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  • Gibraltar is a small peninsula with an epic profile

  • that lies at the south of Spain.

  • Just a 3-hour flight from London,

  • it is a tiny slice of the British Empire

  • with a heroic colonial history and 300 days of sunshine each year.

  • Although it covers less than 3 square miles,

  • Gibraltar's strategic location has made it one of the most fought over places in Europe.

  • For centuries, it has withstood political manoeuvring,

  • sieges and battles,

  • and today with its red phone boxes, Union Jacks and high street shops,

  • Gibraltar staunchly stands as a small pocket of England

  • in the heart of the Mediterranean.

  • No matter where you go here,

  • the Rock of Gibraltar looms large.

  • Take the cable car right to the top of this 1,400 foot high limestone ridge

  • and enjoy the spectacular views; south,

  • across the Strait of Gibraltar to the African coastline,

  • and north to Spain.

  • According to legend, this is where Hercules separated Europe from Africa

  • and the cliffs on each side were once known as the Pillars of Hercules.

  • If the Rock of Gibraltar is famous around the world,

  • so are its residents,

  • the Barbary Macaques that have lived here for centuries.

  • Visitors flock here to watch the antics of the only population of wild monkeys in Europe.

  • Be warned though, they can be light fingered

  • if they think there are treats to be enjoyed.

  • It is said that, as long as the monkeys remain on the rock,

  • so will the British.

  • It's a legend, born during one of the longest sieges in history

  • when the French and Spanish tried unsuccessfully to take Gibraltar by force

  • during four bloody years in the 18th century.

  • The way locals tell it,

  • at least one surprise attack during the siege was thwarted by the monkeys

  • who alerted the night watch to the invaders with their commotion.

  • Take a tour through the great siege tunnels built during this time.

  • They remain one of the most impressive feats of military engineering

  • and helped the English to a seemingly impossible victory.

  • Using only hand tools and gunpowder,

  • 18 men dug this 82 foot tunnel in less than 5 weeks to provide access to the rock's north face.

  • From this position, they were able to fire onto enemy lines and hold off the invaders.

  • Discover more stories of battle and bravery with a tour of the Military Heritage Centre,

  • a former artillery battery near the entrance to the tunnels.

  • Here, you'll find relics from the great siege,

  • as well as a Memorial Chamber which pays tribute

  • to all those who gave their lives in defence of Gibraltar over the centuries.

  • During the second world war,

  • the Mediterranean became a main theatre of war and Gibraltar again became a key target.

  • To withstand the attacks,

  • almost all the civilians were evacuated and more than 30 more miles of tunnels were built,

  • creating an underground city beneath the rock.

  • Hike to the Moorish Castle,

  • a medieval fortification which is one of the most recognised features of the rock.

  • The Union Jack you'll see flying from the tower

  • was first raised in 1704 and has flown proudly ever since.

  • A short walk downhill is St Michael's Cave,

  • a network of limestone caves that has fascinated visitors since roman times.

  • Carved by thousands of years of rainwater,

  • this cave once believed to be bottomless,

  • is open to visitors and is a dramatic backdrop for concerts, ballets and theatre performances.

  • For another dramatic backdrop, visit the very southern tip of Gibraltar.

  • Here, you'll find the Europa Point Lighthouse with its classically British design,

  • as well as the Ibrahim-Al-Ibrahim Mosque,

  • one of the largest mosques in a non-muslim country.

  • Gibraltar's cultural blend is truly unique

  • and nowhere is this more evident than along Main Street.

  • Almost every building here was destroyed during the great siege

  • and it has been rebuilt over the centuries,

  • creating a streetscape like no other.

  • Stroll to the northern end to Grand Casemates Square

  • and the Old Town which dates back to medieval times.

  • Once this was the site of hangings,

  • but today, it is a thriving hub of pubs, bars and restaurants

  • and a great place to relax with a pint of lager.

  • From English pints to Spanish paella,

  • historic battles to cheeky monkeys,

  • Gibraltar's magic lies in its unexpected mix of the familiar and the exotic

  • a small taste of England right in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Gibraltar is a small peninsula with an epic profile

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(Gibraltar Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia)

  • 203 9
    Eric Wang posted on 2020/05/03
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