This was the last real day of touring on our Spanish trip, the Thursday before New Year’s. We knew it was going to be a long day but we were ready to get up early. We drove to the port town of Tarifa to catch the ferry to our third continent of the trip.
Mohammad, our guide for the day, met us when the ferry docked in Tangier.
He took us to the mini bus and then took us for a tour through the new town and beautiful scenery around the city.
People have been living there for thousands of years - the Phoenicians made it here before Christ. The Berbers are the original Moroccans. They set up shop and were then taken over by many different people, including Carthage, Rome, the Moors, Spanish, French, English and now, themselves.
Tangier was also an international city after the French because it was so important to trade - French, Italians, Americans and the Brits ran the city for a bit.
Up in the hills, we stopped at a tourist trap – the camel ride! Yes, we rode one.
After the new city, we stopped at the Cave of Hercules. Legend has it that the mythical hero washed up here back in the day. Walking down the wet steps in the dank cave and turning the corner to see that site - wow.
Next was the Cap Spartel, a lighthouse looking over where the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas meet.
The mini bus dropped us off and we had a walking tour of the old city - saw the Kasbah (fortress)…
…and medina (old city)…
So many tiny streets that not even petit taxis can get through. The religions live here all mixed up, al peoples in one area, no matter who they worshipped. It was neat to see. They are modernizing on their own terms. There were many ladies out with headcoverings but some without. Either way seemed to be ok.
Mohammed dropped us at our lunch place where we had soup, chicken pastille, and chicken couscous followed by baklava and traditional mint tea. Yum!
After lunch, more walking in the old town. Saw the petit socco (picture below) aka the market. Got an introduction to an herbalist and bought some mint tea.
Next was the traditional rug shop. Saw lots of gorgeous hand made rugs that probably cost more than M's tuition. But mom fell in love with a few and M didn't stop her, so she bought two! That was fun to bring home. Should have got a picture of how they can wrap up a 6x9 rug to the size of a suitcase. I also got a wall covering for being awesome.
All over the old city, we saw amazing doorways…
And beautiful mosques…
Then it was back to the mini bus and the ferry home. It seems like everything should be closer together, but it was still an hour back to the condo. But totally worth the long day.