Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Trip Day 1 - Gibraltar

Finally, after waiting for more than 2 hours for the photos to finish transferring from SD card to my hard disk, I got the chance to start writing about my recent trip to Andalucia, Spain (Espana in Spanish). I took A LOT of photos and videos during my trio this time. They almost used up all the 16GB space in the card! 

For the first time in UK, we did not travel by our own. Instead we joined a travel tour organised by Perantau Holidays. Plus, travelling on our own with 8 others in a group might not be a good idea. That's quite a big number. I still can accept if less than 5 person travel together as it would be more convenient.

This 4 days/3 nights tour package fee was  £299 plus  £20 for participants who came from Glasgow. It includes return flight tickets, accommodation, transport, entrance fees to Cordoba Mezquita and Alhambra and 3-day breakfast.

Our flight (Easyjet) from Glasgow to Malaga took less than 3 hours. As soon as we touched down, we waited at the arrival area and saw our tour leader En. Fuad waiting for us at there. We were the last group as the other participants from other parts of UK were already waiting for us in the bus. According to En. Fuad, the total number of participants for this tour is 59 pax. Apart from Glasgow, other participants came from Sheffield, Essex and Bristol. Besides En. Fuad, there were two others Perantau Holidays staffs; Atiq and Haikal. Atiq was the one who talk and gave a lot of information about the places that we were going to visit while Haikal was more to an usher-er. By the way, the time difference between UK and Spain is one hour (Spain is one hour earlier than UK).

Our main agenda for the first day was Gibraltar tour. It took two hours from Malaga to Gibraltar via Marbella. I really hoped the bus would stop at Marbella because if that so, we could dropped by Hard Rock Cafe Marbella to buy some t-shirts. =(

Gibraltar used to be a part of Spain but remained as one of UK territory till today. They even used Pound Sterling as their currency and they have their own coins and notes. Gibraltar airport is listed in the Top 5 of the most dangerous airport in the world because the airport track and traffic road cross each other. Seremmmmm~

We had to walked through immigration check point before entering Gibraltar. The weather was cold today but I guess Glasgow is even colder. We waited for the public bus at the bus stop. The bus is free since today is Sunday. The tour bus was not allowed to enter Gibraltar so we had to take public bus to roam around the city. Our first destination was Upper Rock (Rock of Gibraltar). It is a significant landmark in Gibraltar and is a must visit attraction not to be missed out. We ride the cable car (£7.50/pax for group price) up to the Upper Rock. The temperature at 412 metre high was even colder with occasional breeze. Not to be missed, there were a lot of monkeys up there. Don't forget to hide all of your food or they will grab it from you. Other tourists were very busy evading the monkeys. Lari sana, lari sini...

We spent few minutes enjoying the panoramic view created by Allah. Subhanallah, the scenery is very pretty and stunning. Up at the observation area, we could see 3 countries; Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco. Morocco is just 15 km away from Gibraltar. That's quite near. If you wanna use the binocular, it costs £1/€1. Rasa nak lepak kat situ lama2, but the time constrain made us do everything very quickly. Look how time is so jealous with us!

As usual, after taking a lot of photos of the beautiful scenery we attacked the souvenir shop. They sell the usual type of souvenirs including fridge magnets, key chains, postcards, t-shirts and many others. I bought a few postcards and tie pins for my keepsake. 

Our next stop was Europa Point. We took the public bus to reach here. Here lies Ibrahim al-Ibrahim mosque (King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud mosque) and a white-red Europa Point Lighthouse. We performed our prayer here before continuing taking more photos at the seaside and lighthouse (and the big Europa Point signboard as well). There's an incident occurred here that really consumed much of our time until we had to cancel our plan to Gibraltar town to buy souvenirs. Tsk.. tsk.. tsk.. 

We reached back the immigration point at dusk. Once we boarded our tour bus, En. Fuad came with the food that we ordered from him at Europa Point. We continued our journey to Algeciras to check in there. It took approximately one hour. Our accommodation for tonight was Holiday Inn Express Algeciras. Atiq and Haikal distributed the food at the hotel lobby. I had Lamb Kebab (£3.20) as my dinner.

Then, off to bed.

Only managed to buy a few postcards and tie pins. Tak sempat beli fridge magnets.. Sedih kan? Cuk cuk cuk...

Alhamdulillah, the first day was okay even though it wasn't as smooth as planned. However, it did teach us about patience. Sabar itu separuh daripada iman.. 


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