Today we are going to Morocco - a young country with an old
history. Morocco only gained independence in 1956 from
French control. Only 45-minute ferry ride to Tangier. Our
friendly local guide Aziz welcomed us.
Finally we went back to Tangier to check into our hotels. Our group was divided into two bed-and-breakfast type
hotels in the old town. I was placed at La Tangerina Hotel. I didn't see much from my windows, but Lois & Joe had
their room on the top level -- next to the spacious breakfast balcony with gorgeous views. We saw the stunning
Moroccan sunset from the balcony. The van took us to the new town in Tangier for local Moroccan cuisine. We saw
many local people, all men, sitting at outside tables along the street. A big crowd was gathering for the music
festival. Not many women. I liked my Moroccan dish, and this was the only dinner without alcohol in our entire trip,
but on the way back to our hotels, the van stopped at a liquor store. We were told to buy some snacks and whatever
you want to drink for the next night, because most restaurants will be closed on Sunday.
Then we visited the blue and white Andalusian style town of Asila. Asila is known for beaches as well as art.
Artists compete for murals, and the best ones remain on walls for one year. Street signs were in Arabic, Spanish
& French, reflecting their past rulers.
Next morning Aziz came to pick us up for
the walking tour of Tangier's old town,
known as Kasbah. Matisse fell in love
with Tangier and included many of their
doors in his artwork. The old town lacks
in modern infrastructure. Residents use
a long hose connected to the community
water faucet to bring water into their
houses. They make loaves of bread and
bring them to the community oven to be
baked. Streets are quite narrow and
houses are almost touching each other.
|Sticking my neck out of my window
We visited the Tangier American Legation Museum. The original
building was given to the United States in 1777 by the sultan of
Morocco to recognize the US independence. It served as the US
embassy/consulate during 1821-1956. Then we visited St. Andres
Anglican Church built in a Moorish style.
Then we walked around the textile
market, farmer's market, fish market,
meat market, etc. On Sunday most
restaurants are closed, but Aziz
recommended a nice French
restaurant. I had a delicious tuna lunch
with colorful vegetables. On the way
back to our hotel, we bought fruit and
nuts. Later we had a picnic dinner on
the balcony. Afterwards we visited the
hotel where the other half of our group
was staying and enjoyed the view of
Tangier's old town in the dark.
|Most scenic restaurant, but it was closed.
|Back in Tarifa to get on our bus.
Aziz took us on a van to Cape Spartel at the entrance to the Strait of
Gibraltar. We then visited the Caves of Hercules. Fortunately, we had a
low tide, and the views inside the caves which looked out over the ocean
was stunning. The blue Atlantic Ocean and sky above resembled a
reverse silhouette of Africa.