Favorite thing: The GRAND MOSQUE is said to have been the site of a Roman Temple and at one time housed a church built by the Portuguese.The Mosque is unique in having square towered minarets instead of the usual round ones, but as far as mosques are concerned, the building itself is quite small and unimpressive.
As our tour bus wound its way around the city, I couldn't get enough of this fascinating city. Old and new. City of contrast ( Note the picture with the McDonald's sign and the Mosque in the background). People going about their business. I captured a man in Arab garb just casually strolling the streets. Then there were the young Soccer fans celebrating a win, in the streets.
My head was turning every which way, so as not to miss a thing.
The square near THE KASBAH fronts the former Sultan's Palace, which is now a museum of art and architecture.
Tangier's 17th century fortified residential quarter, the Kasbah is the highest point of the city and on a clear day it is possible to see the Spanish city of Tarifa.
Most of THE MEDINA in Tangier is in good condition. Streets are narrow, houses are in many different styles, there are many commercial areas and it's colourful with many painted doors.
I thought this was an amazing part of the tour as we wound our way through and got a glimpse of the many sights, sounds and yes even the smells of Tangier, especially the distinct smell of curry. I loved peeping into the little nooks and crannies and saw little businesses tucked into the smallest of spaces. There was the tailor/seamstress. There was a little bakery with pita bread just coming out of the oven. Children playing in the narrow streets. A lady doing her washing. It was all just fascinating to me how they could all live in harmony in such closed quarters.
Nobody bothered us on this particular walk, but perhaps it was because of our big, burly "bodyguards" positioned front and back of our group.
The Dar El Makhzen was built by Sultan Moulay Ismail. While this Palace is not the largest a Sultan could reside in, the DAR EL MAKHZEN is still tastefully finished with wooden ceilings, arabesques, marble fountains and two inner courtyards.
The Palace was abandoned in 1912 and was later turned into a museum of Art and Architecture.
Entrance to DAR EL MAKHZEN MUSEUM or Musee De La Kasbah, is one Euro or 10 dirhans.
As Tarifa is a mere 13 km or 8 miles from the shores of North Africa, spectacular views of the Rif Mountains of Africa can be seen across the water.TARIFA is the southern-most tip of Europe, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
As we Headed back by ferry to Tarifa, we had the good fortune to have a wonderful sunset over the sea. I tried to capture the moment as we sailed into the PUERTO DE TARIFA.
We passed the Castillo de Guzman El Bueno - The ruins of a 13th century castle.
Also there was an awesome jetferry in the harbour - the Hanse Jet.
Favorite thing: We were in for a treat. We walked into a huge room with walls covered with the most beautiful carpets. We all sat down on little wooden stools while a salesman gave us a CARPET DEMONSTRATION and explained to us all the different kinds of rugs and what to look for when purchasing a rug. If you decided to buy one, they would ship it home for you. Will that be Master Card or Visa?
Favorite thing: After our walking tour ,we came upon a clearing in a square and there waiting for us were the SNAKE CHARMERS. I always thought a snake charmer coaxed a snake out of a basket with music. These charmers pulled snakes out of a box to the sound of a beating drum and invited anyone to put the snake around your neck and take a picture. There were a few takers, including Hans who had some fun with it. After , the basket went around to gather any donations.
My third visit to Tangier was at Christmas 2005/New Year Eve 2006. A group of friend we crossed by ferry to spend the long weekend and celebrate NYE at Tangier, maybe not a party place, but we had a great experience. We celebrated also the birthday of Olga´s best friend of Tangier and had dinner at Hammadi. A perfect weekend.
Most of the nationalities (european countries, USA, Canada, NZ, etc for mroe details check at the Moroccan Embassy) do not need a visa to enter in Morocco as tourists, you normally need a valid passport with more than 6 months expire date,
If you come by ferry, check for a long queue, that the line to get your passport stamped, it will include a number, if you come back to Morocco, you will only have to show that number as they have registered you.
Many fans of the movie "Casablanca" go to that city expecting a place akin to what they see in the film (despite the fact it was made in a Hollywood studio) and come away disappointed when they realise it couldn't be more different.
However, Tangier has some interesting links to the movie. "Rick's Café Américain" was modeled after Hotel El Minzah in Tangier while the opening shot of the movie features Tangier rather than Casablanca. I have also read somewhere that although the play on which the movie is based ("They all come to Rick's" was actually set in Casablanca, it was a Casablanca modelled on Tangier.
The image of a black market, corrupt police, locals willing to help for a price, etc does seem accurate for Tangier - even today! So perhaps fans of the movie should try Tangier rather than Casablanca.
This trip was just a short break for our anniversary, 3 great years together and we were looking for something nearby, not too expensive and relax. First we were looking for a cruise but there were not cabins free in the one we liked, then I remember Tangier, I wanted to show Stacy for a long, long time and this was the best moment.
I phoned Olga (my best friend) that had been living there for suggestions and we found ourselves there in less than a week.
A great experience and I know we will be back.
I would invite someone who had never been to Tangier, for a few hours walk around the medina from Grand Socco to Kasbah fortifications and the Atlantic coast. I would add some (mostly window because of high prices) shopping and eating local food on the way. Add a visit to the Moroccan Arts and Antiquities Museum in Dar El Makhzen, former sultanate and governor's palace.
Fondest memory: I do not miss anything in Tangier itself but I would take a loop drive to nearby Cape Spartel again. But, I would skip Hercules Caves. Instead, I would visit the ancient Roman site of Cotta.
In Tangier I would visit Forbes Museum of Military Miniatures in Mendoub Palace and the American Legation.
A friend and I were having a vacation in Spain and we couldn't resist hopping over to Africa for the day. We did a day tour with FRS and had an incredible time. We went to the souk, the medina, a rug shop, a spice pharmacy, a super resturant, and I even had the chance to ride a camel. Our guide was incredible and I'd recommend this to anyone who wanted a really fast paced taste of morocco.
Fondest memory: I was quite partial to our guide, Ali. He was hilarious. I miss the food, and I can't wait to go back.
My favourite thing about Tangier I think has to be its exotic and wild history. If I went to Tangier with someone who had never been there, I would take them through the winding alleys and streets of the locals area of the Medina and Kasbah.
Fondest memory: My best memory of Tangier has to be OF COURSE meeting Mutapha, at St Andrews Church, and having another "Palin Moment"...........................