The Rock of Gibraltar is located on the southern tip of Spain, at the entrance to The Mediterranean Sea from The Atlantic Ocean. It is 6.5 square kilometers in size, most of it at sea level, but the top of the Rock is 426 metres/1400ft high. Below the north face of the Rock is RAF North Front, Gibraltar, which provides landing rights to many civilian airlines, from across Europe. Gibraltar also provides easy access to mainland Spain, as well as North Africa and in particular Tangier and Morocco. In past years, Gibraltar has been a military bastion, controlling access through the Straits, by sea and by air, but nowadays has become a tourist haven for people who enjoy history, beaches, deep sea fishing, sailing and yachting. Gibraltar is well known as a financial center, and therefore a natural choice for a gaming jurisdiction. It is a tax-free haven, resulting in prices of goods being very low.
There are beautiful sand covered beaches on the Mediterranean side of the hollow Rock, which is covered with cement catchment areas, to catch the rains that normally fall from November to April. Inside the Rock are huge water reservoirs that provide the inhabitants with their fresh water requirements for everyday use. On the west side of the Rock is the harbour, facing the Bay of Algeciras, where sailing, yachting, snorkeling and other water sports take place. On the far side of this bay is the town of Algeciras, and further east is the town of La Linea, both in Spain. La Linea is on the north side of the border with Gibraltar, and is a Custom Post.
A visit to Gibraltar would be incomplete if you did not see any of the official animals of the Rock - The Barbary Macaques are known throughout this area. About 160 of these monkeys inhabit the Rock. They roam freely around the Rock, but are naturally born scavengers, and will steal anything they fancy. However, do not attempt to feed them, as there is an automatic fine of up to CDN $950. To this day, there is a belief that as long as these Barbary Macaques exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule.
My wife and I lived in Gibraltar from 1963 to 1965, and our son was born there in 1964. There have been many changes to this British Territory, but we urge readers to visit Gibraltar if/when you are in the vicinity. It will be well worth it.
Author: John Godsman