The realisation when one lands in Gibraltar that the whole place is only about six square kilometres and that a road has to be closed when a plane is landing or taking off because it goes across the runway is surprising. The first impression is of a bigger town, though of course it’s hard to judge properly with that enormous rock in the middle.
Gibraltarians speak English and Llanito, which is apparently so close to the Spanish of Andalucia that it takes a native Andalasusian to tell the difference. Relations with Spain are now more relaxed than they were. But if a passenger aircraft cannot land at Gibraltar because of weather conditions, the departing passengers go through all the formalities here and are then bussed to Malaga airport where they are decanted straight into the aircraft. Arriving passengers are bussed straight off the tarmac at Malaga with baggage to go through all the formalities here. This is an improvement on the previous arrangement whereby the plane had to fly on to Tangier and sit on the tarmac until permission was obtained for it to land at Malaga.
We experienced one of the bad weather conditions on Friday when a thick mist called the Levanter, settled on the top of the Rock lowering the temperature considerably. Whether it was that that drove some of the apes down to sea-level, I don’t know, but I had my first meeting with one of them, sitting on a wall by the roadside chewing something and totally uninterested in passing humans.