----- Tangiers, Morocco ---------------
Visiting Morocco was my second trip to North Africa. We decided when visiting Gibraltar and Southern Spain to take a ferry to Tangiers. We set out across the Straits of Gibraltar and the crowded shipping lanes to make our way along the Moroccan coast. The North African coast is dominated by towering mountains with villages dotted along the landscape. Upon closing in on Tangiers we could see a sprawling city that lay before us.
The day was perfect with amazing weather. We enjoyed plenty of sunshine and cool breezes. Upon disembarking into Tangiers we negotiated for a local guide to take us around Tangiers. We wanted to see the best sights and yet have some security due to the fact my mother was with our group. I was impressed with Tangiers as it was a very interesting and yet a clean city. What we found funny was how we were pointed to a restaurant called Uncle Kentucky. It looked just like KFC... total rip off, but lol! Our tour took us past some major squares, past the presidential palace and finally to the top of the old town. From this spot we could leave our taxi as we would now walk from the top of the hill and we would meander through the narrow streets to the bottom and the exit of old Tangiers.
In the upper old city we were led to the edge of the city perched along the cliffs with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean with Tarifa, Spain in the distance. Looking westward over the ocean reminded me that the Americas were the next stop on the other side of the ocean... As we wandered the narrow beautifully colored and tiled streets we were impressed with the architecture and tranquility of the old town. There were so many hidden squares and ornate, alluring alleys. I would literally find myself pulling away from the others to explore some of these alleys and then find myself taking a turn to find these gorgeous squares with a few isolated homes tucked away in these private niches. Plus, so many unique things were pointed out to us on our stroll that it is impossible to remember them all. I felt as if we were on a tour in a museum. We walked past shops, embassies, mosques and other points of interest. We had a moment were we noticed a ram tied to a door. Our guide informed us that a Muslim holy day was tomorrow. It was a day in remembrance of Abraham when he went to sacrifice Isaac, but sacrificed a ram instead. The tradition was to sacrifice a ram on that day, so the ram we saw was destined for slaughter.
Our day here was very enjoyable. We did not feel in any danger at all, and the people although were tough with trying to negotiate with us on buying their product, they were albeit very friendly. My only wish is that I would have had more time here as there were yet many other gems yet for us to discover.