Circumnavigation of Gibraltar

Name of walk Circumnavigation of Gibraltar
Date of walk 2016-11-05

We went to Gibraltar for Brendan’s birthday. We decided to stay at The O’Callaghan Eliott Hotel, because it was situated just off Main St. next to the Cathedral, and handy for everywhere. We have been to Gibraltar before so we would mainly be visiting places we had not been to, with one or two exceptions. Gibraltar has an excellent bus service, but we both prefer to walk places. This walk took us all the way around Gibraltar. After breakfast we headed off down Main St. and made our way through town and an industrial area, around to the east side of the island.

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The Rock from Eastern Beach.

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We then walked on to Catalan Bay. The Caleta Hotel is to the left, we had planned to stop here for a drink.

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The downside to staying on the east side is that it only gets the sunshine in the morning, especially at this time of year when the sun is lower in the sky.

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The small church of Our Lady of Sorrows.

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View out from the Caleta Hotel, which was undergoing some structural rebuilding work.

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View back to the hotel as we headed on towards the tunnel, which was as far as we could go on foot. Pedestrians and buses can't use the tunnel. We would need to get a taxi to take us through.

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The Great Sand Slope once held a water catchment area made of corrugated steel. It now forms part of the Nature Reserve.

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Brendan in Sandy Bay.

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There are numerous defensive structures all along the coast.

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If only I had the time to explore!

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Looking down on Sandy Bay. This is a man made beach, improved in 2014.

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An old pill box.

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Another of a more familiar structure.

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We walk along a bit more until we reach the start of the Dudley Ward Tunnel, then we return to the hotel and call a taxi to go through it.

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This little guy had lost his tail.

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Going through the tunnel in a taxi we realise why pedestrians and buses are not allowed, it is very narrow, the walls are quite raw and there have been rockfalls in the past. Our taxi drops us near Europa Point. View back to The Rock and the Mosque, which was built in 1997.

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Europa Point Lighthouse was built between 1838 and 1841. It was fully automated in February 1994 and its light can be seen over a distance of 17 miles. It is the southernmost lighthouse for which Trinity House is responsible, and the only one outside the UK.

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The Sikorski Memorial commemorates the 1943 Gibraltar B-24 crash which caused the death of General Władysław Sikorski, the commander-in-chief of the Polish Army and Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile.

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View to North Africa from Harding's Battery.

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Built in the 19th century, this battery shows the scale of guns that could fire 800 pound projectiles over a foot in diameter over to the other side of the Straits of Gibraltar. The Europa Sunken Magazine that contained this ammunition is now a visitor centre.

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We walked to The Shrine of Our lady of Europe, but it closed at 1pm, so we were just half an hour too late. We continued on. This is Camp Bay with The Parson's Lodge above.

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We would need to walk through the tunnel ahead.

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Not much traffic, so safe enough.

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Looking back down on Camp Bay from the Parson's Lodge, another battery, but closed.

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Rosia Bay is surprisingly small but once held HMS Victory and the preserved body of Admiral Nelson in a barrel of Brandy.

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Napier of Magdala Battery is a former coastal artillery battery overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar. It also overlooks Rosia Bay from the north, as does Parson's Lodge Battery from the south. It contains one of two surviving Armstrong 100-ton guns.

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The 100-ton gun.

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We pass a Thomson Cruise Liner in a dry dock and skirt the HM Naval Base.

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We had a late lunch in a cafe looking up to the Charles V wall that has steps up to the top of the rock.

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We headed on past the Ragged Staff Gates to Queensway Quay Marina.

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The Marina was built in 1993 and the waterfront is the home of some expensive restaurants. We did come back and eat lunch here on our last day.

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Wellington Front is a long stretch of curtain wall that forms part of the Line Wall Curtain. We head through and back on to Main St.

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A Victorian post box.

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The King's Chapel.

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King's Chapel was the first purpose built church to be constructed in Gibraltar. Originally part of a Franciscan friary, the chapel was built in the 1530s but was given to the Church of England by the British after the capture of Gibraltar in 1704. From 1844 to 1990 it served as the principal church of the British Army in Gibraltar; since then it has been used by all three services of the British Armed Forces.

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New stained glass windows were installed in 1952. The window in the north transept depicts King George VI.

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The headquarters of Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar. We arrive just in time to see the Changing of the Guard. The Guards march from here across the road to The Convent.

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The Convent has been the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar since 1728. It was originally a convent of Franciscan friars, hence its name, and was completed in 1531.

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The 15th century Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mary the Crowned, was originally a Moorish Mosque.

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A stained glass window of Pope John Paul II.

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We then visited the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, built in 1832. It has Moorish style horseshoe arches.

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Casemates Square

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A land reclamation project was finished in 2009. It produced Ocean Village which consists of a Marina, residential apartments, a business centre and shops restaurants and bars. We explored it by day and by night.

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The Sunborn is a five star hotel fashioned from a customised cruise liner.

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Ocean Village Marina by night.

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The roof top pool of our hotel.

The walk had been about ten miles long. It was a most enjoyable walk in the sunshine and warmth, with lots to see. It was about 23C, so our pace was leisurely.

Jo.

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