I’ve never been to Gibraltar before but many of our friends have and the universal feeling seems to be one of the ”meh” so I was interested to find out for myself.
A Little Slice of Home
It was baking in Gib and we had a long walk to the start of the town. We entered the heart through an arch into Grand Casemates Square. From there it is on to Main Street which is lined with familiar high street names from the UK – Costa, M&S and, surprisingly, Mothercare which has long ceased to exist back home.
Before we left to come out here friends gave us two Gibraltar pounds left over from their trip and I had decided to invest them in a Solero. The first shop wanted £2.50 for it which was clearly too much for my budget. The next a more reasonable £2.15 – still too much but he did try to downgrade me to a Cornetto and others. I wasn’t in the mood to haggle so moved on. Finally, at the far end of the street, I found a shop selling them for £1.80 and he got the deal! Many shop’s freezers were empty as it is end of season here.
Helen and I spent quite a bit of time before coming here discussing what to do and in the end the only thing that was set in stone was a visit to the botanical gardens. However, just before the entrance to the gardens was the cable car to the top of the rock and we decided to go up.
To begin with the queues didn’t look too bad but what we hadn’t realised was that there was only one car every six minutes and every other car was taken by tour groups. We queued for an hour until our turn, an experience that left me feeling pretty miserable.
The top was much smaller than I had expected it to be with much space being taken up by the obligatory cafe. However, the views over the rock, the town and the harbour were spectacular and worth the trip up.
For me, the one thing I knew about Gibraltar was the monkeys who live on the rock and they were there in abundance. We’d been warned about their propensity to nick anything they could get their hands on but by and large they were a pretty docile lot and not trouble at all. They were very photogenic.
The journey back down was much quicker and we followed it up by a trip into the shady gardens.
I’m glad to be able to tick Gibraltar off my list now but I can see why it got the reviews it did from our friends. It’s fine if you want a reminder of home, a chance to visit Morrisons and a traditional pub but we don’t want to do those things at home and certainly not when we are on holiday!