After about 3 hours on the plane from London, I am finally arriving to Gibraltar, the runway at local airport spans from one side of the peninsular to another, like cutting Gibraltar from the mainland and being quite short with a sea on both sides is considered potentially dangerous.
But instead of thinking about this, I am just enjoying the views through the plane windows:
With just three airlines flying to Gibraltar the runway isn't too busy, and that's good thing as you will have to cross it to go into city. Everything here is compact and close to each other so that you could even walk for about 30-40 min from the airport terminal to get to my hotel in the city centre , however , having just couple of days to spend , with no time for this experiment , instead , after just 15 minutes by taxi manoeuvring in narrow streets and listening for clapping sounds of the opening and closing car mirrors by the driver, who have to do this to fit between parked bikes, I am finally arriving at The O’Callaghan Elliott Hotel located just in middle of the city . The hotel is an excellent base to explore the city on foot. The plan for today is to 'climb' to the main Gibraltar attraction - the Rock - great place to see whole peninsular from above and also to see famous Barbary macaques , which are the only wild monkey population in the European continent.
The simplest way to get there from my hotel is just to walk for about 15 minutes to the cable car station, where after waiting for another half an hour in a queue if you are lucky not to share it with groups of cruise ship passengers, you can take a short ride to the top station, to the height of 412 m above sea level.
There is no need to search for apes here, they are everywhere, and will no doubt be the first to "greet" you as you step off the cabin and will be those who will "meet" your near café and at viewpoint
They are in charge here and known for being less than ceremonial with any your belonging as well as known for biting anybody who they may consider as a thread , it is better not to leave your bags unattended even for a moment and not bring any food with you .
The views from this point are fantastic , look to the west down over the town below which is stretching towards marina
or look north towards the Sierra Nevada over the Costa del Sol
or look east over the Mediterranean Sea
or maybe look south across Strait of Gibraltar to the Rif Mountains of North Africa.
In short you will see two continents, three countries and a place of connection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea with hundreds of vessels passing through it daily, making it one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. Impressive!
After spending evening exploring the town , having dinner in one of the seafront restaurants which being faced to the west have delivered great evening sunset panorama with unfortunately just average seafood , and taking few night photos of the illuminated town from top of the hotel , I've started thinking about plans for tomorrow.
Preliminary plans of visiting Europa point - southernmost point of Gibraltar or strolling through La Alameda Gardens have been abandoned in favour of more lazy option of spending half a day on the beach. Gibraltar isn't the best place for that comparing to neighbouring Spain but you still have few options. Most of the beaches are located on the opposite side of the rock facing Mediterranean waters. In summer they are overcrowded but in October, with temperatures still in mid twenties, they could be a great option to relax before flight back. The beach called Sandy Bay is home to one of the few residential areas on the East side of The Rock, also known as Both Worlds. Just recently it had been significantly transformed with tons of sand imported from Laâyoune in the Western Sahara which helped make this place a bit artificial but never the less a wonderful place to visit.
After swimming in already relatively cold Mediterranean waters , I couldn't resist a temptation to take a panoramic photo of this part of the Gibraltar from the pier.
Fifteen minute walk from this place to the north , just after The Caleta Hotel, there is example of another ,completely different , type of beaches , called Catalan Bay. What it lacks in sand quality with just narrow grey natural strip of land , it is trying to compensate by having better infrastructure with many restaurants and cafés to choose from.
After last glance at the eastern shores of Gibraltar , I am heading back to the airport to have return flight back.