Gibraltar points out from the southern tip of Spain, offering a perfect vantage point for watching ships as they pass move from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, and vice versa. The coast of North Africa -- Morocco -- is less than 8 miles (13 km) away.
The peninsula has been a British possession since the early 1700s, and the Royal Navy retains a base there to this day.
From Spain, you just walk across the border (if you're not driving, obviously). I didn't even get my passport stamped. I crossed twice each way during my stay, and half the time no one even looked at it.
The only way into Gibraltar, other than by boat, is crossing the airport's runway. Road and foot traffic is halted during takeoffs and landings. It's rare being able to be so close to an active runway. Even stranger, I imagine, for airline passengers, since you can walk from the airport terminal into town.
The morning I set off on my hike up the Rock started as overcast. The town reminded me of Monte Carlo, in that it was squeezed between sea and mountain. Where Monte Carlo reeked of old money, Gibraltar just felt like a quiet British seaside town.
You can tour the Moorish castle that's halfway up the hill (on the left here), but it's fairly underwhelming. If you've visiting this part of the world, chances are you're headed to or coming from the Alhambra Fortress in Granada, which is infinitely cooler.
There are miles and miles of tunnels and caverns, most off limits to civilians. This area curved around the corner and showed more photos from the history of the tunnels, but seemed unused and partially for storage for the museum.
Dug over the course of 200 years, the tunnels of Gibraltar stored supplies and troops during many conflicts. This is the largest cavern you get to visit on the tour, and is near the main entrance. It's about as long as an aircraft hanger, but half as wide and not as tall.
This long tunnel served as the main hospital. To make the spaces a little more livable, troops didn't live against the exposed rock. Instead, structures like the Nissen hut you see down the end were built and used.
Most of the tunnels you see on the tour are built an an angle. The hospital you saw earlier is lower than these brick buildings, and the ones you'll see in later pictures are higher. It all aids ventilation.
Much has changed (as you can imagine) but this gate is in the movie! While Bond, played by Timothy Dalton, is running down hill to catch up with the assassin in a Land Rover he passes this gate (at 0:25 in that video), which you can see as he jumps on the truck.
The skies had cleared and sun was beating down. Good thing I'd drank all the water about an hour earlier. Though you walk on paved paths and roads, they're quite steep so the going is slow. Most people take the gondola up, and walk down.