New country souvenir, Gibraltar, with Geocache of the Week: St. Michael’s Cave

by ajsa & golfinha
N 36° 07.575 W 005° 20.731

Today, we released a new country/regional souvenir for Gibraltar. If you have found a geocache in Gibraltar, you automatically receive the souvenir on your profile.

Gibraltar sits at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula where Europe and Africa are separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. The people of Gibraltar speak English, Spanish, and a mix of several languages known as Llanito, often switching languages mid-sentence. Visitors to Gibraltar are delighted by the opportunity to interact with the mischievous Barbary macaque, Europe’s only wild monkey.

Image by Silberschakal.

A British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar’s fascinating history is well-represented by the geocaches spread across its 2.6 sq mi (6.8 sq km) area. Geocachers looking to learn more about Gibraltar’s wartime history will have the opportunity to do so when they log GC7B7NB. Geocachers can also explore Devil’s Gap Road, a pedestrian street with steps that were first painted during the Gibraltar sovereignty referendum of 1967 while searching for GC4HWRY.

Image by mmdanis.

The most prominent feature of Gibraltar is the Rock of Gibraltar – a towering 1,398 ft (426 m) tall and 3.1 mi (5 km) long limestone ridge. Popularly known as the Rock, here lies our Geocache of the Week, St. Michael’s Cave (GC1C0B7). St Michael’s Cave is located within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve on the Rock. This EarthCache teaches geocachers about the different kinds of caves and how they are created. The first thing cachers will need to do is use this information to answer exactly what type of cave it is and how it was formed.

Image by fcb06.

There are two main caves: Old Michael’s Cave and New St. Michael’s Cave discovered in 1942 during the creation of a tunnel to improve ventilation. New St. Michael’s Cave (also known as Lower St. Michael’s Cave) contains a lake about 20 ft (6 m) deep, estimated to hold about 45,000 gallons of crystal clear water.

Image by Eftelaar.

One of the interesting sights in the cave complex is a massive fallen stalagmite that has since cemented to the cave floor. In the 1970s, a portion of the top part of the stalagmite was cut away to show the inside structure. This offers cachers a chance to see exposed layers that tell the story of the natural processes that created this natural wonder.

Image by Tobit81.

As geocachers tour the cave complex they will learn that St. Michael’s Cave is frequently used as an auditorium for concert, ballet, and theatrical performances due to the impressive acoustics. Cachers can also enjoy a light show where the colored lights illuminate and highlight the internal cave structure they have just studied. After considering the forces that created the impressive caverns and exploring the discoveries within, cachers will finish by taking a photo of themselves or a personal item within this magnificent cave system in order to log a find.

We know geocachers love country and regional souvenirs and we do too! We are releasing at least one new country/regional souvenir per month starting in January 2019. These new souvenirs will be featured alongside Geocaches of the Week in each region and shared on the third Wednesday of each month. Check out all of the Geocaching souvenirs here.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Emily Woerly
Emily is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She's a native Texan raised in the Midwest and enchanted by the Pacific Northwest. You can usually find her lost in a guidebook planning her next adventurous travels.