Cultural Conflicts in a British Colony -- Gibraltar is a disconcerting and sometimes uncomfortable place. It's not quite British, but neither is it Spanish. Gibraltar is actually a self-governing British colony, even though Spain continues its relentless push to take over the country.

Cultural conflicts are an ongoing embarrassment, and the presence of such a strong British military presence is a direct and sometimes insulting reminder of humiliations endured by Napoleonic Spain in regimes past. References to Lord Nelson and British colonialism are evident almost everywhere you look, and somehow the allure of Merrie Olde England rings hollow in the blazing south Iberian sun. And there's just a whiff of British-derived hooliganism in some of the earthier pubs.

If for some reason you're nostalgic for the heady days of Queen Victoria and the British Empire, rest assured that you'll find more fish-and-chips platters and more pints of bitter per capita than anywhere else along the Mediterranean.

To many visitors, Gibraltar is a tourist trap. One British expat who lives in Marbella told us, "I cross the border for the day just to stock up on duty-free tobacco and liquor. Then before the sun sets, I'm back in Spain."

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