See this? This is the famous rock of Gibraltar. This tiny outpost of the British Empire has stood guard not only over the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, commonly known as the Straits of Gibraltar, but also the Bay of Gibraltar, guarding against the Spanish, the Moors, the Germans and whoever knows what else.
In my family “The Rock” is also famous for a darker reason, for this is where my father was convicted of attempted murder in the mid 1950s. Now my Dad although violent wasn’t a man who would go out and look for trouble, it sort of came to him. A bunch of Spaniards made the mistake of calling him “a filthy English bastard” so he put about, with a little help from his mate, 15 or so of them in hospital, with varying degrees of injuries from a mere broken arm to a more serious “in a wheelchair”. The only fact which saved him from the gallows was he was a Submariner and his skipper stood his corner and Mr Atkins senior took his punishment like a man! His punishment? He had to scrub the gallows everyday for six months. Not a story to be proud of but when Dad told it was funny.
Back to today, after being held on the apron of Heathrow Airport for nearly an hour thanks to French Air Traffic Control, I arrived in Gibraltar then at The Rock Hotel.
After unpacking, I set about the tasks I had set myself for the first day. First to find the registry office, so Linda can get the paperwork in order for the forthcoming wedding. Mission complete! Next have a mooch around to find a suitable place for photographs, no problem there either, there’s a botanical gardens just across the road from the hotel?. Finally to find a restaurant away from the hotel as hotel food tends to be pretty basic and “samey”. Hmm, now that proved to be more of a problem. As in the UK today it’s Easter Sunday and most, not all, eateries seemed to be closed! Off course the usual suspects like Burger King and Costa Coffee were open but who wants that? Certainly not this traveller.
Then after crossing the square, going under an arch, I found a suitable candidate, Goucho’s. Now this restaurant has all I was looking for, meat, poultry, salad and fish also, importantly atmosphere and character. I decided upon a starter which would be difficult to cook, Argentinian Morcilla (fried black pudding on lettuce with balsamic vinegar). Not bad but I’ve tasted better but there are a lot more started to choose from so I give the starter 4/5. For my main I went for fresh caught Dorada, sautéed potatoes, with a side of blue cheese filled beef tomato. The fish was plump, juicy and cooked to perfection, it fell off the bone, the dish was excellent, 5/5. This will be the restaurant of choice during my stay I think?. Washed down with an excellent glass of Spanish red wine and a bottle of fizzy water, good attentive service and a price tag of £33.00, well worth the walk!
Watch out for further updates on my travels over the coming days, Thanks for reading?????