The Siege Tunnels
”The labyrinth of tunnels inside the Rock of Gibraltar known as the Great Siege Tunnels is perhaps the most ingenious defence system devised by man”, so says the official website.
I found the trip to be fascinating inside the rock in the tunnels and seeing the places where the defenders lived and fought. Even with the rudimentary lighting it must have been a dark place to live.
I'd thoroughly recommend a visit. As for the most ingenious, a similar system exists at Dover Castle near where I live in England.
As I didn't have a camera with me, I have "borrowed" a picture from the official website - linked below.Related to:
- Museum Visits
Dolphin safari's, sound rather strange? Not really, basicly it's your average safari but on water. There are a few companies that do this in Gibraltar, about three at Marina bay area.
What is it, you ask? Well basicly you go on a boat that takes you out into the bay and you see the dolphins in their own habitat (yes, the water)
May not sound too exciting the way I have explained it, but believe me you will not want to miss it.Related to:
- Family Travel
Views from Gibraltar
If you are in Gibraltar, go visit the
1) Almeda Gardens (next to the cable car station)
3) The apes
4) Take a look at the famous clif
5)Check the "Europa Point" which is the furthest point away from the frontier and only 15½ miles from Africa.
Rock Tour - cave, tunnel, monkey
We wanted to go on the cable car but as the winds were too strong we could not.
We therefore paid for a Rock Tour which was (April 2008) 12 Euros per person (including our 8 year old) with our 6 year old going free. This price included our entrance fees.
We were happy with our guide who was most chatty and informative but otherwise, when I say 'tour' I mean that they drive you to each attraction (The Pillars of Hercules, The Great Seige Tunnels, St. Michael's Caves & finally the top where the Barbary Macaques hang out).
To be honest, I wouldn't want to walk up - it is a long way up... and bringing your car is not an option so, the guides have it pretty much sewn up. Thus much said, when you take into account our entrance fees to the caves and the tunnels (nothing else on the tour has a fee) were part of the cost, it is not too bad...Related to:
- Family Travel
Gibraltar's Alameda Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens were founded in 1816 by Governor of Gibraltar General George Don to provide a recreational place for the residents of Gibraltar.
In the 1970s the gradens fell into a state of disrepair.
June 1991 saw the commencement of restoration work for the gardens which are now open and fully and freely enjoyed by the general public.
The gardens are most pleasurable to wander around, especially seeing as they are located close to the cable car office and to where many Rock tours (by car) start.
The gardens host many succulents from around the world, including the Quiver Tree found only in Namarqualand region of South Africa and the Karas region of Namibia
St. Michael's Cave
Am I allowed to say this is one of the most boring, uninteresting caves I have ever visited (and for some reason I seem to have been to a lot!)?
It is part of the tour of the Rock package so you will get thrown out here and, may as well have a mooch about the place. Receiving 1,000,000 visitors a year I can only assume it to be the fault of the tours - surely nobody would actually make a special journey here??
FACTS : It is limestone and was created (which is impressive) by rainwater turned carbonic acid.
Prehistoric man used this cave and apparently there is some cave art but, if that is availbale for the general public to see it was totally lost on me. The Victorians used it for parties and in WWII it was used as an emergency hospital.
The 'Cathedral Cave' is used nowdays as an auditorium.
There are guided tours of the lower caves (persons over 10 years only) and perhaps it is on these tours that the caves show their wonder??Related to:
- Family Travel
The Pillars of Hercules & the Straits
To the north of the entrance of the Atlantic Ocean is the Rock of Gibraltar and to the south is the Moroccan Jebel Musa. The Straights are just 14 km wide
As per the Romans adaptation of Peisander's poem, Hercules had to cross the Atlas Mountains. Rather than climbing over them he stamped his foot thus creating the Strait / a passageway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Pillars where then fixed on the Rock of Gibraltar (and also on a hill overlooking Ceuta, Morocco). The actual science behind the Straights is - the Mediterranean Sea got cut off from all water supply. It continued over thousands of years to evaporate, but was never replensihed. Eventually it was entirely evaporated and a desert. It stayed this way for quite sometime until at last the rivers that desperately wanted to feed it burst through the rocks and a waterfall one hundred times the size of Victoria Falls was created. It took a century for the sea to refill. Interestingly enough it is shallower than the Atlantic. And here endith your lesson!!!!Related to:
- Historical Travel
Great Seige Tunnels
The Great Seige was an unsuccessful attempt by the Spanish and the Frenh to capture Gibraltar from the British.
In the spring of 1783 after 3 years and 7 months of conflict, Spaini and France retreated.
It is possible to wander a few of the tunnels, there are explanative texts and a few exhibits but it is not too exciting. It is, however, part of The Rock tour. You will be taken there and it is included in your tour price so you may as well go and look!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
The Lime Kiln
This lime kiln is the last surviving one in Gibraltar. It was built in the late 19th century. The desinfecting function of lime was used for several purposes, for example to paint the inner part of water cisterns or to cover recently deceased people so that plagues can’t spread. With some fantasy, you may surely guess where the raw material for the lime kiln came from (Hint: The rock mostly consists of limestone…).
The lime kiln is NOT located on Lime Kiln Road. This road name is an evidence for the importance lime kilns played once, but referred to another one. The last surviving lime kiln is located on Willis’s Road, just a few meters upwards when coming from the “City under Siege” exhibition.
If you go to Jews Gate expecting soemthing like a stone arch, you will be disappointed. But there are four things which may be of interes to you at this point. First, the old jewish cemetery which still can be visited. Second, the monument known as the “Pillars of Hercules” to show Gibraltar’s mentioning in ancient history (Please read my separate tip about that). Third, the Strait of Gibraltar Bird observatory. Finally, the lower end of the so-called “Mediterranean Steps”, a footpath which leads you up to the rock. That one is also described in a separate tip.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Gibraltar is one of very few cities in the world where the airport is a main tourist attraction. As Gibraltar is limited in land, the construction of this airport required several concessions which are rather unusual. First, the runway had to be extended into the sea to allow larger planes to land. Second, the runway crosses the most important street in Gibraltar which conncets it to Spain. However, it is an impressive sight to see a plane coming from over the water and land. It is even more impressive to see it crossing the street in from of you. You can view this spectacle from both sides fo the runway while waiting for the crossing gate to reopen again. If you want to go to the airport just to see a plane landing, it is advisable to check a timetable. Gibraltar only handles a hand full of flights per day.Related to:
Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park
This small park, situated inside the Botanic Gardens, is more than a small zoo. It creates awareness about endangered species and gives unwanted exotic animals a home. Most species are turtles, birds and monkeys. The largest animals are pot-bellied pigs, but space and specialization limit the number of species. Nice place, if you are interested in Gibraltar’s wildlife or visit Gibraltar with kids. With a 2 pound entry fee for adults (2009) there’s nothing wrong you can do about.Related to:
- National/State Park
The Botanic Garden is the green heart of Gibraltar’s town center. It is located south to the town center and works as a typicla city park. However, the mediterranean climeate enables the park to grow a large number of species so that its plant diversity beats most of the usual parks in Europe. The Botanic Garden is an excellent place for a quiet, but interesting start into the day and gives you an insight into mediterranean flora. For Gibraltar’s Fauna, check out the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park. It is located in the Botanic Garden and has only a limited number of species, but is still worth a visit. Check out my separate tip for that.
BTW, friends of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” should not miss the bronze statue of “Molly Bloom”, a character form the novel who was a native Gibraltarian. Friends of Royalty will notice the huge royal cypher of Elizabeth II right at the entrance.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- National/State Park
A fantastic view from the rock.
While visiting the monkeys we had this absolutely breathtaking view of the town of Gibraltar. You can go much higher up by cable car, but that was not included in our tour. So while enjoying the company of the Gibraltar monkeys you get this fantastic view as a plus - ever so worth it!
The British Gibraltar.
Everything is British in Gibraltar, the phone-booths, the mail-boxes, the British flag, the language - it is ever so British :D As England is my favourite country so far I loved visiting Gibraltar. We visited on a very hot day, ca 38 degrees C, and it was wonderful being surrounded by this British influence experiencing such high temperatures.
My photos are taken in the center of town.
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
Absolutely fantastic with the most impressive views ever. Please see the video we made. ...more
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