June 12, 2016 by: Diana Beach
One of the many attractions of this part of southern Spain is Gibraltar, a massive bastion of Britishness tagged onto the end of Spain and enduring despite all attempts to wrest it from its status as a BOT – British Overseas Territory.
It is an anomaly and all the more fascinating for that. One of the Pillars of Hercules of the Ancient World, it stands strategically at the entrance to the Mediterranean, the other Pillar being on the other side of the Straits of Gibraltar in Morocco. The photo above is a shot of the busy harbour, Morocco in the distant far left, the Spanish town of Algeciras in the background.
There is a border crossing between Spain and Gibraltar which can be more or less arduous depending upon how the Spanish police feel that day. There is a site with a couple of webcams where you can see how long the queue is. We went recently and had no wait at all but one must be prepared for delays.
The drive from Cartajima takes an hour and a half so an easy day trip and well worth going for one or both of two reasons: shopping or history and sightseeing.
There are two ways to approach either of these goals:
Park in Spain. Walk across the border and use public transportation. A bus (no. 4) takes you from the frontier to Main Street where you can browse and wander. Or reserve a seat on a small tour bus. Gibraltar Tours is one such company –
Drive onto the Rock. This has the advantage of giving you freedom to wander but disadvantage of having to find your way in what is a very cramped space and parking which can be tricky. But fun! and a challenge running the gauntlet of the border crossing!