Catalan Bay

Here you’ll find travel reports about Catalan Bay. Discover travel destinations in Gibraltar of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

24 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Rock of Gibraltar

    May 8 in Gibraltar

    It has been 1 week since we left Phoenix! Today we drove to Gibraltar, one of the highlights we really wanted to see while in the Costa del Sol. It is only about 1½ - 2 hours’ drive, and a very scenic one, with mountains all the way along the Mediterranean coastline. Traffic is very heavy going across the border, so we parked on the Spanish side, took photos of our first view, and walked across airport runway.

    The runway is used by everyone: pedestrians, motorized traffic, and airplanes. When a plane is due to land, the gates close, and a street sweeper clears the runway. Then the plane lands and taxis back over the runway to the airport. Pilots have to have special clearance for this airport because the runway is so short and there are a lot of cross winds. If a pilot doesn’t make the landing in two tries, s/he has to fly to the airport at Malaga to land. It was a weird feeling to walk across the runway to go between the border and the town.
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  • Day7

    On Top of Gibraltar

    May 8 in Gibraltar

    We took a tour in a small van with 5 other people. The driver lives in Gibraltar, and gave us a British view of life there. He drove us up the Rock for wonderful views. The Pillars of Hercules is the name of the two mountains on either side of the straits; the other pillar is in Africa, of course --see picture 3. We saw how ships get refueled in the harbor, and at one high point is a skywalk, a clear platform we walked out on for an even "better" view if one can handle it!Read more

  • Apr21

    Chas' wall

    April 21 in Gibraltar

    You may recognise this wall from the pre-title sequence of "The Living Daylights", where James Bond pursues an assassin escaping in a Land Rover.

    It was built in 1540 and strengthened in 1552 by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V principally to defend the South from the Barbary pirates.

    I walked down the upper section from the crest of The Rock. It zigzags down at 45 degrees in four stages so that defenders can provide flanking fire to each face.
    The monkeys are very possessive - one small one tried to grab me - and even bite tourists. Watching how visitors crowded them and backed them against walls poking lenses in their faces, I do not blame the monkeys. I felt like biting too.
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  • Day18

    Day 18: Gibraltar

    March 5, 2017 in Gibraltar

    Decided to take my destiny into my own hands today and get out of the house. One place I'd always been curious to see was Gibraltar, and now that it wasn't too far away, I decided I'd drive down and take a look. Shandos investigated the options and decided she wasn't interested, and would stay behind to mind the animals. So I got up fairly early, breakfasted and showered and hit the road just after 9am.

    It was about a 2.5 hour drive from Lucena down to Gibraltar, and was freeway the entire way aside from maybe the last 5 kilometres. A few tolls which was annoying (and unexpected), since I was just following Google's directions! Arrived in the Spanish border town of La Linea de la Conception about 11:15 and parked the car in a large carpark a few hundred metres from the border. I'd read that your best option for a day trip is to park on the Spanish side and walk over, as the queue for cars crossing was usually quite slow (it looked slow this morning!), and parking is both scarce and expensive in Gibraltar.

    But with my UK passport I walked straight through with no lines, and only the most perfunctory of passport checks. The next part was quite exciting, as the main runway of Gibraltar airport directly bisects the main road into and out of the town. So I had to walk across! Thankfully it's not a busy airport, with only around 6 aircraft movements each day. Just as I finished crossing the bells started ringing and the gates came down. I got excited thinking I'd see a plane come in, but it was a false alarm as almost immediately afterwards the bells rang again and the gates went up.

    I headed into town, on foot rather than forking out several pounds for a bus. The old town is very English, with the building styles and trimmings all very reminiscent of the home country. Plus all the signs were in English and the brands were all English (Marks & Spencer, Natwest etc). Lots of nationalist slogans around which surprised me a bit - "Gibraltan and proud, British like the pound" and so on. Very fiercely pro-British, though I guess it should be expected given both referendums (1967 and I think in the 90s?) returned a "stay in the UK" result.

    Unfortunately all of the shops were closed since it was Sunday, so I had to content myself with window shopping instead. Still very un-used to that aspect of European life. But the upside was that all the pubs (which were of course open) had Sunday roasts available, so I picked out a nice looking place and ordered, only to discover the Sunday roast wasn't ready until 1pm! You can take the territory out of Spain, but...

    I had English fish & chips instead - I didn't want to waste 45 minutes waiting for the kitchen, as I had a Rock to climb!

    But I wasn't walking up, there's a cable car that takes you to the almost-summit. Seen in profile, the Rock actually has three summits, two about the same height at the northern and southern ends (412 metres), and a slightly lower one in the middle, which is where the cable car dropped us off. Great views during the climb - the mountains of Africa in one direction, Spain and the Costa del Sol in the other, and the UK underneath us. The weather wasn't quite co-operating; more high cloud causing washed-out photos, but it was clear further out so I kept up hope!

    Had a good look around from the observatory on the central summit - you actually can't go to the higher two as they're still active military installations, complete with radar domes, antennae and razor wire. Loads of monkeys around as well, which Gibraltar is famous for. Not sure exactly what type of macaque they are, but they were tail-less so very different to the ones we were used to in Asia.

    I hate monkeys. They're fairly aggressive, and snatch at bags and dive into pockets. I even saw a few people get jumped on, though they weren't hurt or anything. They're very quick to bare their teeth, and I'm always worried about being bitten and getting hepatitis or something. A few cute little baby ones around, but I generally steered clear.

    I wanted to check out some of the older military installations still visible on the Rock so I did some bushwalking - it's actually an enormous area. After a long and arduous climb I made it up to O'Hara's Battery, where the 9.2" guns faced out to the Mediterranean Sea. Unfortunately for me it was closed! But I managed to do some scrambling nearby and found my way to just under the military installation at the southern summit which had a great view. And unlike the cable car area, I had this all to myself - until a couple of British expats arrived with their dogs, having walked the entire way up!

    I started wandering back down towards the cable car station, stopping off at St Michael's Cave on the way. The Rock is chock-full of caves, tunnels, supply trains and hidden bunkers, both man-made and natural, though obviously many are still off-limits to the public. I was interested in checking out the caves, but it was 10 pounds for entry so I politely declined!

    Back to the cable car station and by now it was getting late in the afternoon and I had a long walk and drive ahead of me, so I bought a Coke, had one last look around and then descended. Long walk back through town, across the runway, across the border, then back to the car around 4pm. And off I went, back down the freeway from whence I came! One last look back to see the Rock bathed in sunshine - naturally!

    Two and a bit hours drive back was uneventful, though a bit rainy in places as I went through mountains. Southern Spain is surprisingly rugged, much more than I expected. Shandos had done a bit of cleaning in my absence but not much else! Dogs all happy to see me of course.

    Had a great day and I'm glad that I went. It's a strange place; not too touristed but I guess it's the winter months. Probably 75% of the tourists were Brits, and most of the rest were Spanish. The old town area is nice, but outside of that it's mostly grim apartment buildings on reclaimed land which reminded me a lot of Hong Kong. Not somewhere I'd want to live I don't think!
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  • Day20

    Um 23.30 Uhr durchfahren wir auf Straße von Gibraltar die danach benannte Meerenge, die den Atlantik mit dem Mittelmeer verbindet. Eingerahmt wird diese bekannte Meerenge von Spanien, der britischen Kronkolonie Gibraltar im Norden und Marokko und der spanischen Exklave Ceuta im Süden. Die Straße von Gibraltar ist 14 - 44 km breit und ca. 60 km lang. Leider sehen wir nur die Lichter der Städte, außerdem regnet es hier. Von unserem Ausgangshafen Rio de Janeiro sind wir nun schon 8300 km Richtung Europa gefahren.Read more

  • Day48


    May 11, 2017 in Gibraltar

    Auf Gibraltars Felsen leben ca. 250 halbwilde Berberaffen, die laut Reiseführer größtenteils neugierig und friedlich sind und Interesse an den Touristen zeigen, wenn man ein paar Regeln beachtet:
    Man sollte sich nicht über die Affen lustig machen, da die friedliche Stimmung schnell kippen kann und sie aggressiv reagieren können.
    Die Affen sollte man weder streicheln, noch füttern, noch selbst direkt vor den Affen essen oder trinken. Affenbabys sollte man sich nicht nähren, da größere Affen diese Annäherung falsch interpretieren könnten.
    Außerdem sollte man auf Taschen, Hüte, Sonnenbrillen, Fotokameras und glänzende Gegenstände gut aufpassen, da die Affen versuchen könnten, die Gegenstände zu stibitzen.
    Ja, die Affen scheinen wirklich durch und durch friedlich zu sein.
    Mit einem etwas mulmigen Gefühl nähern wir uns den ersten Exemplaren, die fröhlich oben auf der Plattform herumturnen. Ein Affe sitzt auf dem Geländer direkt am Abgrund. Vorsichtig pirschen Papa und ich uns heran und Mama macht schnell ein Foto. Dann ist Mama dran, die sich auf Anhieb gut mit dem Affen versteht.
    Wir genießen noch die schöne Aussicht und erkunden dann ein wenig das Gelände. Leider ist es heute ziemlich bewölkt. Trotzdem kann man in der Ferne deutlich Afrika erkennen.
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  • Day34


    February 2 in Gibraltar

    The “apes” were cute and hilarious. These are actually tailless Barbary macaques (a type of monkey) and are the only wild primates in Europe. They originate from Africa and number about 300 but I witnessed mating so those numbers are going to increase. Just as John was about to take my photo with one of the monkeys, the monkey put his paw on my shoulder so I froze. The monkey climbed up my back and jumped off my head onto our parked mini bus! John was laughing and never thought to photograph the stupid tourist.Read more

  • Day9

    Gibraltar - England am Mittelmeer?

    October 11, 2016 in Gibraltar

    Erstaunliches Gibraltar. Faszinierende Geschichte mit verschiedenen Belagerungen und Abhängigkeiten der Gibraltarer / Gibraltis von England, Streit und mit den spanischen Nachbarn. Englischer als England oder Spanischer als sie sich das eingestehen? Auf jeden Fall war die Führung per Minibus sehr interessant, und der Affe hat nicht uns sondern eine Mitpassagierin gebissen. Konzertsaal im Höhlensystem, Fussweg über den Flughafen, Englische Pfund, Kleider- und Ramschläden (kaufe keinen Plüschaffen). Nicht schlecht für einen Tag.Read more

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Catalan Bay

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