We mentioned we had been thinking about going to Morocco from Tarifa. We ended up going to Gibraltar since it’s almost equally close. Plus, to get to Tangier, we would had to have taken an unreliable ferry to some port city, and from there take long long long taxi ride into the city center. It just didn’t seem worth it.
Besides, Gibraltar is way cool.
Gibraltar is a territory of England that basically just cuts an itty bitty part of Spain.
Gibralar and its English language and culture were just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes after not hearing English for a while, a trip to an English speaking country is almost magical. After being in Korea for 2 straight years, going to Guam was one of the best vacations we had ever taken. After 9 months in Germany, going to the UK was an adventure and a half. We’ve not been in Spain for very long but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to just have 3 days where I could be perfectly understood. 3 days where we could eat at “regular” mealtimes and have actual breakfast! A coffee shop that serves interesting coffees rather than the same 3 types of coffee. Yaasssss!!!!
We packed up and moved out of our vacation rental. We took a bus from Tarifa to Algeciras then Algeciras to “La Linea de la Concepcion” (literally the Line of Conception). Then we walked across the border.
This was very very Spanish. No one cared about anything. We walked past a building that said we should have our baggage checked. No one went in so we figured they knew something we didn’t. Then we got to an electronic passport control station. This does not work for Non-EU citizens so we went through some unlocked open door past security. Turns out everyone was goign through this door because they were too lazy to do the electronic check. A man was sitting at his desk talking to his buddy through an open window. We all just opened our passports to the face page and walked past him in a line. 50 of us all just walked past in a couple minutes, just holding the page open. Ridiculous.
The fact of the matter is loads of people live in La line de la Concepcion but work in Gibraltar (live in Spain, are Spanish citizens, but work in Gibraltar which is British). Also while Brexit is neither here nor there in enforcement yet – it is part of the EU… ish. So for now EU citizens can come and go through this imaginary border. This level of not caring is fine…. for now.
The next thing after walking across the boarder was to walk across the airport runway. That’s right. That’s the only place it could fit so you have to walk/bike/drive across a runway to get in or out of Gibraltar. Actually 10 minutes after we crossed we heard a planes landing/taking off so we must have crossed just before they stopped traffic.
View of the famous rock from the runway:
View of Spain and the runway/border from the rock:
We went from our coolio vacation rental apartment to an old but posh hotel.
So old it asked us not to smoke in bed (and love the message “the fire brigade will normally arrive in a matter of minutes”)
But so posh the lobby looked like this
We started the day with some fish and chips and shopping.
We found another American section of a grocery store. We find these from time to time and they never cease to amaze us.
Don’t think the reese’s and pop-tarts didn’t get our attention. The real treasure was in the normal jelly section – cranberry sauce!!!
The buses had been running at half schedule because it was a holiday. So we didn’t get to Gibraltar until sort of late. We hiked up part of the rock to get some nice shots of the city at night. You can see Algeciras across the water:
The next day was Chris’s birthday so we hiked right back up to adventure our way across the rock. We’ll make that another post, to talk about Gibraltar, and what we did. For now here’s the same shot in the daytime: