Gibraltar 2018

Katherine and I are getting settled in our new hometown of Nerja, Spain.  One morning last week we decided to take a day trip to see Gibraltar, about a 2 and half hour drive from here.  As we had no definite itinerary we packed an overnight bag just in case, which turned out to be a good decision.

The trip to Gibraltar is almost all via highway A-7, an excellent limited access roadway along the coast and through many tunnels.  We stopped for lunch in the old town section of Marbella and found a very nice restaurant, Patio de Mariscal, featuring excellent Italian dishes served in a central garden.  The narrow streets there have the same feel as those in Nerja, enticing one to stroll along and take time to eat. From there we got to the Gibraltar around 3 p.m.  The city of Gibraltar surrounds a beautiful bay/harbor, backed by its impressive namesake.  

The Rock of Gibraltar, also known as the Pillars of Hercules or The Rock, is a promontory 426 meters high, located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules. In ancient times, the two points marked the limit to the known world, a myth originally fostered by the Greeks and the Phoenicians 

In 711 the Moors captured the Rock where it remained under Moorish rule until 1462 when Spain took back the territory.  In 1501 Queen Isabelle annexed Gibraltar to Spain. In 1704 Gibraltar was captured by the English during the War of Spanish Succession and ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.  Disputes over control of Gibraltar began in 1954 and lasted until 1985.  (Spain closed the border from 1969 until 1985).  Today the town enjoys peaceful relations with many Spanish workers crossing the border every day to work in the city.  The Gibraltar International Airport is unique in that it’s single runway can be crossed by auto and pedestrian traffic coming into the city at the border.

The city is bigger than I had thought from previous pictures and was crowded with tourists.  Crossing the border (it is referred to as the Frontier) was easy.  We took the recommend option of parking outside and walking across.  A bus ride took us to the cable car to ascend to the top of the rock.  The views from there were impressive (see photos), and if one likes to get close to monkeys the abundance of the Gibraltar Barbary macaques is a nice extra attraction.  After the top of the Rock tour we decided to walk all the way back to the entrance.  We took a few wrong turns, which added to a very long walk, but we saw a lot of the town, especially the waterfront areas.  As it was late and with all that exercise and a good appetite built up we decided to find a hotel somewhere close and go back the next day. 

That turned out to be a good decision as we found the quaint old Hotel Patricia on the beach in the town of Torreguadiaro (thanks to  Our little room was right on a cozy beach and after a excellent seafood dinner next door we had the sound of the surf to lull us to sleep.  We stayed the next morning enjoying the beach and a walk through town before getting on our way.

We had one more stop in Torremolinos for lunch on our way home.  When we visited the area last year, this town was on our list of possible locations to live but we didn’t spend much time there.  We had another seafood meal at one of the bigger restaurants along the beach promenade.  Torremolinos is a bigger town than Nerja and has a very long beach front.  After a nice walk on the promenade we got back to Nerja that afternoon.  This trip along the Costa del Sol will be one of many that we will be able to enjoy in the future…. many small towns on or near the coast line, each with its own special appeal.