Gib trip (2) – Rosia

Rosia is one of those strange Gib gems.

There are no bars, shops, pubs, restaurants (that I’ve ever noticed) so apart from anything else it is quiet.

I pronounced it wrongly the first time I said it. Rosía, I said spanishly – ross – eee – ah. Nope, it’s rosier, except slightly softer in the middle s.

You can get the number four bus to Rosia, or you can walk. It’s pretty flat and a pleasant walk – unless you are rushing to watch a flotilla of course.

A few years ago, there was some controversy regarding the destruction of the water tanks at Rosia.

The Rosia Tanks were built 1799-1804 because Admiral St Vincent was staying ashore in Gibraltar in 1799 and realised that a reliable water supply and victualling store were needed there. There were no other British or allied naval bases in the Mediterranean and Tetuan and Ceuta could not be relied upon consistently for supplies.

From this site about the history of the water tanks.

They were still being used by the MOD until 2004 when they were handed over to the government, which sealed their fate.

Despite an appeal by the local heritage trust, the GSD (Gibraltar Social Democrats – right of centre) government, in its wisdom, carried ahead with the demolition in favour of building some expensive flats. Who cares about the odd 200 plus years of history?

Photos of the somewhat tasteless and unattractive flats (The Anchorage) included below on the slideshow.

Rosia is also known locally for having its own microclimate. Sheltered by the Rock, but not too close, so often avoiding the levanter cloud, facing west, and fanned by gentle sea breezes (this sounds like a property advert).

Looking at the bay from the top of 5th battery

It’s also the place where Nelson’s body either did or did not come ashore to Gib. Local lore has it that he did, but there is no documented evidence to prove that. Fact or folklore, who knows? Anyway, the Victory certainly came to Rosia.

Around the corner from Rosia, and accessed via some short tunnels, are Camp Bay and Little Bay. While Rosia was virtually empty and quiet – the other bays were full of people enjoying the water and the sun. I preferred enjoying Rosia to ourselves.

Enjoying the sunny holiday

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And my favourite photo of the day got its own post over on my not-a-photoblog – everypicture.

40 comments on “Gib trip (2) – Rosia

  1. nice report – informative and witty. :)

    allow me to ask you a question: what time of the year would you suggest visiting gib for a real authentic look at the place? i have been a few times, but always in august, and at mid-day. it seemed that there were more tourists and spanish baragain shoppers than rosy-cheeked brits…


    • (logged in as the dog…..) thanks, took so many photos on Monday that I thought a separate post was merited.

      Definitely not August at mid-day! Sounds like prime cruise ship time.

      Any time outside school holidays really. Weekends are much quieter as there is an exodus to Spain.

      I like winter because it is cooler for walking, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether it will rain or not apart from in summer.

      Depends what you want to see because there are opening time issues there too, eg museum, siege tunnels. Weekends do provide better photo opportunities (IMO) which may interest you.

      The weather changes after national day (Sept 10), and is variable until late May.

      What is a real authentic look though? Good question. The photo above of Camp Bay with people in the water enjoying the sun is as authentic as the peace of my Rosia photos.


  2. just popped by my laptop for something and thought i would look at this post in depth. a beautiful place. Gib definitely seems to be the place to see. Maybe some day :)
    how do you pronounce “rosier”? in Canadian English that would be ‘ro-zee-ur’, although with your tutelage about a softer ‘s’, that would be ‘ro-see-ur’ – neither of which could/would be the pronunciation you are describing.


    • Gib is so tiny, it amazes me that there are such lovely places wherever you go. And not seen by the average tourist (luckily?)

      These photos were more static, I felt the water one deserved its very own DT post :D

      You are right, I didn’t get Rosia right. The Spanish way, but without the accent is nearest but that won’t help non-Spanish speakers. So it is, Ro – cee – a. Said quickly, and with no accentuation, or if there is, it is vaguely on the first syllable.

      That’s why it is an interesting word. It is a British spelling, pronounced Britishly, but with a Spanish take on it with the very soft s becoming a c.

      Linguistic expert me!!


    • Thank you P. As a history and archaeology grad I suppose I am biased, but why people destroy historical sites is sometimes beyond me. Apart from money of course. But at the same time, the sense of history of a place, and its monuments are why people visit, and tourism is one of our main industries. The last government had a rather busy spell of supporting a lot of new high-rise buildings.


  3. Strange, never really knew much about Gib apart from the navy and the rock apes. I suppose I always thought the history would be tied to those things. Then I saw something about the discovery of the last Neanderthal cave on Gib, the last hearth to warm these near ancestors of ours overlooking the straits toward Africa where we all come from. Poignant I thought. Now that IS a place I would love to go.


  4. It sure looks a lot cleaner than I remember it. We had to swim across it with all our kit packed in to flotation bundles after jumping off a large scaffold to simulate jumping off of a sinking ship and when we reached t’other side there were “things” stuck to us :oD

    The 2nd image down, is that what used to be called the ‘tennis courts” Kind of looks similar to an area that we were allowed to hold company smokers (BBQs).


    • You had it all your own way in those days, best parts of Gib were yours. Although the worst sea creatures were yours too it seems.
      Rosia is still a venue for BBQs etc. But the bay rather than the other pic.

      Your exploits in the bay sound like an advanced version of personal survival medals :D


  5. As always great pictures! Love both the rock and the celebration flags,
    Rosia – it is interesting: slight accent on first, soft “cee” and said really fast. (Easy to know the native speakers?)
    Sad about the gov. tearing down stuff of historical value.
    It’s the same in Houston: if it’s been standing more than a couple of years, it’s time is up….which may be why so many buildings are not built to last…so they have to get torn down…vicious cycle.
    Thanks for the tour!


    • You have that pronunciation spot on!

      Tearing down history happens all the time. Now if only I was in charge of planning and development.

      What’s worse is when buildings have stood for more than 1000 years and get torn down (UK).

      Thanks for coming along.


  6. I keep meaning to grab a coach trip down to Gib for the day (from the Algarve, not Hartlepool!) just to get a flavour. Not sure that I’d like it, but I’m curious. Thanks for the follow.


    • Lol! No Hartlepool would be a long day trip!! Algarve for the day is too long as well IMO. It’s a convoluted journey via Sevilla.

      It depends what you look for. There are some extremely interesting places to visit, but not on the main tourist fags, spirits, perfume, chocolate route.

      Love the Algarve, really thought about buying there at one point. Meant to follow your blog ages ago as also love your photos of the NE coast.


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