Sailing through the Gibraltar Straits, and arriving in Gibraltar, was a cruising milestone. Since leaving La Rochelle, we experienced several very long days and indifferent anchorages, so arriving in Gibraltar was an achievement and meant we were closer to entering the Meditterean. The notorious Gibraltar Straits was kind to us to us that day, allowing time to marvel at the volume of shipping traffic and the ability to see both the African and European coastline simultaneously. We listened to the frequent exchange between ships; “what is your intention?”, as they pass each other in the shipping lanes; and listened to calls from the coast guard to look out for small inflatable boats with people on board.
Arriving In Gibraltar Harbour
As we arrived into Gibraltar Harbour under the iconic Rock, we weaved our way through enormous anchored ships until we found our way to Alcaidesa Marina, La Línea de la Concepción, Spain. There was no room for us in the marinas in British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; so Spain it was.
After berthing, we embarked on the usual routine after arriving at a marina; check in, tidy the boat, tidy ourselves, rest and venture out to explore and, most importantly, eat and drink. As the walked towards Gibraltar town, we strangely crossed the airport runway after passing through customs and immigration .
Exploring Gibraltar and La Linea
While it was great to see this historical town, the famous Rock and it’s resident apes, it’s honestly not my favourite city. Yes, it’s rich in naval history and the rock is spectacular but it clings strangely to this notion of being Britain away from Britain. The main part of town is full of English style pub selling the usually pub fare. I’m happy we visited and had the privilege to experience such an historical city but I was also very happy to head back to La Linea and enjoy Spanish food, culture and less touristy atmosphere.
La Linea, while not the most picturesque town, was an enjoyable experience with its pockets of lively bars in town and great food in the old town. Our favourite place for a drink was Cafe Modelo; a popular and lively cafe in the afternoons and early evenings, with a the bakery, Pasteleria Modelo, nearby.
After a couple of days rest, we refuelled, headed out of the harbour, turned left and officially sailed into the Med.