So while Ruth and I went back to Gibraltar, friends Glen and Steve went into La Linea to find out the best way to catch the train to Ronda, which we will be doing tomorrow morning.
Gibraltar sells a pass for £10 ($16.50 CAD, $11.00 USD) that allows you access to the tunnels, the 13th century castle, and the St. Michael's Cave. That seemed pretty good value to us considering it would take us the better part of the day to see those attractions.
It was just after 11:00am when we crossed the border into Gibraltar. This time the gates came down before we got to the runway and we had to wait for a small jet to land before we could cross.
A small jet touches down.
The jet lands, continues to the end of the runway,
then turns around and crosses back over the road to get to the terminal.
Then the gates open, and traffic and pedestrians flow across the runway again.
Our first stop was the Moorish castle that overlooks the city of Gibraltar. Dating back to 1333, this castle has withstood ten sieges over the years. That's why you build thick walls if you want something to last!
It's also the first view we got of the macaque monkeys.
The castle is still in pretty good shape.
There's been some renovations done over the years!
The stairs in the main tower.
The Moorish Caste in Gibraltar.
But the Moorish Castle is still fairly low on the side of the hill. There was some serious climbing to be done if we wanted to walk to the other attractions.
The Rock itself has a long history of being a fortress of some kind. They have built many tunnels over the years, starting in 1782, and ending as recently as 1968. Some of these tunnels are open to the public. The original ones are included in the pass we bought, and if you want to see the WWII tunnels you have to pay extra. We had a full day ahead of us so we passed on the WWII tunnels.
The original tunnel built in the late 1700's.
The cannons had a great aim at the incoming vessels.
The view from one of the opening in the rock. This is looking back at Spain, and you can easily see the roadway that crosses the International Airport runway.
Fire the cannons!
Lots of fun. I think we spent well over an hour in the tunnels. From there, we hiked up to the cable car station at the highest accessible point. It was another 2.5 kms (1.5 miles) uphill all the way!
Gorgeous views, and hardly anybody around.
Looking towards Morocco.
They have such funny expressions, even when they're not doing anything!
Looking back towards Spain from the cable car station.
One of the monkeys watching the world go by.
Mom and little one.
It was a little bit windy so the cable car wasn't running. That meant the only people who were up there were the people who had walked up, and there certainly weren't many of us.
Ruth, and her monkey friend.
They seem friendly enough, but you have to be careful with the macaques monkeys in Gibraltar. They have been known to attack people who annoy them. This one approached Ruth, not the other way around. I snapped this pic, and we quickly moved on.
Certainly interesting creatures to watch!
They have signs all over the place saying not to feed, touch, or other wise annoy the monkeys and yet a couple of times every year somebody does something stupid and gets attacked by them. Even yesterday, we saw a young woman trying to touch one of them and it ended up scuffling with her friend. Then, we saw a guy from a tour group go right up to one of them and sit down beside it for a photo. I guess he can't read the signs.
From there, it was on to St. Michael's Cave. We've been to visit a lot of caves over the years and we didn't have high expectations for this one. But considering it's one of the most "developed" caves that we've ever visited, we were suitably impressed.
Scenery along the way!
Ruth, inside the cave.
At one part, they have a cross section of a stalagmite that they've cut open and polished. Really amazing, considering it's thousands of years old. You can easily see the two lines they're talking about that they think are from the last two glacial periods. Amazing stuff.
The inside of a stalagmite.
From there, it was time to start heading back down.
The Queen was here!
Ruth, standing where the Queen did.
On the way down, there is a suspension bridge to cross...
Kevin on the suspension bridge.
What a great day we had. We ended up doing 15 kms (9.3 miles) over six hours. I think that's 36 kms (22 miles) over the past three days. Today, we're taking the train instead of walking, although I'm sure we'll still be using our feet to get to where we want to go!
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