The Gibraltar Border: A Funny (not so funny) Incident!
The highlight of our second trip to Spain was in fact crossing the Gibraltar border, eventually climbing the monkey invaded rock in the British territory. Landing in the scenic Gibraltar airport was always going to be out of our budget. Therefore, what we had to go for was landing in Spain and then get there by coach. It’s the cheapest and closest option to be able to visit ‘The Rock’.
After having a wonderful experience in Seville and Malaga, it was time to head south to the town of La Línea de la Concepción, near the Gibraltar border. As you might imagine, accommodation in Gibraltar is very expensive. Thus, we found a cheap room through Airbnb just a 10-minute walk from the border of Gibraltar. As we arrived and checked-in, we immediately headed for the border, passed the checkpoints and just like that, we had entered the British land.
As we continued walking, the gates suddenly closed and we were held back. An announcement said that a plane was landing soon, and since one must walk across the runway itself to get into Gibraltar, we had to stop and wait. The scene was indeed beautiful as the plane landed just a few metres away from us! It’s mind-blowing.
We managed to talk with some locals to ask where we could get lunch and ask for the best way to roam the town. Locals always have a better perspective of the place and besides, it was such a breath of fresh air talking to people who can talk and understand perfect English but yet it was a stone’ throw away from our hostel! Mid-afternoon, we took a run back through the Gibraltar border to where we were staying to refresh ourselves a bit and later go back to Gibraltar to enjoy the rest of the evening. Past the checkpoint, we only had a short 10-minute walk into La Linea.
On this trip, we had travelled using just our ID cards because Charlotte’s passport had recently expired and it wasn’t really an issue as the ID was more than enough when travelling across Europe. Unluckily enough, Charlotte’s identity card slipped away from her pockets on that same walk out of the British territory, only noticing about it just as we were preparing to go back into Gibraltar later during the day.
Obviously, we went all around the place trying to find the document, but it was nowhere to be seen. We also filed a report at the police station and posted on many social media groups trying our best to retrieve it back.
Given the situation, we had two major problems first being that the next three days were now completely out of our plans as we couldn’t get back into Gibraltar. The worst thought of it all was that Charlotte wasn’t going to be able to get back home, as she had no other form of identification she could use to board the flight. Luckily, there is the Maltese consulate in Spain which was a life-saver as they issued an emergency passport.
Coincidentally, the only cheap flight from Spain to Malta at the time of the booking was from Madrid which is a 10-hour bus journey from La Linea and fortunately, we had to collect our document from the consulate in Madrid. Otherwise, we would have had to miss out flight. (See, sometimes it works fine being a cheap traveller! :-D).
So, for the time, Gibraltar had to wait, but fear not, the second attempt happened in two months’ time 😉. What could go wrong this time?
Throughout this trip, we found Airbnb to be the best solution to book cheaper accommodations in the town of La Linea. Through Airbnb, it’s very easy to find accommodations both near the centre and also remote, on a budget!
For first-timers on Airbnb, use the Charls’ Travels Airbnb link and get a €30 Airbnb discount off your first bookings!