I had never been to Gibraltar, but heard it was pretty amazing. The flight in was pretty cool as I found out that they close down the road to let planes fly in and out. And there is a cemetery right next to the runway since they don't have much space for one in the country. Gibraltar is tiny, but full of so much history. If you know anything about Gibraltar, then you know that the country mostly consists of a large rock with swiss cheese like holes in it. These holes were used throughout many wars.
We arrived on Sunday September 18th in the afternoon. After taking a short taxi ride to our hotel, we settled in and I hit the uber small and awfully hot gym. The gym overlooked the pool and I would have much rather been there than in the gym. After a good run, I showered and got ready to walk with my co-worker to dinner.
We headed to Raj's Curry House for some amazing Indian food. Seriously soooo good and cheap. After dinner, we walked around a bit. We went through their main drag (shops and restaurants) all the way to their center square area.
After walking off our Indian food, we headed back to the hotel. Since my hotel room had about 8 channels and most of them were British or soccer, I decided to hang out in the bar downstairs with a glass of wine and people watched. So many interesting people came through the bar and lobby.
Monday morning we met up for breakfast and it wasn't that great, so I walked across the street for a large latte and called that breakfast. We worked all day and then walked back from the office.
Side note: there is a barrier wall in the middle of Gibraltar and we had to get some directions on areas you could walk up the stairs so we didn't have to walk to the end (almost the entire country) just to make our way all the way back.
We stopped in a beautiful park which is one of the only areas that has green grass on it.
Since we had the evening off, we decided to go on the Rock of Gibraltar tour. My co-worker had been on it, but I had never been. So we took the group shuttle up the rock and made four stops. The first was a beautiful look out.
That is Spain across the way
Next, we headed up to the caves. These caves were used in many wars and now is the area where you can have concerts, weddings and events.
The caves with amphitheater seating
On the way out of the caves and back to our shuttle, we saw this guy hanging out on the stairs.
There are monkeys all over the Rock of Gibraltar. We were told to not bring food on the trip, to not touch the monkeys and to keep our belongings close to us. They love to steal food, purses and backpacks.
We got back in the shuttle and headed to the top lookout point. There were a ton of monkeys here and the views were beyond gorgeous. My co-worker had a monkey jump on his back at the very top.
Looking out towards Morocco
Looking out towards Morocco and Egypt
We got back in our shuttle and headed to the last stop, the tunnels. These tunnels were also used during the war and overlook the airport runway and Spain.
View from a lookout point
The tunnels go way down
Spain and the airport runway
We got back in the shuttle and headed back down to our drop off point. During our shuttle ride, the driver told us a bunch of history on Gibraltar. It was well worth the $25 or so US dollars.
That evening, we went to Paparazzi Cafe and Restaurant for pizza, pasta and beers. We also walked around and grabbed gelato while we were out shopping.
Tuesday morning, I went for a walk to grab coffee and pick up a few last minute gifts for the girls. Then it was time to head to the airport. We had to fly back to London and stay the night as it is hard to get out of Gibraltar....like two flights a day on British Airways hard.
We got into London and spent 2 1/2 hours going through customs just to get our bags and walk to the Hilton that was connected to the airport. We had the concierges lounge, so we had drinks and appetizers in there before having dinner in the hotel. No many options around. You have food in the airport or your hotel. After dinner, I watched some tv and then headed to their gym for a quick workout.
Wednesday morning, we were up bright and early to meet for breakfast. After breakfast, we got notice that our flight was 3 hours late. So we hung out in our hotel rooms until it was closer to the time to leave. Only to find out our flight ended up being 4 hours and 2 minutes late. Luckily we had a 5 hour layover in San Francisco and we barely made our flight home.
We got home Thursday and it felt great to be home, with my family and not living out of a suitcase. But it was seriously one of the best work trips I had been on....minus the food poisoning.
And there you have it. My European Trip concludes. Now I want to go back and explore even more.