Monkeys, Rose's, and Rascals...Oh My!


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April 14th 2012
Published: April 15th 2012
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April 14, 2012- Last night we tried to book ourselves into a tour offered by our hotel to Gibraltar, but it was booked. So I did some Internet research to try to find another tour and I didn't have much luck. SO... I decided I would rent a car to drive us to Gibraltar. This morning we had a leisurely breakfast before Emily's tour of Gibraltar pulled out of the station. We hopped onto the one highway and one hour later, we got off the highway. The Spanish seem to pretend that Gibraltar doesn't even exist, since they lost it to the English in 1704. The highway signs don't even mention Gibraltar, rather the little town on the Border called La Linea de Conception. So we meandered our way thru the town and got ourselves into line to cross the border. We waited in line for a while and I thought we were in the wrong line, so I went around. We were in the correct line, but we would have waited an hour or more to get thru customs. So we parked the car in Spain and walked across the border. In Gibraltar, we hailed a bus and headed into the town. Gibraltar is 3 miles long by 1 mile long, and it loks exactly a little tiny English town. When we got off the bus, we climbed over the old city wall into the town. In the main square, we ran into Miss Gibraltar 2011 who was in the street publicizing the Miss Gibraltar contest that was happening that night.We wandered thru the town a little and headed out of town thru the South Gate. I took  wrong turn and before we knew it we were in a small park that included public workout equipment. We have seen these parks before, but have never had a chance to try them out. Since we have consumed our fair share of Jamon and Queso on this trip, I encouraged Amy and EIleen to try out the equipment. We spent a few minutes working out and then continued on to book our Tour of the Rock. We were hoping to go up the Rock using a cable car, but due to high winds, it was closed. We shuffled into a small mini bus and we were off on our tour. The Rock of Gibraltar has been a military stronghold since it was founded in 711. It is said that whomever controls Gibraltar controls the Straight of Gibraltar, which is where the Atlantic and the Mediterrean Sea meet.. Our tour made several stops for pictures. We also stopped St. Michael's cave, where they were setting up for the Miss Gibraltar Contest. Our of the best stops on our tour was to stop and see the monkeys that live on this rock. The monkeys are very used to tourists and our taxi driver was willing to get one of them to sit on our shoulders, if we wanted them to. Instead, we just tried to get some cute, up close pictures of them and take in the beautiful views from the top of the rock. On our way back down the rock, we stopped to see the military tunnels that were built into the Rock in order to defend Gibraltar. Once we were back down in the town, we meandered into a park and had an encounter with another monkey. He was very cute and posed for us. We left some cut up orange for him or any of his friends in case they needed a snack later.  We headed back into town and  used Rick Steve's guidebook to give us a walking tour of the town, which included the courthouse where John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married.  (Go listen to "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and you will hear him mention this!) Amy was singing this song for about 3 blocks before and after that stop on the tour.)  We did make some purchases, but were sad to see that most of the shops had closed for the day. We found our way to the Star Bar, which is the oldest pub in Gibraltar and had ourselves proper English pub grub. John, behind the bar was lovely, and even gave us directions to Morrison's, a proper english grocery store.  This was in search of some of our coveted English products that we cannot get in the US, including the very delicious Rose's jam. The grocery store was packed, but we quickly found our items and checked out. We got ourselves back on a bus, thru the border, and back to our car. On the drive back we drove thru Marbella, which is another lovely town on the Costa del Sol. We pulled into Fuengirola around 9pm, just in time for the prime time happy hour in our hotel. Las Piramdes Hotel is kind of like the "Love Boat" meets a very active Floridian retirement resort. This evening, we joined a German Tour group, who was enjoying cocktails, coffee and dancing in the hotel bar to a cheesy band. We spent some time in the lobby working on the blog, writing postcards, and enjoying the people watching. I went for a walk to check out the hotel gift store and a very nice English women informed me that there was going to be a flamenco show in the bar at 10:30. Amy titled this woman, the "Cruise Director". I did peek in and the flamenco show was a little canned, but the seniors were enjoying it. Amy went up to bed as I was finishing up the blog. This is the second time, where I was the only one from our group left in the lobby when things started to get a little crazy. An English kid got on the Rascal Scooter that you can borrow from the hotel and started whipping around the lobby. He then drove over to his dad or grandad and turned around the seat. The dad sat down and the kid drove him thru the lobby. I was cracking up. After that sight, I headed upstairs to go to bed.

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