The Rock of Gibraltar...conjures up an exotic mental swirl (deserved or not) of pirates, monkeys, British Tea Rooms, and one massive piece of stone looming overhead!! I don't know much about Gibraltar, but was just googling some information as I armchair travel along with my mother and aunt as they tour Spain and Portugal. I have a copy of her tour itinerary, but it says only this:
March 27 Gibraltar:
We take an excursion to Gibraltar. "The Rock", as it is commonly called, remains very British. On our tour we will see St. Michael's Cave, the Ape's Cave and more. During our free time you may want to enjoy a pint in a typical English pub before returning to Torremolinos.
Well...not much there to give me a feel for this distinctive destination. Let's see what Wikipedia has to say. Ok, so the name derives from the Arabic for "mountain of Tariq", one of the first Moorish invaders from the sounds of it. And it was one of the Pillars of Hercules...how I could have forgotten that little tidbit is beyond me! What a rich history this place has. There have been settlements or occupations by so many cultures over the years, including: Neanderthal man, the Phoenicians, Carthinagians, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, the Moors, Spanish, and British!
The New York Times is full of news articles, and this travel article.
Oh, I just found a ton of information on this unofficial homepage. And also the Gibraltar Government website.
I'm not a monkey fan, so their presence doesn't attact me at all. This blurb about the cable car has me drooling to visit:
From this spot one has uninterrupted views southwards across the Strait of Gibraltar to Africa; westwards, of the City of Gibraltar and across the Bay to Algeciras; a birds eye view of Gibraltar airport and Spain to the north; and the blue expanse of the Mediterranean and the beaches and cities of the Costa del Sol to the east.
How awesome does that sound?!?!? I can't wait to see Mom's photos when she returns...unfortunately that won't be for another ten days or so. I'll have to make do with online photos in the meantime - I wonder if there are Gibraltar photos on Slow Travel, I must go check!