Gibraltar Travel Guide

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CATALAN BAY

CATALAN BAY

O.J.SPITERI

Due to its unique location between Spain and North Africa, Gibraltar has seen its share of turbulent times throughout history. Everything from minor skirmishes to all out wars had been fought over Gibraltar, which, according to the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, was ceded to Great Britain in 1713. That's not to say, however, that the Spanish government didn't try to recapture the Rock, as Gibraltar is known, by force and negotiation. In 1967, a referendum was held and Gibraltarians overwhelmingly voted to remain under British rule.

 

Today, Gibraltar is a thriving port and there are a large number of attractions. Climbing the rock is an obvious choice for tourists. It's a huge limestone ridge that rises more than 400 meters with steep cliffs on its northern and eastern sides. The views from the Upper Rock are impressive, with Europe on one side and Africa on the other.

 

There is so much history packed into this small territory. The interesting architecture includes the Moorish castle; the Shrine of our Lady of Europe, which was a mosque before it was transformed into a Christian cathedral in 1462; and the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, completed in 1838.

 

The Great Siege Tunnels are a sightseeing opportunity that is completely unique to Gibraltar. They have played an important role in Gibraltar's past. Slowly and painstakingly dug out of the rock by the British military between 1779 and 1782, the tunnels were used to transport heavy guns to a promontory from which they wanted to defend Gibraltar from Spanish and French invaders. Many of the guns were used from inside the cave, which allowed the soldiers to shoot at the enemy while being protected from return fire by the rock wall.

 

Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate, so those who seek warm temperatures won't be disappointed, although there is more precipitation during the winter months. The currency is the Gibraltar Pound, which is divided into 100 new pence. British pounds are accepted here and have the same value, but Gibraltar pounds are not accepted in Britain and should be exchanged before leaving. All items that are sold in Gibraltar are tax free, making tobacco, alcohol and electrical equipment top sellers.

 

Getting to Gibraltar from mainland Spain is easy when travelling by car or bus. The border is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for vehicles and pedestrians. Citizens of countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand require a passport upon entering Gibraltar but no visa is needed. Nationals of the European Union who possess a valid identity card would not need a passport to visit Gibraltar. Travellers who would need a visa to visit Spain should remember that once they enter Gibratar, they are leaving Spain and would need a new visa if they want to re-enter that country.    

 

 

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: SADGURU LINEN Z

Contributors

July 26, 2005 change by jensbabig (1 point)

January 28, 2005 change by travellingmap

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