GILBRALTAR

 In Honeymoon Planning

Gibraltar honeymoon

Sean & Cassandra at the Rock of Gibraltar.

Gibraltar honeymoon

A Colony of Barbary Apes inhabit the Mountain.

Gibraltar honeymoon

On a Clear Day, you can see Africa from the Rock.

Gibraltar honeymoon

Casemates Square has Strong Ties to England.

Gibraltar honeymoon

Cassandra “Triple Dog Dares” Sean to Shake Hands with a Wild Ape.
    Welcome to Gibraltar!  Cassandra and I had a chance to visit “The Rock” on a cruise around the Iberian Peninsula.  Known as the “Pillars of Hercules” in ancient times, this small strip of valuable real estate takes its name from Phoenicians.  After a succession of Roman and Moorish occupations, Spain claimed Gibraltar in 1462. After the War of Spanish Succession, Gibraltar was awarded to the crown of Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Spanish forces laid siege to Gibraltar on several occasions and were rebuffed for the final time in 1779. The British continued to build impregnable military fortifications within  the Rock’s vast network of caves and erected a fortress of seaside cannons to protect the harbor. The burgeoning military stronghold was vital during the first world war as it was able to successfully create a blockade from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.  During WWII it was critical to denying German U-Boat access to Southern Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Today Gibraltar is all about Tourism.   Each year millions of tourists visit  the beaches, enjoy Fish & Chips at the local pubs, explore St. Michael’s Cave, ride the cable car to the top of the Rock and attempt to get a picture of the famous Barbary Apes. These vestigial-tailed Macaques apes were brought from nearby Morocco.  They roam wild on the upper slopes of the mountain and are famous for stealing   cameras, hats and bags from tourists on their never-ending quest for food. We actually saw one woman get in a tug of war with an ape right in front of us. The ape stole her bag, jumped upon the wall and pulled out an orange from the bottom of the bag. The ape defiantly raised it in the air in front of the woman, threw her souvenir bag of brand new T-shirts over the cliff and ate the orange. We actually caught it on video – an amazing spectacle!
Gibraltar is quite proud of its British heritage and is enamored with the Royal Family. There is plenty of resentment from neighboring Spain as they believe the Rock is rightfully theirs. We took a cable car to the top of the Rock. From the apex you can see Spain in all directions except to the south. On a clear day, the southern vantage point offers a glimpse of Northern Africa and the Moroccan coast. The two continents are separated by only 7.7 nautical miles and ferry service provides daily connections. Gibraltar is a mere 2.6 square miles yet receives about 12 million tourists  each year. It’s subtropical climate makes it one of the most attractive destinations in the British Empire. Gibraltarians have complete British citizenship, but have their own unique currency – the Gibraltar Pound.  The total population is only 30,000. You can pretty much see all Gibraltar has to offer in a single weekend, but it’s definitely worth the trip!

– Sean Rox   www.roxbeach.com

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