We ended up in Algeciras, a port town near Gibraltar, and stayed in the Hotel Reina Cristina. Staying in the hotel felt a little like falling into the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel. It had obviously been the place to stay in its heyday, with kings, queens, sultans and other aristocracy, celebrities and politicians (including Winston Churchill and Arthur Conan Doyle!) all taking rooms at one point or another. However, now it seems to have lost some of its grandeur and the level of service that accompanies this and instead just felt a little sad and dated. Saying this, it was a good enough base for our trip.
We spent our week drifting in and out of the city centre, drinking coffee in the little cafés surrounding the pretty central plaza, visiting the shops and taking dips in the hotel pool. One of our evenings was spent at the interestingly named 'La Mafia' restaurant, which proved to be a rather yummy (and luckily not at all life-threatening) experience... I got a little over excited by the menu as you could choose exactly what type of pasta you wanted in each dish, whether it was spaghetti, little shells or a variety of different raviolis. Pasta heaven!
I had a very enjoyable week, although I definitely put this down to the company, not the area. Algeciras is a working industrial port and it lives up to this- the town is by far not one of the prettiest I've ever seen and there is not a huge amount to do. However, if you have sunshine and a pool, what more do you really need?
P.S- Gibraltar is so tiny and pushed for space that their airport runway has a road dissecting it! Cars are stopped like they would be at a rail crossing for planes to land! Craziness!
P.P.S- the travel diaries shall resume soon!