Gibraltar National Day 2014

We set alarms, we had a wake up call from our neighbours and I think if truth be told we were too excited to sleep all that much anyway. This year was going to be the year that we finally got to Casemates Square to see the balloon release! Two years in a row we have missed it. The first year because Mr BOTR was recovering from surgery. Second year because we got into town to late. This was going to be a case of third time lucky!

We caught the bus from Scud Hill, which is just a few stops into most routes that start in the South District, it reminded me of two things. Buses in Malta (anyone who remembers the old buses there will know exactly what I mean) and the Tube at rush hour. It was standing room only! I would have tried to get a picture but I couldn’t move my arms! Although it was very cramped, it was very different from both the Tube and Malta’s buses because everyone was in a fine friendly mood, laughing and giggling as the driver managed to squeeze on more people. He was such a great sport. We got off the bus on Line Wall Road. And walked down to Casemates from there. A sea of red and white greeted us. We saw heaps of people we knew and met a lot new faces that we didn’t! (As we went with our neighbours we met a lot of their friends and extended family.) And I finally got to meet in person a lovely dude from Twitter who is a wealth of info with anything Gibraltar related. Hello again Tony! 🙂 We saw people in fancy dress and one very glamorous lady who had the best National Dress I saw. My favourite part of the crowds though were the doggies all dressed up!

For someone who is sort of on the outside, in so much as we have only been here three years, this day it is just an amazing thing to be a part of. You can not help but be amazed at a) the volume of people b) the vast array of people in the crowd c) the sheer excited feeling emanating from everyone. We were amongst literally thousands of people and we didn’t spot anyone causing bother, this just wouldn’t be the case in London!

We got to Casemates Square and it was packed. We ended up further away from the stage than I would have liked (there is the goal for next year! 😉 ) but we were there. With everyone. Listening to music and chatting amongst ourselves.

Finally the speeches began. The crowd cheered as they rallied against the harsh treatment of Gibraltar by Spain. It was enough to give me goosebumps on a couple of occasions. You can’t help but feel for the people of Gibraltar and the way they have been treated over the years. That border queue is out-and-out bullying. I have only ever been caught in the queue a few times but it is a massive pain in the butt for the whole of Gibraltar, it causes the entire country to go into gridlock and worse still it impacts so many Spanish people who come here to earn a living. So Madrid is giving instructions to screw their own people over. Anyway that’s enough about the politics of the day…

So after the speeches there was singing. A song that the evacuees sang upon their return to Gibraltar after WW2. It was so moving. And then it was time for the balloons.

We were stuck behind a big scaffold which obstructed my view somewhat so sorry in advance…

After the fun of Casemates we made our way to O’Reilly’s in Ocean Village for lunch. Ocean village was dressed up in red and white bunting and it seemed that most of Gibraltar was there having lunch. It was so busy! There was live music playing right next to us and it was so much fun to see everyone having such a good day. It was late afternoon by the time we left. Mr BOTR went to watch more live music at Rock on the Rock, and Dad and I went home. I wont lie I wanted a nap! Hahaha.

At around 10pm we left the apartment (Mr BOTR was now attending the National Day concert, hot tip for music is local band Midriff) and we (Dad and I) went to find a place to watch the fireworks. A friend of mine who lives in La Linea, could see the fireworks from her apartment and I have to say that this year they were just brilliant. Even better than last year! Shame about the trees that got in the way… I left my camera to rest on a wall so the shots would come out ‘clearer’… Ah well there is always next year!

Roll on National Day 2015! 😀

11 thoughts on “Gibraltar National Day 2014

  1. Ms Broken Ankle did everything from her flat this year. In fact it seemed a very quiet National Day. I did look at white Snowy and wondered if I should have bought him a red lead…

    Anyways, we get Rock on the Rock music for free as it’s so near, so we just idle in the flat and listen to it. Finished early though. Then later I perked out of the window at the fireworks. Amazing, didn’t move from the sofa and still enjoyed the celebrations.

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    1. Our neighbours said that Casemates wasn’t as packed as previous years. I have to say as someone who isn’t very keen on crushes of people I was at my breaking point with the little space that we had! So selfishly I am glad it wasn’t quite as busy!

      I think the dressing up of pets is the best idea. A red lead, collar, hat… 😉

      The husband went to ROTR and very much enjoyed it. It did finish early as a lot of the acts went on the perform in Casemates that night. Probably for the best. Whilst I don’t mind music during the day I want it to shut up after a while, no matter if the band is talented or not!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the day even without being able to leave the sofa. How is the ankle? Has it made progress with healing? I need to get my number to you so I can bring those books to you!!

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      1. At least you are getting there!

        OK. I was just about to ask what your email address was. I really need more sleep or better eyes. Or both. I’ll email later as I am going to town tomorrow and could pass by with books before 2pm if that would suit?

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  2. Magic Amy feel i was there. Going to send u an e-mail as we fly into Gibraltar next monday. After your write-up i feel we are there already. Photo brilliant. You did good girl, what an ambassador for Gibraltar.

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    1. Thank you! That is so kind of you to say! I can’t believe how quickly that has come around. Email for sure. Next week we’ve not got any concrete plans. And if you want any tips on how to get to places feel free to ask! 🙂

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