The Rock, The Playground & Malaga

So, our first official blog post. Well, it’s a little later than we’d planned, but like they always say “better late than never.”

Here goes 🙂

This past weekend we went out on a whim and rented a car to drive to Gibraltar. For a while now we’ve been wanting to do some traveling close by, and since we’d brought back camping supplies (tent and sleeping bags – hardly sufficient supplies if you’re a Lake 🙂 , but we made it work), we thought we’d go for it. We’d originally planned to split some of the car costs with some friends who wanted to come along but, they got sick so we went on our own. The drive is only about three hours outside of Seville, but getting out of Seville takes just about as long. Especially when you don’t know which way you’re headed. We brought Rocky along as well, and he was definitely excited to get into a car again.

We had to show our passports as Gibraltar is a separate country (owned by Great Britain), though, even when we asked they wouldn’t stamp our passports. We decided to take the tour, offered only if you drive yourself (as opposed to the gondola that will only take you to the top of the rock). With the tour we were able to see much more. We’ll explain along the way as we go through the pictures.

The Rock

the first view of the Rock as you’re driving towards it

Town of Gibraltar
the town

the port

the port of Gibraltar

Top of the Rock

top of the rock

First Sighting

our very first monkey sighting!

We were really excited to see the monkeys. It was one of our main motivations for the trip. We couldn’t believe they were actually as wild, populous and friendly as everyone claimed, but they were. They were everywhere. Especially near their den, where most of these photos were taken. Because we had Rocky with us, the monkeys were way more interested in our car than the rest of the tourists. Neither of them knew what to think of each other and got kind of defensive, so Rocky stayed in the car.

Up Close

up close

& Personal

and personal

A Lift

out for a ride

happy family

happy family

Curious Baby

curious baby

One of our first stops on the Rock was St. Michael’s Cave. The cave is so big that there has been speculation that it’s bottomless. The cave was formed by hundreds of thousands of years of water dripping down through the rock. This has in turned cause tons of mineral deposits to form stalagmites and stalactites all over the caves. It’s absolutely amazing inside. And, they’ve even found a Neanderthal skull in its depths.

St. Michael’s Cave

first impression

In World War II two, part of the cave was cleared out to be used as a make-shift hospital, but there was never a need for it. So, the Generals decided it’d be best to use it as an amphitheater, holding hundreds of concerts and shows for the soldiers.

St. Michael’s Amphitheater

from the stage

The Moorish castle below, has been on the island for thousands of years. Recently it has gone through a renovation so many of the older parts are completely new. This makes it pretty difficult to imagine it in its original time, but it was really nice to be able to go inside.

Moorish Castle

entrance

Because we didn’t realize there was so much to see on the rock, we had assumed we could get some lunch pretty quickly after seeing the monkeys. However, by the time we finished with the castle we were starved. One of the ticket-takers had recommended a place in town for wonderful fish & chips, and we decided it was time to head down. Earlier in the day, while we’d been at the Monkey’s Den, we’d run into a couple visiting the Rock with their kids, who’d recognized our American accents. Paul is American as well, but he’s spent most of his life in Spain and his wife Sunsoles is Spanish, they ended up being a really nice couple. We struck up a great conversation with them and passed along the name of the restaurant that had been recommended. But, unfortunately, by the time we got ourselves down the Rock, it turned out the restaurant we were trying to get to was already closed. So, we tried the one across the plaza. And, it just happened that Paul and Sunsoles had run into the same problem. But, the new place had some amazing fish & chips (probably the best I’ve ever had) and we were able to visit with our new friends.

Streets of Gibraltar

streets of Gibraltar

During our lunch we were trying to decide the best place to spend the rest of the weekend and where we’d stay the night. Paul suggested we check out Marbella, a town near where they live. Apparently it’s known for being the playground of Europe’s rich and famous. And, it was pretty classy. Not quite like Monaco, but pretty close. As we were leaving town, we also recrossed the word’s shortest runway. The landing strip runs the full length east to west across Gibraltar and crosses paths with the main road. So, when a plane is landing gates come across the road like a train is passing. I imagine it’s pretty funny to see. The Spanish town right on the other side of the border is called La Linea. Literally meaning “the line.” The town is supposed to be a great place to shop because they confiscate a lot of the goods from pirates, but we didn’t do any shopping.

Shortest runway

world’s shortest runway

La Linea

La Linea

Playground of the Rich

playground of the rich

Yacht Club

yacht club

After a full day of playing with the monkeys and exploring the caves, we headed out. We had to ask quite a few Spaniards for directions to some campsites, and finally found one. The only problem was that they didn’t want dogs, so we had to sneak Rocky in. But, the site was pretty nice and we had no problems. We got up pretty early the next morning and headed out. We made it to our next stop pretty quickly, Malaga, the home of Pablo Picasso. There were a few stops we made within the city, but the first one was their cathedral, built in 1766. We’d heard from Paul that the cathedral is particular because only one of its towers is complete. Apparently, the US had been funding its construction and when it entered WWII the funding stopped and the tower was never finished.

cathedralside.jpg

cathedral side, undergoing restoration

cathedralfront.jpg

entrance, between two towers

complete-tower.jpg

completed left tower

incomplete.jpg

incomplete right tower

lack-of-funding.jpg

lack of funding

By the time we finished with the cathedral, we were pretty hungry so we made our way down the street and stopped at a great little place with outside tables for our usual cafe con leche y tostadas (coffee and toast). After we had ordered, we realized it was actually a tea shop. But because we’d already order coffee, we didn’t get to try any of their teas. We decided that the next time we’re in Malaga we’ll make it a priority.

interiorteashop.jpg

desserts & teas

teashop-outer.jpg

great little stop

We got done with breakfast continued our walk through the city, fortunately we ran across an open tourist office where we were able to get a map of the city and plan out our next stops. The first was the childhood home of Pablo Picasso.

picasso.jpg

corner unit

Malaga’s final big attraction was a large Moorish castle called La Alcazaba (from the Arabic word for citadel), built in the 700s. The stone work was amazing, the views from the top were unbelievable and the gardens were everywhere.

castlewalls.jpg

outer walls

castle-entrance.jpg

entrance

castle-garden.jpg

interior gardens

interior-garden.jpg

additional gardens

prince.jpg

upper gardens

intricate.jpg

intricate entrances

intricateceiling.jpg

detailed ceilings

From the top of the castle we were able to get some amazing views of the entire city of Malaga. The port in Malaga is pretty well known for transit so it is always full of large boats and barges and the rest of the city is pretty spectacular for its buildings and gardens.

overlookmalaga.jpg

overlooking Malaga

top-of-the-castle.jpg

top of Alcababa

port-of-malaga.jpg

port of Malaga

enjoyingtheview.jpg

enjoying the view

After finishing up at the castle, we headed back to Seville to return the rental car. It was an amazing weekend and we feel so blessed to have had the chance to see it. We hope the next time we go we’ll be sharing it with family & friends.

 

Advertisements

About Ross & Lindsay

"There he was in the parking lot, the guy who'd been smiling at me for the last three weeks, it was the perfect opportunity." - "What seems like yesterday, I was walking into the gym when I heard the most beautiful voice in the world. I still can't believe she had the guts to beat me to it." - "He was cute, funny and intriguing, giving me no choice but to say yes to a trip to Estes Park." - "Our trip to Estes was great, I started to get the feeling she was more than I expected. I took the opportunity to tell her I was leaving to Spain, for an undetermined stay." - "Dang!, I'd fallen for a guy who was leaving the country. At least he'd introduced me to The Beatles and Jack Bauer, I was hoping he didn't stay long." - "Spain, what a beautiful place. I was so glad she came out to travel with me." - "It was the best time of my life. He opened my eyes to a whole new world." - "Then it was my time to come home, I was out of money and reality was calling my name." - "I was so glad he was coming home. No more long distance phone calls, no more sad lonely days." - "Back in the states, work, 14th Avenue and her. "Babe, do you like dogs?" - "We'd found the perfect dog, Rocky Raccoon made us a party of three. Our little family was just about perfect, but something was still missing." - "I had an interview with a company back in Spain, but they liked her resume better than mine." - "Could this have been true? Did he find us both English speaking jobs back in Sevilla?" - "Rocky wasn't happy about the 14hr flight, but I think he agrees with us both now, that living abroad is a dream come true." - Two of Us Writing is a glimpse into our journey living deliberately.

5 responses to “The Rock, The Playground & Malaga

  1. Jes

    It’s about time! Beautiful pictures. I’d love to go there when we visit you. Not sure when that’ll be yet though. 🙂

  2. Photo Dave

    Great travel piece. Photo Dave

  3. Brynn Shepherd

    I LOVE the monkey pictures!! And the picture of Rocky is cute too. We’re trying to talk Mom & Dad into getting a dog – but no luck yet. Miss you – write to me please. I LOVE YOU!!!

  4. Beautiful pictures, as usual!! Just wondering; why are all of the pictures at the “playground of the rich” OUTSIDE the gates? hmmmm? Thank you for the detailed info included…love to hear about it!!

  5. Syu Ming

    Hello there.. ^
    Ermm… that’s a great trip guys… i’m happy to read your blog and see the pictures.. it’s really informative.. thank you..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Archives

Pages

%d bloggers like this: