Tarifa to Morocco

So, onward with this blog update. Today is all about Morocco: getting there, touring about and returning.
I woke early (5:30 am!!) so that I could walk over the border to the bus station in la Linea and catch then 7am bus to Tarifa. It is from Tarifa that we board the fast (allegedly) ferry to Tangier, Morocco. Going through customs leaving Gibraltar was even less exciting than entering because it was so early, the customs building wasn’t even open, and as I stood there wondering where to go a Spanish guard called out to me… ‘Senora, Spain is this way’ and pointed the direction I knew already. He didn’t even look at my passport as I walked past.

So, I had a pleasant 1 hour bus ride to Tarifa and walked down to the port. It was brisk and windy and I was glad I brought my light weight cardigan but kind of wished I brought my jacket from San Sebastain as well!!

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I hopped on the ferry, after getting my passport stamped by spanish customs, and sat down at a table. After a bit an American couple joined me and we sat together for most of the trip and chatted. He was originally from Scotland and she was originally from Italy but have lived in NJ for years and we are probably about 1 hour away from each other. Very coincidental 🙂

They were planning on wandering around on their own in the Medina of Tangier while I booked a personal tour of Tangier, the cave of Hercules, and a small town called Asilah. In retrospect, I should have wandered on my own too… I would have seen more of Tangier and developed a sense of the city. But as they say, hind sight is always 20/20.

Most of my initial photos of Tangier are from a car and I do not excel at taking photos from a moving vehicle. There are a couple good ones though,

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A mosque in Tangier…

Then we went to the home of the head of Rolls-Royce in Morocco (supposedly) and I got up close to some…

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The home also had a beautiful entrance to the driveway…

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We worked our way out of the city and down the coast, stopping at a pretty vista with a unique light house.

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Oh, I forgot to say that my personal tour ended up being with 3 other people, all from America, one based out of Philadelphia. This was nice because we all spoke the same language and ended up exchanging email addresses so we could share our photos. One of the pluses to having other people with me is I finally got my second photo of ME on this trip.

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As you can see, it is still a bit windy. There were a bunch of vendors at this site and I ended up bartering for a abalone shell bracelet that is not really unique but I liked it.

From here we worked our way to the cave of Hercules… It was pretty but the side walls were crowded with vendors as you walked down into the cave. But it was worth it because the view was great…

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The water you see in that photo is the Atlantic Ocean. As you can see, it truly was Hercules’ cave because of this…

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But seriously, it is beautiful there…

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We moved on to Asilah after here. What I liked about Asilah was the contrast of traditional Moroccan homes and art with modern murals on the city walls. Plus it also had a great view of the ocean.

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We saw some traditional bread being baked at the communal oven.

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Then, we rode back to Tangier where we got dirham (moroccan currency) at an ATM and were led through the maze that is the medina. I did see a pretty square…

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And ate traditional kebab in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant…

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Eventually we got to a shop where the couple we toured with purchased a handmade rug and I bought some jewelry. Then toured a beautiful hotel where I took lots of beautiful photos but don’t feel like posting. We finally made our way back to the ferry.

The thing with the ferry is this: it is supposed to take 35 minutes to cross from Spain to Morocco but takes more like 45 min or more and it leaves about 30-40 minutes late each way. This is not that crucial unless you hope to get the 8:25 bus from Tarifa to la Linea and the ferry that should have arrived at 7:35pm actually docked at 8:35!! So the next bus (direct) was at 11pm. Luckily I got a 9:45 bus to Algeciras then a 10:30 bus to la Linea and finally crossed the border at 11:15 pm where the Gibraltar security agent waved me through from about 20 feet away and said, ‘you’re alright love’.

The only place available to get anything (especially food) was a 24 hr gas station – so I got a sandwich, juice and about £14 of Cadbury crunchy and McVities DARK CHOXOLATE BISCUITS… This is why you should not shop when hungry or tired… But I will enjoy all of the british delightfulness when I get home!

Finally got back to the hotel just after midnight and crashed. Full English breakfast the next morning and then trudged back over the border to take the bus back to Malaga and them la herradura. Relieved to be back in our little village and not having to travel any more for a while.

Cheers folks!

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