Saturday, April 20, 2019

25th Anniversary Cruise, Part 2: Gibraltar

In this series of posts I'm describing the Mediterranean Cruise my wife Becky and I took in 2018 for our 25th anniversay, Here in Part 2 I'm covering our second stop, Gibraltar.

Gibraltar (★★★)

After a great time in Barcelona Spain we had boarded our ship the Crown Princess to start our cruise. Our next stop was Gibraltar, a British Territory at the southern tip of Spain. Gibraltar has an interesting history as a British possession with a strategic maritime location: half the world's seaborne trade passes through the strait of Gibraltar. It has been long fought over by nations and at various times has been captured by Granada, Morocco, and Spain. It was ceded to Britain in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht.

And it certainly does feel British. One of our disappointments in selecting our cruise was that England was not included in our itinerary; but visiting Gibraltar kind of made up for that, because it is British through and through, from the red phone booths to double decker buses to the delicious Fish and Chips.

Gibraltar is British Through and Through

Since becoming British, Gibraltar has a rich tradition of holding off invasions and there are lots of local reminders of that history such as cannon and memorial statues.

Reminders of Military History

The big prominent geographic feature of Gibraltar is the Rock of Gibraltar (used as a logo by Prudential Insurance: "Get a piece of the rock"). A cable car ride up to the top is essential for a first-time visitor. From that vantagepoint you can see Europe and Africa at the same time. We enjoyed espresso at the Top of the Rock cafe.

At the Rock of Gibraltar

At the Rock of Gibraltar you can also see the "Barbary Apes", which are not apes at all but macaques (monkeys) indiginous to the area. We'd heard these creatures have learned to grab bags and parcels from tourists, so were careful not to have anything tempting with us. There are signs all over warning to be careful around them.

Barbary Apes

Gibralatar isn't very large, but it is interesting. After visiting the Rock we took a leisurely walk down Main Street, passing lots of shops and street merchants. I'd promised Becky some jewelry on this trip, and she selected some Tanzanite earrings. We saw some interesting glass blowing demonstrations. We ate lunch at Roy's Fish and Chips, which locals told us was the best in Gibraltar.


Various Activities On Main Street

We really enjoyed Gibraltar, and give it 3 stars. It's such a unique place, both geographically and historically. It's quaint and fun, and gave us a taste of the UK. If we'd had more time there we would have also explored St. Michael's Cave.

Previous: Part 1: Barcelona
Next: Part 3: Marseilles

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