Posts Tagged With: Gibraltar

Your Favorites of 2013

It has been a crazy and wonderful year! Who knew that a year that started in Spain would end permanently back in America? It has also been one of the best yet – I married my best friend this year! This post isn’t about what I loved in 2013 though. I took at look at my site stats and thought I would share your top 10 favorite posts of the year.

10. One Month and Counting…¬†– It was a simple post, but it was wonderful to be able to acknowledge one month of marriage and how different life would now be after things settled down.

Clyde Brown Productions, Christina Littleton Photography, Cincinnati, Earth Tones

9. Back to School – Back in America, back in the classroom! It’s been a whirlwind, but doing something that comes so naturally while we get ready for the next step in our future has been a comfort.

8. Spanish Culture – I wrote this one a long time ago…May 15, 2012 in fact! However, you seem to love it and you kept it as a favorite in 2013. What’s not to love about Spain and their culture?

Sevilla, Spain

7. October 19, 2013 – Best day of my life! The rest of our photos became available recently, and I just cannot stop looking at them. This has to be one of my favorites though. ūüôā

Clyde Brown Productions, Christina Littleton Photography, Cincinnati, Earth Tones

6. Entering Gibraltar – Avoid the Airplanes! – You were just as enthralled in the process of crossing the airport runway every single time Matt and I entered and exited Gibraltar as we were. This one was written way back in January 2012, but the craziness of it never got old. I can’t say that I miss crossing the border every day to go to work, nor do I miss waiting for the airplanes to take off to get there!

I stole the following picture from my friends Kaitlyn and Chris, who came to visit us while we were living in Spain. It is a fantastic look at how the runway divides the two countries. They are taking the photo from atop the Rock of Gibraltar and you can see the long runway strip with traffic driving right across it in the middle! On the other side is the city of La Línea de la Concepción, Spain.Spain, Runway, Airplanes

5. Why I Went Missing – Blame it on tradimo… – I’d gone on a long blogging hiatus and in this post, I told you why! It was the first time I gave a glimpse of my work life in Gibraltar.

4. The 4th of July – European Style – Ah, the epic 4th of July party in which we drew upon American customs to entertain our European friends! They absolutely loved the games of beer pong, the greased-up watermelon fight, and of course, the American cuisine.

Party, Independence Day, Europe, Spain

Our house, all decked out in red, white and blue. I miss this place.

3. A Final Fling Before the Ring x 2 РIn preparation for my nuptials, I was lucky to have not one, but two bachelorette parties! One in Spain and one in Dallas. Both of my hostesses were absolutely amazing and I had the best time.

Spain, Estepona, PuroBeach, Laguna Village, Bachelorette, Marriage

A celebration before finally becoming a Mrs.!

2. The American Invasion – I don’t blame you guys for loving this post. Having my friends come to visit us was such a fun time – from dinners at La Finca and Pura Tapa, to the Spanish fair, and of course, a trip up the Rock of Gibraltar that ended in an ape bite. It was a visit I’ll never forget.

Spain, Europe, Travel, La Fina, Pura Tapa, Alcaidesa

1. Drumroll please!!!! Your favorite post in 2013 – Emily En America!!! After all of my traveling blog posts, the countries visited, the cultures chronicled, it really means a lot to have my move back to America come in first place. Matt and I are so very excited to be home, though we definitely miss life abroad.

This year has brought so many changes to our life and I’m so glad to be able to continue my writing and to have you as loyal followers! Thank you for giving me a reason to write this blog and I hope you have the best New Year! Here’s to what 2014 has to offer!



Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Emily En America

America, Spain, Gibraltar, Ireland, Travel, Moving

My arrival in Texas! Inside that black bag is our gato – General McFluffybutt.

It has been an extremely long time since I have written, and for that, I am sorry. To my followers here that do not know me personally, I’m sure that what I am about to tell you is going to blow your mind (I’m feeling hyperbolic this morning, so bear with me).

I am no longer “Emily En Europe.” I am officially Emily back in America, married and looking for my next adventure.

That’s right folks. During my hiatus, much has changed. I promise to take you through all of the exciting parts, because that’s what this space is for – to show my family and friends (my every day friends and my Internet peeps) what life is like when you uproot your life and move to a foreign country. Or in this case, back from a foreign country.

To make a long story a little shorter, my husband (more on that in later posts!), along with a few others, worked hard over the past year to sell the company they were working for. It was an arduous process with lots of traveling – London, New York, Israel – and the end result meant that Matt and I were faced with the decision to come home. And I’ll tell you…that was not an easy decision.

If you’ve followed me from the very beginning, you will know how much I loved my time in Ireland. Our quaint apartment overlooking the farm (sheep!), the American Women’s Club of Dublin (philanthropic events and friends), the new culture (I had never traveled abroad before), and the many trips we were able to take throughout that time (Bruges, St. Moritz, Paris, Majorca, Nice). Ireland was the absolutely perfect location to set me up for a love affair with Europe, and when we were given the opportunity to stay, we jumped on it.

Married, Gibraltar, Ireland, Spain, Travel, Moving

I got married! But like I said, more on that later…

Spain and Gibraltar brought us a whole different way of life. Living on the Mediterranean Sea, traveling, crossing the border to Gibraltar every day (I won’t necessarily miss that), again making life-long friends, and our very special addition to the family – I will never regret our decision to extend our time in Europe.

However, I also won’t regret our decision to move back. Since we’ve been home, it’s been amazing catching up with friends, spending loads of time with family and we’ve even had our first European visitors – our wedding was a good reason to bring friends from Ireland and Spain to America! Only time will tell what our future has in store for us and I am very excited for what that may be.

In the coming weeks, there will be changes to this blog – it will need to take a new spin and the name will potentially change. However, I hope to bring you fun tales from America, many book and restaurant reviews, and I promise to continue my travels!

Categories: Musings, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bingo Isn’t Just for the Elderly…

Gibraltar, Spain, Casino, Poker, Blackjack

I am SO EXCITED to play bingo!

A couple of weekends ago, Matt and I were contemplating what we wanted to do for date night. We wanted to celebrate his months of hard work leading into the successful sale of his company and we wanted to do something new, or that we hadn’t done in awhile. That’s when I came up with the brilliant idea to take a taxi to Gibraltar and partake in an evening of dinner in the marina and bingo at the casino, possibly followed by a few table games.

Now, you may be reading this thinking, “bingo isn’t exactly what I’d call a rousing activity for a young couple on date night.” I’m sorry, but you would be wrong – Matt and I love it! Especially here in Gibraltar/Spain where they call the numbers in both English and Spanish. We have yet to win, which I think is one of the reasons we keep coming back for more.

Gibraltar, Spain, Casino, Bingo, Blackjack, Poker

Crowds of people celebrating summer.

As we made our way into Gibraltar that evening, we learned that we had decided to do date night on one of Gib’s biggest party days of the year – the summer island party. Once upon a time, I would have lived for an event like this – live (DJ) music on-stage, fountains of spraying water, beer stands, etc. However, I am at a point in my life where I consider watching the revelries of the island party from a balcony with the other older patrons in the casino just as fun. *Sigh*

So, that’s exactly what Matt and I did. We grabbed a celebratory bottle of champagne and hunkered down on the balcony of the casino to watch the antics of the younger crowd below. And I’ll tell you what – it was extremely entertaining. The whole lot of us on the balcony could not stop laughing. Needless to say, some of the “activities” do not need to be shared on this blog, which just proves my point further that I was better off out of the fray!

Proof that we stayed safe on the balcony with an older generation...

Proof that we stayed safe on the balcony with an older generation…

After enjoying the show, we took our champagne into the bingo hall with hopes of winning the big pot. As always, the mood in the room was intense; it never ceases to amaze me how into bingo people are. If you aren’t quiet when the first number is called, they will shush you. When someone wins, everyone outwardly groans. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that Matt and I were the youngest folks there. It certainly perpetuates the stereotype that older people love bingo.¬†While Matt and I may not have won anything, we loved the atmosphere and were excited each round when we only had one or two numbers to go.

Following bingo, we made our way out into the casino to try our luck at some other games. Neither Matt nor I are huge gamblers, but we have fun playing the occasional Blackjack or Texas Hold’em. So this is exactly what we did. I usually have the best luck at the Blackjack table, but this trip to the casino proved not to be my lucky night. I just couldn’t catch a break! Matt was playing pretty well, so he made up for my losses. Then he really made up for my poor play when he sat down at a poker table and played really well. All in all, even with my losses, we ended up positive on the evening.

So, while this may not sound like a typical date night, it was perfect for us. Sure, in the future we’ll probably do dinner in Marbella or hit up our beach bar, but for one night, we had the best time playing bingo.

Gibraltar, Spain, Casino, Bingo, Poker, Blackjack

Moet at sunset while the antics proceed below.

Categories: Musings, Nightlife | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The American Invasion

Spain, Europe, Travel, La Fina, Pura Tapa, Alcaidesa

My girlfriends made it! A pre-dinner picture in my backyard.

This past week the best thing happened – Matt and I had a group of our American friends come to visit us in Spain! It was a wonderful visit, and we had an amazing time showing our friends the area that we live in and the Spanish/Gibraltarian culture.

On the day they arrived, Monday, they were pretty exhausted, so after a nap we all decided to stay pool-side soaking up some rays. That gave us a great opportunity to catch-up and for them to tell me all about their time in Greece, their first stop on their European tour.

Following a relaxing day by the pool, we got dressed up to head to our favorite local spot, La Finca. We wanted our friends to enjoy the Thai Fusion that we’re constantly raving about, and the atmosphere couldn’t have been better. We had a nice big table out on their beautiful patio, it was a lovely evening and as always, the food was fantastic. I think every single one in our group raved about their dish and the owners, Chris and Syrie, with whom we’ve become good friends, stopped by during an extremely busy evening to say hello.¬†We then continued the evening back at our house on the patio – we lit the tiki torches and candles around our yard, turned on some tunes and kept the drinks (and cigars for the guys) flowing. It was a perfect evening.

Gibraltar, Apes, Spain, Europe, La Finca, Alcaidesa, Pura Tapa

Poor Lenore and the series of events leading up to and after the ape attack.

On Tuesday, Matt and the guys ventured out for a round of golf in Sotogrande while us gals made our way down to the Alcaidesa beach. It was packed with people and colorful umbrellas, so we joined right in. We relaxed in the sand, enjoyed a snack at the Alcaidesa beach bar, Blanco, and just had a quiet day.

When the boys finished their round of golf, we made our way into La Linea for the fair, or la feria! Talk about a perfect week for the fair to come to La Linea. We gorged ourselves on kebabs (very similar to a gyro),¬†bu√Īuelos (fried dough balls covered with powered sugar or chocolate), and mojitos. Only a few of us were brave enough to jump on the rides – I loved one that reminds me of the Crazy Mouse, while I passed on another that included a lot of upside down flipping. My friends got to experience some Spanish culture – we found that at the fair, the little girls often come dressed like flamenco dancers. We’re not sure why, but it certainly added to the Spanish atmosphere!

On Wednesday, we woke up earlier and made our way to Gibraltar. No trip would be complete without a trip to the top of the rock to see the apes! And boy were the apes out in full force. One of the baby apes sitting on a railing became mesmerized with my sunglasses and kept touching my face, which is definitely a first for me! The rest of the group definitely got their up close and personal encounter with these creatures, until one became a little too close for comfort. My poor friend Lenore, sitting innocently on the stairs, was bitten by one of the apes. Luckily it wasn’t too hard, so it didn’t break skin. However, after that, we decided our adventure was over. We took her to the fire brigade located just at the bottom of the cable car to have it checked out and after disinfecting her shoulder, the firemen declared her safe from harm.

Spain, Gibraltar, Apes, Europe, La Finca, Pura Tapa

My new bestie! I didn’t know Andrea prior to this trip, but had the best time getting to know her!

That evening, their last one in town, we took the group to Pura Tapa, another one of our favorites. We enjoyed a full array of tapas like tuna tartar, mejillones (mussels), cuernos de langostino, patatas bravas (a Spanish favorite), mini hamburguesas, and more. After stuffing ourselves to the brim, we relocated to the nearby beach bar, Chambao, where we enjoyed drinks and the atmosphere until the wee hours of the morning. I’ll tell you what, it may have been a Wednesday night, but the Spanish sure do love to party! Chambao was packed all night.

Sadly, on Thursday, their trip came to an end and they were off to the last stop on their adventure in Barcelona. It was so wonderful to have the whole gang in Spain experiencing what Matt and I get to enjoy every day and we had the best time catching up with them. It really has been the year for visitors and I’m so glad this group was able to make it over. Thank you so much for coming and I can’t wait to see you all in September and October!!!

Categories: Nightlife, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Settling Back Into My European Home

Coming home to a house that hasn’t been lived in for 24 days can cause a massive headache quickly. Even if you clean it before leaving, it’s bound to feel musty and dirty upon arrival, which is exactly how our house felt when we got back from the States. Since we spent the first few days home cleaning and putting all of our stuff away, we were able to spend the weekend doing a little home decorating to spruce up the place to give it a little facelift for the new year.

The first thing we did was decorate the front entryway table. We use the bottom shelf to house our keys, sunglasses, passports, etc., but the top was feeling a little plain. So, we added the “Home Sweet Home” pillow, the candle display in the middle, an elephant (it’s my favorite animal and can be found all over my house) and a picture frame of Matt and his brother with their grandfather.

Our new and improved entry way.

Our new and improved entry way.

A gorgeous flower display I had to pick up while grocery shopping yesterday.

A lovely flower bouquet to replace my poinsettias.

While out grocery shopping yesterday, I spotted a gorgeous bouquet of flowers filled with whites and yellows and greens and pinks. As much as I love it when Matt buys me flowers, sometimes it’s just nice to buy yourself some instead. My poinsettias were struggling a little after being left unattended for over 3 weeks, so I replaced them with these beauties and my dining/living room area immediately transformed.

Not pictured is a cookbook stand I bought for the kitchen to hold up my favorite¬†Barefoot Contessa cookbook and an old, silver wine bottle coaster that was given to me and Matt by his grandparents immediately following our engagement. Though there is a bottle currently sitting on this, it will stay corked for a little while, because we’re trying to have a “healthier January.” Along with the cookbook, these little trinkets have given my kitchen an extra pizazz.

However, no matter how nice we attempt to make our home, some things about living around here will never change. Sitting in a border queue for an hour means less time spent in my cozy space. Hey, you win some, you lose some…

Here I am just sitting on the airport runway in the border queue.

Here I am just sitting in the middle of the airport runway in the border queue.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

When it Rains, it Pours

Gibraltar, Spain, Weather, Rain

This is part of the flooded parking lot we use. It looks some cars were lucky, while another had water nearly up to its doors.

I know this saying is usually reserved for events – as in, you have a bad day at work and then on the way home, you get in a minor car accident: “when it rains, it pours.” However, I’m using this catch phrase in a more literal sense. I’m finding that down here in the Spain/Gibraltar region, when it rains, it literally pours. It’s let up since last week, but I’ve been holding onto a couple of pictures that really represent how our area was affected by inclement weather.

Clearly, a region that is referred to as the Costa del Sol doesn’t expect to receive much rain. However, I’ve been told by people who have been here a long time that winter is often associated with rain. Apparently, there was a year that it rained from October until the beginning of April – almost every day. Well, we noticed the effects of heavy downpour last week and if the weather plans on doing the same thing this year, we could be in for some problems. Flooding is a major problem in our area – the dirt parking lot we use every day flooded last week and is still trying to dry out. Side streets in La Linea were completely filled with water and as we drove home on Friday, the main street we use to get to Gibraltar even had some problem areas. I heard that in Malaga (about an hour up the coast from us), people died in floods.

I don’t know what the weather has in store for us this winter, but as much as I love rain, I’m not a fan of flooding.

Gibraltar, Spain, Weather, Rain

A side street in La Linea that basically turned into a lake.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Home-made Pizza

Morrison's, Gibraltar, Spain, Pizza Delivery, Pizza-Making Kit, Dinner

Our home-made pizza straight out of the oven!

Here’s the thing about Spain, and in particular, the town we live in – delivery pizza doesn’t exist. Go on, I’ll give you a moment to think about that.

Pizza is just not the same over here. In Ireland, we had Domino’s, and we could even order the pizza online and then track the order like the Domino’s back home. Who doesn’t love to order a pizza for delivery on a rainy night, or for a football game, or just because? Well, after a year of living in Spain, we’ve done tons of research into the ability to order pizza to the house, and it just doesn’t seem to be an option. The pizza places we’ve contacted either don’t deliver, or won’t deliver to our town, Alcaidesa. Therefore, we’ve come up with our own solution: home-made pizza!

Don’t get too excited, though – I don’t make the dough on my own. That’s just a feat I’m not willing to tackle any time soon. After all, how many baking posts have you seen on my blog in all 200+ posts? I actually discovered a pizza-making kit at Morrison’s that works time and time again. It includes the dough, which just needs to be rolled out, and the sauce. It makes two small, square pizzas and any time I make it over to Morrison’s in Gibraltar, I pick it up. The expiration date on it also allows us to keep it for awhile before needing to use it, so I usually stock up on a couple. ūüėČ

Last night, we pulled out the pizza-kit for a quick and easy dinner. Though not the same as delivery, we still get to choose exactly what goes on the pizza and the preparation is simple. We put together a simple combination last night – cheese and salami. We also sprinkled a bit of oregano and red chili flakes on top for added flavor. Thanks to our convection oven (which are a staple in Europe), the cook time was quick and we were eating in no time. From start to stomach, the process most likely took the same amount of time that a delivery would have with an end result that was just as yummy.

Morrison's, Gibraltar, Spain, Pizza Delivery, Pizza-Making Kit, Dinner

Cooking away in the convection oven. Seriously, everyone should have one of these.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Guess This Means Summer is Over

Rain, Europe, America, US, Ireland, Gibraltar, Spain, Rock of Gibraltar

The view from our bedroom patio. Usually you can see Gibraltar clearly from this vantage point. Not today…

I am one happy girl today – it’s raining! When I woke up this morning, it felt unnaturally dark, or at least darker than it usually is at that time in the morning. As I stumbled to the bathroom for my shower, I noticed the sound of water hitting pavement. Though I was confused for a second in my morning haze, wondering how the shower started without me, it only took a moment to realize the sounds were coming from outside. I rushed to our upstairs patio – lo and behold, the first, hard rain since spring. I couldn’t see the Rock of Gibraltar through the thick downpour.¬†I am officially the crazy one that craves drizzle, or thunder, or a hard downpour.

However, I think this brings a great opportunity to explain something to my American friends. In the US (for the most part), rain doesn’t hinder your day-to-day comings and goings like it would if you lived in Europe. I know that if I were still living in Texas, I would simply cover my head or use an umbrella for the brief run to my car, and then from my car to my place of employment. Many places have parking garages that allow you to stay dry. There are¬†sky-walks in major cities that connect hotels and hospitals to huge shopping centers.

Over here, it is a much different experience. Take today for example: Matt and I drove to the border as we always do. The queue to drive into Gibraltar was far too long to wait in, especially since Matt had a meeting to make. Therefore, we had to go with our daily routine of parking in the dirt parking lot on the Spanish side of the border. Because of the downpour, the dirt parking lot was now a mud parking lot, scattered with puddles the size of small ponds. We parked in the rockiest area we could find and prepared ourselves for the long walk to the border. We zipped up our¬†wind breakers and I tied the¬†hooded¬†part tight to my neck. For good measure, I wrapped a scarf around my head as well – I wasn’t going to let the rain ruin my hair. We then trudged through the mud and water to the border.

Rain, Europe, America, US, Ireland, Gibraltar, Spain, Rock of Gibraltar

He gets me.

By the time we made it, our shoes were already soaked through. Sure, I have boots I could have worn (we did live in Ireland after all), however we were caught off guard by the downpour this morning and didn’t have time to search through our winter/Dublin stash. I’d thought ahead, though, and threw a second pair of shoes into my bag for the office before leaving.

At the border we had to walk with the traffic, because a menacing pool of water had formed in the narrow stretch of pedestrian walkway, making the path impassable.¬†Once on the Gibraltar side, we still had at least a twenty minute walk, or we could wait for a cab or take the bus. Waiting for a cab would mean standing in line in the rain. Taking the bus would mean walking a bit further in the downpour, but we’d be drier faster once on the bus. We chose taxi, because the line wasn’t very long, and we were sharing a small umbrella. When we finally made it to the office, I swapped out my shoes, took off my¬†wind breaker, and was happy to find that my hair was still in order and most of me was dry.

Keep in mind that while I was living in Dublin, this was more of a daily¬†occurrence, but there were some differences. Add whipping wind that doesn’t allow you to use an umbrella. Add a walk to the tram, then a twenty minute walk through the city to the office. Add cold and frigid temperatures. In Europe, it’s not so easy. You cannot simply hop in your car and drive door to door. I am a huge proponent of public transportation, however days like these remind me that life is quite different over here. I am by no means complaining – take the first sentence of this post as proof! However, I thought it would be fun to share how different something as minor as going to work can be when the culture doesn’t allow for the ease or preference of staying dry.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When the Lights Go Out

Even though there isn’t much to say about this, I feel like it needs to be shared. Since I try to keep up with my unique European experiences, I truly think this fits the bill. Yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk at work, editing yet another article, listening to Olympic competition in the background, and otherwise just doing my thing, the power went out – in the entire building. Not so strange, you say? Keep reading.

Luckily, the building has generators, so we were given a little light and if we were hooked up to the Internet line and not wireless, we could continue working on our laptops. However, about thirty minutes later, the Internet line went down. Now, I’m no technical expert, so I can’t explain why I had the Internet for awhile and then why it went away, but it did. With no Internet, we officially had nothing to do. It was at that moment that I realized how utterly dependent we all are on technology. People started to wander around the office aimlessly until we decided to pass the time by playing some card games. Surely, the power would come back on any time – it was the middle of the day.

That’s what we thought until we saw people pouring out of the building and shops closing up outside. Apparently, the power went out over the whole of Gibraltar. Read that again: the ENTIRE COUNTRY OF GIBRALTAR had zero power. Restaurants, shopping centers, dry cleaners, grocery stores…the list goes on and on. When you think of Gibraltar as more than a little peninsula on the southern tip of Spain, it starts to set in just how enormous this is. When news finally spread to us that it wouldn’t be back on for quite awhile, the office called it a day and we made the long and slow trek home. Unfortunately, we drove in yesterday so that we could pick up our dry cleaning, therefore we were stuck waiting in a long border queue with the rest of the masses trying to escape the dark isolation. Matt made a couple jokes about how the Spanish finally found the major electricity line and cut it to piss off Gibraltar – I’m not counting out that possibility just yet…

Today we have power and so it was back to work in the office. It is just so interesting to live in this little place that is just so unique and observe how a situation that would normally affect only a city in the United States, could affect an entire population.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Military Training in Gibraltar

Spain, Military Planes, Training, RAF, Royal Air Force, Runway, Tornado

One such aircraft coming in for landing.

For the past few weeks, and for a couple more to come, the RAF Gibraltar (Royal Air Force) has been training their military planes, which basically means they are using the Gibraltar runway for take-off and landing. Through the news that I’ve followed, and the personal experience I’ve had, there is so much I have learned about life in Gibraltar and the constant tension between Gibraltar and Spain.

I recently read an article dated July 2010 that highlighted the tension between Gibraltar and Spain in relation to the military training of Tornadoes from Gibraltar. It was interesting to read that just two years ago, official air space in Gibraltar was not evident РGibraltar had no territorial waters, therefore no airspace above those waters. It also explained how Alboran, an uninhabited chunk of rock east of Gibraltar, was a site of controversy where military training was concerned. A Mediterranean training area, the lower half is deemed Moroccan airspace and the northern half is deemed Spanish airspace. Morocco had given the British military permission to use it to train, but Spain would not. Again, this was only two years ago.

Since then, military training and commercial flying has become commonplace in Gibraltar, but the tension still seems to resonate between Gibraltar and Spain. From what I’ve understood, and from the stories I’ve heard from locals, Spain holds a huge grudge because Gibraltar is British, not Spanish. However, Gibraltarians continuously vote to remain a British Colony. If you followed the Diamond Jubilee news this summer, you may have heard that¬†Queen Sof√≠a of Spain snubbed Queen Elizabeth II during her celebrations when she cancelled a visit to the UK. This was because of disputes concerning Gibraltar, mainly over fights to do with the fishing waters. And to make matters worse, they are related!¬†This just highlights a fraction of stories I’ve heard – our personal banker who grew up in Gibraltar and my hairdresser who grew up in La L√≠nea¬†have both told me stories of the fighting that happened when they were children.

Spain, Military Planes, Training, RAF, Royal Air Force, Runway, Tornado

Unfortunately, you can’t see the aircraft as well in this one, but I think the fact that it’s coming in just over the cruise ship is pretty cool.

That being said, Gibraltar remains British, which means every so often the RAF trains here. Our personal experience with this has made for an interesting summer. For one, commercial flights cause enough traffic problems on their own. Traffic in and out of Gibraltar must stop when planes take off and land, because it crosses the runway. Add an influx of planes and more frequent stoppage, and life here becomes a cluster of madness. I recently came into work a little late after dropping Christine off at the airport, and it was easily a 45 minute affair. For one, it was impossible to get a taxi, because they were stuck on the other side of the runway. It would have also been idiotic to jump in one only to watch the meter tick while you sit still, waiting for the planes to land one after another. Therefore, I chose to walk, but again, you stand waiting at the gate that keeps you off of the runway. By the time the planes land (or take off) the mass of people has quadrupled, cars are at a standstill in the queue on the other side of the border in Spain, and driving anywhere near the runway in Gibraltar is crazy.

However, Matt and I have instituted a fail-proof routine: for the most part, the military training happens at the same time, so we make sure to come into work earlier. We also don’t risk driving across into Gibraltar for fear of the queue that would await us later in the evening. Once the nuisance was under control from our end, I simply listen to the thunderous roar every day at the office as each Tornado takes to the skies. And thanks to the open roof atop our office, I’ve been able to take a break here and there to see these planes in all their glory. Sometimes, I can’t help but shake my head as I ponder the place I live and the unique experiences that come with it.

*Click on any of the photos to enlarge. Seriously – they’re pretty cool in the larger size. ūüôā

Spain, Military Planes, Training, RAF, Royal Air Force, Tornado, Runway

Hitting the runway and thunderously coming to a stop. I wish you could hear the noise that accompanies these planes.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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