Behind the monkeys on the island of Europe.
A trip to the territory under the administration of the British Queen, behind a Berber macaque and magnificent views from the Rock of Gibraltar.
A day trip from the Spanish city of Algecíras
I went to Gibraltar on my train journey to the south of Spain. I simply bought a 10-day Interrail ticket and used 5 days to travel to Spain and the other 5 days to travel to Scotland. If you now object that the train does not run to Gibraltar, you are absolutely right, trains from Madrid end in Algecíras, the train runs twice a day and has one peculiarity, since Madrid to Bobadilla is a European gauge . However, special trains run here, where the track changes while driving, they drive very slowly through such a special hall, where the wheels on the bogies unlock, the guide rails move them closer or further according to the next track, and after securing the train then continues. From Algecíras, however, it is necessary to take a bus further south to La Línea de la Concepción. The bus runs as line no. 120, the intervals are half an hour to an hour and the ticket cost € 2.15 in 2012. The bus is not full, backpacks are put down in the luggage compartments, and music plays during the journey. In 45 minutes we are actually on the opposite side, the bus actually went around a kind of horseshoe, so we can watch the port city on the opposite side, from where we saw. After getting off the bus, the signposts unmistakably lead us to the border crossing, but in fact the symbol of Gibraltar, the Rock of Gibraltar can be seen from afar, so it's not much to wander. Since the United Kingdom is not in the Schengen area, it is necessary to have proof of identity with them, officials usually just check them casually to see if the photo agrees, but a naive group of tourists follow me who think they don't need documents. Well, I'm in control. But I have to stop, the red light is on and the bars are falling. If you think I'm a little contradictory, I wrote a while ago about the fact that there are no trains to Gibraltar, not at all. These barriers do not cover the railway track but the airport runway. It's just that the runway had to cross the only access road to Gibraltar, so it can't be solved otherwise. The plane lands, the barriers lift, and the masses of people and cars move in places where the tires of the landing Airbus landing gear slid a few hundred kilometers at a time. We find ourselves in the town of Gibraltar. The place, which has been under the administration of Great Britain since 1713. There have been several referendums and the inhabitants have always decided to remain under the Queen of England, who is the official head of the territory. Due to this 6.3 km of large enclave, the United Kingdom has disputes with Spain, and you simply cannot get to the local airport by plane, for example from Madrid or other places from Spain. There are many things reminiscent of Great Britain – red telephone boxes, mailboxes, you pay in English in pounds, but of course they also take euros here, but with a little luck they can return such a small souvenir in the form of a Gibraltar pound. Only right-hand traffic assures me that I am not directly on the „Islands“. Right at the border crossing, I also took a free map, but due to the size of the area, it would be possible to do without it. My goal is clear at the beginning. Up to the Rock of Gibraltar, a national park where there is also the only place in Europe where monkeys – macaques live in the wild. I have three options. Sacrifice £ 12 and a half for taking the cable car, or sacrificing an even higher amount for taxiing, or sacrificing a few hundred of your own calories and stepping on your own. Temperatures are in their thirties, but I'm clear. First I walk past the casemates and the governor's house, where the honor guard changes at strange sounds (I originally thought the locals got into a fight), then down an alley with numerous souvenir shops and restaurants to the large parking lot and the lower station of the cable car. So and from there around the gardens and residences slowly uphill to reach the elevation of 426 m above sea level, which is not much on our scale, but here I actually rise from sea level. After about one kilometer of gaining altitude, I stand in front of the toll booth, where the entrance to the nature reserve is chosen. Well I chose who arrived by car pays 10 GPB, who came as I walk only 50 pence. I change direction by 180 ° and continue to climb with breaks to take photos. The views are breathtaking. One more change of direction and I'm standing at the St.Michaels Cave restaurant. I am not so interested in it as the fact that I come across the first specimen of a wild animal, which is a symbol of this area and for which people come here in large numbers, namely the Berber macaque. The only place in Europe where it can be seen in the wild, and legend has it that as long as macaques live here, Gibraltar will be British. I watch the gentleman pull out a bag of biscuits and serve the monkey as a treat. She will taste it and everything else is already under her direction. He grabs the bag and runs with the entire contents to a place where he can pack it in peace. I had to laugh at the whole scene, I didn't know yet that I would be the next victim. At the next crossroads, turn right and come to the fortress. There is an entrance with a guide for 4 GPB. I continue along the ridge. Along the way I pass a number of taxis that bring adventurous tourists. And here I am, a place with a small parking lot and space for local pets. The monkeys have water and lots of vegetables and a kind of All Inclusive available throughout the day in the form of fresh vegetables and fruits. Even so, it is more tempting for them to try the delicacies from tourists. Taxi drivers are ready for it and always have some nut at their disposal, for which the primate willingly jumps on their shoulder or car, for example, and is then a grateful object of pictorial tourists. I reach into my backpack and break a piece of pita bread and serve it to the monkey. That morning I have her on my knee and soon after my neck, which I am quick to use and ask one tourist to film me. Thanks to that, I have only shots with a „monkey“ on the film strip. I give a piece of bread to another monkey, who, however, takes matters into her own hands and even though the backpack was not open, he unmistakably touches the bag between the dirty underwear, and I just watch sadly as tonight disappears on the opposite rock to make the little ape's belly filled up. I still walk around the upper station of the cable car and slowly descend. I still want to see Europa Point, which is the southernmost tip of Gibraltar. Beware, but it is not the southernmost on the Iberian Peninsula. There is the Ibrahim-Mosque Mosque, the construction of which was financed by the King of Saudi Arabia, an underground historical water reservoir, a lighthouse, but most importantly magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea and opposite African shores. After the necessary photo documentation, I return to the border crossing along the Europa Road residential area. Along the way, I still buy a stamp at the post office (beware, the post office only takes pounds). And then just back across the airport area, go through the check and within half an hour I sit in the bus back to Algecíras
Rock of Gibraltar
The path leading to the rock doesn't have much space.
View from the Rock of Gibraltar
And it's quite a downstairs. Although there are options in the form of stairs and sidewalks to descend on this side of the mountain
Lighthouse on the southernmost tip of Gibratar
Apparently he is doing well here, hundreds of tourists come here every day and the monkeys have one, much more attractive in addition to the official menu to diversify.
If the cars did not drive to the right and there were not many palm trees, then one would not be sure if it is not necessary in England
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