Saturday, February 27, 2016

Impromptu Trip to Europe: Part IV - Flight to Spain & Gibraltar

We woke up at 2:45 AM on February 12th, packed our bags, and headed to the Faro airport to catch our 6:10 AM flight to Malaga, Spain (with a short layover in Lisbon).

Luckily, the flights were pretty empty and I was able to sleep on the second flight.

When we arrived in Malaga we were met by a man named Jeffery. A few months ago my parents went to Cancun to attend a property owning workshop which was run by Jeffery. He taught the group what went into owning properties in other countries.

Jeffery drove us from the airport to Marbella, which is about an hour southwest. Once we arrived in Marbella he took us on a tour of the beautiful city. It was a long tour and we had been up since 2:45 AM so I did fall asleep, but it was still nice to see the city by a local. 

After the tour, Jeffery took us to the apartment that my parents would be staying in for the next month. It's a beautiful two bedroom/two bath place in a great area.

We did some research on cars and the places we wanted to visit in Spain and then walked down the street to get dinner at Ambrosia. 

While I was researching places to see in Spain I thought it would be fun to go to Gibraltar and maybe catch a ferry into Morocco. After contacting my parents travel agent and reading up on Morocco, we decided that we should go to Gibraltar but not go into Morocco. We found out that the ferry can take you to a port city but if you wanted to really experience Morocco then you would need to go further into the country and spend a few days there. We just didn't have the time. 

There is a cable car in Gibraltar that takes you to the top of the Rock and then you can do the 9 km hike down while seeing the various sites. I thought this was a great idea until I found online that the cable car shuts down once a year for maintenance work and that happened to be when we were there! Ugh! Oh well. I was still fighting that nasty cold and maybe hiking 9 km wasn't a good idea anyways.

On the morning of February 13th, we picked up the rental car and headed southwest. An hour later we found ourselves in the United Kingdom!

Gibraltar! This is why they call it "The Rock!"

We parked our car in Spain and walked across the border. Our passports were checked and we were allowed back in the United Kingdom.

We jumped on a bus and took it to the City Center. Here we walked around the Main Street while discussing what to do. We were approached by a tour guide who told us that if we paid him 30 Euros a piece they would take us to Saint Michael's Cave, the Cable Car Top Station (high point on The Rock) to see the barbary macaques, the Great Siege Tunnels, and The Pillars of Hercules. It seemed like a good deal so we told him we would think about it. He also reminded us that the cable car was down for the day and that they only way to the top is with a tour. I then asked him where the best place to get fish and chips was. He told us "Roy's is the best!" so off we went!

We walked all the way down Main Street and when we hit the end we found Roy's! We all got the fish and chips and they did not disappoint! 

After lunch we bought and mailed post cards to the grandkids.

[I love these classic Victorian post boxes!]

We then went looking for a tour to go on.

[The Red Coats are coming!]

We found a tour that took us to all the places we wanted to go, jumped in the taxi, and off we went!

Our first stop was the Pillars of Hercules. From here we could see Africa and the beautiful coastline of Spain.

[Me and Africa]

[Our tour guide told us that all these ships are waiting to fuel up in Gibraltar because there are no taxes and the fuel is so cheap]

Next, we went to Saint Michael's Cave!

Then we went to the top of the Rock and found a herd of barbary macaques! Ahh! They are so cute!

There were babies EVERYWHERE!

They were so cute and friendly! But they are wild so we kept our distance!

At this spot we also had a great view!

Our last stop on the tour was the Great Siege Tunnels. When we got to the entrance we heard a bunch of monkeys yelling. We decided to go check it out!

We found this group of monkeys who were apparently really upset with a dog that was in the area. They kept yelling at it. It was pretty funny and loud!

After exploring part of the tunnels, we were taken back down to Main Street were we thanked our taxi driver and then went looking for something hot to drink. I was still sick and I needed hot water to take my medicine so we found a little coffee shop. We learned there that you can pay in Euros but they give you change in English Pounds! 

After a long day in the Gibraltar we left the tiny country and headed back to Marbella! We had to prepare for our trip north to Seville and Madrid!

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