Gibraltar, etc.

Trip Start May 16, 2006
Trip End May 31, 2006

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Where I stayed
Alboran Hotel

Flag of Gibraltar  ,
Saturday, May 20, 2006

The local bus line, Transportes Generales Comes, runs a local Algeciras to La Linea line, end to end costs 1.78€. There┤s a bus stop right in front of the Hotel Alboran and from there it was about 20 minutes to the Spanish border in La Linea.
I walked through an unmanned customs station into UK territory and took a #9 Gibraltar bus for 2€ to the town center. From there it┤s about another 20 minute walk up Main Street through the middle of town to reach the cable car base station at the Rock.

Overall I was a little disppointed with the town of Gibraltar. It seemed mostly catered to tourists and UK colonists (right term?). Imagine a larger version of the Great Britain pavillion in the EPCOT World Showcase and you kind of have a good idea. However, occasionally off Main Street there were interesting side streets and alleys along with architecture that reflected older Moorish influences.

Really the only reason to go to Gibraltar is to see the Rock and the Barbary Apes that run wild all over the place. I got there in the afternoon and took one of the last cable cars to the top and walked/hiked down the rest. See the photo album for all the ape pics... yes many apes, so many ape pics. About a third of the way down, it seemed I was the only person around... occasionally a tourist taxi would come driving by with people who wanted to see the Rock within the confines of air conditioning, steel and safety glass. At about this time, I noticed that a few of the many swirling seagulls overhead began shrieking. I kept walking thinking hmmm, that║s odd. Then every minute or so, one would come dive bombing down towards me, maybe getting to 5 or so feet above my head. Obviously I was starting to freak out... and I had to sort of crouch and run to avoid these 2 or 3 damn seagulls that would come swooping down from my front, then from my back. Safety awaited at the turn and next downward path. I thought. Then the shrieking started again and the swooping. I started to duck and run again this time with my backpack on my head.
They were getting really close this time, maybe 3 feet above me. And...
they were shitting. By the end of the turn, their air raid left 3 direct hits on my backpack. It was hot, maybe 80deg F. I was sweaty and my hair was disheveled but I finally reached the bottom. I wanted a beer. I needed a beer. I went straight to the nearest pub I saw, a local dive with a few regulars speaking a mix of Australian, English and Scottish accents. In I come, an American wearing a "Dutch Army" t-shirt looking like a crazed maniac, all sweaty and carrying a bag covered in bird droppings. What sounded like lively chatter from the street stuttered and paused. I showed my bag and muttered "Hiked down...Seagulls... nesting?" He pointed to the WC at the back.

Bag washed, hair slicked back with sweat and my face splashed with water, I came back and grabbed a stool at the bar. I asked for a pint of Murphy┤s Irish Red, bummed a cigarette from some broad and watched the barkeep play with the pub Boxer.
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