Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory at the southern tip of Cadiz Province. The 426 metre high lump of Jurassic Limestone emerging from a flat and low coastal plain is a prominent landmark in the region. The population of about 30,000 lives in a densely populated town clinging to the bottom of The Rock and on reclaimed land to the west. The whole territory covers 6.84 sq. kilometres being 5 kilometres long and 1.2 kilometres wide.
Being so small does not make Gibraltar any less attractive as a destination. The Upper Rock Reserve has a number of walks. Along many you will see plants that only grow on Gibraltar and on many walks the views across the Strait to Morocco, over the houses of La Linea to the Spanish mainland or across Gibraltar Bay to Algeciras can only be described as breathtaking. You may even be accompanied by a Barbary Macaque hoping for a handout.
With a couple of beaches, an airfield bisected by the only road into or out of Gibraltar that rates as one of the top ten most exciting in the world, two casinos, one of which is on a floating hotel, a respectable botanical garden, the Alameda, there is enough for a family for a couple of days. A history buff on the other hand could spend half a lifetime exploring the fortifications that date back to the Moorish occupation and cover the entire peninsula both on the surface and below in tunnels started in the 18th Century that conceal an underground town.
The Greek geographer, Strabo, makes the first mention of a Greek settlement called Mainake and positioned it in southeast Spain somewhere around 800 BC. During the period 900 to 500 BC the Greeks and Phoenicians were expanding their trading networks. Both seafaring powers first established trade contacts. The Greeks then integrated with the local populace and Emporia, or trading stations, were built. It was possible for Emporia to grow into fully fledged Greek city states. It is unlikely that Mainake ever achieved full city status but it does have the distinction, according to Strabo, of being the furthest Emporia west from the Greek homelands. There must have been an amount of cooperation between the Greeks and Phoenicians since the latter had many more colonies and both traded with the Tartessians. The history of Mainake is a little blurred, nobody knows exactly where it was, how close to present day Málaga it was, when it was founded or how long it lasted. More....
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