Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Little Slice Of Home In The Med ... ?

Gibraltar - So British yet so
The Barbary Rock 'Apes' of Gibraltar
Yes, I'm Talking About Gibraltar

After a trip to Casablanca last week the overnight sail to Gibraltar on the ocean waves just couldn't have been more diverse.  A little bit of home right next door to Spain.    Gibraltar was actually under Spanish rule until 1704, when it was captured in the name of Charles VI by the Anglo -Dutch.  

Gibraltar was then ceded by Spain to the British and became one of Britain's key colonies.  But, Spain subsequently sought to restore its sovereignty over Gibraltar but was rejected by Britain and the Gibraltarians themselves, who vigorously asserted their right to self-determination. Negotiations over Gibraltar's status have continued between Britain and Spain but have not reached any conclusion. Certainly the people I met on my short visit there were very proudly British.  

Did you know that because so may inhabitants arrived and settled in Gibraltar from all over the world it gave rise to a unique language - some say it's where the expression 'talking gibberish' comes from.   

Gibraltar Airport Landing Strip
What struck me most when I was there last week was the tangible  'Britishness',  mixed with something that was just not so 'British';  apes running free for example and planes crossing the road.  Wow - it was so refreshing.

But back to what my blog is really about; - the colour, the shopping, the style.   Well, what I caught a glimpse of but didn't get the chance to spend time browsing - too busy with the amazing sights of the North Rock - was the British / Gibraltarian high street, complete with familiar brand names of Next, M&S, Peacocks etc.

As a Scot in Switzerland one of my biggest curiosities in moving to Zurich is the foreign territory that is the Swiss shopping scene, the 'High Street', the shopping centres, the department stores, the brands & lines available.  Who does what and where?  Renowned the world over, the British High Street and my intimate knowledge of it  is something I now realise I have taken for granted.   Don't get me wrong the Zurich Bahnhofstrasse is glamorous, pretty and sophisticated (especially at Christmas with the most amazing lights) as well as .... expensive.... but 'where?', my poor other half hears me regularly cry, 'oh where do real people shop?'.

Swiss living ladies PLEASE get in touch with your TOP SHOPPING SUGGESTIONS.  I'll feature them in a more regular Happy Hour Friday Slot.    

And so that also got me to thinking again about something I have been a long time pondering.  Do
we expat: - Brits / Irish / North Americans / Canadians / Australians / New Zealanders / South Africans and others I have been remiss to note - have a fundamentally different 'culture' when it comes to shopping, than that of our Swiss girlfriends?   

Tell me what you think?

And so from my own furry friend (George the dog) and me it's sweet dreams x

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