One Trip EVERY Month Challenge: February


Vejer de la Frontera, Spain

I’ve a couple of trips to tell you about this month.   My February began in the delightful Andalucían town of Vejer de la Frontera, on the Costa de la Luz, where I was a guest at Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen.  Annie not only showed me around her home-town, where we feasted on delicious tapas, but she also took me to the fish market at the nearby town of Barbate, where we bought the delicious fresh ingredients we would use for our cooking weekend.

 I’ll be telling you all about Annie B’s fabulous Spanish kitchen in a separate post, later.

Border crossing from Spain to Gibraltar

My second trip was somewhere that many British expats take regular visits to.

Gibraltar.

Just three hours along the coast, it’s a popular outing to stock up on British goods and groceries we can’t always get hold of in Spain.  You know how we English love our cups of tea, so a trip to British supermarket, Morrison’s, can be a bit of a treat.

I’ve been to Gibraltar many times before, but I’ve always driven through the border on previous occasions.  This time, I was on a coach rather than in a private car, and as there was a bit of a queue of vehicles, some of us decided to hop-off the coach and walk across into Gibraltar.

No sooner have you crossed into the British Overseas Territory, you are faced with the following sign:

Airfield crossing sign, Gibraltar

Because  Gibraltar is so small (just over 6.5 square kilometres), and within that area is the famous 426m high Rock, space is at a premium.  This means that the peninsula’s runway is bisected by its busiest road, Winston Churchill Avenue.  Each time an aircraft wants to land or depart, barriers come down to prevent motor vehicles from crossing the airfield.  

As you can imagine,  it causes quite a spectacle …. and a queue!

Walking across the runway in Gibraltar

So there you have it – my contribution to the One Trip EVERY Month Challenge this month is two for the price of one!

One Trip EVERY Month Logo

If you’d like to join me, here’s how:

  • Each month, visit somewhere and then write about your trip or describe it using photographs – whichever suits you best.
  • Don´t forget to title and tag your entry ’One Trip EVERY Month Challenge’, and link back to this page.
  • Display the Challenge logo on your post or in your sidebar.
  • HAVE FUN!

Are you ready to join me by taking ONE TRIP EVERY MONTH?  What are you waiting for?  

GO!

At the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea

Entrance to the Mediterranean Sea

The Rock of Gibraltar, one of the Pillars of Hercules in Greek mythology, has a strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, with Europe to the north and the continent of Africa to the south.

Standing at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar it’s magical to look across the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea towards Morocco in North Africa – only nine miles away!

I hope you´ve enjoyed this spectacular entrance, which is my contribution to this week´s Sunday Post.

Other posts you may be interested in:

CBBH Photo Challenge:  Multi-Coloured

Venturing further afield: San Sebastián in the heart of Basque country

The Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life

Cheeky Monkey: Now you see him, now you don´t!

I recently posted that I can see Africa from my terrace, and that seemed to cause a frisson of excitement around the globe, so I thought I would give you an even better view!

Top of the Rock of Gibraltar with Africa in the background

On a recent trip to Gibraltar (less than a three hour drive from my home), with a friend visiting from Australia, we arrived at the top of The Rock to see the magnificent sight of another continent just 8.9 miles across the water.   AFRICA!  

This is the stunning view that greeted us at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, with a backdrop of the mountains of Morocco, including Jebel Musa, the other Pillar of Hercules – the name given in the ancient world to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar.

What a view!

I glanced over to my right, to take in the Spanish mountains dropping into the sea, and when I looked back this little guy was posing for me!

He´s a Barbary ape – Europe’s only wild monkeys.   Local legend has it that as long as the Barbary Macaque population exists on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule.

Barbary ape at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar with Africa behind

I just had time to take this perfectly posed image and, just as he appeared, quick as a flash he was off to join the rest of his friends!

Cheeky monkey!

This is my response to the Sunday Post – From a Distance

Related posts:

I can see Africa from my terrace!

Venturing further afield: A day trip to Gibraltar

Venturing further afield: A day trip to Gibraltar

We love to travel not only locally, but throughout Spain, so I will also include information, from time to time, about where we have visited.  Usually these places can either be driven to within a few hours of our home, east of Málaga, or we will have flown there from Málaga (AGP) airport.

This week we have family from England staying with us.  As they are very familiar with the area east of Málaga, we took the opportunity to venture out of the Axarquía.

Driving west from Málaga along the E15/A7, not a single road-sign mentions the British territory of Gibraltar. You just have to figure out when to exit the highway (at La Linea de la Concepción, the Spanish town close to the foot of the Rock). By the time you see a sign for Gibraltar, you are within walking distance!


Photographs cannot prepare you for the physical reality of Gibraltar. The scale of the 430 metre high boulder – sheer on one side, a city of 30,000 people clinging to the bottom third of the other – still causes a jolt when you come over the last ridge to find it looming in front of you.

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. The Rock of Gibraltar, one of the Pillars of Hercules in Greek mythology, has a strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, with Europe to the north and the continent of Africa to the south.

Both famous and enigmatic, Gibraltar contains some of the most extensive military fortifications in Europe, spanning over 1200 years of Moorish, Spanish and British history.   The territory covers just over 6.5 square kilometers and shares a 1.2 kilometre land border with Spain.

Of course, what traditionally attracts the  tourist to Gibraltar doesn´t disappoint either: stunning views of the entrance to the Mediterranean and the mountains of Morocco (including Jebel Musa, the other Pillar of Hercules), St Michael’s Cave, tunnels from the Great Siege of 1779-83 and, of course, the famous Barbary apes – Europe’s only wild monkeys.   Local legend has it that as long as the Barbary Macaque population exists on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule.


Being so close to Spain, Gibraltar shares the best of both cultures.  You can see Spanish-style houses adorned with Victorian cast-iron balconies from England. The labyrinthine streets and alleys of the old town, reminiscent of nearby Spanish cities such as Cadiz, are dotted with iconic English phone booths, red Royal Mail boxes, bars with names like Lord Nelson and The Angry Friar as well as good old Marks and Spencer!


The old Gibraltar Airport building is shortly to be replaced with a new glitzy glass-fronted one, but the runway, the shortest in the world, will remain the same.  The landing strip crosses the main road into the city, with traffic and passengers being halted to allow aircraft to take off and land.

One of the main reasons we travel the three hours to Gibraltar is to visit Morrison´s, the British supermarket, to buy groceries we can´t find in our local Spanish stores.  We can also pay in Sterling, saving the need to change our money into Euros, as we have to do for our everyday living here in Spain.  Our visitors meanwhile, took advantage of the cheap duty free cigarettes available at a fraction of the cost in the UK.

A good day was had by all!

What do you think about Gibraltar being a British territory?