Before we left Spain, we wanted to have a little test run out to see how we would really get on in a car with two dogs.
So we decided to have a couple of days out by making our way to Gibraltar. It was a lovely day (though we are not shocked by this apart from the one evening of storms, it’s been nothing but sunshine) and we thought we would take the scenic route and drive down to Malaga. Malaga wasn’t a destination we were particularly bothered about seeing, so we only stopped for a couple of hours. We stopped off at the port (you will see that if we can stop anywhere on this trip it will be a port) and took the boys for a walk. Going to Malaga port is lovely and there a plenty of stops for you to take a rest from the sun and having a bite to eat and drink (and see all the yachts coming in and out). It also has a variety of shops you can visit (again I can’t comment to much on how good they are because we have two very big dogs). If you lucky you will see a great collection of yachts and maybe a cruise liner of two that you can admire.
After a quick walk, back in the car and off to Gibraltar we went.
On route to Gibraltar, we decided it would be nice to drive along the coast. By doing this we drove the majority of the Costa del sol. Again we have never been bothered about staying at the Costa del sol because we are not very good at just sitting by the beach and doing nothing for too long. But it was nice to drive the coastal route and see all the towns that follow. It was strange driving through all of the different towns just because they all look so similar. Don’t get me wrong, you could tell they were all different, but the theme throughout every coastal town was exactly the same (beach shop, pub, another bar, fast food and so on) and of course this makes great business sense so who blames them!
So after a long drive me made it to Gibraltar! We were warned about the ques getting in and out, but luckily we went straight through both times (though I apologise if you have to que when/if you go I cannot control this 🙈).
Now this is when it gets weird! Now we are in Spain but as Gibraltar is a principality of the U.K, everything inside is British! We were warned about this just as I am telling you about it now but I don’t think you will understand the feeling until you arrive yourself. The street lights, the traffic lights, the signs are the same, the road markings are the same and the police wear the British uniform (hat and all). The important thing that isn’t the same is they still drive on the right hand side so don’t forget this!! So after the initial shock we drove around the very small country and this is when you know your not in Britain anymore. Everyone has probably heard of and seen a picture of the rock of Gibraltar but seeing it up close is something else, you don’t realise the scale of it until you are parked at the bottom of it. The best place we found to park was a free car park called Europa point (there are other free car parks but this has the best view). It was a lovely part of Gibraltar where you can see nothing but the ocean and quite clearly, Africa in the distance. Here sits the lighthouse that still overlooks the ocean to worn any incoming boats/ships.
Evening was approaching so we decided to get some food and this is when we got our next shock. We hit a Morrisons! (FYI there is also a Marks and Spencer’s though we didn’t go in) Walking around felt a little strange, everything was in pounds (so don’t forget this when your going around though you can pay in euros) and had all the British items you would expect to get in another shop. I wouldn’t always recommend getting the big brands unless you don’t mind paying an awful lot more than you would normally.
Big brands you pay extra but wait until you get to the fuel! Everyone knows and loves to have a good old moan about how much we pay for our fuel in Britain, so it is a great pleasure to tell you we paid 67p per litre! And no I’m not lying this is how much it cost (and just to let you know that was for diesel!). Apart from the fuel you can expect the get cheaper perfumes, cigarettes and booze with Gibraltar being a tax haven.
So after a long day of seeing Malaga, the Costa del sol and hitting Gibraltar, we started to settle down the for the evening. We stayed in the car tonight (they didn’t have any camp sites which is prob a good idea with all the apes!), and after a nice drive around (I love to see a country at night as well as the day, it has such a different feel to it), we parked up and off to sleep we went. This was a better night sleep (except when Monty barked at anyone that went near the car, which don’t get me wrong is a good defence), so we were up bright and early and started to explore Gibraltar on foot. Apart from the street when all you see is perfume, cigarette and booze shops (it’s great if you need these items), it has quite a lot of history. I will say this over and over again, always go off the main streets (when safe of course), this is when you see the truth and beauty of a place.
At the end of the walk we got a Costa (sorry couldn’t resist) and in the car we went. At this point we planned on driving as far up the rock as we could. Unfortunately we got stopped and told we can no longer drive up yourself and the only option was to walk (about an hour and half in the midday sun), get the cable cart (not possible with the dogs) or get a taxi (we heard these can be expensive and again not possible with the dogs). So today was not the day to go up the rock and see the apes (luckily when we got up super early we saw an ape at the bottom on the rock), at this point we decided to make a start on the next part of the trip.
We made our way over the border and everything was how it should be again when your in Spain. Always taking the scenic route, we headed up to Cadiz along the coast. The views at this stage were beautiful with it not being too built up it was just beaches after beaches. Along the way we went to Turifa. We hadn’t heard of it before either don’t worry – Turifa is the most southern point on mainland Europe and the views made this worth the extra journey. With the posistion of Turifa, it has a lot of water and wind sports on its beaches and this seemed to add to the beauty of the soft sandy beaches. We carried on driving along the coast and we found a road that was in the middle of the beach so we parked up and looked over at the views. We then carried on along the coast to Cadiz.
Cadiz was another port city so we parked as close to the port as we could and took a little walk. This was a nice walk in the late afternoon where we could see the history of the city.
Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe.
We walked through a beautiful park by the port and then into the city and we got to see the architecture.
We then made our way to Seville were we had a campsite for the night. This was an interesting night in trying to set up a tent with two dogs and then all four of us fitting in that one tent (there will be a further post about this), but we got through it and loved lying on a bed (at this point a blow up bed is better than nothing).
So the next morning we woke up refreshed and ready to move on.
In the morning we were set on spending the day in Seville but by the time we got in the car, we found ourselves changing plans, we were heading back to Mures that same night and figured we needed longer to see such a big city so we spent the day seeing the surrounding areas of Seville. When you head to a city you tend to stay inside it but I would definatley recommend venturing outside of Seville. We drove through the Sierra Norte, these were lovely sites to see and we even came across a place that we could take a little walk (these are the best parts of travelling, you just see a sign and follow it – no need to be on a schedule). It was a river that over the years of mining had turned a blood red from the copper. Walking through the hills of where people would have once mined, you could really feel the history and what it would have been like when they were living in the mines.
The day was quickly running away from us so we made our way back to Mures were it would be the last time we would see anyone we know until Christmas.