A Travellerspoint blog

Tangier – The Doorway to Africa

sunny 25 °C

The days are racing away as we begin our Moroccan odyssey. We have already visited Tangier, Chefchaouen and Tetouan and have yet to relate tales of our last few days in Spain where we explored the ancient sherry cities of Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera with our friends, Sharon and Gidon. Here we are enjoying some fine sherries in the centre of Jerez…

But sherry has had its time in the sun and many of the centuries old bodegas (the enormous warehouses where the sherry is blended and stored during maturation) are sadly falling to ruins. This is just one of the many beautiful bodegas that have been abandoned…
This bodega and associated buildings (and other similar ones) occupies an entire city block and can be bought for a song today – if you have a few million euros available to fix it up. The bullring in Puerto, on the other hand, is in great condition and bullfighting as popular as ever…
Photo courtesy of Sharon Minkoff Photography

So now – to Africa…
Last week we visited the most southwesterly point of Europe in Portugal. Now we are at the most northwesterly point of Africa. Just fifteen miles separates the two continents yet in many ways it could be fifteen thousand. Tangier is a very modern city in parts, (it certainly has more traffic than is good for it), but in the ancient city centre life goes on much as it has done since medieval times. This man is buying a live chicken from a couple of Berber market women…
While this colourful lady is hoping to sell her mint…
An army of artisans labour in tiny shops in the labyrinthine souks making all kinds of carpets, clothing, leatherware and jewellery. And here is one of the many bakers…

The interesting buildings of old Tangier are difficult to photograph because of the narrowness of the souks, but the doorways are fascinating…

We are staying in a riad, a traditional house in the very centre of the Medina, and around us the markets, bazaars and cafes bustle with noisy life until late each evening. And then, when we’re sound asleep at 4.30 am, we are serenaded with half an hour of high octane chanting by at least a dozen discordant muezzins in the minarets of the surrounding mosques – life is exciting here, but it isn’t peaceful.

Next time on Blissful Adventures – the incredibly blue city of Chefchaouen.

Posted by Hawkson 12:32 Archived in Morocco

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The empty seats in your photo of the bull fight arena reminds me of the one we attended in Guadalajara--no one sat there in the sun--they were all packed in on the opposite side in the shade.

by R and B

LOVE the last street photo of the ladies in blue...What an adventure and yes, so close to Europe but so far away!

by Joyce Babula

The bull fighters look very pretty - it's too bad they are fighting bulls and not some other dangerous creatures like corrupt politicians.

by Janet

You appear to be having a great adventure. Hope weather and accommodation are good.
Keep up the good reports of your travels.

by david

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