Monday, March 06, 2017

Tangier is Alright

On our previous trip to Morocco, we made a point to avoid the seedy port city of Tangier. Many years later, imagining ourselves as seasoned travelers, we were ready to take on Tangier this timer. However, the more I prepared for Morocco, the more trepidation I felt; picturing dozens of persistent taxi drivers pestering us as we stepped of the ferry; worrying that our "booked" medina room would turn out to be an airless cell; and dreading being haunted by endless touts and scam artists....I was so worried that I started to wonder why on earth we decided to come to Morocco.

Well, as we stepped off the ferry, a few taxi drivers tried to get our attention. One tout followed us for about 10 meters, I didn't even figure out what his aim was. Our very clean, hospitable, guesthouse put us in a two-room family suite (would have been a very crowded family, but plenty roomy for the two of us). We headed right back out into the medina, averaging one pest every 30 minutes, otherwise left alone to be "lost" in the medina (no longer possible with the age of GPS), with helpful residents ready to point us in the right direction, and stumbling into tasty street food. I think we can handle Tangier!

Tip for travelers: checkout the Morocco section on seat61.com for information on the free FRS shuttlebus from Algeciras to Tarifa.

Getting myself photo-ready on the train from Ronda to Algeciras.
Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Boarding the ferry in Tarifa.....We only bused through Tarifa - no time on the ground - but can say that the scenery is amazing with Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic all visible with a single turn of the head.
Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Leaving Tarifa Port behind.
Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Looking out through the Straits of Gibraltar to the Atlantic Ocean.
Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Post lunch rest on the ferry.
Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Tangier Ville Port.
Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Relaxing on the hotel terrace after checking in.
Tangier, Morocco

The famous Hotel Continental.
Tangier, Morocco

Exploring the back alleys.
Tangier, Morocco

Tangier, Morocco

A quiet square in the upper Medina.
Tangier, Morocco

Kasbah gate.
Tangier, Morocco

Bread. Tasty flat breads here. Exactly like the in bing (bread) China.
Tangier, Morocco

Familiar sights on the way to the train station: a cell tower and a McDonald's.
Tangier, Morocco

Tangier, Morocco

Tangier is up and coming. This is the new, only partially completed, train station. Looking good so far!
Tangier, Morocco

Tangier, Morocco

Morocco is building a new fast train line from Tangier to Casablanca. The trains themselves have arrived and are awaiting completion of the tracks.
Tangier, Morocco

We were surprised to find the rather lush countryside outside Tangier on our day trip to Assilah.
Assilah, Morocco

Assilah has beaches and the vanguard of Europeans with campers has arrived for the season.
Assilah, Morocco

The walled Assilah Medina is awash in color.
Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

The SW Medina wall has a viewpoint.
Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

We score some chickpea custard, sold by a street vendor just a meter away from the neighborhood baking ovens. More on neighborhood bakers in a later post
Baked Chickpea Custard - Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

Medina Gate.
Assilah, Morocco

It happens to be Market Day in Assilah with local Berbers bringing in their goods on pack animals.
Assilah, Morocco

Assilah, Morocco

Assilah Train Station.
Assilah, Morocco

Back in Tangier, we walk back to our hotel via the New City.
Tangier, Morocco

And have some tasty Moroccan fast food for dinner.
Falafal Plate - Tangier, Morocco

Sunset snack on the terrace.
Tangier, Morocco

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I had heard that Tangier had cleaned up its act. Good to learn that it's true.