Sunborn Hotel Gibraltar on fire

Sunborn Hotel Gibraltar on fire

Sunday 28th Dec 2014 smoke bellowed around the rock of Gibraltar from the five star Sunborn floatel.  Emergency services managed to get the situation under control but the exact cause of the fire is still unknown so far.  The trade entrance and porter cabin have been destroyed as can be seen from our exclusive photos below.

Sunborn Hotel Gibraltar fire damage

Sunborn Hotel Gibraltar fire damage

Thankfully no-one was hurt.  As can be seen from our exclusive photos the hull side seems considerably blackened but damage of the interior is also unknown at this time.  By clicking on the photo above you can download a high resolution to enable zoom and examine the damage in detail.

Sunborn floatel fire damage 2014

Sunborn floatel fire damage 2014

Gibraltar honours list

Gibraltar honours list

Nominations for Her Majesty the Queen’s New Years Honours list for 2015 closed yesterday Friday 16th May 2014.

Gibraltar, being UK jurisdiction, holds her own successful nominees but how many will make it onto next years list?

How does the selection process work?

Anyone can nominate a candidate and submit :

a persuasive account of the outstanding or innovative or self-sacrificing services and achievements of the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, in one field or several, and what has raised them above those of others performing similar services.

People are awarded honours for:

People get honours for achievements like:

  • making a difference to their community or field of work
  • enhancing Britain’s reputation
  • long-term voluntary service
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • changing things, with an emphasis on achievement
  • improving life for people less able to help themselves
  • displaying moral courage and doing difficult things

Honours are given to people involved in different activities, including:

  • community, voluntary and local services
  • arts and media
  • health
  • sport
  • education
  • science and technology
  • business and the economy
  • civil or political service

Once nominations are closed they are scrutinized for suitability.  All nominees will be checked by various government departments to make sure they’re suitable for receiving an honour. This may include checks by HM Revenue and Customs.  So squeaky clean and no black marks, poor decisions or dubious behaviour allowed.

It’s not just toffs that get to nominate, you can too, so have your say and nominate someone you feel is really deserving.

For an online nomination form to nominate someone in Gibraltar use this link. Nominate

or simply email staffoff@candw.ky 

Even though the closing date for 2015 has passed there will be another opportunity to nominate for 2016.  Who would you nominate?  Perhaps Gibraltar herself deserves to be on the honours list for services to the United Kingdom.

The Gibraltar Flag

The Gibraltar Flag

gib flag  union flag  eu flagspanish flag

The flag of Gibraltar is a wonderful representation of all that the United Kingdom holds dear.  The simple values of equality, freedom, freedom of speech, tolerance, to set an example of dignity when all around are losing theirs.  That is the strength of the UK, and Gibraltar IS UK make no mistake about that.  And gibraltar-tourism.com is as British as the UK itself.

But a recent event has left a nasty smear on this good name.  The arrest of two Spanish journalists Wed 14th May 2014, in Gibraltar for simply flying a spanish flag!

What, we hear the subjects back home say?  Yes it is true, apparently.  Has anyone ever heard of someone being arrested on Bognor beach, or Camber Sands for flying a French, Spanish, other EU state flag, or even a flag of any country?  Not that we know of.  This is a first and a dark moment for the good name of the UK.

Have Gibraltar and the Royal Gibraltar Police taken leave of their senses?

Despite the bickering and rows between Gibraltar and Spain, Gibraltar has always held her head high and lead the way in setting a good example.  She has sat patiently in long hot queues for hour upon hour without lowering herself.  So why this incredible over-reaction.

Allegedly members of the public were stone throwing, it is not clear if any arrests were made over these alleged assaults, but statements are that the two spanish journalists were arrested for allegedly ‘causing a breach of the peace’.

It is as unclear that if any tourist were to mistakenly wear a spanish T-shirt, or perhaps commit the heinous crime of supporting Real Madrid in Gibraltar, would they too spend a few hours in the grisly cells at the hands of the RGP?  We certainly hope not.

Bad management can lead to the most catastrophic damage to the good name and reputation of Gib.  Poor judgement indeed.  We have certainly heard of weirder arrests in Gibraltar, but they are other stories.  Perhaps the motto of the Metropolitan Police could help as some guidance Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.

In contrast to the over-reaction of the RGP, Facebook groups are hardly alive with talk of this incident, with only one mild mention found.  As Wednesday was a school and work day the beach at Catalan could hardly have been brimming with bathers!

The more pressing and urgent question is will this incident have ramifications for the good people of Gibraltar when in Spain?  Will there be retaliation to this childish incident?  We certainly hope not.  And what does the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo think about all this?  Does he support the RGP on this one, or will quiet whispers of advice filter back down the ranks to prevent this type of behaviour in the future?  Only Mr Picardo can answer that one.

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

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

No matter what childish provocation there is from self styled troublemaking journalists, grown ups are taught not to rise to it.  Spain is an EU cousin, like it or lump it, and remember worse things happen in Syria!  Where have all the grown ups gone?

This is NOT one of Gibraltars finest hours.

Gibraltar airport arrivals and departures live

Gibraltar airport arrivals and departures live here on this site.

Please use the scroll bars to view below

Arrivals

Departures

If you want to know the latest information on flight arrivals and departures at Gibraltar, as well as runway closures then look no further.

Sometimes, due to bad weather, Gibraltar flights are diverted to Malaga, which is a bit of a nightmare for the passengers and loved ones waiting for them, as it involves a long minibus journey from Malaga back to Gib.

 

The runway is 6000 feet in length (or 1828 meters) and has water at both ends.  Although an unusual configuration it is one of the safest airports to land and take off.  Only the very best pilots are allowed to land and take off, safety measures are extremely high and it is under the control of the Royal Air Force and Ministry of Defence, so you can’t be in safer hands than that.

There are currently four airline operators transporting from Gib:

British Airways – London Heathrow

Easyjet – London Gatwick

Monarch – Birmingham / London Luton / Manchester

Royal Air Maroc – Marrakech

With hundreds of thousands of landings and take offs there has only been one really serious incident which occurred during WWII killing everyone onboard including  Lt. Gen. Władysław Sikorski, commander-in-chief of the Polish Army and Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, but that’s another story.

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.