Gibraltar

01 of 24

Sailing into Gibraltar from the East

Sailing into Gibraltar from the East
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

British Outpost at the Gateway to the Mediterranean

Gibraltar has long played an important role in history. Its strategic position at the narrow entrance to the Mediterranean has made Gibraltar the envy of many invaders through the centuries who sought possession of the tiny peninsula with the big rock. Next door Spain ruled Gibraltar for over 242 years until it was transferred to Great Britain in 1713. Gibraltar has remained strongly British since that day.

Many cruise ships call on Gibraltar for the day on cruises between the Mediterranean and northern Europe. With a day in port, visitors can visit the famous Rock of Gibraltar, tour St. Michael's Cave, and learn about the important role Gibraltar has played in the history of the world. We had a wonderful day in Gibraltar from the Crystal Symphony on a food and wine theme cruise from Barcelona to London. Join me on a tour of Gibraltar.

The Rock of Gibraltar as seen from the Mediterranean Sea. This view of the "Rock" is not the familiar western one we see from the Prudential Insurance logo.

02 of 24

Cable Car to the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar

Cable Car to the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

Our shore excursion from the Crystal Symphony started with a cable car ride to the Top of the Rock.

03 of 24

View of Gibraltar from the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar

View of Gibraltar from the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

Great views such as this one can be seen from the top of the rock of Gibraltar. Note the Crystal Symphony at the dock in the center of the picture.

04 of 24

Strait of Gibraltar

Strait of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

Looking out over the Strait of Gibraltar from the top of the Rock. Note the ships in the narrow channel. That's Morocco far in the distance. The continents of Africa and Europe are only 14 miles apart at the Strait of Gibraltar.

Continue to 5 of 24 below.
05 of 24

Strait of Gibraltar with Morocco in the Distance

Strait of Gibraltar with Morocco in the Distance
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

The Strait of Gibraltar with the Atlas Mountains seen in the distance. The Rock looms 1400 feet over the Mediterranean, and Africa is only 14 miles away.

06 of 24

British Colony of Gibraltar and Spanish Andalusia

British Colony of Gibraltar and Spanish Andalusia
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison
07 of 24

Harbor at Gibraltar

Harbor at Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison
08 of 24

Rock of Gibraltar

Walk Down from the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

After we saw the exceptional view from the Top of the Rock, we followed this paved walking trail down the rock to St. Michael's Cave.

Continue to 9 of 24 below.
09 of 24

Barbary Apes (Macaques) at the Rock of Gibraltar

Barbary Apes (Macaques) at the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

We were in Gibraltar in May, which is the beginning of the season when the young Barbary apes (macaques) are born. Isn't this a sweet photo of mamma and baby?

10 of 24

Ape's Den at the Rock of Gibraltar

Ape's Den at the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

On the walk from the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar down to Michael's Cave, we passed by the Ape's Den, the place to always see Barbary apes.

11 of 24

Barbary Apes at the Rock of Gibraltar

Barbary Apes at the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

These Barbary apes at the Ape's Den on the Rock of Gibraltar certainly seem to love oranges!

12 of 24

St. Michael's Cave in Gibraltar

St. Michael's Cave in Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

St. Michael's is a cathedral cave with a unique auditorium used for concerts and other cultural events.

St. Michael's Cave inside the Rock of Gibraltar was once thought to be bottomless. In olden times, people thought that there was a subterranean passageway connecting Africa to Gibraltar. Sounds like something out of a mystery book doesn't it?

Continue to 13 of 24 below.
13 of 24

Crystal Symphony at the Dock in Gibraltar

Crystal Symphony at the Dock in Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison
14 of 24

Gibraltar Airport Runway

Gibraltar Airport Runway
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

The Gibraltar Airport runway crosses the narrow isthmus. Cars must cross the runway when driving from British Gibraltar to Spain on the other side.

15 of 24

Gibraltar Airport Runway Intersecting Road to Spain

Gibraltar Airport Runway Intersecting Road to Spain
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

Look closely. You can see the jet going along the runway and a truck waiting to cross on the road.

British Gibraltar has very little area, and the important airport runway takes up a major portion of land. To drive from Gibraltar to Spain, vehicles must cross the runway.

16 of 24

Cemetery Next to Devil's Tower Camp in Gibraltar

Cemetery in Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 17 of 24 below.
17 of 24

Great Siege Tunnels in the Rock of Gibraltar

Great Siege Tunnels in the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

The Great Siege Tunnels of the Rock of Gibraltar are an engineering marvel. These tunnels have helped protect Gibraltar since the late 1700's.

18 of 24

Great Siege Tunnels of the Rock of Gibraltar

Great Siege Tunnels of the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

The Great Siege Tunnels of the Rock of Gibraltar are an engineering marvel. These tunnels have helped protect Gibraltar since the late 1700's.

The hike down into the Great Siege Tunnels is fairly easy since it is down hill. The hike back out is something else! The interesting historical perspective in the tunnels make the hike worth it.

19 of 24

Cannon in the Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar

Cannon in the Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison
20 of 24

Barbary Ape at the Rock of Gibraltar

Barbary Ape at the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 21 of 24 below.
21 of 24

Two Monkeys and an Ape at the Rock of Gibraltar

Linda Garrison and Marvel Paull with a Barbary Ape
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

Everyone who visits Gibraltar wants to have their photo taken with one of the famous Barbary apes. This is really my mom and I with the ape in the middle.

The legend says that if the monkeys disappear from Gibraltar, so will the British. If the closely monitored population of apes falls below 200, more monkeys are to be imported from Morocco.

22 of 24

Barbary Ape at the Rock of Gibraltar

Barbary Ape at the Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

This fellow has a great place to watch all the tourists!

23 of 24

Gibraltar Ape with Baby

Gibraltar ape with Baby
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

Our guide estimated that little baby at its momma's breast was less than an hour old.

24 of 24

Rock of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar
Picture of Gibraltar (c) Linda Garrison

This familiar view of the Rock of Gibraltar is from the west side, with the airport runway between the van we were in and the Rock.

Was this page helpful?