Visit the Rock of Gibraltar
Many of the guests we welcome to Los Castaños visit the Rock of Gibraltar during their stay. It is one of the many attractions of this part of southern Spain. A massive bastion of Britishness tagged onto the end of Spain and enduring despite all attempts to wrest it from its status as a BOT – British Overseas Territory.
It is an anomaly and all the more fascinating for that. One of the Pillars of Hercules of the Ancient World, it stands strategically at the entrance to the Mediterranean, the other Pillar being on the other side of the Straits of Gibraltar in Morocco.
There is a border crossing between Spain and Gibraltar which can be more or less arduous depending upon how the Spanish police feel that day. There is, howwever, a site with a couple of webcams where you can see how long the queue is. We went recently and had no wait at all but one must be prepared for delays. It all depends upon what´s going on in London or Madrid! The drive from Cartajima to Gibraltar, not including the frontier crossing, is about 80 minutes of beautiful countryside, either down the mountain and along the coast or through the wilds of Andalucia, via Gaucin.
An easy day trip and well worth going for one or both of two reasons: shopping or history and sightseeing. But you need to go with the right mindset.
There are two ways to approach either of these goals:
♥ Park in Spain. Walk across the border and use public transportation. A bus (no. 4) takes you from the frontier to Main Street where you can browse and wander. Or reserve a seat on a small tour bus. Gibraltar Tours is one such company
♥ Drive onto the Rock. This has the advantage of giving you freedom to wander but disadvantage of having to find your way in what is a very cramped space and parking which can be tricky. But fun! and a challenge running the gauntlet of the border crossing
John and I took the later option and had great fun negotiating the ancient streets. The town itself with its High Street and persistent shopkeepers was less interesting than the environs. We ended up having breakfast in a delightfully tatty little bar on the Catalan Beach.
The heights of Gibraltar are worth the visit but avoid the monkeys! They bite and steal your snacks.