04/24/2014 - 04/24/2014 64 °F
Only half a day in Gibraltar. Hmmm – what to do? Didn’t have to figure it out – we both escorted “The Rock by Foot” tours. Fortunately, the “By Foot” part started after riding to the top in a cable car!
Gibraltar is a British territory, sharing a border to the North with Spain. In this view from the top of the Rock looking over Catalan Bay you can see the airport runway which crosses the road to Spain.
The strategic position of the Rock of Gibraltar (at the narrow entrance to the Mediterranean) has made it important in history for over 3000 years.
It is one of the two “Pillars of Hercules”.
Nine miles away, the other “Pillar” rises from Morocco in Africa.
The famous “Barbary Apes” (actually Macaque monkeys) rule the Rock.
So much to see and do on Gibraltar
…but the monkeys get the most attention! They are the only wild primates in Europe. It is thought they were originally brought here by the Moors who were in control of the area for over 700 years.
300 meters above sea level we entered St. Michael’s Cave to see its stunning limestone formations. Gibraltarians have created a sound and light show here and a theatre that seats 400.
A view again looking down toward Spain- in spite of the Spaniards attempts over the years to regain control of Gibraltar, the people here remain fiercely opposed to Spanish sovereignty.
We explored the “Great Siege Tunnels”, dug and blasted by British forces starting in 1782. This was to hold off the Spanish and French in a siege that lasted 3 years and 7 months.
As they blasted, men were suffocating from the fumes. They broke through the rock to get air and discovered this was a great idea for cannon placement.
Driving back through the narrow streets of the city we had already passed the entrance to the WW II command center with its 30 additional miles of tunnels.
A quick look and turn around to see the border crossing before returning to our ship.
Tomorrow, our last full day at sea.