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Sandy Bay

Location

Gibraltar Map

Last Visited: 2011

Both Worlds and the Water Catchment Area

Both Worlds and the Water Catchment Area

Sandy Bay may well have been sandy at one time as the slope above it is an ancient sand dune hugging the east side of the rock.

However, starting with a modest 10 acres 1903 and eventually extending to 34 acres by 1961, the whole dune was covered in corrugated steel sheet and overlaid with concrete to form a Water Catchment Area.

This huge area allowed rainwater to run into open channels from where it was fed into a system of reservoirs.

It became disused following the installation of a desalination plant, and work commenced on removing the concrete in 2001. It is slowly returning to nature, but still has an unnaturally smooth appearance.

Nestling beneath the dune and above the rocky shore is the rather isolated Both Worlds retirement and apartment complex. The foreshore is littered with various WWII remains, as you might expect, this being Gibraltar.

The road between here and the recently reopened Dudley Ward Tunnel has been renamed Brian Navarro Way in memory of the young man killed by the rock fall in February 2002 that resulted in the closure of the tunnel for over eight years.

The Admiralty Tunnel

Location

Gibraltar Map

Last Visited: 2011

The Admiralty Tunnel was originally dug sometime between the wars by Cochranes Ltd for the Admiralty to enable them to bring stones from their quarries on the east side of the Rock to use in the construction of the Naval Dockyard.

At one time it carried a spur of the meter gauge railway serving the dockyard, and is the only tunnel to cross the rock from east to west.

Admiralty Tunnel

Admiralty Tunnel

In the 1940s a high-tech communications and command centre, covering 3,000 square meters, was blasted out roughly half way along its length.

Protected by over 400 meters of solid rock in all directions this was one of the safest places on earth, with state-of-the-art (for the 1940s) fresh air systems, generators, lighting and of course areas to house the MODʼs top secret and vital communications data and equipment.

It now houses a secure data storage facility run by Vault Technology Services, and is not open to the public.

However, it is worth having a peer through the entrance gates for the unusual experience of being able to look right through the Rock and see daylight at the far end around 1km away.