Sep 09, 2013
Sep 29, 2013
Now for one of the places that I looked forward to the most – Gibraltar!! It is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has an area of 2.6 square miles and a northern border with Spain. At its foot is the densely populated city area, home to almost 30,000 people. Again, layers and layers of history. During the last war, the territory was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It was an important base for the Royal Navy; today its economy is based largely on tourism, online gaming, financial services and shipping. The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002. We visited the Great Siege Tunnels. These are a system of tunnels carved out of solid limestone. The works were commenced on May 25, 1782 by the forerunners of the Royal Engineers and today they stand as a monument to their ingenuity and engineering. They tunneled through the North side of the Rock in order to set up their artillery to protect that side of the Rock.We saw the Moorish Castle built in 1333 by the Moors (Arabs from Morocco) who spearheaded their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula from Gibraltar in 711 AD.We took the cable car to the top of the Rock!! Great views!! It was overcast as you can see from the pictures, but they say you can see Morocco on a clear day. It’s about 14 miles away. While there we saw the macaquas (the Barbary Apes). These tailless monkeys roam free! And look at you for any chance you might feed them.