Travel to Gibraltar – Episode 283

categories: europe travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Spud Hilton about Gibraltar.

This little patch of England at the bottom of Spain is more than just a place where you can see a large rock and get good fish and chips with your tapas. Explore the “rock” and meet the “apes” of Gibraltar.

Hear about some of the history as well as the unique traffic challenges of this tiny peninsula. Also, learn about Winston Churchill’s secret World War 2 monkey plan for Gibraltar.

Along the way let me introduce you to Spud Hilton who is one of my favorite travel editors.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

Rock of Gibraltar
Main Street, Gibraltar
St. Michael’s Cave
Cafe Solo
Star Bar
Cable Car Gibraltar
Cable Car Tickets & Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Bad Latitude


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Qantas cancels flight after rodents found on board
Fliers come to fisticuffs over reclined seat


Amateur Traveler meetup in Vancouver
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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

One Response to “Travel to Gibraltar – Episode 283”

Barry S. Kramer


Hi Chris and Spud;

The podcast on Gibraltar brought back many fond memories of my visit in April 2010. I had traveled to Spain to visit my daughter who was working near Malaga. Gibraltar had long been on my travel list after seeing a National Geographic episode about it on television many years ago. Also the idea of taking a break from tapas and the opportunity to eat some British pub far covered in HP Sauce sounded like a welcome break.

My daughter and I traveled by car and found the trip and experience remarkably enjoyable and interesting. We experienced many of the same things that Spud addressed in his interview, and I would agree that Gibraltar has a unique mixture of British history and charm that leaves a lasting memory.

There are a few additional pieces of advice I would offer:

The costs of visiting Gibraltar were higher than Spain (which was already high). Instead of staying right in the city we booked a room at the Calenta Hotel on the eastern side of Gibraltar. The rooms were very nice and were situated on a cliff at the very edge of the Mediterranean. This might be the location visited by the surfers mentioned in the podcast. We definitely saw waves that might appeal to surfers. The hotel proved to be a good choice and was only a short drive around the rock to the city. A bus was also available to regularly take visitors back and forth to the city.

Definitely beware of the Gibraltar apes. They can be fun to watch, but are very much wild animals and should be treated as such. We read the warnings about their aggressive nature in the guide books, but we really didn’t think too much about it. While talking to my daughter, I found that one of the apes grabbed my backpack right off my shoulder. In fact, in no time at all he opened the zipper and was rummaging through it looking for food. Apparently he felt entitled to any snacks or lunch he could find. My instinctive reaction was to yell at him, “Give me that back” and I quickly pulled it out of his hands. This proved to be the right action. If he ran away with my pack, I’m not sure what I would have done.

Lastly, another small, but useful piece of advice. After being in Spain for a week, we began to get accustomed to the late dining hours which usually do not begin until 10 or 11 PM. We assumed the same customs were observed on Gibraltar. We soon found out that the town operates more on a British schedule rather than the Spanish schedule we had become accustomed to. After setting out around 9 PM to look for a place to eat that featured British food we soon found that many places were in the process of closing or were planning to close around 10 PM. We quickly ended up finding a place to eat in the Ocean Village Marina. There were some Spanish style restaurants that were open later, but we really had our hearts set on something that seemed British.

For me, Gibraltar was a little bit of Britain attached to Spain. The food and the British style city (complete with a Marks and Spencer in the middle of town) was a welcome diversion from my very Spanish vacation. I would highly recommend Gibraltar as a must see to anyone visiting Andalusia.

As always, I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into bringing us the Amateur Traveler podcasts.

Take care,
Barry Kramer

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