When I mentioned to Anne that I wanted to visit Gibraltar, in our motorhome, she wasn’t enthusiastic about visiting it. She thought that I only wanted to visit Gibraltar so I could stock up on my favourite English food from Morrison’s, which was partly true. Gibraltar is steeped in colonial and military history and that’s the main reason I wanted to go and discover Gibraltar.
I did eventually persuade Anne that we should go and guess what, she loved it, especially when she realised that her great uncle had been Colonial Secretary on Gibraltar in the early 1960’s. It was a chance to do some family history research.
Where to stay in Gibraltar
Driving towards the Gibraltar/Spain border we did the obligatory twice around a roundabout trick before finding our parking place at La Linea on the marina. This is a fabulous overnight parking place for motorhomes and costs 12 Euros per night. There are no electric hookups but we have solar power anyway so that was not a problem.
It’s only a 10 minute walk from the motorhome parking area to the Gibraltar border. You need your passports because you are passing over the Spanish border into British territory although I nearly could not get in because the automatic passport machine I picked would not work for me. Once through the border you actually have to walk across Gibraltar airport runway, which is an exciting experience.
What to see in Gibraltar
So, with a map of Gibraltar in hand we set off walking and explored the Ocean Village marina area and found ourselves in the car park of Morrison’s. This was a chance to stock up on a few of our favourite English food’s so we picked up some English bacon and British milk and a few other bits, and the bill came to £63!
As a Yorkshireman I have never spent so much money in a Morrison’s supermarket in my life and it took quite a while to recover from the shock. After several months shopping in Spanish supermarkets it was strange to suddenly find ourselves looking at British packaging again.
Next we headed over to Main Street. Walking along Main Street in Gibraltar was like walking through a real life museum with smaller versions of British shops such as Debenhams, Next and of course Marks and Spencer where I took the opportunity to re-stock my underwear and t-shirts collection!
The Gibraltar cable car
At the far end of Main Street we found the cable car station to the Rock and duly bought tickets at £14.90 per person. Whilst queuing for the cable car, however, we were told that the cable car had stopped running due to high winds and we could get a refund. Not wanting to walk up we jumped in a taxi and were taken on a terrifying drive up very narrow mountain roads with hair pin bends at high speed.
The view from the upper Rock is spectacular and we could easily see Morocco 14 miles away across the Straits of Gibraltar. The Rock, of course, is home to troops of wild monkeys and we were told not to feed them as they can be vicious.
After surviving the drive down the mountain we happened to be walking past the Gibraltar government building and we decided to try to see if we could find any information about Anne’s great uncle who was Colonial Secretary on Gibraltar in the early 1960’s. After getting through security checks we spoke to someone in the archives department who has promised to do some research and email us information about him.
Next we are heading for Tarifa, the kite surfing area, and then onto Cadiz.
Gibraltar: A rich history at the crossroads of the Mediterranean
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on a small peninsula at the southern tip of Spain. It is a strategically important location, controlling the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Gibraltar has a long and rich history, dating back to the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC.
Phoenician and Roman rule
The Phoenicians were the first to settle in Gibraltar, and they built a temple to the god Melkart on the Rock of Gibraltar. The Romans conquered Gibraltar in 206 BC, and it remained under Roman rule for over 600 years. During this time, Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules.
In 711 AD, the Moors conquered Gibraltar and renamed it Jebel Tarik, after their leader Tariq ibn Ziyad. The Moors ruled Gibraltar for over 700 years, and during this time they built the Moorish Castle and the Great Siege Tunnels.
The Spanish conquered Gibraltar from the Moors in 1462, and it remained under Spanish rule for over 200 years. During this time, Gibraltar was a fortified town and played an important role in the Spanish Empire.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the British captured Gibraltar from the Spanish. Gibraltar was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and it has remained a British Overseas Territory ever since.
Gibraltar is a popular tourist destination, known for its Mediterranean climate, stunning scenery, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in Gibraltar, such as visiting the Moorish Castle, hiking to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, and watching the Barbary macaques, the only wild monkeys in Europe.
Gibraltar is also a popular destination for motorhome travelers. There are a number of campsites and parking areas available for motorhomes in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar has a rich and fascinating history, dating back over 2,500 years. It is a unique and vibrant place to visit, with something to offer everyone.
For more information about Gibraltar tourism click here