Before arriving to Malaga,Spain most of my friends in Denmark did tell me about Gibraltar, That Its a place I have to Visit.As Gibraltar is officially UK I was a bit worried about the border control.Being an Indian Passport holder you know how bad its gets sometimes to Enter these countries.To my Surprise at the border control I got a 21 days visa waivers which allows me to stay in Gibraltar.The moment you cross the Spain Border and enter Gibraltar,I must say its so much British.In a moment of time the atmostphere change.Blondes all around,The british Flag.Its just the matter of 3 mins walk from Spain border to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar, a huge rock of sand and limestone that forms a peninsula almost at the very southern tip of Spain. It has always been a strategic location. In the eighth century, the Islamic invasion of Iberia began when Muslims landed on the rock and headed inland from there. A millennium later, the British wrestled with the Spaniards over the land, eventually gaining full control. Now, almost three centuries later, Gibraltar remains under British Govt, it is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.
It is a fascinating place, not only for its history. Gibraltarians are a modern mix of Spanish, Jewish, British, though they firmly regard themselves as British. Reminders of past conflict can be found around Gibraltar, whether in the museum or in the town centre. Though Gibraltar may not be worth much more than a week's visit, any trip to the Iberian Peninsula is incomplete without a journey to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar covers less than 7 square kilometres and shares a 1.2-kilometre land border withSpain. On the Spanish side lies the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, a municipality of the province of Cadiz. The Spanish hinterland forms literally Gibraltar Countryside. There are two coasts (sides) of Gibraltar – the east side, which contains the settlements of Sandy Bay and Catalan Bay, and the west side, where the vast majority of the population lives. Gibraltar has no administrative divisions but is divided into seven major residential areas.
Gibraltar's terrain consists of the 426-metre high Rock of Gibraltar made of Jurassic limestone, and the narrow coastal lowland surrounding it. It contains many tunnelled roads, most of which are still operated by the military and closed to the general public.
One of the main sights in Gibraltar are the Barbary Macaques, a species of monkey. These monkeys have been on the rock long before the British took control. Some say they have been there for millions of years. Other say the Muslims brought them from Africa as pets, some people even think they came from underground tunnels linking the rock back to Africa.
Places to see
St. Michael's Cave
Grande Casemates Square
100 Ton Gun
Upper Rock Nature Reserve
Weather in Gibraltar has a pleasantly Mediterranean climate with generally warm dry summers and mild but wet winters. Temperatures are around 29 °C during the summer months of July and August. January and February still have average highs of around 16 °C or 17 °C. Nights vary between 10 °C in January to a warm 21 °C in August. Summers are a bit cooler and winters a bit warmer compared to southern Spain.
Same requirements as for the United Kingdom. Which means that Passport holders of members countries of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland have the right of free movement and residence in the UK.
For all other nationals, entry clearance (visa) may or may not be required for visiting Gibraltar.
Nationals from the following countries do not require entry clearance (visa) for a stay of three or six months:
Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Canada, Caymen Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Faroes, Greenland, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR), Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Korea (South), Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City.
Other Nationals have to check with the nearest UK consulate for latest Visa proccess to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar's official language is English, although most local people also speak Spanish.
Most locals converse in spanish, which is essentially a mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English, a style unique to Gibraltar. Also keep in mind that many businesses such as cafes and restaurants employ monolingual Spanish workers from across the border. In restaurants, it may not be that different from dining in Spain, language wise.
If you like to sit outside and watch the world go by, head for Casemates Square where a number of pubs & restaurants serve fairly similar meals, with the exception of Cafe Solo which serves good Italian food.
Irish Town, the road which runs parallel to Main Street has a number of bars, like The Clipper which has good food, friendly staff, and satellite television. They serve a hearty English breakfast.
If you fancy dining waterside the marinas are worth a visit.
Gibraltar has a low crime rate and a large and efficient police force to ensure it stays that way.
There are a few recent reports, however, of people being attacked on the Spanish side of the border while returning to Gibraltar on foot late at night. It might be smart to take a taxi home after dark if you have been drinking at the bars in Spain, especially if you are by yourself.
Tourists should be aware that the Barbary macaques are wild animals and do bite. It is advisable not to feed the Barbary macaque, despite encouragement from irresponsible taxi drivers.
Cover Picture Credit Tophd Gallery