeys!).