Driving to Gibraltar
June 2, 2017
We ate breakfast at the Grangefield Oasis Club and checked out from there. We transferred remaining items to Club Marbella and prepared to drive to Gibraltar. We started out maybe 11:30 but turned to the AP-7 from the A-7 an exit too soon, which locked me into traveling the wrong way, toward Malaga. We had to loop about 20 km to get back traveling the right direction.
Using the A-7 as far as we could and then joining the AP-7, we made the drive to Gibraltar. First you come to the rather large city of La Linea, Spain. With Gibraltar in the GPS we more or less wandered through La Linea.
With no way to estimate the time it would take to get through customs, we just had to sit. It took about an hour, and then there was just a cursory look at our passports and a wave to proceed. We would have to admit that we were dumb to just wander up to an international boundary on an afternoon driveabout. But Gibraltar is going to have a hard time building their tourist trade with that kind of slowness, lack of information, lack of helpfulness, and lack of guidance along the way. Hindsight would have sent us to Algeciras instead of Gibraltar. From Algecirus we could have booked a short boat tour without our passports, and could have even gotten across to the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast next to Morocco without crossing an international boundary line. From a boat tour we could have seen the Rock as well as we saw it.
After we drove through the three tunnels, we found a beach and playground area where we could see across the Straits of Gibraltar to the north-African coast, where there is the Spanish city of Ceuta carved out on the coast next to Morocco. There were old structures on the cliffs that looked like fortresses of some kind. You can see the opening of the third tunnel that we had come through.
The Strait of Gibraltar was misty, but we could see several large ships moored off the Rock. We had lunch there, looking across the Strait of Gibraltar and watching the shipping.
We sat beside a white tile wall which had this large portrait in tile, which I guessed to be Queen Victoria, given the British character of Gibraltar. Brenda and Chris had fish 'n chips, and I had a hamburger. The menu was in English with prices in pounds sterling, consistent with the practice of Gibraltar.
There were a large number of ships moored from every viewpoint from which we looked.
As we drove upward trying to follow the fellow's instructions, we found lots of evidence of the caves we had heard about, some having remains of Neanderthals. This wall we took as an example of the many kinds of fortifications that have been built on the Rock.
We came to an overlook with a wall which gave us a nice view of the variety of shipping that was moored near the Rock.
We used the gps to get us back through La Linea and back on the road to the Club Marbella.
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