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since 07/05/2003


Gibraltar 11/12/2004

A Reflection on the Straits of Gibraltar

Gibraltar It has been over a year, now, since we visited Gibraltar for a holiday. I have been asked to write a review but have just never got round to it before. We had never visited Gibraltar before and only chose it for the following reasons, English is their native tongue (neither of us speaks Spanish), they use Pounds Sterling as their currency, we were looking for somewhere warm (but not your typical Spanish beach holiday) but mostly because it was “a bit different”. We read up on what to expect and what there is to do on the internet, beforehand and we applied for a brochure from the Gibraltar government in London . There are quite a few other useful websites that are easy to find using a search engine. I searched all the internet travel agents selling holidays to Gibraltar and found City Vacations to offer a number of cheap packages (see my review “Peanuts for Gibraltar Monkeys” ). They arranged the flights there and back via British Airways (see my review “Fly in a Jag (as long as it doesn't break down)!” ) from Gatwick (see my review “Tale of a very long queue” ) and 7 nights at the Rock Hotel. We did not book a car to hire as we read it was very small. Gibraltar itself is very peculiar – it is very British in character (red post-boxes and phone-boxes) but also has an added Spanish ...

City Vacations 29/09/2003

Peanuts for Gibraltar Monkeys

City Vacations We booked a holiday to Gibraltar this year through City Vacations. The only reason we chose them was the price - they were offering the same hotel and flight as other tour operators for half the price! They advertise on their website and Teletext with offers that seem too good to be true (Gibraltar for 5 nights in a 4 star hotel for only £249, for example) but the actual prices you pay are not a lot different. It varies week-to-week, of course, but I was expecting there to be a big difference (like you get with so many other "offers"). The only things that we missed out on were the "free" guide book and the hotel transfers. Well, the taxi cost £5 each way from and to the airport and we picked up a guide book in town for £3! We stayed at the Rock Hotel, which is a 4 star, and flew with GB Airways (British Airways) and were very impressed, overall with the quality and comfort of the holiday. The holiday was organised via email and finally booked and paid for over the phone. City Vacations were a fairly quick with email responses and it was useful just having to pay for the holiday over the phone and not have to discuss everything at once. Overall the service was good (but not outstanding) but the price difference made up for everything.

London Gatwick, LGW 12/07/2003

Tale of a very long queue

London Gatwick, LGW I used Gatwick North terminal for the first time to travel GB Airways (British Airways). The terminal is too large - for a number of reasons. The "on-airport" long-stay car parking is a 10 minute bus journey form the airport and the car park is huge (we parked in zone Z). The length of the check-in queues was ridiculous - we started queuing outside the terminal building which was the width of the building 4 times deep! We got inside to find the entire check-in area was another series of zigzag queues to the check-in desks. We spent 2 hours moving up the queue until we finally checked-in 2 minutes before the final call for our plane! I cannot really comment on any facilities as we did not have time to use them, although I can say that the departure lounge looked like a place I would not mind spending a bit of time and money in. We had to walk for 10 minutes to get to the departure gate, although when we got back the arrival gate was even further away from customs! I am sure that the North terminal at Gatwick would be a very nice place to fly from with all its facilities. Unfortunately, it is too big to be friendly and, though it is easy to find things, it just takes ages to get there.

GB Airways 12/07/2003

Fly in a Jag (as long as it doesn't break down)!

GB Airways I flew GB Airways, for the first time, on a holiday to Gibraltar booked through an online travel agent. I did not have much of a choice of who to fly with as the only other airline was Monarch and that would have cost £10 more! I found out that GB Airways fly planes on their own routes under the British Airways brand so although they are an independent operator they are backed by a larger company. The journey out from Gatwick was an early morning flight. On boarding the Airbus plane I was pleased to see that all the seating appeared to be all of the same quality (large leather-style seats with enough room to stretch my legs out straight) although first class had an extra paper head-rest cover! The flight left the terminal on-time but had to queue to get onto the runway. Once we had taken off a number of LCD screens popped down and displayed a map of our current location, our speed and altitude and the temperature outside the plane. This was quite interesting and provided the necessary in-flight entertainment along with a free copy of the Daily Mail. We were served a cooked breakfast that was plenty for that time in the morning and quite enjoyable. Tea and coffee was provided and later a drink from the bar. We arrived not too late after a relaxing journey, ready for the first day of our holiday. This set my expectations high for the journey home. We were flying back on the evening flight so we checked in with plenty of time. We knew something was wrong when they ...
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