GibGen Day

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gib from airI thought I might do a post about this amazingly unique place where I live. But I don’t want to drown you all in history and facts (and there is a lot of history going on here!). Soooooo!! I thought that on a Saturday, I would share just bits and pieces with you, and maybe create a page, so if you miss a bit, you can go back and have a sneaky catch-up.

I want to show you the stuff you won’t find on Google. The real reason why I fell in love with this lump of rock, and made it my home. So today, a few of the basics. It is really small, only 2.3 square miles (6 square kilometres) and most of that is rock!! The main town area is the part you can see at the front of the picture, and is home to almost 30,000 people. We ran out of space a little while ago, and had to reclaim some land from the sea, so that middle chunk is only 20 years old.

It is a British territory, has been since 1713, and for such a tiny piece of rock, has been fiercely fought over for several hundred years. English is the official language, although Gibraltarians are all bilingual (or bisexual, as one of my ex work colleagues once informed a bemused tourist!) and speak spanish as well. So that’s it for the history lesson for today, I will tell you more next week. For now, I will share with you a few of the photos I have taken, of the places most day trippers don’t see.

20140321_143546 (1)This is Catalan Bay, a tiny village on the east side of the rock, that until the last century was unreachable except by sea. It was originally populated by Genoese fishermen, and still retains its independent sense of community. The fishing boats go out daily, and are the main supply for our restaurants. Eating here is an absolute joy.

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There are really british aspects that stand out here, like the telephone boxes, which make you feel like you are stepping back in time by about fifty years. There are post boxes here that date back to Victorian times, I will capture those for you.

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The original city walls date back to a time when this was a moorish stronghold. In fact the name Gibraltar comes from Gibral Tarik, meaning Tarik’s Seat, the moorish ruler at the time. The bloke on the right? Oh yeah, that’s Nelson. His remains were brought here in a Β barrel of rum, onboard H.M.S. Pickle, after he died during the Battle of Trafalgar.

20140507_122146And this is in the Trafalgar Cemetery, which contains the remains of those that lost their life in that battle, and also those who died in an epidemic plague that followed shortly afterwards. Sounds a bit mad, but it is a beautiful cemetery!20140507_121728Β Ok so that’s the first of many! Not my normal type of post, but I really wanted people to know about this place, because it is really very special for a tiny isthmus! Oh, and for those of you that were expecting apes? Yes, we have them. Yes, they look cute. They are not!! They have teeth!! They steal!! And beat up small dogs!! (Ok, I may have made that last bit up, but they is nasty!!) But just for you, a picture!!gib ape

About Thewitch

Nikki is a half centenarian, an eternal teenager, and mother of four geniuses. In her previous incarnation, she was a famous Parisian courtesan, and witch, thus explaining her habit of talking to the moon in french. Due to her inability to control her thought/speech processes, she writes about life, love, laughter and anything else that happens to spill out. Those of a strong constitution can read more on her About page.

39 responses »

  1. You’re a tiny isthmus. I’m so glad you posted about Gibraltar. When I first met you I had to look it up. But getting a native’s take on their country is so much more interesting than an atlas.

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    • Oh I am so pleased you looked!! There are some wonderful tales to tell, a LOT of ghosts here!! Which will happen in a place with such a violent history! I thought of you in particular when I decided to do this!! But right now, I am going to watch the Eurovision Song Contest, which is the most bizarre, camp, daft competition in the world!!! But we have food, wine, and scoresheets to hand, because this is a HUGE tradition in my family, just like the Grand National!! Mad!! πŸ˜€

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  2. Fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing your home. i know what you mean about the monkeys. We get them occasionally in India….and they know the power is theirs!

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    • Hahah!! They really do rule the roost!! Trouble is, they look sweet, and the tourists feed them, which makes them even cheekier!! The wilder ones on the upper rock are far nicer!!

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  3. I’m on my iPhone and tried to repost. I must’ve accidentally bumped something because it posted before I finished giving credit. l’ll take care.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this with us! Those photos are amazing and it’s very cool to hear from someone who is there. For someone who has never left the US -minus one short trip to Canada- this is truly fascinating. πŸ™‚

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  5. What a cool post and an even cooler place to live. I do hope that you write more about life there. It would be cool to know what industries there are, if people get island fever, where do the kids go to college, and everything!! Now, I need to go look this up on a map! πŸ™‚

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  6. Thanks for sharing this. Also a good lesson in history with some lovely photographs. I would love to be in a place with ancient architecture. I would love to make a phone call from that booth πŸ™‚

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  7. I hope you are not after Judith Charmers job, Nikki! This took me back to her days on “wish you were here”? For a small rock, it looks an amazing place to visit (even if the apes do bite you and beat up small dogs). Now tell me this, do they do sticks of Gibraltar rock? Rock on the rock? πŸ™‚ Your photos are great and make it very inviting for a stop off next time I am in Southern Spain. I look forward to the next instalment.

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  8. I actually had no idea where or what Gibralter was until the other night, when Man of the House gave me an apparently overdue geography lesson. It is now on the list of places to visit. Although, you really burst my bubble with the monkeys. Who doesn’t want to hang out with a cute little monkey?

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  9. If you run into a blue police box, please check inside for Dr. Who, and then tell me if he’s really as wonderful as he seems. Love your love for Gibralter. Few things better than belonging to a place.

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  10. This was really interesting as I knew practically nothing about Gibraltar (except for the apes- thanks for the pic – I didn’t think they were very nice). Love the coloured buildings by the beach. πŸ™‚

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