17 July 2009

Legend of the Apes

According to legend Gibraltar (sometimes called the Pillar of Hercules), which is located on the southern tip of Spain, will remain British as long as there are apes. Currently there are about 250 apes living on the rock and they are the only ones living in the wild in Europe. The British conquered the rock in 1704. Spain tried to recapture the sovereignty of Gibraltar until 1713 when it surrendered the fortress to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht after the War of Spanish Succession.

To visit Spain and not go to Gibraltar is to miss a fabulous opportunity for fun, adventure and a chance to get really close to nature. I'm glad I did it !!! It was one of the funniest experiences I've ever had.

The apes are not confined and are free to roam. Tourists are told not to touch them as they may become aggressive. As you walk around, so do they apes. They are adorable to watch. The young ones like to slide down vehicle windshields and sleep on the wipers. The apes will fight to hang onto side-view mirrors. When a vehicle drives away, it goes slowly as there are still usually 10-15 apes on the top, hood and hanging onto the outer mirrors. Eventually the apes hop off.