THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Weather: Cool, overcast, sunny later
Journey: Tarifa to Gibraltar- 45 kms
You could not come to this pat of the world and not visit the rock of Gibraltar. With connections to Britain, Australians have some dim memory of this British enclave stuck between Spain and Africa and Kath recalls "strong as the rock of Gibraltar" having some meaning.
Well, we are just 45 kms away so we decide to take a look; Lonely Planet advises parking outside the town and we remember that our hire car is not to be taken across borders, so we find a convenient park and walk across the border. show passports and we are in Gibraltar!
After the War of the Spanish Successon in 1713 Spain gave up the Rock to Britain and Britain developed it into a strategic naval base. Today the 30'000 inhabitants are happy to remain British and voted against going Spanish.
It is really weird to hear the Pommy accent as you exlore the town and all the signs are in English; it is duty free so lots of people are buying cigarettes and alcohol. The cemetery is full of British sailors who died in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 in Gibraltar. We decided not to take the ride to the top of the rock but did indulge in some fish and chips at the Gibraltar Arms.
The place was busy with tourists and we thought it was worth a look but there is not a lot that is fascinating about Gibraltar so we made our way through border control, found our car and drove north to the more fascinating Jimena de Frontera.
This little white washed town is set strategically on the side of a mountain and glimmers in the sun as you approach; our target was the old castle and fort on the top and our GPS led us through the tiny cobbled lanes to the heart of the town, closed for siesta.
We did find Bar Espana open for a small beer and toilet stop, parked the car and then climbed the steep lanes to the top of the hill to enjoy views of Alcomocales natural park and the town below. More history and dates but we just enjoyed the vistas up here alone in silence and sunshine!
It was a 120 km drive back to Tarifa and we stocked up on groceries at the local supermarket and dined in on hams, chorizo, salads, green olives, cheese and red wine; unfortunately the 'must -try' local salted tuna was not to our liking but Tommy the dog will be happy to chew on it later!
That's it for Tarifa- it is a lovely town with beautiful beaches and lots of activities for the adventurous, and of course interesting history.... and now it is time to drive on to our next stop.