Denise and Ray joined us on our annual Nomads4Life Cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line Spirit ship. They chose to go to the Rock of Gibraltar for their Malaga, Spain excursion. If you’ve ever seen an old advertisement for Prudential Insurance (“get a piece of the rock”), then you’ve seen pictures of the Rock of Gibraltar. Seeing it up close is another thing, and we asked Denise and Ray their thoughts.
As an FYI, if you go to Gibraltar on a cruise, you will need to bring your passport even if you’re doing an excursion because it’s a British Territory in Spain’s south coast.
Here’s what Denise had to say about their visit. They clearly enjoyed it even though Denise had her souvenirs stolen by a monkey in the nature preserve.
1) How many countries had you visited before Gibraltar?
Somewhere in the twenties
2) Why visit Gibraltar? How would you describe it to someone who’s considering visiting?
Because it’s the Rock of Gibraltar! It’s legendary and historic. It’s awesomely majestic.
3) How long did it take to arrive?
1.5-hour drive from Malaga but you have to cross a border and go through customs as Gibraltar is a territory of the UK, which I did not realize. Gibraltar is bordered by Cadiz province in Southern Spain
4) Is it worth the visit?
Gibraltar is worth a visit. It has very pretty, quaint villages and restaurants, wonderful tax-free shopping, and golden sand beaches. People actually live there and there is a lot of construction going on. They even have an airport.
5) What should people see if they only have a short time like you did on a cruise excursion?
When you visit, definitely take the cable car up to the nature preserve to see the Gibraltar monkeys– which technically are a type of ape. They are cute as they are clever and cunning. Hold tight to your bags and snacks as they will watch you carefully, catch you off guard and rob you before you even have a moment to react. They are very quick and have realized that unsuspecting visitors are often good targets for their chicanery- especially since those visitors often have food but are prohibited from feeding the monkeys (£4000 pound fine!)
Gibraltar also has a long history of glassmaking so definitely check out the glass factory and watch a live example of traditional glass blowing. You can also buy /design glass products which they will ship directly home to you via DHL. British shops such as Marks and Spencer’s and Debenham’s coexist with smaller boutique establishments to create a quaint yet sophisticated atmosphere. Also definitely check out the changing of the guard at the governor’s residence. It’s a small ceremony but still neat to observe.