Gibraltar

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30.06.2013

The night was not so good. It became really busy in the night. Till in the morning 6-7 o’clock was the teenager screaming and listening to loud music from the cars. I slept not much this night. Always listen if someone is doing something on our car. But luckily is everything ok. At 8 was our alarm clock ringing. Just I don’t wanted.
In the morning was the parking empty… till noon.

I started to translate the next article for my webpage. It took me till 3pm. Then I finished the translation finally and connected with the internet, to save it. I clicked the button to save and the webpage was refreshing and… everything gone. Gone… the last 5 hours of writing… gone. Just gone. I thought I’ll die. 5 hours just gone. What I could have done in 5 hours…
But nothing I could do anymore. We packed our stuff at 5 finally and went to the border.

Crossing the border was simple and without problems. We was showing our passports and could pass. Maybe they saw that our Kangaroo was fully packed and they wasn’t in mood to check everything :)

We went straight through whole Gibraltar, till the end… to the Point of Europe. From here you can see Africa. :) And also the rest of the view is nice.
Me at the lighthouseFrom this point is also a bus going to the city. Because of the bad parking situation in the city (not much space there) we took the bus to go into the city center. Actually we wanted to make just a roundtrip, just to have a better imagination of the town. But we had a ticket problem again and had to leave the bus in the city center (one way ticket… they call it again single ticket) and was walking through the city center. On a Sunday is everything closed of course, except some kiosks. But it was interesting already to walk through Gibraltar and to see some things already.

We went back around 8, with the bus again, to the parking place. We eat something and was converting our sleeping car. A few teenager had some fun in the evening on the parking. But soon they left and we could finally sleep.

01.07.2013

Around 10 we finally got up. The first way was leading us direct to the tourist office, which was straight next to us. We was took a few information and maps. That we will went on the rock, was clear. Actually I wanted to go with the cable car. But then we would had to walk to the sightseeing places. And the rock isn’t that small. On the other hand has it an advantage to go by car. 29 Euro Euro for 2 people and a car and all other entrance fees (for the sightseeing things) would have been included.

St. Michaels caveFirst of all we was visiting St. Michaels cave. A very interesting, but small cave. It is partly converted to a concert cave. In 15 minutes we went through the cave.

Around the cave entrance are the first monkeys. On the rock of Gibraltar are the only monkeys in Europe living. They are Barbary apes. And they are cheeky! When we arrived and didn’t know that they are there, we had the windows from the car open. Before we could realize what is going on, we had already on in the half open window. Luckily on Julias side (I would have probably made an accident). She was so surprised about it that she was hitting him out again. We closed quickly the windows and drove further to the parking.
An apeOn the street there, around the cove, was around 20 apes. They wasn’t very interested in humans probably. Only when a car with open window is passing. One guy they stole very quickly a bag of crisps… out of the car. To feed the monkeys is strictly forbidden and is sued with a fine of 4000 GIB (Gibraltar Pound).

After the cave visit we went to the other end of the rock. To the ‘Great Siege Tunnel’. A defending tunnel which they were digging in the rock, as defense in the siege in the 17th century. Here we saw as well some ‘big Bertas’. The big canons from this time. It’s very interesting to see these tunnels. Even they are prepared for tourists.
The Siege tunnelsIn the rock of Gibraltar are tunnels with a total length of 50km. I would have loved to see more of it. :) But like that we had a small view in the history of the country.

Here is also a view point with a great view of the north part of Gibraltar and behind Spain. Also on the airport with its runway, which is crossing the only entrance street to Gibraltar. If a airplane is arriving or departing, then they close the street and nobody comes in or out of the country :)

North of Gibraltar

After the tunnels we went back down of the rock. Actually we wanted to see the ape rock as well, but that are all one way streets and we passed the apes rock already and couldn’t go back not.

GibraltarWe went back to the parking at the Europe Point, where we was standing the day before already, and drove by buy into the city center. The most uncomplicated and relaxing way. It was already half past 5, as we arrived in the town. Luckily are the shops open until 7 in Gibraltar. We went in the shopping street and had a look around. The shops remembered me on Andorra. Some are a mix between phone, computer, jewelry and souvenir shop. Beside a few shops which was selling tobacco and alcohol. We was reading in the internet that Gibraltar is supposed to be a tax and shopping paradise. But we couldn’t find that part. Technique cost the same as everywhere else. Cigarettes and alcohol is cheaper, yes. And petrol is also cheaper. At the moment around 1,30 Euro for 95er. But the rest… the same prices.

Mosque by nightWe had a look around, but couldn’t really find something interesting. We bought some souvenirs and postcards. And of course I bought a pack of cigarettes… and a pack nicotine patches.
But that’s it.

The shops closed slowly one by one and we went back to the bus stop. Our bus was there already and made a break. We took this one straight away and went back to the car at the Europe Point.
I was translating the article again, which got lost last time.

02.07.2013

The day of leaving Gibraltar. But first of all we went to the café there and used their internet. :) I was finally publishing the article about Barcelona and wrote a bit more on the current one. Also postcards we had to write. :)

Some when around 2 we left finally. But first of all in the city again. The only postbox we known was in the city. We was looking for a parking space. In the city is everything to pay. I was feeding the machine with 2 Euro and we could stay for 2 hours.
Julia wanted to buy some more postcards, at the next kiosk. I had the spontaneous idea to buy also another postcard and send it to someone totally unknown. :)

We decided to go to an Indian restaurant, from which we saw the advertising board the day before. So, we was looking for the restaurant. It was a small one, in a small side street.
Julia ordered a mango shake… it was very tasty. Something like mango mixed in yoghurt. To eat we had chicken in 2 different ways. Also tasty.
PostboxAfter our lunch was it time to write postcards. Luckily we got the WiFi password from the restaurant. So I could search for an address for my surprise postcard. I’ve opened the online phone book and then I had no idea how to find 1 address from 80 millions. Julia mentioned that I could search for my surname. Maybe I could find someone and it would reduce the results a lot. So I was looking for my surname and really, just 9 result pages.
Then I saw on the first page the entry of an owner of a flower shop. Katrin Zube. I liked it (mostly because of the flower shop) and Katrin will get now a postcard from me. :)

PostcardsAfter all was done, we went back to the car. Of course passing the postbox, where we was sending our postcards on its way. Back to the car we almost got a ticket from the police. The woman was already writing something in her machine, when we was screaming, from far already, that we are leaving now. She smiled and say friendly ‘You are going NOW?’ … ‘Yes, yes… NOW’. She put her machine beside and just said again ‘You’re lucky’… :) Friendly police here :)

Apologizing from GibraltarWe stopped as well at a petrol station, on the way out of Gibraltar. We couldn’t miss it to refill our Kangaroo for 1,31 Euro per liter. And then we went to the border. That are no distances here. Parking, petrol station, border… all within 2 km :)
From this side of the border was the row extremely long. We was standing there in the line, in the heat, at least half an hour (they even have 4 lines, to save space). Then I saw the signs on the side, on which the government of Gibraltar is apologizing for the waiting and is explaining that Spain is trying to put pressure on Gibraltar with this circumstances. The political situation is not very good between Gibraltar and Spain. Spain would love to get Gibraltar.

We drove further in direction to Tarifa, the most south point in Spain (they say even from Europe, which is not true… the most south point is Limassol… reg. Akrotiri ;) … really!).
View to AfricaThe way was leading us on a hill. On the highest point of the hill-road was a small restaurant with a viewing point. We stopped. The air was clear and we had a great view to Africa… well, Morocco. We was relaxing a while and enjoyed that amazing view. But Tarifa was calling, from the bottom of this hill. So we drove the last kilometer down the hill and arrived soon in this – more or less – small fisherman village.

First stop: LIDL. We was almost out of drinking. But even more we was out of money. So we was spending our last few Euros for 2 packs of ice tea and toast. We urgently need a cash machine.

After we refilled our storages, we went into the town center. I told Inge to lead us to the most south point and was hoping that there is again a nice parking place. But unfortunately was the last end closed for cars. We parked instead close to the beach, on a free parking place, and walked to the most south point. It is a small ‘half’ island. Just with a small walkway connected with the mainland. But also the island itself was closed for the public. The interesting part is that this walkway is separating the sea. Left the Mediterranean and right the Atlantic. That is at least what the signs are saying. But hey… we shouldn’t question everything. :)

On the way back I saw some advertising from a dive school. To go diving on the most south point of Europe… well, at least Spain. :) In the street of Gibraltar. That would be a highlight of the tour.
I called the number of the advertising and tried to reach someone. It was already 8. But really someone picked up the phone. They will go on the next day at 10. To a wreck, he said. That sounds gooooood. And he spoke good English as well. That would be then our plan for the next day.

We decided to have a walk through the town center. We both was still out of money and for the next day we would need money for sure. We was passing some shops and saw suddenly one which offered Whale Watching. To see Whales… my dream… even my dream is more to go diving with them… but it would be a nice start to see them at least already. The shop was still open and we went in. We had a long chat with the nice lady in there, in German… Seemed like we have a lot of luck, because today was the first day they could go out with the boat, since 2 weeks. Before was nothing possible because of strong wind. And on Friday comes again new strong wind, as the weather forecast says. So, now or never.
But because we wanted to go diving tomorrow already… we had a small time problem. First diving and then Whale Watching? We will see.

We went further through the city. Here we found a post (Julia is customer at the Postbank), but they didn’t had a cash machine. And from all other ATMs she didn’t got money. So, I took money from the next ATM we could find and I got (luckily) money. Tomorrow will be an expensive day.

Back at the car we just converted it and went to sleep. Direct there on the parking. We was totally tired and I didn’t wanted to move at all anymore. On the other hand we had to get up very early next morning.

CU soon
Gordon :)


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