Hola m’lady! What? Qué?
Seriously, what is going on in this weird little British haven near the southern tip of the Spanish coast? One second its autovia, churros and Euros, the next second its red phone booths, thick Irish accents and a suspicious variation of the British Pound Sterling.
And forget about passport control – I’m not sure who the ‘border control’ is worried about but motorists, pedestrians and cyclists continously flow in and out of here, just courteously flash their passports and border control guards seem to nod back at everyone.
We decided to rest our weary legs (sitting in a car all day can be utterly exhausting, you know?) in a cute little pub called The Angry Friar. Maria wanted Guinness, Mr Barman-with-the-most-challenging-Irish-brogue-you-could-find responds with ‘I’ve got a Carling instead, dear’. The menu is so unashamedly British with an interior design to match.
Walking around this strange British outpost brings only reminders of dear old England and monuments to famous Brits. The Rock of Gibraltar is of course, forever looming in your vision from any point.
As we drove all day in a European diesel, I needed to refill at some point and noticed the price for diesel to be around £0.78 / L. Translate to AUD and its around $1.36, much better than the going rate in Spain for diesel of about $1.70. So I pull into the service station, go inside and all of a sudden, ‘Hola, Buenas dias!’ The counter attendant goes full Spaniard on me and I’m thoroughly confused, the whole transaction goes by with not a word of English and he is conversing with his colleague in Spanish.
So, keep on your toes in Gibraltar, I’m not really sure what you should expect there but its an adventure to find out.
Tip #1: You might get Gibraltar Pound notes back from cashiers, even if you pay with the legit British Pound notes. I’m not sure if they’ll work in jolly old England so ask for coins if the amount is small enough.
Tip #2: Parking is easy enough in the old town and metered. Just have some coins handy (Pounds of course) and display your ticket.
Tip #3: Fill up your rental car here, don’t wait until you return to Spain. For some reason, the diesel price drops significantly over the border.