Gibraltar Impressions or Why I Hate Monkeys

Following several days in Barcelona Spain in November 2011, my Dad and I flew down to Sevilla then left directly for Gibraltar in a rental car. Gibraltar is a tiny stretch of land with a very big rock and under British rule. It was a James Bond location in “The Living Daylights.” Visiting Bond locations has become kind of a thing for us. An additional, equally significant reason to visit, is its airport. My Dad is a huge airplane nut and I think Gibraltar has to be one of the top 10 coolest airports in the world. If you are standing in Spain and looking directly at Gibraltar and its famous rock; the airport is between you and Gibraltar. In fact, you have to actually walk ACROSS the live airstrip to get into Gibraltar: there is NO OTHER ROAD! My Dad had walked all around town virtually on Google Maps with the street view, so he guided me past all the traffic waiting to enter Gibraltar, into a parking spot at a fast food restaurant next to the boarder. We walked to Gibraltar, crossing the airstrip after watching a plane take off, and stepped into the United Kingdom. Products were priced in pounds and people chatted in English as they rushed by. The flavor here was completely different than on the other side of the airport: it was astonishing!
We wanted to check out the rock, after all, other than the airstrip, it’s the only thing to see. There were taxi drivers trying to convince us to ride with them, but the trips all involved more time than we wanted to stay. We took the gondola up instead, thinking we were flexible to stay as long as we wanted or leave sooner. It was breezy at the top and offered a spectacular view of the Spanish coast. We enjoyed watching some monkeys being monkeys until one fated moment. I was filming a cute baby monkey from a distance when a taxi driver shooshed a monkey up onto me from behind. The monster was pulling at my hair and sliding down my backpack. When I finally got him off me, I realized that he had smeared monkey poop all through my hair and down my jacket and backpack. The taxi driver thought that was funny until the monkey jumped onto his guest with its poo hands. The driver was fast to offer apologies and some diaper wipes to his guest but only barked “you’re not my guest. You wanted to pay for the gondola instead: go ask them for help” at me when I asked for a wipe too (since he shooed it up onto me to begin with!). I was furious. My Dad had some wipes with him thankfully and I ended up trying to wash my hair in the nasty bathroom at the gondola station. Clumps of hair washed out as the highly acidic excrement damaged my hair. Luckily, the bathroom hand soap was not empty and had a strong scent. After all, we had a 7 hour car ride to Lisbon Portugal in front of us before I would be able to properly shower. I hate monkeys.


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