Rock of Gibraltar and Seville, Spain

Travel memory:  I have been wanting to tell this story for quite some time, but out of respect for the monkey, I have waited!

Rock of Gibraltar

We were on a family trip where we flew into Lisbon, Portugal, rented a car and drove through the Algarve, then crossed over into Spain and went to the Rock of Gibraltar (the Gib for short). Doing the typical thing one does at the Rock of Gibraltar, we climbed to the top to get that amazing view, when the vacation starts to take a turn for the worse.

The Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar

Our kids are young and rambunctious and they love to see the macaque monkeys that are roaming around on the Rock of Gibraltar. As we begin the hike up the rock, we were told that the Rock of Gibraltar has about two to three hundred free-roaming Barbary macaques monkeys running around. They are the only wild monkey population on the European continent. They locals just refer to them as monos. The macaque population had been present on the Rock of Gibraltar long before Gibraltar was captured by the British in 1704. They were most likely brought in by the Moors who had them as pets. Of course, they grabbed the kids attention immediately and we could stop and watch them for hours.

My husband decided to ask our son to “get closer to the monkey” so he could take a photo. Our innocent eight-year-old son stood beside the monkey and then attempted to put his arm around the monkey like when you pose for a photo.  You can guess what happened next! The monkey reached around and bit him on the forearm!

Macaw Monkey bite at The Rock of Gibraltar

Macaque Monkey bite warning sign at the Rock of Gibraltar

Panic ensues from my poor little Christian. And quite frankly, we were all shocked as well!  He’s crying and Momma is grabbing his arm to see what damage has been done.  As parents, we glanced at each other in silent disbelief. We looked around and there was no security or place to take him, so we quickly ran into the empty cafe. This is where we abruptly told the food worker employee what had happened. She looked at us and smiled and said she had the perfect solution. Then she went into the back and brought out an alcohol wipe and a bandage. She wiped his bite mark and said “Ahh, he will be fine!   No worries, the monkeys of the Rock of Gibraltar don’t have any diseases!” She was sweet as pie and thank goodness she was there to help calm him and us down.

Macaw Monkey bite at The Rock of Gibraltar

Macaque Monkey bite at The Rock of Gibraltar

As we sat down at the sparse cafe at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, we contemplated our next move. We watched him closely, as we were worried that we should get him to the hospital for a rabies shot. But since there was no indication that the monkey was rabid and because Christian had just invaded his space, we made a decision to watch our son closely and go on with the trip. In the end, he was fine! And as they say, he was “Solid as the Rock of Gibraltar”!

Macaw Monkey at The Rock of Gibraltar

Macaque Monkey at The Rock of Gibraltar

For years, he did not want us to even mention the story, but later we thought it was funny, although he didn’t.  Eventually, I thought this story could be told, as now we think it is a cool story to tell, as he is one of the few who has this story to tell. Him and Jason Biggs of American Pie I guess: They went bananas!

Rock of Gibraltar

Getting There:

Here is a map of Gibraltar and a marked pin where the Rock of Gibraltar is:

The Rock of Gibraltar

Map of Gibraltar

Here is the route we took from Lisbon, Portugal:

Map Lisbon to Seville to The Rock of Gibraltar

Map Lisbon to Seville to The Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar is a limestone peninsula and mountainous rock that jets out of the end of the British territory at the southwestern tip of Europe. It is almost 1500 feet high and borders Spain and the United Kingdom. It was captured from the Spanish in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Gibraltar and its famous Rock was ceded to the British “in perpetuity” in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

Know before you go: Rock of Gibraltar

You will have to cross the border in order to get into Gibraltar. When you arrive at the border on the Spanish side, I would advise you to leave your car in the parking lot and cross by foot. It is much easier and faster to cross the border on foot, especially if you are just going for the day.  As an American, you do not need a visa in order to visit Gibraltar. However, if you are not American or an EU citizen, you should check the page Visit Gibraltar to determine if a visa is needed for you.

With roughly 30,000 Gibraltarians living there, you will use the English language and the British currency (pounds) while you are there! (But you can use Euros to pay for the parking of the car!)

To get to the top of the rock of Gibraltar, I would suggest to buy tickets and take the cable car ride up and not the buses. It is only a 6-minute ride to the top and there is plenty of time to take in the breathtaking view.

What is there to do in Gibraltar?

Take the cable car to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar: 

To get to the top of the rock of Gibraltar, I would suggest to buy tickets and take the cable car ride up and not the buses. It is only a 6-minute ride to the top and there is plenty of time to take in the breathtaking view.

Go Duty-Free Shopping:

They have everything from alcohol, jewelry to cosmetics and clothes. You will even see the distinctive red phone booths like they have in London while you ‘re walking around!

View the Gibraltar Airport:

One of the coolest (and most famous) airports in the world, the Gibraltar Airport is one for the books, as it crosses 4 lanes of traffic. The cars traveling along Winston Churchill Avenue must stop for planes several times a day.

Seville, Spain

From that trip, I specifically also remember Seville.  It made me go weak in the knees when we drove into the city center.   I remember the very moment I saw.

Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Upon arrival, I knew this was the city for me.

Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

This trip to the Rock of Gibraltar and Seville, Spain was when the kids were younger and we were an adventurous couple back then. Oh, how I would love to recreate this vacation.  I realzie that no longer will the family vacations be the same.

Here they are now: All grown up: The Maloney boys in Quito, Ecuador

Here they are now: All grown up: The Maloney boys in Quito, Ecuador

Slowly, but surely, we will lose one child to the world and become an empty nest. But if there was one wish, it would be to go just one more time to Seville and stay a week.  We could use this stay as our home base and explore a few of the regions that we only got a glimpse of the last time we were here.  Especially Cadiz, only one hour and 20 minutes away, and then also Malaga and Granada.

Want more info about Spain? 

Recommended Reading:

The Most Charming Walled City in Spain

Colonial Guell and Guadi’s Crypt

Luxury Cava and Wine Tour in Spain

L’Estartit, Costa Brava, Spain

The Rock of Gibraltar and Seville, Spain

Seville Spain: Red Hot!

The Apples in Spain Fall Mainly on the Plain: Costa Brava

A Tapas Pub Crawl in Palamos, Spain

Sweet and Salty at La Boqueria: Barcelona, Spain

Charming Medieval Villages Along the Costa Brava, Spain

Aiguablava Hotel: Begur, Spain

Begur, Spain

Spain’s North Coast:  Getting there

So About That Castle Party in Spain

Girona, Spain: Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend

Wandering the Gothic Quarter

 

2017-07-10T19:07:11+00:00

19 Comments

  1. elaine schoch @ CarpeTravel.com October 11, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Ouch! Bitten by a monkey has to hurt. Glad he ended up being ok…

    • admin October 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Everything worked out in the end!

  2. Muza-chan October 15, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I love Seville too… beautiful photos 🙂

    • admin October 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

      I can’t wait to go back!

  3. GowithOh October 17, 2013 at 12:49 am

    This is great! Love the picture of your son after the monkey bite! Lesson learned! Thanks for entering & good luck! 🙂

    • admin October 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

      I know, such a sweet photo of a boy distraught! We love this story as a family, but it took many years to tell! ha!

  4. Laurel October 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Gibraltar is so high on my list – mainly for the macaques. Your poor son, I can’t believe he got bitten.

    • admin October 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

      I know! Can you believe it? Obviously we were shocked too! But it is a great story to tell at family gatherings now!

  5. santafetraveler October 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    The monkey story is a bit scary- I’ve heard about those monkeys- they’ve famous for not being nice. But, all’s well…

    • admin October 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Yes, we were lucky nothing happened! He still, to this day, is not a fan of monkeys, which is understandable!

  6. Linda ~ Journey Jottings October 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Nothing like a bit of drama to make a trip memorable lol 🙂

    • admin October 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      So true! We will never forget our trip to the Gib!

  7. Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) October 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Neither of our sons have ever been bitten by a monkey saints be praised), buy this post brought back fond memories of traveling with our two sons. We took them on several cruises, a trip to Mexico, and to Italy. They even traveled with us after they started college. The younger one even became a travel blogger—of all things 😉

    • admin October 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Yes, traveling with kids is an awesome thing to do for them! We do need one last good trip to solidify the deal, to make sure they enjoy every minute of it on Mom and Dad’s dime! So cool your son became a Travel Blogger!! imagine that?!

  8. Cathy Sweeney October 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Looks like an excellent choice to me. It’s nice when a place really pulls at our heart strings like that. Good luck with the contest!

    • admin October 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Thanks! Would love to have a redo of that trip!

  9. […] ‘One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show’ The Rock of Gibralter and Seville, Spain […]

  10. Aiguablava August 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    […] ‘One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show’ The Rock of Gibralter and Seville, Spain […]

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