Strolling from Spain to Britain
After my couple days in Cadiz, I took a bus down the coast, past Tarifa (the closest point to Morocco), arriving at La Linea de la Concepción, a border town adjacent to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar - there really isn't much there, but its position as a British outpost in Continental Europe overlooking Africa just made it seem so exotic, I couldn't resist but to plan a stop there!
From the bus station, it was a short walk to the border. The border of course was very easy to find, because just on the other side is "the Rock" of Gibraltar, unmissable from miles away.
After being waved through (a brief glance of the passport on the Spanish side and basically nothing on the Gibraltar side), and boom, we're not in Spain anymore! Winston Churchill Avenue!
One of the coolest aspects of Gibraltar is that the airport's runway cuts right across the strip of land connecting the Rock and mainland Spain, and you have to walk across the runway to get into town.
So many reminders of Great Britain abound.
These phone booths probably exist more for icon value than being particularly useful in this day and age.
I chose to stay at an Airbnb on this stay, and it turned out to be a great choice. I had a great view of the harbor, the runway (with a view of this helicopter landing), and Spain on the other side.
It was also fascinating meeting this very proud, English family. The mother was watching British TV the whole time, and it was so surreal crossing from southern Andalucia to enter their living room with an English gardening show on TV, complete with verdant landscapes and a grey, drizzly background.
I took breakfast on the veranda, with a box of Frosted Flakes.
With British milk!
In the fridge there was also chicken breasts sporting the Union Jack on the package. I knew I just had to pay a visit to this British supermarket, as if I were in some English suburb.
What was so amazing was that all of the products in the supermarket were imported from UK - even brands and products that had perfect Spanish equivalents. Does it really make sense to ship in Tropicana from the UK, when there is also Tropicana in Spain?
Or Ariel and Persil?
Soon it was time to head up the Rock. I had been delaying my trip up, because I could see it was cloudy at the summit. But with time running out before my bus to Malaga in the afternoon, I knew I had to go up sunny or not.
Luckily, the famous Gibraltar monkeys proved to be so memorable, I didn't mind not having the view from the top!
This mischievous monkey sneaked into the gift shop/café, first peering around to see if anyone would stop him.
She (I think it was a she?) dashed in, and just as quickly dashed out with a package of what seemed like brownies! She then retired to a little corner to eat the brownies on her own.
Of course, some others wanted in on the spoils, but she just wouldn't share.
The "social grooming" that the monkeys take part in made for some really endearing photos. And they were just all over the place, climbing onto the taxis that go up the mountain. One even jumped on and over my head, knocking my hat off.
After the Rock, and a leisurely lunch, it was time to walk back to Spain. The contrast of being up in the clouds compared to what seems like perpetually sunny southern Andalucía just added to the feeling of walking from one world to another.