----- Gibraltar ---------------
Our tour of Southern Spain en route to Morocco included a stop in the British territory of Gibraltar. Gibraltar famously known as The Rock is composed of this massive mountain that juts up from the sea towering over other nearby peaks. Gibraltar can be seen from many miles away and is usually covered by lingering clouds surrounding its peak.
When we arrived to Gibraltar we met some local brothers one of them being James. We had a great time with him, his girlfriend Joy from Hawaii and his family. Although I have pictures with them as well, they are in my section for Andalucía as this section is for our day in Gibraltar. We met James in the morning in La Linea de Concepcion the southern Spanish city that borders Gibraltar. We parked and rode into Gibraltar with James in his car. Being that James is a citizen of Gibraltar we could enter the territory without paying for parking and access to many areas free of charge. However entering Gibraltar requires getting into the queue to cross the border. The border of Gibraltar interestingly is the runway for the airport. If planes are taking off, then everyone has to wait to drive as the plane is permitted to take off and the runway inspected prior to take off for debris. Although we wanted a passport stamp upon arrival we were denied one in order to keep the traffic moving.
James first took us to a British seafood restaurant that was more of a local spot void of tourists. After our lunch we went up the mountain to a lookout point on the southern end of the rock. From this elevation we could see the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in the distance with the towering mountains of Morocco. Interestingly Gibraltar and the high mountains of Morocco make up the famous Pillars of Hercules of ancient legend. James gave us a history lesson of Gibraltar, and some interesting details of the site we were at. After we finished here we drove onwards to a large cave that has an amphitheatre within the mountain. We parked outside to first see the famous apes of Gibraltar. They were friendly, but you had to be careful. One ape stole Jovany's water bottle right out of his pocket. A ranger near us told us that we needed to be careful because people bitten are taken to a local hospital to be given a tetanus shot.
We afterward approached the cave entrance that had a fee to enter. However since we were with a local we got free entrance for all of us! James told me that it is extortion what Gibraltar charges tourists for entrance fees and parking. The theatre in the cave was very large where concerts are performed. The cave continues onward but many areas are sealed off.
Unfortunately due to the large amount of vehicles on the mountain top we were prohibited from driving up so we did not get to the peak of Gibraltar for the best views. Anyways, after we finished touring the Rock we went to Europa Point the tip of Gibraltar. We were hanging around a lighthouse looking across the Straights of Gibraltar at the mountainous Morocco. Many sailing vessels continuously traverse this busy waterway. James gave us a few more interesting local tidbits of information. We were told how drug dealers use jet skis to come from Morocco across the straights to smuggle their contraband as boats cannot catch them. Plus, he pointed out a Moroccan girl on her cell phone. We learned that Moroccans with their Moroccan cell plans can still get Moroccan signal from this point, and call their families without having to pay international charges. Pretty clever...
All in all, Gibraltar was definitely worth the visit. If one plans to come to this remote corner of Europe it is worth visiting multiple sites in this area including a ferry to Ceuta or Morocco or visiting the nearby town of Tarifa.