The Mediterranean Steps, March 2017. The definitive highlight of my two-day visit to Gibraltar came with a hike up The Rock’s breathtaking Mediterranean Steps trail. Billed as a walking route for thrill-seekers, the path starts out innocuously enough with a modest collection of stone steps next to The Ornithological and Natural History Society. But before long the going gets pretty steep and the path rocky and slippy. There are some hairy bends too, with nothing at all between you and a sharp drop down to a state of nonexistence. But with gorgeous views across Gibraltar Strait and the faint outline of Morocco in the distance, it really is an unmissable treat!
The Mediterranean Steps, March 2017. Climbing higher and higher up the side of the rock, the trail swings between gravelly, plant-infested paths to sharp staircases of grueling stone steps. This shot was taken by a friendly Yorkshireman called Mickey; an Army cook stationed at Gibraltar’s little airport. The mad old goat was actually running the route and claimed to be on his third circuit that day!
The Mediterranean Steps, March 2017. At some point during my ascent the sky cracked open and it began to rain, so I zipped up my sweater and ducked into this convenient cave in the side of the rock. Staring out to sea, with nothing but the faint outline of a boat in the distance, it felt a bit like being sat on the edge of the world.
The Mediterranean Steps, March 2017. I counted just six fellow hikers on my way up to the top. In addition to affable Mickey, I exchanged brief pleasantries with a holidaying Canadian couple and curt nods with two Australians, who powered on past me while discussing the recent form of some local basketball team. And then there was Loic, a friendly, flame-haired Frenchman who I stopped to chat with as we closed in on the rock’s summit. This amazing vantage point takes in Gibraltar’s lovely Sandy Bay community.
The Mediterranean Steps, March 2017. O’Hara’s Battery marks the highest point, some one hundred and eighty meters above sea level. It was late afternoon at this point and the battery’s viewing platforms were closed. So Loic and I pushed our way through the shrubbery and hauled ourselves up over a side wall to gain access to the lookout canons. A little naughty yes, but I wouldn’t have missed this spectacular top-o-the-rock panoramic for the world. Not bad at all.
For more on my Gibraltar discoveries, have a look at My 5s on Gibraltar Town, Alameda Botanic Gardens and The Upper Rock Nature Reserve. You might also like My 5s on La Línea de la Concepción, the low-key Spanish town known as The Gateway to Gibraltar.