I had the luck to make a fleeting visit to the wonderful Gibraltar this week and what a treat it was. I managed to see so much in such a short space of time, it was wonderful (although hot!).
A fantastic couple of ours married at the stunning Botanical Gardens and what a ceremony that was!
Gibraltar is full of surprises, an English island just off the southern coast of Spain. I flew to Malaga as I travelled from Barcelona - and hired a car, a quick 1hour 30 minute drive down the stunning coastline to the border at La Linea. As a UK passport holder I was waved straight through and the crossing too and it took about 15 minutes.
There are a few options, you can fly direct into Gibraltar (our very own Leanne's dad was in charge of building the runway in Gibraltar, so do appreciate the smooth surfaces and excellent drainage system on the landing and take off!). Or you can fly into Malaga and it is a really easy bus, train, taxi or hire car trip to the La Linea/Gibraltar border.
You have an option of parking in Spain there are plenty of car parks and then you walk across the border. I chose to drive and then parked in the multi-story car park of the ICC shopping centre. Really easy to get to and it is positioned right at the end of main street.
Gibraltar is small it is only 6.7km2 so moving around on foot is easy (although main street is cobbled)! I walked about 10 minutes to my hotel The Elliot Hotel. I can not recommend this hotel enough to anyone visiting Gibraltar. It is lovely, beautifully decorated the rooms are spacious, modern and spotless.
As it is July it was hot, so I had a walk around in the evening sunshine, had a drink in a small pub and then headed back to the hotel for the night.
Early the following morning, I had some meetings at the registry office and the Botanical Gardens and the Mons Calpe Suite please see the related blogs for that and then I had the afternoon the walk around and discover the island.
If you are marrying in The Dell, if you are able, stay in the Rock Hotel, as there is a private walkway from the Hotel down into the Botanical Gardens.
First I went to the Queensway Quay which is a beautiful marina with lots of restaurants and I indulged in traditional fish and chips! They were amazing! I sat there for some time as it was such a lovely area and took it all in before my afternoon of exploring. If you would like a restaurant overlooking the sea, the locals love "Rendez-vous". But this is a great Gibraltar website i in General to help you with whatever you are looking for...Click here
So after some time, I ventured out onto the streets again, Gibraltar, although small is a very busy place there are a lot of cars and motorbikes on the roads so be careful when walking around! There are also a lot of pedestrianised areas and little pockets of calmness around every corner that you just don't expect! As it was a British military base there are a lot of military buildings, cannons dotted around and the Bastian walls that formed the external walls of the base.
To be honest with you I walked and walked for miles and was really upset that I didn't have my fit-bit on to count the steps ;-)
And then, when it got just too hot I passed Commonwealth Park and was immediately drawn into to the shade, the grass and I rested there for a while.. This is a large park with a fun water feature in the middle to cool off, the grass is so green and spongy to sit on whilst people enjoyed a picnic or a game of football, or just to be chilled out..
After I had taken my time in the park it was time to wander the streets some more and then get back to the air-con! As I made my way back to Main Street I noticed there were red signs on may of the buildings telling the story of the building and its significance!
In fact everywhere you look there is a reminder of the history of Gibraltar.
My favourite of all was this sign that can be found on the back of the registry office... and I remembered why I was in Gibraltar..
As it was already starting to get dark, I had been out all day, and had to get up early to make my trip home, I stopped in at a supermarket and (as a British girl living in Europe does) I stocked up on a few English essentials and sat in my hotel room in the air -con, did some work and had a picnic!
I had such a short space of time in Gibraltar and even though it is small I didn't cover half of it, I can't wait for my next trip over!
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