Seems my blog is of interest to people thinking of moving to Gib.
The other day, someone posted on my ‘about’ page with a list of questions. So, ever the helpful person me, here is a set of answers to the one about Things To Do In Gib.
Answers to other questions are on About.
Another worry is keeping busy in Gibralter when not working. What can one do over there, besides strolling through the streets, and enjoying the crowd on Casemate Square? I am thinking about hobby clubs, social clubs, sports clubs, volunteer work. Activities that make you feel part of a group. Is there any swing dancing in Gibraltar? I suspect Gibraltarians will want to get to know you before accepting an outsider but, once you have paid your dues, will they accept newcomers?
Here we go. I don’t have enough time, and I don’t work :( So there is obviously something to do. Although I don’t stroll the streets or enjoy Casemates.
I should add that I also don’t like groupy activities so I may not be the best qualified in the world to write this.
As you would expect in a sunny coastal place there are lots of sporting activities. Rowing, swimming, football, walking, cycling, to yoga and tai chi, and more.
Hobbies – camera club, scrabble, drama, classic car, four wheel drive, stamp collecting, gardening, for example. There will be others that I have forgotten.
Social clubs? Hmm not really sure what that encompasses. Derby and Joan perhaps? No idea if there is one.
Volunteer work? Probably. Depends on your specific interests I guess. There is certainly a St John Ambulance group, a Women’s Refuge centre (sadly) and the usual mix of health charities.
Swing dancing? Don’t know. There is some sort of dancing club, but I’ll need to check out the details.
There are groups like the Heritage Trust, the newish History Society, the Gib Ornithological and Natural History Society, and prob loads of others. I did join the Heritage Trust and enjoyed some of the planned meets and Gib-based excursions. Not sure how long it would take you to make friends if that is the main intention behind joining a group, it wasn’t mine so, not an issue.
The tourist office produces a monthly calendar of events with future activities eg gun salute for the queen’s birthday/accession to the throne/anything else worth firing guns for. This also includes some of the weekly/monthly group meets, and natch I’ve lost this month’s. :D
To get to know the place there are monthly and free tours around the Garrison Library and the Alameda Gardens. You don’t want to do it every month, but well worth the time to go at least once.
As a Gib resident, you can wander up and down the Upper Rock nature reserve to your heart’s content (there is a charge for non-Gib residents). In the nature reserve, and also lower down in the town area, there are some geocaches, if that is your thing.
We have two cinemas, one at the Queen’s block near Trafalgar Cemetery and one at the new King’s Bastion leisure complex. KB also has a gym, bowls and goodness knows what else, there are also gyms at Atlantic Suites and Ocean Village.
At John Mack Hall (far end of Main Street) we have our public library with great friendly staff, and JMH is also the venue for a lot of exhibitions and evening lectures.
About the only thing I can find to say, that probably doesn’t suit a lot of non-working people, is that many of the activities tend to be evening based. But still, I tell you, the day does go fast here in Gib.
To me, there is far more to do here than in my pueblo in Spain, and that’s nothing to do with not being Spanish. There is an awful lot of life in Gib.
With which I will answer the last question on the list. Will newcomers be accepted?
That’s always going to depend on the individual isn’t it? You could ask that about moving around the UK – London, Norfolk, Cornwall, the north-east, Liverpool, Birmingham, etc etc etc, and that’s before you even look at Wales, Scotland and NI.
The only thing I would say, to anyone considering coming to Gibraltar, is to learn Spanish. Part of the attraction may be that it is ‘British’ and English speaking, but remember that the language on the streets is Llanito/Andaluz Spanish. You miss out on an awful lot when you don’t know what is going on around you, or when someone calls you ‘coño’ or tells you to ‘que te jodes.’ Seriously. Speaking Spanish may help ‘acceptance’ as fast as anything. And, if you don’t have it before you arrive in Gibraltar, you will never learn it here. Gibraltarians are far too fast, fluent, and clever to waste their time teaching you Spanish when they can speak to you perfectly well in English.
Gib isn’t for everyone, but for those who like living here, it’s a special place to live.
To finish with, some photos travelling down the N340 where the symbolic image of the Rock comes ever closer. The spectacular and changing views of the Rock never fail to amaze me.
And, today’s musical offering is not Spanish – you need to like opera and sopranos. Il bacio – The kiss, by Luigi Arditi, a nineteenth century Italian-born composer, who died in Hove, England in 1903.
Joan Sutherland is not my soprano of choice (qv her irritating cancellation at Sydney Opera House when I had FREE tickets to see/hear her) but she does a great job of this aria.