I have heard of the Rock of Gibraltar but no idea from where or when. I also had zero idea of its significance at all let alone where it was on the map. How the heck did we get here then? Well, we decided on a cruise itinerary that included a lot of Southern Spain coastal towns and Gibraltar. Another reason why cruising gets a check mark for “places I would probably NEVER see if I didn’t cruise.”
1. Gibraltar is the most southern point of Spain, but is part of the UK. Africa is 18 miles from the coast of Gibraltar.
2. The Rock of Gibraltar’s highest peak is 1,398 feet. The Empire State Building in New York is 1,250 feet..
3. Gibraltar is part of the United Kingdom and Gibraltarians love to be British. They also love to cheer for Barcelona during Football (..ahem Soccer) season. Oddly enough, they drive on the right hand side of the road despite being British. There were too many accidents with Spanish driving on the right hand side that Gibraltarians adopted this same way to be consistent.
4. There are wild Barbary Apes here. They are Europe’s only colony of wild primates. They are cute (especially the babies), have huge teeth, and they sometimes pick-pocket. Don’t worry though, I didn’t take any food in my purse, and I was fine. They only live atop the Rock. I heard that the reason the apes like living here is due to the limestone of the Rock and the Trees in this area. They like this habitat so much due to its African resemblance (perhaps during the split of Africa and Europe..), that they do not go into the rest of Spain. They are wild, so don’t mess with them. Just look, admire, and get as close as you can for a picture. But not too close 🙂 …
5. Gibraltar has some nice beaches.
6. The inside of the upper rock contains The Great Siege Tunnels. This network of tunnels faces the north and the Spanish border. The tunnels were blasted out of the rock during the Great Siege of 1779 as part of a defense strategy. They were also used by Allied Forces during WWII.
7. The inside of the upper rock also contains St. Michael’s Cave. Full of limestone, this cavern is even used for concerts due to the amazing acoustic quality.
8. There is no sales tax in Gibraltar! Fuel up!
9. The best way to get to the top of the rock? Cable Car.
10. Gibraltar is very small. The population is ~30,000 people and ~300 Apes. There is a well known legend that states- as long as the Apes remain in Gibraltar, so will the British. 🙂