I swear the shower I had in the hotel in Algeciras was one of the best showers of my life. It actually wasn’t, now I think about it, but at the time it really was amazing as it had been several days since the last time I showered in an actual shower. The fact that I had a private room with a double bed helped too. This wasn’t entirely by choice, it was just the cheapest accommodation available in Algeciras where my ferry arrived in Spain from Morocco.
After a fantastic sleep the first thing I did on my first day in Spain was leave the country. Technically. From Algeciras it’s a 30 minutes bus ride (because it stops so many times) to the border of Gibraltar. The bus drops you off at La Linea and from there it’s a few minutes to the most relaxed border control I’ve ever been through. The guy didn’t even look at my passport, I just flashed it towards him as I walked past.
And then I was in Gibraltar. Three countries in less than 24 hours. I’d originally planned to get a ticket and go up to the top of the rock to see the monkeys etc, but I was still battling a bad cold so I’d spent extra time in bed that morning, meaning I only had two hours in Gibraltar. I sill think it was worth it even though I didn’t really do much there. It was a really interesting place to visit.
Once you cross the border control you have the choice of getting on a tourist bus or walking into the city. I chose the second option, which involved walking beside the main road, which passes over the airport runway. The whole time I was there I didn’t see any planes use the runway, in fact there was only one plane in sight at the airport (British Airways of course). The traffic just continued to drive right across the runway.
Once on the other side you see your first red phone box and all prices are in pounds. Signs of Britain are everywhere and of course, being both British and almost completely surrounded by sea means that fish and chips is practically the national dish of Gibraltar. It really was like a little slice of Britain on the Mediterranean coast. Very bizarre.
To get to the main city and the entrance to the rock you turn right after crossing the runway, but I decided to turn left. This was a great decision. The coast on the west side (right from the city entrance) of Gibraltar is directly across from the great eyesore that is the harbour of Algeciras. I chose the east coast (left from the city entrance) which offers gorgeous beaches, quaint beach houses, pristine water, and opens up to a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea. I just walked along the road soaking in the views until it was time to walk back to Spain for the return bus to Algeciras. I really did nothing at all in Gibraltar, but I loved it, I’m so glad I went just so that I now know what it looks like. I was not at all aware of how beautiful it is, or for how big the rock is. It’s really big.