Journey through Gibraltar and the crossing of the Spanish-British border
Travelers who flew to Gibraltar airport and wish to see not only this overseas territory of Great Britain, but also to get to Spain, can cross the border point and rent a car for further studies of the Spanish continent. The border town is called La Linea and it is near to Malaga. This means that in a very short period of time you can visit at once in two states and continue your adventures in the land of the Spanish kingdom. For this, one condition is necessary - to have a Schengen visa for a period of more than a week. Of course, to rent a car will still require rights.
What is Gibraltar?
As a matter of fact it is a small peninsula, connecting with the Spanish land by a narrow isthmus, and located in the waters of the same name strait. It passes between the two continents - Europe and Africa, and countries that are borderline - Spain (the Iberian Peninsula) and Morocco. In this case, Gibraltar itself is the possession of Great Britain, which it received the right in 1713, before that it was the subject of constant wars and division.
It is also interesting to know the origin of the name of the city - the state. It owes its name to the Moors from Morocco who called it جبل طارق, which sounds like Dezabel (also Gebel) Tarek. This was subsequently reduced to Jabralthar, that is, Mount Tarek (a Moorish commander who participated in the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula).
On land, it is connected by a small section, which serves as a road for cars and pedestrians crossing the airport runway. Today it is a port, an important strategic point of the British Empire in Europe and a place where tourists from all over the world flock. In 2013, a compulsory UK visa was canceled and it became enough to have a reusable Schengen visa, this facilitated the movement between neighboring states, both for tourists and for residents. Local people go there on foot, simply showing the EU passport.
Gibraltar is actually a huge rock, at the base of which there is a fortress wall and a small settlement zone. The route of the tourist route is practically the same: crossing the checkpoint - a passage to the city - walking along its streets - climbing the cable car to the top of the mountain - return. Some fly here to stay for a few days, and then continue on their way to neighboring states, visiting mainland Spain by car or Morocco by ferry.
Sights of the peninsula
In itself, the geographical and political position of the place already attracts attention. It is also interesting to see the military facility (it still operates and is guarded by the British Navy), bunkers everywhere, forts, tunnels and tunnels in the rocks. Not only architecture, which is different from continental, but also nature, is special here. Visit the stalactite cave, it strikes the imagination. In honor, the Gibraltar monkeys are an extraordinary species of endemic macaques, they can not be found anywhere else. The climate is also different due to the location in the waters of the strait exposed to winds and cyclones. If you get here after traveling through Spain, you can notice a big difference in architecture - this is the English style, characteristic of Britain and especially distinctive from the Spanish with an admixture of Moorish. Also, motorists will happily mark signs, signs and inscriptions in English only, more understandable to most travelers.
The city part at the foot of the mountain is interesting, you can stroll along the narrow streets, look at houses and administrative buildings, there is no shortage here and in the city infrastructure. There are souvenir shops, shops, cafes and restaurants everywhere. The lift to the mountain is already a full-fledged adventure. The unapproachable rock has a height of 426 m, its northern slope is steep, and the southern slope is somewhat shallow. The entire area of the peninsula is less than 7 square kilometers. km., and for housing used a maximum of a couple of tens of percent. Therefore, it is not difficult to walk around it on foot.
To the sights here include a lighthouse, which illuminates 37 km, from its height of fifty meters. It is located in the part of Europa Point - that is, at its southern point. Note drivers - there is free parking. By the way, there are only a couple of pieces on the territory of the peninsula and it is better to learn about them beforehand, having hammered into the navigator, otherwise there is nowhere to leave the car.
From the observation platforms on the mountain top you can see the African coast, visibility is good in any weather. Who will be interested in further excursion to another continent, can plan to go by boat or ferry to Ceuta - a colony of Spaniards in Africa.
Advantages and disadvantages of traveling by car
When you come to see the Strait of Gibraltar and its eponymous part on land, it should be remembered that there will not always be an opportunity to go by car. If you rent a vehicle on the airport, you can cross the checkpoint on it, and then walk or turn on narrow streets by car. The inconvenience is due to lack of space, so it's better to look for parking and go for your two.
The car is useful if a further route involves visiting the continent. It will be interesting to take the A - 383 highway through La Linea to A - 7 and visit the city of Al Hesiras, which is in the west, or take N - 340 to the southern point of the mainland - Tarifa. If you travel east along the coast along AP7, reach Marbella. Renting a vehicle at the same time will be very handy, since you can plan to take or leave it at any convenient time at these points of reception.
People traveling with groups can not fully appreciate an independent car trip, but its advantages will not be fun if you do not know a foreign language, do not follow signs and generally do not drive well. At the same time it is necessary to be prepared for the complexities with parking lots and traffic rules, many roads are paid, and you can stop only in the places indicated. But this defect is simply eliminated if you use the services of the driver for the duration of the trip.