Gibraltar in Spring - The World Through My Eyes.
Photography by Alexey Belenkiy

THe World Through My Eyes

Gibraltar in Spring

Few last minutes in a lounge in Heathrow and I am on BA flight to Gibraltar, it is my second visit to that place , but unlike previous one which was a weekend break in autumn, this time I have whole Easter to explore that 'rocky' place. To complete effect of déjà vu , I have decided to stay in the same O'Callaghan Eliott hotel as last time, since it is proven to be conveniently located , in the middle of everything.

In an attempt to see different part of Gibraltar from previous visit, I am heading towards marina, this area has been reclaimed to the sea and now is a home to yachts, restaurants and modern apartment blocks, in addition to that and also as a reminder how limited land area is here - there is also a cruise ship which has been docked permanently there and have been transformed into hotel waiting for the guests to haven't secured the place on a dry land.

Having spend the evening walking in central part of the city among wine and watches boutiques and fish and ships restaurants, I am coming back to the hotel to have a look at sunset from it's roof.

Next day starts with funicular trip to the top of the rock , which is however this time is partially covered in clouds, restricting the views.

The weather is nice, a bit cooler than it was in October, and this time I am planning to walk back down from the mountain via so called "nature reserve" heading towards the remains of the castle, located in most northern part of the rock. Not sure how this part of the rock is different from the one I've been on my previous visit but it gives slightly different perspective on the city below.

After passing by war tunnels and an entrance to "castle" there are long steps zigzagging between private houses leading to the main square in town. I have decided to spend second part of the day on the beach, so just 15 minute in disproportionally large taxi for so small "country", I am greeted by the sands of Sunny bay beach. In this time of the year there are not that many people around, just few families for a this 300 meters or so strip of imported sahara sands framed into 2 wave breaking piers on each side, artificial rocks submerged in the sea to protect the sand from Mediterranean storms and a line of white terraced houses on the back in a shade of The Rock above.

Water is too cold to be considered suitable for swimming but an opportunity to spend few hours just laying on the sand under already relatively warm sun rays are a welcome addition to the different, urban part of the Gibraltar laying on the opposite side of the rock.

Third day starts with short taxi trip through the town into to tunnel leading to Europa point, the south most part on Gibraltar overlooking the  strait, this area is a home to a gun, lighthouse and a mosque, 

Even now in the beginning of April you can feel the heat , and you can just imagine what it would look like in the middle of summer, without any place to hide for the sun shining from above and with a stones under your feet , just like on frying pan, this place will make sure you have been baked equally well from all sides. Having spend half an hour at Europa point to take few photographs, and with nothing else to to do there, I am taking a bus to Alameda gardens, small but nice botanic garden located next to the funicular stations and just in front of The Rock hotel. The gardens are small but in summer would definitely be a nice place to hide from sun under shade of the palm trees and among cactus plants growing there . 

At the far corner of the gardens there is also small animal park , which judged by the sounds coming from it should be a home to several birds but there is no chance to visit them as the park is closed for some reason today. The rest of the day has been spend by walking among the few pedestrian streets in a town centre, among mostly closed for this Easter days shops and restaurants and enjoying dinner in a veranda cafe in a shadow of colourful but partially abandoned buildings in an area close to the hotel. 

On the last, 4th day of the trip, the weather took a turn to the worse, with cold winds and mostly cloudy skies threatening to open up with a downpour, I had a walk to the marina considering what would be the best option to spend the day, one option to my disposal is to take dolphin watching trip around the bay but having just returned from Mexican Pacific Coast I have no appetite for watching these creatures so soon again, so after another walk around the town and after short visit to glass making museum/shop/factory, I have decided to take my chances with a risk of getting wet under the rain shower, I am heading to the beach again to spend few hours there before going to the airport. Mediterranean sea is stormy today with waves crashing at the rocky land around the beach area.

 The beach itself is deserted with 3 life saver guards enjoying your self and measuring who is the fastest among them to run around the beach scaring few seagulls relaxing near the water line. I tool a walk a bit further along the coast watching the waves crashing into the rocks and into some abandoned concrete structures located along the coast line. After that, ignoring the whistle of one of the life guards, probably meant that I wasn't supposed to go there, I am going to the end of one wave breaking piers to take another panoramic picture of this side of the peninsula, and later after couple of hours relaxing on the empty beach while listening for the sounds of crashing waves and cries of seagulls, I am taking a taxi to the airport for the evening flight back to London.