I couldn't be in the area without a visit to Ronda to see the famous bridge, and visit some of its historic
monuments. Unless you have someone with you who knows the area, it is certainly worth taking a guide book, as the
literature in the local tourist office is amazingly sparse.
Although it is a comparatively short distance from the coast, the steep and windy road to the town means that it takes several hours to get there. Even with my fear of heights, I could not but be in awe of the drive which went higher and higher until we were in among the clouds.
The new bridge, actually built in 1793, separates the new and the old city. There is a lot
to see and visit, including a bull ring dating back to 1785, one of the oldest of its kind, just inside the new city, in an area used for car parking. The old town still
maintains its past, and it is easy to imagine it as the home
of exotic bullfighters and
bandits, with a museum dedicated to the latter.
My flight in and out, courtesy of GB Airways, from Gibraltar was only a 15-minute drive from the San Roque Club. The runway is amazing. Formally a racecourse, it runs along the side of a marina.
I left my visit to the Rock until the day of departure. What is really strange is that the taxi can only take you to the border, so you have to either walk the two minutes to the airport or take another taxi into town.
The rock that forms Gibraltar is porous, with the upper section made into a nature reserve, which is the stop-off place for migrating birds, and the home to semi-wild Barbary Macaques - tailless monkeys. A cable car or taxi can take
you to the top, which provides the most magnificent views of Morocco, just 15 miles away, and the coastline of Spain.
Along the way, the famous apes roam freely, often blocking the road. A 'must
see' is Saint Michael's Cave, a natural grotto where a 'son et lumiere' has just been introduced, and where
concerts and live performances are held.
There are also several tunnels which go through the rock with strategically placed canons, one of which can be visited, as well as the remains of a Moorish castle.
One of the Rock's biggest benefits is that it is VAT exempt, and is a haven for those wanting to stock up
on gold jewellery, drinks and cigarettes. To facilitate shopping, the main street
is a walking precinct with familiar names such as Marks & Spencer.
British Airways scheduled services fly daily from London Gatwick to Gibraltar, with up to 14 flights a week operated by GB Airways.
For reservations, visit the BA website www.ba.com or phone 0845 77 333 77 where a supplement may apply.
The San Roque is offering MQ readers the chance to stay at the Club for four nights.
The package includes accommodation and breakfast for two in a standard room, double or twin; two green fees,
a stroke saver, a hole-by-hole guide of the course; and a gift for 1051 euros. When contacting the Club, please mention the MQ offer which is available until May 31, 2003, and is subject to availability.
The San Roque Club,
Tel: +34 956 613030 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sanroqueclub.com
Web site created by Mark Griffin