A walk up The Rock of Gibraltar

Name of walk A walk up The Rock of Gibraltar
Date of walk 2016-11-06

Today we would have a leisurely walk up The Rock of Gibraltar for the glorious views, we would visit St. Michael’s Caves again on the way down, then relax in the Rock Hotel. Our route up starts at the back of our hotel just past the Garrison Library. We have been up in the cable car before, but you are on the top in ten minutes and don’t get to explore the reserve in any depth. Walking up this way also doesn’t cost a penny.

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The Union Jack Steps. These steps were painted after the 1967 Referendum to decide whether Gibraltar should have closer ties with Spain or remain under the sovereignty of Britain. Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to stay with Britain.

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The steps lead to the Devil's Gap path that leads up to the top of The Rock. The tower is for ventilation for the many miles of tunnels within the rock.

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The Devil's Gap Battery.

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One of two BL 6 inch Mk VII naval guns.

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Brendan admires the view. It is still early enough that the sun has yet to shine on the western side of the rock, so a good chunk of our ascent will be in the cool.

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Our hotel bottom left, as we look towards Spain.

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View down to Queenway Quay Marina, where we were yesterday.

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The Cable Car ascent for the tourists and the less hardy! We watch apes sliding down the diagonals of the metal structure.

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Barbary Ape/Macaque, looks down on us from above.

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D'oh!

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The babies are so cute! We are now in ape territory, but if we don't bother them they won't bother us......unless you have food.....or bags......or hats! There are huge fines for feeding the apes.

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A feeding station for the apes.

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That's one big yawn!

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I could sit and watch them for hours, but we need to move on.

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A baby pole sliding.

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Royal Anglian Suspension Bridge below. To the left is the Cruise Liner in the dry dock. To the right the HM Naval Base.

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Looking down the Charles V steps. We decide to continue using the zig zag roads, it is further, but easier on the knees!

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The airport runway is now in view.....it is very short!

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I head for the old fortifications at the top of the rock, Brendan goes to the new viewing platforms for the cable car. Looking down to Sandy Bay

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View across the rock and down to Catalan Bay. There are lots of nooks and crannies up here, but it involves a bit of climbing and squeezing through rocks.

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Brendan looking across from the cable car viewing platform.

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Unfortunately there is no access to this bit of the rock. Some of The Rock is still under control of the MOD.

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There is very little in the way of a barrier between me and the drop!

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A view through the window of one of the old buildings.

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I head towards the cable car viewing platform.

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A two photo panorama of the view. left click to enlarge, re-click to return.

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View from the entrance to the cafe. We have a relaxing drink with a view to die for! The last time we were up here the mist was down and we saw nothing until the afternoon.

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I watch one of the apes attempt to steal a gentleman's carrier bag.....little monkey!

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View back to the cafe from the other viewing platform.

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View out towards North Africa, with the old fortifications on my left.

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North Africa, Morocco.

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More tourists on their way up.

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Close up view of our hotel with its roof top pool. We now head for St. Michael's Caves. We have been before, but this is one place I am happy to revisit.

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We pass more apes on our way down. I can't resist taking a few more pictures. 'Hear no evil'......

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Buddha?

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We leave the apes to a tourist bus and head down.

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Rosia Bay.

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Looking down on the 100 ton gun at Napier of Magdala Battery.

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We make a detour up to O' Hara's Battery for a view down the Mediterranean Steps. Again the last time we were here we saw nothing.

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A view down the steps which wind down very steeply and by all accounts are very awkward. I'd prefer to walk up them than go down, so maybe next time?

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St Michael's Caves. The largest of the chambers, named the Cathedral Cave, currently serves as an auditorium. It was converted due to the chamber's natural acoustic properties. It is equipped with a concrete stage and has a seating capacity of over 300.

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View back from the stage.

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The cave was created by rainwater slowly seeping through the limestone rock, turning into a weak carbonic acid which gradually dissolved the rock. Through this process, tiny cracks in The Rock's geological fault grew into long passages and large caverns over thousands of years. The numerous stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are formed by an accumulation of traces of dissolved rock deposited by water dripping from the ground above.

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With two people stood bottom right a better idea of the size of the stalactites can be gained.

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A cross section through a stalactite.

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We now walk back down towards town, past the Jews' Gate and The Pillars of Hercules and down towards The Rock Hotel.

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The Rock Hotel. We did consider staying here, but the fact that it is up a steep hill and not central made us reconsider.

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Tea on the terrace at The Rock Hotel. Rather lovely!

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There was nothing wrong with our hotel, but The Rock Hotel would have been worth the extra walking. Next time!

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On our way back to our hotel we stop again at Trafalgar Cemetery. Although it is named for the Battle of Trafalgar of 21 October 1805, only two victims of the battle are buried there. The remainder of the interments are mostly of those killed in other sea battles or casualties of the yellow fever epidemics that swept Gibraltar between 1804 and 1814. In addition, tombstones were transferred to the Trafalgar Cemetery from St. Jago's Cemetery and Alameda Gardens. It is a very quiet and peaceful place to walk around.

On our last walk up The Rock, four years ago, we visited the Siege Tunnels, the World War Two Tunnels and the Moorish Castle. The photos of these can be found here: http://josweeney.net/a-walk-around-gibraltar/

Today’s walk was about six miles long. An excellent day!

Jo.

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