The cost of living in Gibraltar – food prices

The cost of living in Gibraltar – food prices

The big cheese on the name brands is Morrison’s supermarket, located on reclaimed ground, with a huge convenient carpark and all the signs and indications that this is the same as Morrison’s UK, but there is a catch.  It’s really, really expensive.

The cost of living in Gibraltar is high in comparison to other parts of the UK, understandable, good climate, small place, in demand, therefore wages tend to be lower and rents higher.  But generally we don’t expect to see jars of Marmite retail at around £5, which has been known.

The simplicities of culinary delight such as fish fingers £6 for a pack of 10 are unheard of back on the mainland UK.  There are two major supermarkets in Gibraltar, Morrison’s, the well known UK brand name, synonymous with value cut price, but unfortunately the company logo is where the resemblance ends, and then there is Eroski, a spanish brand name.

The former, Morrisons, is nothing to do with or anything like Morrisons UK, it is as expensive as the Food Halls of Harrods, and there is a very good reason for this.  Morrisons Gibraltar is a tourist attraction.  Day trip coaches and families from the Costa del Sol travelling by car, flood into Gibraltar for their Marmite and Heinz, seemingly unaware that all the UK products are available in Spain, and Morrisons Gibraltar know this and charge a high premium for all the usual basics that are a fraction of the price back in the UK.

Their reasoning is that it costs a lot of money to transport the goods by lorry from the UK.  But why is it that their spanish counterparts don’t charge anywhere near as much for the same and yet are in the same geographical dilemma?

More perplexing, why do the Brits flood down, travelling miles and miles in the hot sun, fight the border queue and then pay through the nose for a jar of Marmite?  Maybe they are paying for the privilege of being served in English, perhaps that makes the Marmite taste all the better.  But in recent times, finally a genuine alternative has sprung up, Eroski.

Eroski is part of the Waitrose group.  How ironic!  The old joke back in the UK was that Marks and Spencers food chain was created to keep the peasants out of Waitrose, that’s how posh and expensive it is back in the good old UK, and yet here in Gibraltar it is a breath of fresh air.  Finally some competition for Morrisons, finally Marmite available elsewhere at normal prices.  Finally an end to the monopoly.

But even Eroski is still more expensive that Spain, for exactly the same products, but for Gibraltarians too tired to cross the border just for shopping, Eroski is a blessing.  Although Eroski is a spanish brand and Morrisons tries to have that British feel, nothing really feels the same as a UK supermarket, it’s just not quite that way down this neck of the woods, but then you wouldn’t expect any less.  When in Rome :)

It’s not all bad,  there are a few lost leaders in Morrisons, and it is definitely worth a visit, but is packed and has very narrow isles with longer queues than the frontier.  Maybe they should fit a webcam so people can check delays and inflation prices before setting off to do the family shop.

Things to consider before moving out here and to take into account of the household budget.

Gibraltar politics

Gibraltar politics

Gibraltar politics is not what you think, again.  To really find out what’s going on, who thinks what the two links below are unbelievably helpful.  They are both facebook groups, both closed and you have to apply to join, but no problem they welcome everyone.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GibraltarPolitics/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/404869749571316/

Both full of a wealth of information and both run by fantastic admin.  These two Facebook groups have changed the face of Gibraltar.

 

Lifestyle in Gibraltar

Lifestyle in Gibraltar

What is it like to live in Gibraltar?  Good question.

Life in Gib can be great, but that all depends on how you enter into the spirit of things.  It can be tough too, tougher that back in the UK.  Gibraltar is a very small place with a lot of people living in it and you can easily find yourself on the wrong end of a big fish in a tiny little puddle.

There is of course the old saying, how to find a small fortune in Gibraltar?  Answer, bring a big one.  So if you are thinking of coming down to invest or start up a business be ready for the wild west because you are bound to tread on someone’s toes.

The whole system is set up to protect the interests of the established, new comers are not necessarily welcome, unless they come as tourists for the day with pockets full of money.

So prepare yourself to stand firm, plan your strategy and finances for the long haul, be willing to get a job doing anything, not so much for the money as to find your feet, some friends and the lay of the land.

No exaggeration, Gib is not for the faint hearted, many a broken bank balance and heart have cried all the way back on the nearest Easyjet.  It may be nice to come for a holiday and see the place through rose tinted glasses but relocating may become something you once dreamed of but regretted once here.  So take your time and get it right.

This site is an attempt to give some insight into the real Gib and help new comers find the answers they need.

Good luck!

Gibraltar fire and explosion

Gibraltar fire and explosion

Easter Sunday and it’s all go on the rock as a fire breaks out with reports of an explosion at the power station near Gibraltar Port.  Residents were reportedly evacuated in nearby flats and black acrid smoke bellowed at around 1pm.

Fire crews were seen dousing the offending building as the smoke poured from the three air vents on the roof.  The weather was thankfully damp or intermittently pouring down.

Power cuts spread throughout Gibraltar as a result.

But that’s not the worst of it according to the Express all bets were off as power cuts prevented happy gamblers from continuing to ruin their lives and squander away the house keeping.  To quote their article word for broken heart on behalf of the online gaming industry:

‘Other firms were forced to halt all operations during the emergency, on a day which was expected to see tens of millions of pounds worth of business.’

Bless!  Hearts bleeding for them across the nations.

Reportedly the fire is now under control, thank goodness for that.

Barack Obama to visit the Rock of Gibraltar

Barack Obama to visit the Rock of Gibraltar

Fabian Picardo in Casemates 29th June 2013, exclusive photo property of Gibraltar Tourism.

The Charismatic Fabian Picardo. (exclusive photo property of gibraltar-tourism.com)

gibraltar-tourism.com rumour control has received reliable information that the 44th President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama may have Gibraltar on his list of official visits during 2014.

It would seem that Gibraltar’s charismatic Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, has worked his charm and won the hearts of the USA, on a recent international visit.

So hold onto your hats, if this is true then it would well and truly put Gibraltar on the international stage.  Most likely cause a few ruffled feathers in some quarters, but undeniably fill every Gibraltarian heart with pride and joy.

G-T have inside contacts that have provided us with reliable information that Gibraltar is seriously being considered as a potential for the 2014 schedule.  Fingers crossed.  We can hear the scrabble for invites to state dinners, but careful everybody, all attendees undergo security scrutiny, with special attention to past records of behaviour and whether you know which knife and fork to hold.

No doubt opposition will be second in line after government ministers, an assortment of the local dignitaries and perhaps the odd cleaning lady who has dedicated her life to cleaning some public toilets somewhere.  You know, the usual honours list kind of thing.

We will update on any developments, all very exciting, and remember you heard it here first.