I’ve never planned to go to Gibraltar but I’ve found myself there twice, the most recent trip was the second port of call after Casablanca on my cruise with my Grandma. There wasn’t a huge amount to report as we’d both been before and seen the sights the rock has to offer. So we found ourselves perusing around the shops and stopping for refreshments.
The first time I went I was amazed, it was 9 months before my second visit and my two best friends and I were staying in a friend’s villa in La Duquesa. We hired a car for the week and spent most of our time in Marbella and Puerto Banus. At the time the saying ‘no carbs before Marbs’ was being thrown around and it seemed the place to be.
One morning we were in Puerto De La Duquesa nursing our coffees and trying to figure out what to do with our day, the lovely waitress suggested we go to ‘Gib’. I don’t know if i’d been lost in my own little bubble again but i’d never heard of Gibraltar before, but it was close by so we thought why not. We were told to park in the ‘dust bowl’ in La Linea and walk across the border as it wouldn’t be worth driving over, so we decided to drive down that morning. As we turned a corner en-route we saw the rock itself in the distance and started to get excited about the prospect of going into another country.
We drove into La Linea with its very Spanish architecture and pulled into the aptly named ‘dust bowl’, it really is just a dusty patch of land you pay a few Euros for the privilege of parking on. Once parked we made our way across the border, walking across the border and showing our passports in this way was a real novelty for us girls so you can imagine the bored look of the chap at border control. Once in, we had the bizarre walk across the runway and headed towards to centre, all of a sudden it caught our eye the policeman was wearing a British uniform, the post boxes we red like at home and I drew sterling out of the Natwest cashpoint. Upon reflection this is one of my more embarrassing lightbulb moments, as I really don’t know what else I was expecting from visiting a British Overseas Territory.
There is no place like home
Once we had adjusted to the sudden cultural change we began to feel like we were back at home, we walked through the old city walls and took a stroll down Main St and enjoyed what the shops have to offer. When I say what the shops have to offer I mean the pricing, Gibraltar does not impose VAT on their goods, so you end up shopping the afternoon and spending money away.
Once we were fully stocked up we decided to go up the infamous rock, we took the cable cart to the top, the views were amazing and we were so lucky with the weather, it was clear day and we were able to see Morocco. We took our photos and decided to see what the resident macaques were like, they are hilarious! After one tried to steal my friend Alex’s bag we knew not to get too close, so we spent the next hour following them around and taking pictures.
Overall Gibraltar is a great day trip, we found plenty to do without having to pay out for tours and we still felt like we had made the most of our day, it’s definitely worth a visit.