In the week the King of Spain was visiting the UK to meet our Queen, we were visiting the Costa del Sol, and we felt had to take a trip to Gibraltar just in case the “talks” don’t go in the UK’s favour.
A day out in Gibraltar
We drove there, and parked in La Linea, which is the town outside the border. We walked in to Gibraltar, as our car hire agreement stated we couldn’t take the car out of Spain. There’s a McDonalds, Burger King, and all that jazz just next to the large car park adjacent to the border. Also just before you get to the passport control is a small kiosk selling tickets to the Top of the Rock cable car. If you buy tickets at this kiosk you’ll have a free shuttle minibus to the cable car base. You will also be able to skip the (substantial) queue at the entrance there.
So, that’s what we did. The walk through the border control was very quick, and we waited for a few minutes for the next minibus from the location a short distance from the border.
It’s about a 10 minute drive from the pick up to drop off at the cable car base in Gibraltar. My kids loved being in the minibus, not least because James got one of those seat that fold out into the aisle.
When we arrived we were able to miss probably an hours worth of queue at the ticket office for the cable car to the top of the rock. We still had to wait in a line for the cable car, which was approximately 20 minutes long. A wifi code allowed us to check our Facebook, etc, while we waited. We could have downloaded an app for a multimedia tour of Gibraltar’s history. Sorry, we didn’t see what it was like.
Cable car to the top of the rock – Gibraltar
The cable cars are quite large, and about 10-15 people are squished in at a time. The journey up to the top is only about 5 minutes long. The views are spectacular; of giant cruise ships, the peninsula of Gibraltar, and into Spain.
Monkeys of Gibraltar
As soon as we disembarked the cable car we saw monkeys. So many of the monkeys had tiny brown babies clinging to their tummies. We even saw one that still had its umbilical cord attached, as it was a brand new little monkey!
There is a £4,000 fine if you feed a monkey, and they can smell food in plastic bags. We did see one man have his bag swiped from him, as he was assaulted by a gang of opportunistic apes!
The top of the rock
On the top terraces of the cable car summit you can see 3 countries and 2 continents! We wandered around for a while and popped into the gift shop. We bought a cute little magnet of a monkey sitting on a chuck of stone!
There is also a cafe, and a bar. The toilets were fine, although I didn’t find the baby change; I only saw signs for it but following them was fruitless. We’re potty training so Noah is doing wees in the toilet, but not poops yet, so we were okay.
You can walk along any of the paths around the rock. We walked along to see more monkeys, this time at a sort of feeding station, and the views from there were amazing.
After our descent on the cable car we decided to walk back through the high street to leave Gibraltar and return to the car.
There’s a Marks & Spencers, Mothercare, and other well known high street shops. The town really is just like any high street in the UK, with a large concentration of tourists. In M&S I bought a 1 litre bottle of gin for a fiver, since there’s no duty to pay. Obviously you have to be mindful of the duty free limits on your return to Spain.
We stopped at a pub for a quick drink, and we were shocked at the prices of beer. It was like being home, and after a week of drinking Spanish pintos for €1,50 we decided to head back to Spain for the next round!
Noah was hungry, but as we walked along we considered that £4,000 fine, and decided he could wait for a snack. A passing policeman agreed it was better to avoid giving toddlers food since the monkeys are semi-wild, and don’t only stay in the mountain area.
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Walking out of Gibraltar was really cool; you get to walk across the airport landing strip. There are lights and a gate at each side, so that if a plane is landing then everyone waits until it’s on the ground before being allowed to cross.
A fab day out with the kids in Gibraltar, on a day trip from Spain. Have you ever been?
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