John Lennon married Yoko Ono in GIbralter.
But No one warned me that the registry office is a simple dreary room. I was glad I didnt wear my glam clothes for the occasion.
The one witness we brought with us wasn't enough. We asked a couple in the queue ahead of us who were also getting married that day if they would agree to act as our witnesses. They were really happy to do so.
The bossy registrar wouldnt allow this, and called in someone from the office instead.
Fondest memory: Gibraltar is too small and overrun with traffic for my liking, but there are interesting things to see I'm sure.
We allowed ourselves a day to do all the paperwork, go to the notary, order the flowers etc. and have a nosy around the town. But you have to book the date of your wedding a couple of week's in advance.
The male registrar wagged his finger at us, warning us that we were about to make a big committment and told us to take it seriously. This made me and my husband to be snigger, it was like being told off in the headmasters office. I wouldn't have minded if we were teenagers, but we are in our 50's!
As soon as the ceremony was over we drove as fast as we could (after half an hour stuck in the slow traffic trying to leave ) to the fresh air of Ronda in Spain.
You can spend British pounds and Euros in Gibraltar. Your pound is best as you won't always get the best exchange rate. There are British banks and post offices in Gibraltar. The police are british. You drive on the right, as in Spain and not as in the UK. Do not break the speed limit. There are regular speed traps. Do not park illegally - the tow truck is always on the prowl and works quickly. There are several pay car parks and they are very cheap and secure. Petrol is cheap. The cheapest place to get petrol is not always the first garage as you enter Gibraltar. Check out the garage at Morrisions supermarket.
If you want to see the sights in as little time as possible, take a rock tour on one of the organised trips. They are not expensive and well worth the money. The small minibuses leave from near the border crossing.
Quickest way into town and the shops is taxi or one of the city buses. Buses are very cheap and regular.
Gibraltar has several sandy beaches that are well cared for and clean. One of the best is Eastern Beach, close to the airport. The beach is long and wide and has good facilities. Other beaches include Catalan Bay, Sandy Bay, Little Bay and Camp Bay on the western side.
There are no camping facilities in Gibraltar and trailers/caravans are not allowed over the border.
Gibraltar is so small that you will need to drive across the airport runway when entering or leaving from Spain.
The control tower keeps track on arriving and departing planes and makes sure that people only cross the runway when it´s safe.
The runway at Gibraltar's airport is famous for crossing the main road between Gibraltar and Spain.
Several times a day, when a plane is due to land or take off, sirens sound and pedestrians and traffic come to a halt.
The sirens sound in plenty of time. First, any pedestrians crossing the road are hurried along and any further pedestrians are prevented from starting to walk across.
A few minutes later, the barriers come down and the road is closed to traffic.
There are plenty of security staff to ensure that nobody attempts to venture onto the runway and to ensure that the runway is clear of any litter or debris.
Within minutes of the plane landing or taking off, the barriers go up again and normal commuter activity resumes.
It can be frustrating if you find yourself held up at the barrier when you want to be somewhere on the other side of the runway, especially when you can see that the incoming plane is still several minutes away from landing, but safety concerns dictate that the road is closed in plenty of time.
As airport runways go, Gibraltar's is surely one of the most spectacular and unique in the world!
What exactly is the Irish connection with Gibraltar or is there any connection at all ? We have Lynch's Lane ( my ancestors, definitely ) and Irish Town, a long street parallel with Main Street, right in the centre of the old Town, but why did they get these names ? Google or Wikipedia have no answer to this connection so one can only surmise.
Were Irish builders involved in construction work here ?
Is the connection to do with a battalion of the 89th Regiment of the Irish Fusileers who served in Gibraltar in the 1800s ?
We can be fairly sure that the Irish connection is not in memory of the three IRA members gunned down in Gibraltar by the SAS on March 6th., 1988.
It's also fairly safe to overlook the theory that it's so-called becaue of Irish pubs nearby. You would be amazed at the number of people who do in fact think this !
Gentle reader, if you know something I don't now about this then please, share the secret with all of us.
By this stage of our trip to Spain, we had already spent one night in Madrid, two way up the coast in Alicante (far right side of the map) and then another nine nights exploring the network of 'orange' roads shown on this map. At that point Sue's sister returned to England and the two of us then just did our own thing, without any pre-booked accommodations.
Fondest memory: We ended up with a night in Nerja, two in Tarifa and one in Vejer de la Frontera on the Atlantic coast before New Year's Eve loomed before us without any accommodations being arranged. That was when we decided to leave Tarifa, taking in Gibraltar while on our way back to a hostal in Torremolinos (where we had spent one night with Sue's sister). In the end, our plan worked well and we had no problem getting a room, although it then cost 60 Euros instead of 40 Euros!
Favorite thing: The Royal Gibraltar Regiment began in 1958 and is the home defense unit for Gibraltar. The regiment is manned by volunteer and regular soldiers and was granted a Royal title in 1999 which has elevated its standing and allows the unit to fire gun salutes from the Tower of London. They are also responsible for the Ceremony of the Keys in Gibraltar which is a re-enactment of the locking of the gates to the garrison and the old town.
Favorite thing: Jules Vern was a visitor to Gibraltar. Verne first visited from Tangier aboard the Saint-Michel III – a steam yacht he owned. His first call ashore was to the Governors Residence – The Convent and to later dine at the Royal Hotel. His second visit was in 1884 on the same vessel/ Je was fascinated by the fortifications and the artillery – not to mention the apes he discovered. He later wrote a short story called Gil Braltar.
Gibraltar's first telephone exchange was set up in 1886 as a private enterprise and then taken over by the Government of Gibraltar. In the 1970s there were three generations of automatic telephone exchange equipment in use with four and five digit numbers.
Telephone connections between Gibraltar and Spain were severed by the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, in 1969, and were not restored until 1984. However, Gibraltar experienced restrictions after that date causing problems with its telecommunications system, as a direct result of the Spanish sovereignty claim.
Until February 10, 2007, Spain continued to impose restrictions on Gibraltar's ability to expand and modernise its telecommunications infrastructure. These included a refusal to recognise the Gibraltar's International Direct Dialling (IDD) code (+350) which restricted the expansion of the Gibraltar telephone numbering plan, and the prevention of roaming arrangements for Gibraltar GSM mobile phones in Spain and vice versa. Following the signing of the Córdoba Accord between the Governments of Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and Spain in September 2006, these restrictions were removed with effect from February 10, 2007.
Since 1 October 2008 telephone numbers for landlines and mobile phones in Gibraltar are eight digits long. Prior to this date, landline numbers consisted of five digits starting with either 4, 5 or 7, while mobile phone numbers remain unchanged. Since this date all calls to existing Gibtelecom five digit landline numbers have to be prefixed with 200, making the numbers eight digits long.
Thus 52200 becomes 20052200 and when dialled from outside Gibraltar +350 200 52200.
You can actually walk to Gibraltar in a few minutes from the Spanish city of La Linea de Conception (often shorted to La Linea).
If you arrive in the morning, spend one night either in La Linea or in Gibraltar, you will still need some of the next morning/early afternoon to see the Rock.
If you arrive in the later afternoon or early evening, you will be really rushed to see everything the following day without spending a second night.
This would be a minimum. But if you want to get a more intimate feel for the area and/or do some shopping, definitely spend at least two nights in the area. Lodging in La Linea is typically a bit more economical than staying in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is a little corner of England embedded within Andalusia - like many other places like TOrremolinos or Marbella, with the difference that Gibraltar is an OFFICIAL corner of England... you speak English, you pay with British pounds, you make phone call from red phone boots and you take a double-decker bus from the border into the centre... mind you, you can even get true British weather: it rained cats and dogs the day I went there.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Gibraltar, however, was getting there... and I will explain. When we arrived in the Spanish border town La Linea de la Conception, we immediately headed towards the rock, found the border post, crossed the border post, found the bus driving into town and... big surprise. Gibraltar airport sits right after the border, so to drive into town, you have to cross the runway. It did feel strange... this is my fondest memory. I don't think I'll find another place where you need to cross a runway to get to the city.
Its worth taking a stroll around Marina Bay to marvel at some of the boats and yachts moored there, and wonder how much they might cost.
You can also take a dolphin spotting trip from here and there are a couple of pleasant waterside seafood restaurants.
Favorite thing: Christmas and New Year in Gibraltar are always quite festive and fun! The lights and decorations go up a few weeks before the holidays and you can feel a buzz in the air. This photo was taken on Christmas Eve I believe before the crowds all got off from work at lunch time and hit the bars! Gibraltar is mainly Catholic so Christmas is a big deal for them. At lunch time they pour into the main street and head for the bars where they all celebrate something or another (probably their next two days off work!) and by 6pm they stagger off home to be with their families. The next two days are like a ghost town! Then its back to work for a few days before we do it all over again for New Year!
Favorite thing: The petrol in Gbraltar is much cheaper than in Spain, so everyday we have hoards of Spaniards coming into Gibraltar to fill up their tanks. The only problem with this is that then there are always long queues to get out back into Spain! They probably use up a quarter of the tank just sitting in the two hour queue! CEPSA is a Spanish oil company, but its cheaper in Gib for some reason! So what do the locals get out of that I wonder?
Favorite thing: This is the runway crossing for both traffic and pedestrians. If a plane is coming in, or a fire engine needs to cross the road (they are based on the airport), then the barrier goes down for however long is necessary, and we all wait there until it goes back up again! If you are an avid plane watcher, this is THE place to come! The plane wooshes right past you an the noise is so loud! But you get great photos and videos from it! The only problem about this is that when you're in a rush the barrier nearly ALWAYS seems to be down! We used to have to time it when i was at school in Gibraltar to get there before the plane landed so i wouldnt be late for school! I dont think we ever managed it!
Absolutely fantastic with the most impressive views ever. Please see the video we made. ...more
Stayed at the hotel for 3 nights this July.Room comfortable and very clean and tidy.Breakfast...more
This was one of the hotels recommended to me when I booked my flight as a BA holiday, and it was...more