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Back to my roots - Gibraltar

For years I have wanted to visit Gibraltar to see the place where I was born and finally I did it!

My father was in the Royal Navy and based in Gibraltar for a few years but we left when I was about two years old and moved back to the UK. I had never been back to visit but my sister, who was also born there, had been back a few times.

So what is Gibraltar? Where is it? What is there to do and see there? Well, Gibraltar is a British overseas territory and has been since 1713. It is located at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula and is connected to Spain by a land border. It is steeped in military history from the 1700s onwards, and I believe Admiral Horatio Nelson was brought to Gibraltar after his death on HMS Victory which was towed to Gibraltar with Nelson in a cask of brandy. He was transferred at Gibraltar in to a lead lined coffin and returned to England where he was buried at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

There are about 30 miles of tunnels in Gibraltar, carved out by the military over 200 years, and you can visit some of these, as some are now museums and places of geological interest.

The airport in itself is interesting. The runway is flanked on both ends by the sea, and Gibraltar is so small that you can walk from the airport to your hotel if you wish. This means walking across the air strip - which is controlled by the Gibraltar police who close the gates when aircraft are about to take off or land.

There are hints of Britain all around in Gibraltar, from the red pillar boxes to the names of the streets and the Union Jack flags.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, you can go out on a fishing boat or go dolphin watching. or visit one of Gibraltars beaches and relax. Other places worth visiting is the Alameda botanical garden, Europa point with its lighthouse and Sikorski rembrance monument and of course you cannot go to Gibraltar without visiting the monkeys. The easiest way up to the top of the rock, where the monkeys den is, is by cable car. You can get a minibus up there, but the roads are very narrow and I suspect the experience might be a scary one. Be careful though, when you get to the top, as the monkeys are very curious so they may try to steal your bags and they have been known to bite too.

Above is a slideshow of my visit to the rock.

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