14 Sep 2014

The Rock of Gibraltar

The Living Daylights, Dalton's first outing as 007 starts off in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, located in the southern part of Spain. The 00-section has been chosen to participate in an exercise together with the Special Air Services, the S.A.S. Their objective is to infiltrate the radar installations at the top of the rock.
You get the first view over the rock from the beach at the end of the runway that belongs to Gibraltar International Airport and the camera pans up on the north front cliff face. Bond and the other two 00-agents jump from a Hercules and release their parachutes just before landing one the cliffs.
M's office on-board a Hercules aircraft

The British army is seen guarding the border against Spain. They are located at the end of the runway. The runway is still owned by the Ministry of Defense for use by the Royal Air Force. A Hawker Siddley Nimrod from the RAF is seen in the background in the film.
The long white building seen in the film, has been painted yellow. 

Today, the Ministry of Defense has a little less aggressive approach without the Czech hedgehogs or trenches facing the water. However, an imposing sign can be found by the fence that runs along the Gibraltar-Spanish border. The sign states that the territory behind the fence is Ministry of Defense property and that there are police dogs on patrol.

The best view over the northern peak is from the beach on the Spanish side in the town of La Linea de la Conceptión. You should spend a few hours on this beach and enjoy this location. When you get close to the border you realise that the area still is the property of the Ministry of Defense and that they do not take kindly to uninvited visitors from Spain.

Gibraltar has been a British territory since the 18th century and is definitely worth visiting. Predominantly British in the city, with red phone booths and British pubs it is a part of England right next to Africa and Costa del sol, truly surreal.

The Gibraltar International Airport is one of the most extreme in the world with the runway from the airport that runs over the main road into the city. When an aircraft is landing or taking off, the cars are stopped with red lights on either side, a remarkable sight.

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