Spain Discovery: Gibraltar and the Andalusian Countryside

Written by Ayelet Harbater: This experience has been incredibly life changing and eye opening both educationally and socially. Not only have I met people that I know will be my friends for life, but I also have seen things that have changed the way I look at the world. From touring the small city of Gibraltar and spending Shabbat in the United Kingdom to driving through the beautiful Granada, I have learned so much about Gibraltarian history and the current way of Gibraltarian life.

We drove to Gibraltar Thursday morning and unfortunately we were unable to go to the Costa de la Luz beach because of the thunderstorms. We instead, got free time in the city of Gibraltar and got to tour around and explore the boutiques. We then had to go back to the hotel to get ready for dinner which was in a really amazing restaurant. After dinner, we had quality time with our counsellors and friends. We all sat together and told each other our highs and lows of the past few days and really got to talk.

The next morning we got up and had to prepare for a really long day of walking. We took a cable car up to the top of the rock of Gibraltar and were immediately confronted by child bearing monkeys. After some funny encounters with the monkeys, we went through a large cave that had stalactites and allowed us to cool off. We then had to hike down the rock and were on our way to get ready for Shabbat. We got to the hotel and had a few hours of free time where we could eat and happily spend more of our parents money. Thanks mom :).

After a few hours, we headed to the only orthodox synagogue in Gibraltar where the girls had the pleasure of meeting the rabbis daughter and a a few other congregation members. Following services, we walked to a near by kosher restaurant where we ate a traditional Shabbat meal and kiddish and received the great honor of meeting the ex mayor of Gibraltar who told us many stories. After eating our meal, we went back to the hotel.

Saturday morning we had a choice of either sleeping late or going to synagogue to pray. Shabbat is supposed to be a day of rest, relaxation and no stress. We walked to a park and participated in many Shabbat activities. We told each other what Shabbat is like for us at home and what it means to relax and challenged ourselves to do something that most of us don’t normally do.

After the park, we had a choice between going to the Costa de la luz beach or staying in the hotel and going to the pool and we were allowed to walk around the city of Gibraltar. Then for lunch, we went back to the kosher restaurant where we had Friday night dinner. To end the Shabbat, we all were allowed to walk around the town and we saw girls performing and they had booths where you could get face paint or henna. This allowed us to really meet and talk to the Gibraltarian people and see their way of living.

Sunday morning we got up early and headed back to Spain, Malaga. It was a long car ride but we made the most of it by singing and dancing on the bus. We went on a Ferris wheel where we got to see the whole city of Malaga from an elevation. We had an hour to roam around and spend free time. We got on the bus and on the way to Granada we stopped for a long hike where we climbed up rocks and went into caves. It was really hot. After another long car ride, we finally got to Granada where we ate dinner and went to sleep. Shabbat abroad was a very interesting and fun experience that is not something we do every day.

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