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in Europe, My Travels, Travel

A Weekend Trip to the Rock of Gibraltar

Since European road trips are our new favorite thing to do together, my husband and I decided to take a ride to visit the Rock of Gibraltar this past weekend.  Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.  It shares its northern border with Spain, so we decided to stay in La Linea de la Concepción, and walk across the border into Gibraltar.  Keep reading to hear all about our trip!

Viña & Bodega Remsamen

Since we had all weekend to visit The rock of Gibraltar,  we decided to take a short detour on the way to Gibraltar and stopped in Monda, Spain to have lunch at Cafe Bar Luna, followed by a vineyard tour and tasting at Viña & Bodega Remsamen.  Remsamen is a small vineyard, owned and run by a nice couple from Holland, René and Marjolin.

The other tour groups scheduled for that day ended up cancelling, so we ended up having our own personal tour!  René and Marjolin were really thorough with describing the wine making process with us, and their vineyard was beautiful!

La Linea de la Concepción

Delicious food and drinks at aQa!

We stayed in an apartment we found on Airbnb.  It was really close to the border of Gibraltar, so it had a beautiful view.  For dinner the first night, we went to aQa, a waterfront Mediterranean restaurant.  It was a beautiful restaurant, with views of the water and the Rock of Gibraltar.  Both the food and drinks were delicious!  If you ever end up staying near the border crossing, you should definitely stop in for some drinks and a bite to eat.

 

The Rock of Gibraltar

The traffic headed into Gibraltar is CRAZY, so I would recommend you park your car in the lot on the Spanish side of the border and walk over. Overnight parking is €15. Make sure you have your passport.  Security isn’t super tight, but they do check for it when you pass through.

Cable Car headed up to the top of The Rock of Gibraltar

While Gibraltar is a small place, you probably won’t want to walk all the way from the border to The Rock.  We caught the #10 bus from the first bus stop inside the gate.  Round trip tickets from the front gate to the bottom of The Rock was €3 per person, round trip.

Once you get to The Rock, you have 3 options. You can walk, catch a cab, or take a cable car to the top.  We decided to do the touristy thing and take the cable car, but keep in mind that 1.) the wait will likely be at least an hour, and 2.) it costs about £22 (Gibraltar is part of the UK, so they take pounds) for round trip cable car tickets and entry into most of the attractions on The Rock.  If you know ahead of time that you want to take the cable car, you should purchase the tickets online before arriving.

Once you get to the top, there will be Barbary Macaques EVERYWHERE.  Some of them are super cute, but don’t be fooled;  you should never get too close to them and definitely don’t flash anything that is (or could be mistaken for) food.  That means no candy wrappers, no plastic bags, no styrofoam containers.  No one will enforce this, but these monkeys WILL jump on you to snatch your food.

Its easy to lose track of where you are in relation to the top of the mountain.  We got so distracted by the rest of the attractions, by the time we started thinking about catching the cable car back down, we realized the walk back up to the top would be way too much for my poor feet :(.  We ended up walking all the way back down, which was a great workout, but I definitely would try to arrange for a taxi if I had thought this all the way through.

Rendezvous Chargrill

Our bartenders at Rendezvous

Once we made it to the bottom of The Rock,  we were starving, so we made our way to the Ordnance Wharf.  It is a beautiful waterfront strip that has several nice restaurants and bars.  We bar hopped for quite a while, but our favorite was called Rendezvous Chargrill.  The food and drinks were great, and the service was awesome!  Roxana and Laura were our primary servers, and they were super funny and made sure we were well taken care of.

 

While brief, our trip to Gibraltar was super fun, and it was definitely worth the trip!  There was tons that we didn’t get a chance to do.  Have any of you been to Gibraltar?  What are some must-sees that you have?  It is a very short drive for us so we may definitely return!

 

 

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Overnight in Ronda, Malaga

Last weekend, my husband and I made a last minute decision to go on a road trip.  We’ve finally gotten settled here in Spain, so we figured, why not get out and explore??  One thing that we’ve heard is a must do in Spain is to be in town during a Feria weekend.  Ferias are local annual festivals that occur throughout Spain (and southern France) throughout the spring and summer months.  We unfortunately missed the Feria here in Rota, so we decided to head to Ronda, Malaga to catch the Feria de Pedro Romero.  We were only there for one night, but it was such a beautiful little town, and I definitely plan to return!  If you ever find yourself in Malaga, here are a few things to do:

Grab Lunch at Bodega el Socorro

We arrived at our Airbnb in Ronda (use my referral link if you don’t have an account already) in the early afternoon, so we had a few hours to kill before the Feria festivities started.  The apartment we stayed in was right in the middle of everything, so we decided to wander around for a while to find somewhere to eat lunch.  Finally, we came across Bodega el Socorro.  We had several tapas and a few rounds of drinks, and all of it was delicious.

 

See a bullfight at Plaza del Toro

After our delicious lunch, we stopped by Plaza del Toro to pick up tickets to the bullfight.  Bullfights are basically the pinnacle of the Feria in Ronda, and since neither of us had ever seen one in person, we wanted to get our seats early.

Did you know that they kill the bulls in front of the audience at the end of the fight?!  I didn’t :(. Not sure what I thought was supposed to happen, but I definitely wasn’t ready.  Either way, it was an interesting experience and I recommend going to watch if you find yourself in town during Feria week.

Take in the views at Paseo de Blas Infante

Just a few steps from the Plaza del Toro is Paseo de Blas Infante, one of the most recommended spots in Ronda, for good reason.  It is made up of beautiful gardens that lead up to a breathtaking lookout point from which you can take in panoramic views of the countryside.

 

Head to the Feria Grounds

Later on in the evening (after napping for a few hours, of course), we took a taxi to the Feria grounds.  Its a really family friendly event, that involves drinks, dancing, rides, and people dressed in beautiful Feria dresses!

Wine Tasting at Bodega Joaquin Fernando

The next morning, we decided to make our way over to Bodega Joaquin Fernando.  It is an organic winery in the middle of the countryside, so the views from the vineyard were beautiful!  We were the first people to show up for the day, so we pretty much got our own private tour of the vineyard and seller.  Moises, our guide, was very knowledgeable and walked us through the entire wine making process.  After the tour, we were given a tasting of several wines, along with sliced ham and cheese pairings.

 

 

Ronda was such a beautiful little town.  While we definitely plan on exploring other towns within driving distance, Ronda is definitely a place we plan on returning to.  What about you?  If you’ve spent time in Spain and have some favorite small towns, recommend them in the comments!

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