An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain by Spain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It became an important base for the British Royal Navy, which drove the local economy and provided employment for a large portion of the local population. Today its economy is based largely on tourism, financial services and shipping. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GibraltarDespite the fact that it was raining buckets on our heads, and that a dark cloud covered the famous Rock, we had a great time. Walking with soaked shoes with soaked socks *squish squish squish, we crossed the border by foot. They barely even looked at our passports. As we walked out of customs, we immediately see signs of the UK, from the phone booths, to the cute British benches and "rubbish bins". We were now in English speaking territory. Or so I thought. The first shop we stopped in Marcos told me I could speak for a change in English. I asked the lady if their meat pies needed to be heated at home or if they were ready to eat here. She couldn't understand me. She spoke Spanish. So apparently not everyone speaks English here. I found out later that there official language is in fact English, but that they speak a dialect called llanito. It's a mix between English, Spanish and Genoese (and some local words). The people of Gilbratlar can switch from fluent English to fluent Spanish at the snap of a finger. I was so jealous. What a great area to raise kids for language skills!
On our walk into Gilbraltar, you have to cross the airport runway. Yes, you heard me right, you literally walk across the jet way. There are two traffic lights, one for cars and one for people. If it's red, it means a plane is either taking off or landing. It's a small airport with very little air traffic, so we never saw any action on the runway.
By the time we got to the main part of town, we were so wet, you could wring out our clothes. I felt almost this guilty pull in my stomach for not hiking up the rock, or going up to the rock, but it seemed absolutely pointless because you couldn't see anything up there. We decided to wait it out and see what happened with the weather, and instead looked at the shops.
After walking the entire street, it finally stopped raining. We visited a small grave yard, where we discovered a grave stone that had f's instead of s's. Read the tomb below.
|Apparently in the 18th century, their s's looked exactly like f's.|
|The Famous Rock that is clouded over.|
|My favorite house that I saw there. How cute!|
|Gilbraltar Police Department|
|Remnants of castles and war buildings|