Posted August 8th, 2011, 04:16 PM
As you leave the port, there are lots of taxis offering to take you up the rock. This is what we did. We were originally going to take the cable car, but with hindsight glad that we did not. Other members of our group went for the cable car and the queue was lo long that they never made it.
In the taxi we still had a lot of walking. Traffic going up the rock was so busy and slow that the taxi drops you off some way before each stop. You then walk ahead, overtaking the other queuing taxis. You look around the attraction, then come back out and join the taxi who is waiting outside and move onto the next atraction.
The taxi driver acts as a sort of tour guide, telling you what you are about to see and the best places to look.
You lose some independence, but probably get to see more. The roads are narrow and full of traffic. I would not like to walk all the way through it, especially not with children.
At the end of the tour, the taxi drops you back in town or takes you back to the ship.
I would recommend the taxi, but of course the choice is yours.
The cable car queues are long when there is more than one ship in port (you can check on CruiseTT) and if you dawdle getting there.
I have seen long queues at around 11.20 - noon ish time, with ship tour buses dropping off passengers. You would gain time if you get a taxi to take you to the cable car station. The taxi drivers would prefer you to do a rock tour, and they are good value, but if you only want to go to the cable car station they have to take you. Get in before you tell the driver where you want to go. If taxis are scarce at the port there is a 1 km walk into town where there are more taxi stands (through the arches into the big square). There are buses, they are free, but again there is the time element to consider. You need to get up the rock soon to allow yourself more time to enjoy it.
Answering a previous point, it seems that it is hard to walk up the rock and ride down in the Cable Car. My hubby tried to do that a few weeks ago (because of his knees) but they wanted to charge him the return fare and it seemed to him like there was not a ticket office at the top.
I use walking up the rock as a workout. It takes me a couple of hours from my house (sea level) to the top and back. Of course I do not visit the sites. You would not have time to see more than St Michael's Cave or the tunnels and of course the Apes before you need to be going down. If you had all day in port I would say that there is no problem, with only an afternoon it is going to be a bit of a rush. I would hate you to come back in a few weeks' time to say that you missed sailaway.
My advice would be that if you are the only ship in port then aim to leave the ship asap and go for the Cable Car. If Gibraltar is very crowded a taxi tour may be a better idea.
Have I answered the question??
Ollie, Bert and their Mum
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