It came to my mind yesterday that the little British overseas territory Gibraltar could be an option for my future resident. Therefore, as I often do, some research had to be done.
Will I be better off in Gibraltar than in Barcelona or Marbella?
I was checking out today’s weather forecast both Marbella and Barcelona in Spain as they seem to be good spots for me to live in.
Marbella today is 19c and mostly sunny and with sun the next couple of days. Oh, that is just me! However, I am still worried about if Marbella is a bit to snobby for me. I must admit that the weather there is great.
Barcelona today is 14c and mostly cloudy but with sun occasionally. The next days with a bit of rain. I do love the city very much but is the weather really fulfilling me requirement of being warm enough. I am not sure.
Today Gibraltar is 17c with sun and a few clouds.
Can it be any colder up here north?
Well, comparing Spain or Gibraltar with Denmark it is still much better weather. Currently the temperatures outside where I am is -8c with a chill factor of -28c. It is damn cold and I hate it!
Walking with the dog is not a joyful experience. Packed with extra socks, boots and a North Pole warm winter jacket makes it a bit doable. I must admit that I do prefer a simple shirt with a blue sky felling the heat of the sun. Snow is nice to look at but I am really not made for it.
Is Gibraltar for real that small?
What I discovered about Gibraltar is that it is a 6.8 square km2 area located on the southern end of Spain at the entrance of the Mediterranean.
Approximately 30.000 people are living here in a mix of many different cultures and nationalities with it seems no turbulence. The official language of Gibraltar is English but most locals are bilingual also speaking Spanish.
Road signs, restaurant menus and everything are all in English. Quite handy for me instead of having to learn Spanish if Barcelona or Marbella would be the choice of my future residence.
I do love speaking English with the best royal British accept. I know I am a bit snobby when it comes to that part. Just call me a gay queen but I love it, ha-ha.
I wonder if it will be too small for me compared to all the great things available in Barcelona.
Is it really a self-govern jurisdiction?
Gibraltar has almost complete internal democratic self-government through an elected parliament. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, who is represented by the Governor of Gibraltar. Sound like a cute movie or something.
It all seems very efficient and to be running quite smoothly compared to – from what I know – the sometimes slow Spanish way of doing things.
Gibraltar have a 1.2 kilometre land border with Spain otherwise surrounded by the sea and a 426m high big rock in the middle of everything. Most land seems to be build and consequently real estate prices are a bit high.
What about the economy and taxes?
Gibraltar's economy is dominated by four main sectors that is financial services, internet gaming, shipping and tourism. In Gibraltar, there is no capital gains tax, wealth tax, sales tax and all goods and services are VAT free. Quite nice. Income tax is low and seems fair.
Many of the large British high street chains have branches or franchises in Gibraltar like Marks & Spencer. Some great international labels have also found their way here. Good thing as I like to shop good quality things once in a while.
Healthcare seems to be of good standard and similar to the UK. There is one hospital. I have to check out insurance options later.
Non-existing gay life in Gibraltar?
My first thought was that there must be no other gay people here. It is seems not to be the optimal place to be as a gay guy.
There only really seem to be one gay place in Gibraltar, and that is a bar called “Charles' Hole-in-the-Wall”. That name gives me weird thoughts! I am definitely not into holes in the wall, ha-ha! After searching online a bit, it seems to be a good common used place for both gay and straight people.
I have to check out the place when I get there. Without the holes of course! There are quite many gay people in the Costa del Sol area but then a car would become a necessity and I would rather not now that the area is that small.
Anything to do there besides working and eating?
Besides than enjoying the sun, there seems to be only one movie theatre showing a couple of international movies. I love to watch a good movie. They are all in English compared to cinemas in Barcelona and Marbella that I guess will be in Spanish!
When it comes to hotels there are three among a few that have four starts, no five star, what! I guess I will manage.
I think I will book at the four star Caleta Hotel as it have a nice spa. A lovely beauty treatment is always a good thing to enjoy.
A new five star yacht hotel is on its way that looks quite fancy. I like quality food and restaurants and that seems not to be a problem in Gibraltar.
A good gym also needs to be nearby and there seems to be plenty of good quality that also looks nice. Currently I have to drive 20 minutes to get to the gym. No running outside for me currently. It is too damn cold!
Can and shall I bring the sweet dog Lucas with me?
The big issue whenever or not I shall bring my lovely golden retriever with me is still a hurdle. I will have to travel about a week and a half once a month. Where will he have the best life? What will be the best for me? I am a bit confused on what to do.
I think he will be having a much more joyful time with me where it is warm. I love being outside when the sun is shining, the grass is green and the birds are singing. As I often is using most of my time in front of a computer, is it good for me to get outside getting some fresh air.
At the other hand will he be better off with someone not focused as much on work as I am and without so much traveling. Sometimes I feel that he is a bit bored and under-stimulated. I of course also needs to figure out doggy sitting when I am travelling.
There is no trouble of getting Lucas into either Spain or Gibraltar; he got his doggy EU passport.
Gibraltar seems to have quite many green areas all year round and the Gibraltar botanic gardens will both the dog and I enjoy quite a lot I think. Lovely flowers, the great smells, all the colours, palm trees, and a green lawn is just fabulous in my eyes.
Shall I bring my speedos?
At first, I thought there would be no beaches in a landmark this small. I was wrong. There are actually three great sandy beaches.
Oh please let it be summer very soon so I can get some D vitamins! There better be some young handsome people – guys of course - to look at.
I wonder how many people my age mid-thirties is living in Gibraltar. I guess most younger people is just working here and the old folks with all the money is living here. I have to check out and see.
Is it easy to get there – and get out of there?
There are a couple of daily flights from the airport. Yes, this tiny spot has its own airport that takes Boing 737-300s. A new terminal was just build a few years ago and the airport seems to be efficient and good.
I discovered that the airport is rated the most dangerous in Europe. The main road heading towards the land border with Spain intersects the airport runway, and consequently has to be closed every time a plane lands or departs. Poor people in the airport traffic control coordinating that!
The trouble for me is that all connections go to the UK only and I need to go to mainland Europe and Denmark. Either I need book a connecting flight though the UK and a quick research did not look that good in relation to connecting flights.
The only other solution is to drive about 120km to Malaga in Spain. From this airport, there are great direct connections. Hmm, then I need to get a fancy sports car anyway…
Gibraltar seems to be a place I need to visit for a couple of days. Reading other peoples opinions and seeing fancy pictures will never be the same as being there.
I better find someone to take care of the dog for a few days and then book some tickets. I hope that four stars will be good enough. I am a bitch – I think very fair - when it comes to hotel quality and great service.
Until next time. Please take care.