Gibraltar, a Tiny Colony of the UK

March 22, 2024

I had relocated us to Algeciras for two nights for a few reasons. It was adjacent to Gibraltar and I wanted to see the monkeys and the rock. Too it would be my 59th country, making Morocco my 60th, which I thought would be pretty neat since I recently turned 60 years old.

We took a taxi to La Linea Conceptión, named for the line at which point the cannon balls blasted at it from Gibraltar would land then walked through Spanish and then British passport control. We found a taxi van into town and the driver turned out to be a great guy and guide, named Gailliam. Once we arrived at the little downtown of Gibraltar, we immediately left with our guide for a tour of the rock. We could NOT see the famous view of Africa because it was so foggy. We passed the hotel that John Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed in and sang about in a favorite Beatles song of mine called The Ballad of John and Yoko. “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can get married in Gibraltar near Spain. Christ, you know it ain’t easy!”

We did see the monkeys and one sat on my arms, directed there by Gailliam. It was a first for me to actually hold a monkey and I didn’t expect this would be the occasion because I presumed the monkeys there were protected or something. It was more like the people who needed protection from the little thieves, who grabbed hats and expensive eyeglasses off your face as a party trick. The monkey I held was a smaller sized one but quite a bit heavier than I expected. His little hand on mine felt like warm leather. We saw the views back down to Spain and the beaches. The colony of Gibraltar is growing bigger on reclaimed land. The cloudy, foggy weather continued to be a bummer, limiting our views and ability to wear anything but our puffy jackets and warmest jeans.

We ate fish and chips for lunch at the notorious Roy’s and walked back to the border across the famous runway, which closes to pedestrians just when a plane is taking off for the UK. We taxied back to Algeciras and rested before a dinner of sandwiches at the Okay Café, which was indeed just okay, but at 6 pm, was the only eating establishment open in the entire town. Well, probably McDonald’s was open, but up until this time we had managed to avoid all the many Western fast food restaurants. But, as I’ll tell you soon, when we got to Morocco and it was Ramadan, I ended up eating a burger there to avoid complete starvation.

We packed and got ready for our departure to Tangier, Morocco tomorrow.

The trip was winding down and we were fairly worn out, despite the considerable downtime we had. The cold and hacking cough had taken a lot out of me and my mom. Jen was having trouble with a sore knee which she injured slipping on the slick concrete at the Toledo train station in the rain.