Rock of Gibraltar

Gibraltar I : Ein Englisch-Kolonie in Spanien


Gestern war ich mit meinen Freunden in Gibraltar. Wir verließen unser Hotel früh am Morgen direkt nach dem Frühstück. Während der Fahrt in unserem Mietwagen konnten wir den berühmten Felsen näher und näher kommen sehen.

gibraltar rock

gibraltar rock

Er war fast die ganze Zeit im Dunst sichtbar; am Anfang wirkte er klein und war weit entfernt, aber mit der Zeit wurde er größer und größer und bekam immer klarere Umrisse. Wir hatten Glück, denn während unserer Fahrt, vorbei am Flughafen von Málaga, an Fuengirola und Marbella, kam die Sonne heraus und vertrieb die letzten kleinen Wölkchen. Je näher wir dem Felsen kamen, desto besser wurde das Wetter.

Als wir ankamen, mussten wir erst einmal Schlange stehen, um auf den Felsen und den Rest der Halbinsel gelassen zu werden. Gibraltar ist britisches Überseegebiet, also verließen wir Spanien für einen Tag.

Nachdem wir die Grenze überquert hatten, fuhren wir die Winston-Churchill-Avenue entlang, welches die einzige nach Gibraltar führende Straße ist. Streckenweise ist sie sogar auf Wasser gebaut. Aber plötzlich begann sich vor dem Auto vor uns in der Schlange eine Schranke zu senken und ein rotes Lämpchen blinkte auf. Wir mussten anhalten und fragten uns, was passieren würde; vor uns waren keine Bahnschienen oder Ähnliches, nur eine geteerte Straße.

gibraltar winston churchill avenue

gibraltar winston churchill avenue

Nachdem eine meiner Freundinnen einen Blick auf die Karte von Gibraltar in unserem Reiseführer geworfen hatte, wurde ihr bewusst: „Neben uns ist der Flughafen. Und ich glaube, die Straße da vor uns hinter der Schranke ist nicht einfach nur eine Straße, sondern die Start- und Landebahn des Flughafens!“ Zuerst belächelten wir sie alle ein wenig, aber genau in dem Moment hob direkt vor unseren Augen eine British Airways Maschine ab! Es war unglaublich! Wir waren einem so riesigen Flugzeug und dem Flughafen so nah und hatten es nicht einmal bemerkt!

Nur wenige Sekunden, nachdem das Flugzeug gestartet war, ging alles weiter wie zuvor; als wäre gar nichts passiert: Wir fuhren weiter, überquerten den Flughafen und kamen dem Felsen näher und näher.

Unser erstes Ziel war die Seilbahnstation, von der aus man auf den Felsen hinauf fahren konnte. Wir wollten den wunderbaren Ausblick auf das Mittelmeer, Andalusien und ganz Gibraltar zu unseren Füßen genießen.

gibraltar cable car

gibraltar cable car

Aber dazu wollten wir noch etwas Einzigartiges sehen, das es nur in Gibraltar gibt. Neben dem Menschen wird Gibraltar nämlich noch von einer anderen, ganz besonderen Spezies bevölkert: Die Berberaffen sind die einzige frei lebende Affenart in Europa. Sie leben nur auf dem Felsen von Gibraltar und eine alte Legende sagt: Wenn die Affen Gibraltar irgendwann verlassen, dann wird die britische Herrschaft ebenfalls enden.

gibraltar apes

gibraltar apes

Deshalb waren britische Politiker auch schon immer sehr um das Wohl der Affen besorgt, die sogar vom britischen Militär beschützt werden. Das mussten wir einfach sehen!

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Gibraltar : A colony in Málaga, Spain


Gibraltar, in Málaga, Spain

Gibraltar, in Málaga, Spain

Yesterday I went to Gibraltar with my friends. We left out hotel in Málaga in the morning after having breakfast. During our trip in our rental car we could see the rock coming closer. It was visible in the sea for almost all the time, surrounded by dust; at the beginning it looked tiny but over time it was getting bigger and bigger and more visible.

We were lucky because the sun came out during our ride along the Costa del Sol, passing Málaga Airport, Fuengirola and Marbella. The farer we drove, the better the weather became. When we arrived, we had to stand in line to be let on the rock and its foot. Gibraltar is British overseas territory, so we were leaving Spain for the day.

After crossing the border we had to drive on the Winston Churchill Avenue which is the only road to Gibraltar and some parts of it are even built on the water. But suddenly in front of the car before us, a red light started to blink and a barrier was put down. We had to stop and were wondering what was happening. Then one of my friends realized after looking at the map in her travel guide to Gibraltar: “Next to us is the airport. And I think that road we will cross when the barrier disappears is not just a road; it’s the landing strip for the planes!” First everyone was laughing at her but exactly in that moment a British Airways machine was starting right in front of us! It was unbelievable! We were so close to such a huge plane!

Gibraltar, in Málaga, Spain

The border at Gibraltar, in Málaga, Spain

Just some seconds after the plane had taken off; everything went on as if nothing ever happened: we kept on driving and the rock came even closer and closer.

Our first destination was the cable railway to get up to the top of the rock. We wanted to have a great view over the Mediterranean Sea, Andalucía and everything of Gibraltar below us. But we also wanted to visit something unique to Gibraltar. Human beings are not the only species populating the rock: The Barbary Macaques are the only wild monkeys in Europe. They nowadays only live on the rock of Gibraltar and it is said: If the monkeys ever leave, so will the British. This is why British politicians in the past often were worried about them, they are even protected by the British military. It is something we just had to see!

On the way up the mountain, we got to know the feeling of Gibraltar. It’s a loud and vivid place of mixed cultures: a lot of tourism, but also British way of life and oriental aura and of course the presence of military. There were many people and many cars in the narrow streets: a pleasure to watch.

In eager anticipation of the view from top of the rock, at first we saw the ride on the cable rail way just as a simple ride and nothing more. But we were mistaken! The car was made out of glass and being pulled up a rock was impressive. We had a perfect view!

Gibraltar, in Málaga, Spain

A Monkey!! in Gibraltar

When we arrived at the top and stepped out of the cable car station, we saw them! The monkeys were everywhere; some of them were even carrying babies. On top of the rock there were many platforms for taking photos and enjoying the view. The sun was shining so warm up here that we were grateful for a little breeze. Far away we could see a lot of tankers in the sea transporting goods of every kind from different parts of the world. The cars at the foot of the rock looked like toys from up there.

We went for a walk around and discovered beautiful corners. The landscape was of course rocky but there were surprisingly a lot of trees and bushes in which the monkeys stayed. At the cable car station there were a lot of warning signs that the monkeys might bite if touched or even might steal your bag because they are looking for food, but they looked peaceful. Maybe the midday sun made them sleepy.

We spent a lot of time at that picturesque place and then decided to go back to our car again to have lunch somewhere. It didn’t take much time until we found a nice restaurant.

After a delicious lunch we decided to go shopping. A lot of things are sold at lower prices in Gibraltar because you don’t have to pay taxes there. We went for a walk on the Mainstreet. Most of the shops sold electronic gadgets, jewelry or alcohol. It was surprisingly cheap and I decided to buy a watch. First I was worried because we forgot to change (Gibraltar has its own currency, the Gibraltar Pound, but you can also pay with British Pound), but paying in Euro was no problem at all. On Casemates Square the shop looked as if we were on an oriental bazaar and products from Morocco were sold there.

After the shopping trip we stored our purchase in our rental car and drove to the place where dolphin safaris start. It was a day dedicated to animals! First the monkeys and now we wanted to watch dolphins. After parking our car and buying the tickets we went on a small boat and immediately departed. Destination: the middle of the Street of Gibraltar.

The ride was nice, after some minutes we were in the middle of the sea in the bright sunlight, following the big ships because dolphins like to swim in the waves they produce. And all of a sudden we saw the first ones! They were so beautiful! Swimming very close to our boat and jumping and rising in the water. It was stunning how many of them were swimming around us. I took some amazing photos and me and my friends were having a lot of fun.

When we arrived at the port again, we went back to our car and had to leave for Málaga because we didn’t want to miss dinner in our hotel. With the sun in our back we drove on the perfect and new roads back to Málaga…

By : Silja Kristin Rulle