Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monkeying around in Gibraltar

On our last trip to London, we arrived on a typical cold, rainy day, so we packed our suitcases and joined a group tour with friends to sunny south of Spain. It didn't take long to acclimate to 72 degrees and sunshine. We landed on Gibraltar, which is a little piece of Britain at the tip of Spain. Officially it is an overseas territory of Britain, with many of its same characteristics: language, money, stores and the iconic red post boxes.

Only 14 miles separate Gibraltar from Morocco, and you can see Africa on a clear day. In Greek and Roman mythology, Gibraltar is one of the Pillars of Hercules, split from the other Jebel Musa in Morocco, in the course of Hercules' Twelve Labours, and was for centuries considered the end of the world. 

Gibraltar is only a little over 2 square miles in size and its prominent feature is the Rock, with the city area lying at its feet.

We took a cable car to the top of the rock for a spectacular view and to catch a glimpse of Gibraltar's most privileged residents.

Over 200 cinnamon colored and tailless Barbary apes run free, and they are the only wild primates in all of Europe.

Most of them were quite happy to have their picture taken, but this one must have been having a bad day.

I took to heart the warnings, and kept my distance, but most of them were very, very cute.

Like this mama, checking her pockets. Where are those kids when you need them?

Not far away. Three little monkeys jumping on the bed, uh, I mean jumping on the wall.

One fell off... and brother was there to catch him.

Just like my own boys when they were young and liked to wrestle around on the floor--they were having a great time.

Sit still and let me fix your hair--they're going to take your photo.

There, that's better!

After a lovely day exploring Gibraltar, we ended our first day back at the Sotogrande Resort, where the guys gazed longingly at the golf course lying before them. No time for golf though, because we were up and adam early the next morning to continue our adventures along the Costa del Sol. Stay tuned for more adventures in posts to come.


  1. Oh my gosh, I LOVE these photos of Gibraltar, and the darling monkeys!

    I've never been there, but it is on my list now.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Just amazing...not only am I envious of you and living vicariously through you but now I'm being educated by you too!! I didn't know Gibralter was British and I didn't know that Africa was only 14 miles away nor did I know about the monkey inhabitation! Cute little buggers!! The landscape looks gorgeous....can't wait for more Debi!!!!

  3. That looks like one gorgeous place and the monkey's are adorable!! xxoo :)

  4. Love the monkey-shines. Fun post!

  5. what a fun trip and adorable photos! i'm glad
    you got to monkey around.

  6. What a great post! Loved these pictures!

  7. Thoroughly enjoyed this post! Thanks for the laugh!