On a bus tour around the Gibraltar last week, the driver played excerpts from a James Bond movie, The Living Daylights, which was shot on the Rock. Yet I can’t think of any crime novel which has featured the Rock – surely there must be some thrillers, at least, set there? It’s certainly a fascinating location, one I enjoyed visiting this time even more than on my first trip more than 20 years ago.
The atmospheric nature of the place is heightened by its proximity to Spain and Africa, and the continuing tension created by political tensions arising from the very evident, and passionately felt, desire of the inhabitants (certainly including our bus driver) to retain their links with Britain. An extraordinary, and evocative, part of the world.
I’ve mentioned before my enthusiasm for cruising, and I’m especially keen on itineraries that don’t have too many days at sea, but which call in to a wide range of ports. This provides the opportunity to sample places and figure out destinations that would be worth prioritising for a longer look. On recent holidays, I’ve been very taken by Santorini, Madeira and Rhodes, and although Gibraltar is tiny, I would be keen to return there before too long.
By the way, I couldn't resist including a photo not only of a wonderful Barbary macaque family, but also one in which I'm accompanied by my recently appointed publicist! Catherine hopes to develop a career in PR or journalism when she finally leaves Oxford. Suffice to say that if she manages to improve my profile, she'll surely be able to rise to any other challenge!