Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gibraltar (The Rock)

Having heard so much about Gibraltar and its colourful history it was high on my itinery for a visit and it turned out to be a very interesting day. Learn more about The Rock and how its name evolved from 'Jabal Ţāriq' after the general who led the moorish invasion in 711 and before that it is part of Greek mythology (Pillars of Hercules). This was one of my first views taken from the coach.

There are two border to cross a few hundred yards apart. Spanish and British guards came onto the bus to check passports. You actually have to drive across the airport runway to enter Gibraltar it's a short runway and no room for error!! However, on leaving the British allow the bus through customs but to cross the Spanish border you have to leave the bus and go through a more rigorous customs check. I think this is done to inconvenience people as Spain would really like to reclaim the territory but the Gibraltarians want to remain under UK sovereignty.
These are views of the rock from the bus station. You can take a cable car up to the top but we didn't have sufficient time to do that but its something I would have enjoyed.

There are some spectacular views from the Rock although the day we visited it was a little hazy.

There were some things that were just like home such as the lighthouse which could have easily been in Cornwall.

Close to the lighthouse was a beautiful Mosque

We visited StMicheal's caves but my photos were too dark. The caves are sometimes used to hold concerts and our guide told us Elton John and Cliff Richard, have performed there. I did manage to get a good shot of a polished section of a stalegmite which was rather fascinating.

Probably the most famous inhabitants of the 'rock' are the Barbary Macaques. Legend has it that if the apes leave then the British will loose the rock. The apes are friendly but you are not supposed to feed them or touch them and they will try and steal from your bag if they think you have food.

There are a couple of tribes, the ones we saw had Peter as their leader and he was well respected by the others and just look at this mother and cute baby.

Under supervision they asked it anyone would like to have one their shoulder well guess who was one of the two who volunteered. Now no rude comments about which one is the monkey.



At 7/12/06 00:12, Blogger Asha said...

Deal Chris:D No monkey jokes!

Although I must say, one of you is more beautiful than the other.(ie is Beccy's mom):D

Pics are beautiful,specially Gibralter Rock.You have had an adventure!

At 7/12/06 02:01, Blogger Barbara said...

My father in law spent time at Gibralter during his navy years and always spoke fondly of it.

At 7/12/06 09:08, Blogger Beccy said...

Are the apes able to roam free?

Looks like a lovely day trip.

At 7/12/06 17:04, Blogger Sally Lomax said...

What beautiful monkeys! i would have had one on my shoulder. I have always had a soft spot for monkeys. My favourite toy when I was a child was a monkey!!


At 7/12/06 20:07, Blogger ChrisB said...

Barbara I can see why he would have enjoyed it there.

Sally they were very cute; mind you I was itching a bit afterwards (auto suggestion from my friends).

Beccy see today's post

At 7/12/06 20:12, Blogger ChrisB said...

Asha I always enjoy learning a little about the history and culture of places I visit; it makes so much more interesting. I am not a sitting on the beach only person although that is nice for part of the time.


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