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The Apes of Gibraltar

Before the cruise, I did not know much about Gibraltar, besides that there was a really large rock called the rock of Gibraltar. Gibraltar was a really neat port to explore with a lot of unique history. Gibraltar is a strategic point between the Iberian Peninsula and the African continent and its control has been contested throughout history. It is currently controlled by Britain, and the official language is English (although many people do speak Spanish as well). As both a Spanish and an English speaker, it was interesting to hear people switch between languages in the same sentence and speak with a British accent! The city had modern British architecture and fish and chips were common in restaurants.

Barbary Ape in Gibraltar
Barbary Ape in Gibraltar (Jane Packer)

We decided to skip the ship's excursion in Gibraltar and explore the town on our own. We were particularly interested in seeing the Barbary apes at the top of the rock and the caves but were not particularly interested in learning too much about war history. We took a shared van up the rock for a quick trip that would take us to a lookout point, a cave that was used as a hospital during WWII, and the top of the rock. At the top of the rock, there were apes everywhere and they were quite used to seeing people. We had heard horror stories of people feeding them and getting their fingers bitten off, so we made sure to keep a good distance. Other tourists were letting the apes climb all over them, and a mama and her baby climbed on our tour van! To end the day in Gibraltar, we went swimming at a city beach right below the towering rock.

In front of the rock!
In front of the rock! (Jane Packer)

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