On Wednesday we went to The Rock–otherwise known as Gibraltar. It’s about an hour’s drive from Marbella and only 20 kilometers from the coast of Africa. Gibraltar is also a British territory, and the 28,000 residents are proudly British. British flags, accents, police with their bobby hats, and fish & chips restaurants were everywhere.
We took a private tour of The Rock with Douglas, a native Gibraltarian and captain of their professional field hockey team.
We got to see a few of the island’s 280 wild, tailless apes, some of them who knew Douglas and came to his car for a few peanuts. The tour was well worth the money, as we would have never gone up to the Top of the Rock alone, probably, without the guide. And the accompanying info was very interesting (especially for history nerds) including the importance of Gibraltar and the straights of Gibraltar.
Also– for you Americans– we learned that the Prudential insurance slogan “solid as The Rock” is actually a bit incorrect, because during the 18th century, over 56 kilometers of tunnels were dug into The Rock. We toured those as well.
Even though it was a bit touristy, I’m really glad that we went. From the top we could see Africa in the distance, which of course inspired our trip yesterday to Tangier.
On the way in and out of Gibraltar, before and after customs, you have to cross over the one and only airport runway. Technically it belongs to the Royal Airforce, but three times a day, planes come in from London and Madrid. I really got a laugh out of the sign “YOU ARE NOW CROSSING A LIVE RUNWAY. PEDESTRIANS ARE TO KEEP WITH THE WHITE LINES…PLEASE CROSS QUICKLY.”
Gibraltar was definitely a good day trip, and a total surprise in a week of interesting places near this part of Spain.